Tinker Tailor Soldier Bookie

| June 14, 2019 | Reply

I love this!

I’m a sucker for spy stuff.

John Le Carré, the Jason Bourne films, those real-life espionage books I buy at the airport (that reminds me – I’m writing this on the Thameslink to Gatwick, and I must remember to pick up the latest Ben Macintyre to read on the beach).

I’m also rather partial to making extra money. So to use a phrase that’s become popular of late, this is right up my strasse.

When Matt Houghton showed it to me the other day, I thought “This is straight out of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy!”

I’ll explain. But first, the obligatory spoiler alert. If you haven’t read the book (or watched the TV series, or the film, or listened to the radio drama), then skip to the next subhead.

Seriously, I’m going to give away the big twist!

OK, if you’re still reading I’m going to assume you know the story and so you know what I’m referring to when I say Witchcraft.

Witchcraft is the intelligence gold dust the Circus thinks it’s getting from a Soviet double agent. Stuff about Russian naval plans and the like.


To quote Ricky Tarr in the film, “Everything the Circus thinks is gold is shit, made in Moscow.”

As you’ll recall, Karla, the eminence grise at Moscow Centre, is happily passing along KGB secrets.

Because he knows it’s a price worth paying to get his hands on something much bigger: the American intelligence the CIA will share with the British (and thereby Karla’s mole in the Circus) in return for access to the Witchcraft product.

Now, go and read this and tell me it doesn’t ring a bell!

Bookies are doing something that on the surface seems daft – giving away an edge you’d think they’d be on their guard against.

But like Karla, they’re doing it because there’s a much bigger intelligence prize to be had.

And there’s another twist…

There’s a mole in the heart of their operation, and he’s passing on info to bettors like you and me.

The next subhead – spoilers are over

We all know things aren’t always what they seem where the bookies are concerned.

They stay in business because they have an edge. And they fiercely guard the details of where that edge comes from.

Some of it is generated by old-fashioned analysis, much like punters are doing in betting shops up and down the country each day (although bookies tend to use a lot more computing power).

But do you really think they rely solely on having the best analysis to know where to set their odds?

Why would they, when they don’t need to? They’re in a position to gather intelligence that you and I simply don’t have access to.

And they do it in a surprisingly creative way.

I’m going to sign off now, because I want to leave you in peace to read this fascinating and potentially very lucrative tale.


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Category: Betting Opinion, Betting Tips

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