Spiegel & Grau
On Sale: June 22, 2010
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An eye-popping and hilarious joyride through the underworld
of sports betting
Beth Raymer arrived in Las
Vegas in 2001, hoping to land a job as a cocktail waitress
at one of the big casinos. In the meantime, she lived in a
$17-a-night motel with her dog, Otis, and waited tables at a
low-rent Thai restaurant. One day, one of her regular
customers told her about a job she thought Beth would be
perfect for and sent her to see Dink, of Dink Inc. Dink was
a professional sports gamblerâ€”one of the biggest in Vegas.
He was looking for a right-hand manâ€”someone who would show
up on time, who had a head for numbers, and who didnâ€™t
steal. She got the job.
Lay the Favorite is
the story of Beth Raymerâ€™s years in the high-stakes,
high-anxiety world of sports bettingâ€”a period that saw the
fall of the local bookie and the rise of the freewheeling,
unregulated offshore sports book, and with it the elevation
of sports betting in popular culture. As the business
explodes, Beth risesâ€”from assistant to expert, trusted and
seasoned enough to open an offshore booking office in the
Caribbean with a few associates, men who leave their
families up north to make a quick killing, while donning new
tropical personas fueled by abundant drugs and local
girlfriends, and who one by one succumb to their vices. They
lie, cheat, steal, and run, until Beth is the last man
Beth Raymer is a natural storyteller:
funny, charming, and fully awake to the ironies around her.
But she is also a keen and compassionate observer of the
adrenaline-addicted, rougish types who become her mentors,
her enemies, her family. Raymer brings to life a world that
teems with pathos and ecstasy in this wild picaresque that
also tells the story of a young womanâ€™s crazy, sexy, most
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