Out of Luck

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I suppose it wouldn't be that bad, this whole no-luck thing, if it didn't also cost me money. A lot of it. That is, for good or bad (mostly bad), I'm a gambler. These days, my game is poker, but I won't bore you with bad beat stories because everyone has them. Before I got into Texas Hold 'Em, I bet on sports. I used a bookie in Philly by the name of Leo. Leo loved to hear from me because, I'm pretty sure, my bets put his kids through college.

Last year I waited until Game 15 before placing a hefty wager on the Mavs (remember, they won their first 14). Before that, I never bet on the Yankees, because where I grew up, you hate all things New York. But when they played the Arizona Diamondbacks in the World Series a few years ago, I thought the Yankees were a sure thing to pull out Game 7. And they were--for eight and a half innings. The one and only game I bet on baseball's best team, they blew a ninth-inning lead when baseball's best closer, Mariano Rivera (who has a .079 career playoff ERA), surrendered a few runs. In the process he lost the World Series and, worse, more than $500 of my money. The grand sum I forfeited to Leo over the years could have financed a car dealership or a private plane; instead I drive a beat-up Honda Civic and fly coach to exotic locales like the Jersey shore.

"You're always one step behind," Leo says, laughing. "I've never seen anything like it. You could bet on the Harlem Globetrotters, and somehow they'd lose to the Washington Generals."

The Generals, huh? I wonder how many points they're getting.

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