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Lay the Favorite: A Memoir of Gambling | [Beth Raymer]

Lay the Favorite: A Memoir of Gambling

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 gambler looking for a right-hand man. She got the job.
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Publisher's Summary

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 gambler—one of the biggest in Vegas. He was looking for a right-hand man—someone who would show up on time, who had a head for numbers, and who didn’t steal. She got the job.

Lay the Favorite is the story of Beth Raymer’s years in the high-stakes, high-anxiety world of sports betting—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 rises—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 standing.

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 woman’s crazy, sexy, most unlikely coming-of-age.

©2010 Beth Raymer (P)2010 Random House

What the Critics Say

“Strange as hell, wildly affectionate and very, very funny. It is a world filled with scoundrels, thieves, and gamblers. It is a world we all recognize, where everyone is looking to somehow come out on top while doing what they love. The book is wise and has a relish for life that is a treat.” (Stephen Frears)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (45 )
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3.8 (29 )
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4.2 (29 )
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  •  
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 10-23-10
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 10-23-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Real Hoot"

    I ordered Beth Raymer's book because I thought it would give me insight into professaionl gambling (legal and otherwise). Well, I got much more than I bargained for. This is is a very smart and funny book about Beth Raymer's sojourn into various "career fields" of which gambling is just one. Certainly, this is one of the most entertaining books that I have obtained from Audible in some time. You will be seduced into her stories and enticed by the prose. Her character sketches are the best. The book is wonderfully written and the reading of Phoebe Zimmerman hits the mark. I hope that we hear more from Beth Raymer in the near future.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur Bethesda, MD, United States 08-13-13
    Arthur Bethesda, MD, United States 08-13-13 Member Since 2008
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    "good book but too long"

    first half is great but second half drags. i am not as interested in her dating life as she is.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brent 05-13-12
    Brent 05-13-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "What is the over/under on how much is fiction?"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Because I am taking the under. The essential structure of this story may be based in reality. But an awful lot does not ring true.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Beth Raymer again?

    No. And I am shocked at the info on the movie coming out based on the book. The best parts were the characters. Bruce Willis as Dink? My guess is that this movie may be fun to watch but will be pure fiction.


    Did Lay the Favorite inspire you to do anything?

    The narrator saved this book. I will look for more from her.


    Any additional comments?

    Very disappointed

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stuart 06-02-14
    Stuart 06-02-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Great Subject Matter, but Second Half Drowns."
    Would you listen to Lay the Favorite again? Why?

    Yes, I probably would. I found the obsessive gambling interesting and it had some good laughs.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the main characters descriptions of herself and jobs that she have had in the past.


    Have you listened to any of Phoebe Zimmermann’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Nope.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I thought the way she reacted to men and relationships was weird. She falls in love very easily and was gullible.


    Any additional comments?

    It was a bit of a shame that the first half of the book was so great and then the second went into more of her relationship and was just kind of boring. It had a chance to be great, but missed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Eee Saint Petersburg 05-31-11
    John Eee Saint Petersburg 05-31-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Extremely well written"

    I normally stick to the few of my favorite authors but for once I decided to take a chance after hearing the little sound byte preview. I was blown away at the in-depth descriptiveness in the writing that Beth Raymer provides. I was immediately taken along with her as she basically, ???wings??? it in the high stress area of sports betting. I cannot wait for her to write another book. Thank you Beth!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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