Cheeky Punt, He's Grrrrrreat
Many have tried, but nobody has succeeded in taking his crown. The inimitable Cheeky Punt takes you through his weekly betting lows and highs with the original punting blog.
My shocking recent run on the gambling front meant I was dead broke last Wednesday. Last Wednesday was of course Halloween. Normally I make a bit of an effort for the kids on the estate but this year there would be no fireworks. No bonfires. No apple bobbing.
I couldn't let the kids go away empty handed however. So I improvised. It went quite well at first. One lad in particular was quite happy with his haul of four old Boxing News magazines and a Capri Sun.
However an hour or so in and I was struggling. One girl in particular, who had really made an effort with her witch outfit, was left dumbfounded when I offered her a Kellogg's Variety Pack of Frosties. And I decided to call time on the treat giving altogether when I reduced a six-year-old to tears by giving him a packet of Beef Oxo Cubes not long after 2000 GMT.
By Friday night I'd gone more than five days without a bet and was beginning to see what life was all about without the wild mood swings that are part and parcel of heavy gambling.
Of course it wasn't a conscious decision. My lack of contact with the camel coats owed less to do with any change in lifestyle direction and more to do with the fact that I was absolutely brassic.
I was just settling down for the evening when I had a call off 'The Big Woodowski', who was on the train home from Newcastle and in defiant mood.
"What do you reckon to The Fugue tonight in America?" he boomed.
"I reckon it's the best bet in sport this evening," was my honest riposte.
"Sound. I'm whacking it to the tune of £200. Do you want £80 on at 15/8 till payday?"
My response was brief but to the point. "Does Chelsea Charms sleep on her back?"
I didn't even see the race, but I heard William Buick gave the nag a nightmare ride.
I text Woody for a result and was hoping no news was good news but after 2300 GMT the big man text back and was clearly not amused:
'FML. Winner came third. Shocking ride. Buick wants a bat. Am chasing on College Basketball'.
The lads, sensing I was feeling low on Saturday morning, insisted that I joined them on a jolly boys to watch Hartlepool United play at Chesterfield in the FA Cup. Chesterfield, the town that gave us Geoff Capes and Jo Guest.
We set off at nine bells in the morning and despite me promising 'er indoors I wouldn't go mad on the drink I was getting stuck into the Kopparberg Mixed Fruit soon after. At least two of our party had rolled over from the Friday night and were communicating purely in shrugs, cuddles and raised eyebrows by the time we got past Wakefield.
I managed to win £40 on the way down by correctly naming all five professional fighters to have defeated Muhammad Ali and another £20 by betting that both of Kirkland Laing's welterweight title fights with Colin Jones ended in round nine.
Foolishly, given the fact I had lost my last 18 bets in a row, I duly had the £60 on a double consisting of Manchester United to beat Arsenal and Pools to beat Chesterfield. The double returned over £300 and I was in bullish mood after watching the Red Devils beat Arsenal 2-1.
So off we staggered to the Proact Stadium to cheer on the Chimp Chokers, who historically don't have much pedigree when it comes to the FA Cup.
Now I have endured a lot as a Hartlepool fan down the years. I've seen us lose 8-1 at home to Plymouth. I've seen us lose play-off finals in Cardiff after extra-time. But I have rarely felt pain like I did watching us lose 6-1 to Chesterfield last Saturday. We were beyond disgraceful. So bad that the club should consider offering all fans who had to witness that 'performance' some psycho-social counseling.
Inevitably we hit the drink hard on our way back, and truth be known the rest of the evening and much of the next morning is a glorious blur. Though I am informed I should probably have been arrested for what I did with a mixed kebab and a 43-year-old female outside of Loons nightclub.
Cheeky's Punt of the Week: Owen Coyle to be next Scotland manager at 10/1 (BetVictor, Ladbrokes, Sky Bet).