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  • TheDivaTheDiva    11,920 posts
    His book is well worth a read... not just for the bookmaking angle but its a very historical piece of how Australia was back in the day with an SP bookie on every corner and in every pub and when sly grogging was the norm. 

    Book is called "what are the odds"

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  • therealkramertherealkramer    7,046 posts
    edited November 23
    @TheDiva I think the Alan Tripp story, "Beating The Odds" by Nichola Garvey, is a better read-thoroughly recommend.
  • JayJayJayJay    5,294 posts
    Liberal lashings of Faberge after shave applied through Bill's personal, designer label rose coloured glasses in order to sanitise the story......very Liberal.....but yes, I bought the book and enjoyed the read, it was worth it, albeit with a bowl of granular salt to sprinkle on most of it.

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  • TheDivaTheDiva    11,920 posts

    @TheDiva I think the Alan Tripp story, "Beating The Odds" by Nichola Garvey, is a better read-thoroughly recommend.




    Yes have read that one too.

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  • thefalconthefalcon    16,175 posts
    I lived in Sydney during his prime. it was interesting to stand close to his stand, some of the bets were mind boggling..fair dinkum!!
  • therealkramertherealkramer    7,046 posts
    thefalcon said:

    I lived in Sydney during his prime. it was interesting to stand close to his stand, some of the bets were mind boggling..fair dinkum!!


    I remember going to the races when he was mentoring Tom and would just sit on his chair and watch. Even back then-when the betting ring still had some life-it was nothing compared to his day.
  • JayJayJayJay    5,294 posts
    My uncle, who was a desperado on the punt, told me he was standing next to his stand just watching, mouth agape, one day at Randwick in the 60's or 70's. Someone claimed him quite loudly, "$60,000 to 40,000 the fave Mr Waterhouse", "Certainly Sir" says Big Bill, "Would you like it again?" The punter nodded, "Thank you Sir", Bill wrote out the ticket and reached behind and wound the fave out to 7/4. It got rolled. There are probably a million stories like that, true?...well, I dunno but my Uncle told me that story decades ago ...before he went belly up and had to sell the Pub he owned.

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  • thefalconthefalcon    16,175 posts
    there was another tale..i think it was the oaks, the horse, farmers daughter, I think. it was one of those huge punters, ysmael ( I met him at Lindsay park one evening) or the HK tiger. I think it was a million..same thing..."would you like it again?"
  • savethegamesavethegame    1,409 posts
    Goggle  four corners program------ horses for courses 1986----------  insight into how Houdini Bill. the crook operated, and towards the end of program it come's across Alan Woods who was a card counter at the time,  who eventually finished up worth 670mil, mainly punting  on hong kong races.

    Woods died in 2008-----he was in the three biggest and best gamblers in the world.Waterhouse's rarely played fair.
  • SLIPPERGOLDENSLIPPERGOLDEN    5,793 posts
    edited November 28
    I had decided to retire from contributing to the forum but Savethegame you have forced my hand to contribute again. That is brilliant. 

    Have never seen the episode previously though did know a bit of it.

    In my opinion the Waterhouse name has been a a slander on Horse Racing gambling and that documentary proves it.

    The great reporting also proves how weak Four Corners is these days.




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  • VillageKidVillageKid    1,528 posts
    Cheers STG that was a very interesting watch to say the least.

    savethegame likes this post.

  • ManchildManchild    167 posts
    the words corrupt come to mind 
  • SLIPPERGOLDENSLIPPERGOLDEN    5,793 posts
    I don't include Gai. Her enthusiasm, work ethic and track achievements have been a huge positive for the industry.

    jum likes this post.

  • hashhash    6,518 posts
    edited December 1

    Goggle  four corners program------ horses for courses 1986----------  insight into how Houdini Bill. the crook operated, and towards the end of program it come's across Alan Woods who was a card counter at the time,  who eventually finished up worth 670mil, mainly punting  on hong kong races.

    Woods died in 2008-----he was in the three biggest and best gamblers in the world.Waterhouse's rarely played fair.



    Interesting viewing even for a younger bloke like myself, can’t say I’ve got any memories of punting with the old paper notes but it brought back some memories

    Betting in tens of thousands these days is a decent go let alone back in those days especially in a greyhound race! just go to show how big they really were at the time

    Link below cheers STG

    https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/horses-for-course---1986/2832202

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  • savethegamesavethegame    1,409 posts
    Good -one hash, as far me been able to put the link up----- -Matt Biondi.
  • paraleticparaletic    3,298 posts
    hash said:

    Goggle  four corners program------ horses for courses 1986----------  insight into how Houdini Bill. the crook operated, and towards the end of program it come's across Alan Woods who was a card counter at the time,  who eventually finished up worth 670mil, mainly punting  on hong kong races.

    Woods died in 2008-----he was in the three biggest and best gamblers in the world.Waterhouse's rarely played fair.



    Interesting viewing even for a younger bloke like myself, can’t say I’ve got any memories of punting with the old paper notes but it brought back some memories

    Betting in tens of thousands these days is a decent go let alone back in those days especially in a greyhound race! just go to show how big they really were at the time

    Link below cheers STG

    https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/horses-for-course---1986/2832202



    We bet like piss ants compared to how they used to bet. I wonder if they ever thought “we will ban this punter because he is too good”..... how times have changed.
  • H-BOMBERH-BOMBER    7,682 posts
    JimmyPop said:



    That article is unbeleivable. Could be an awesome new underbelly series? They'd never let it air
  • therealkramertherealkramer    7,046 posts
    edited December 1
    paraletic said:

    hash said:

    Goggle  four corners program------ horses for courses 1986----------  insight into how Houdini Bill. the crook operated, and towards the end of program it come's across Alan Woods who was a card counter at the time,  who eventually finished up worth 670mil, mainly punting  on hong kong races.

    Woods died in 2008-----he was in the three biggest and best gamblers in the world.Waterhouse's rarely played fair.



    Interesting viewing even for a younger bloke like myself, can’t say I’ve got any memories of punting with the old paper notes but it brought back some memories

    Betting in tens of thousands these days is a decent go let alone back in those days especially in a greyhound race! just go to show how big they really were at the time

    Link below cheers STG

    https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/horses-for-course---1986/2832202



    We bet like **** ants compared to how they used to bet. I wonder if they ever thought “we will ban this punter because he is too good”..... how times have changed.

    Well most of those huge bets were on credit or 'on the nod' and if the allegations in that Four Corners story and newspaper article are true, why would the bookies refuse the bets when they KNEW certain horses/ dogs had been nobbled?
  • sonnysonny    637 posts
    What about T..... P.... and the Fireman??? 
  • savethegamesavethegame    1,409 posts
    Eddie Birchley demise was with Page,Waterhouse Burns---- Few big punters didn't bet directly with Waterhouse because of his antics.but  it  finished up in his bag.

    Robbie Waterhouse was dating Gai late seventies,Big Bill would have given him a nice shove in that direction, to get the little general's information, he had 33 years at the top with Sykes.

    The Fireman last three big bets in Sydney were 105k. on  Danish dancer,  lost to shiel sail, fortnight later 60k shiel sail lost, On same day 70k on  princess thaila lost,

    He threatened to expose the corruption in bookies ring, he then started  to punt in melb, and  he started to lose more times then he won by the late seventies he was done.
  • savethegamesavethegame    1,409 posts
    Bookie lover----- to the satchel swingers defence--- we were never   a charitable org. from day one.
  • JayJayJayJay    5,294 posts
    Sunday's (Dec 1) Courier Mail has an article by Andrew Rule that states things that every one thought was true for decades...in very plain English...titled "A Life On The Take". Standby for law suites.
  • therealkramertherealkramer    7,046 posts
    edited December 2
    JayJay said:

    Sunday's (Dec 1) Courier Mail has an article by Andrew Rule that states things that every one thought was true for decades...in very plain English...titled "A Life On The Take". Standby for law suites.


    There's a link to the article posted above by @JimmyPop and you'll note the timing of its release @JayJay becos you can't defame a deceased person

    JayJay likes this post.

  • thefalconthefalcon    16,175 posts
    just watched the 4 corners...what a bloody family, a nest of vipers.
    I lived in Sydney 1974 to 1985...I could tell some stories I was told.
    was o/seas until 1987 so missed the programme.
  • thefalconthefalcon    16,175 posts
    savethegame, I remember Birchley well..can still picture him in my minds eye. I believe he only bet on very short priced faves...maybe that was the time our friends were paying jocks to hook their mounts.
  • TheDivaTheDiva    11,920 posts
    I knew he was a crook, but murder and drug dealing shocked me
  • sonnysonny    637 posts
    They may have been vipers and dodgy but they were not stupid to be involved in all that is said about them..
  • thefalconthefalcon    16,175 posts
    ….and to appear squeaky clean...but they had every senior pollie and cop on the take.
  • therealkramertherealkramer    7,046 posts
    edited December 3
    I'm not sure about that @sonny....for a bloke that, at the very least, was involved in dodgy stuff he had a very peaceful death. Unless he was feared for some reason, you'd imagine someone would have had cause to exact revenge at some point. Was it his friends in high places that insulated him i.e police, politicians? When you consider the murders of George Brown, Les Samba(to be fair, no motive established, nor any link to racing) etc it proves that racing folk are not to be crossed. If big Bill was involved in any of the more serious crimes, he'd have establised plausible deniability by distancing himself as much as possible. The deathbed confession implicating Bill in the Big Philou nobbling is easily explained away as the ramblings of a career criminal and nothing in that article establises a link to George Brown either.
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