- New book Gambling For Life shares Findley’s insider tales
- Gambler once lost £2.5 million on a single rugby game
Professional casino gambler Harry Findlay is the subject of a new biography which launched this week, which outlines just how it feels to make a £2.5 million dollar bet – and lose.
The whopping wager was made by Findlay back in 2007, on a rugby tournament final between New Zealand and France.
Despite a strong performance by the All Blacks, France clinched the win. Findlay and his companions lost millions between them on a single match – and in his new memoir, the gambler reveals just how it felt to realize his largest ever gamble had backfired spectacularly.
Who is Harry Findlay?
Among the high-profile gambling community, Harry Findlay is something of a legend and well-respected by many.
He is a controversial figure who has led a turbulent life, making extremely high-value bets that have caused his bank balance to fluctuate.
At times, Findlay has been a millionaire – at others he has been declared bankrupt, without a penny to his name.
The colorful character has also seen previous successes as a racehorse owner, but he was banned from the sport after betting against his own horse and has since sold his horse racing portfolio.
In recent years, Findlay has been out of the public eye and has had little involvement with the gambling industry either, though it was reported last year that he is in dispute with Betfair Casino over their increased commission charges.
Recently he has been working on his memoir of his gambling days, which is available from September 7.
‘Gambling For Life: Harry Findlay’ by Neil Harman is a must-read for any keen gambler.
All Blacks final proves costly for keen gambler
Sports betting has always been Findlay’s game of choice, and he tends to back the teams he follows, so it is no surprise that he favored the All Blacks in their 2007 Rugby World Cup performance.
Through timely bets, the punter managed to stick a cool £2.5 million on his team in the final at 4/5 odds.
New Zealand complied perfectly, and earned a place in the tournament’s final, so Findlay persuaded his friends and family to back the team too.
However, a twist of fate left the All Blacks facing hosts France instead of the expected Argentina match-up, which left the £2.5 million bet up in the air.
An unexpectedly strong performance by France, including a controversial last minute try, gave the locals a win.
At the final whistle Findlay’s millions, and the cash bet by his party, fell into the bookmakers’ hands.
“This was a different kind of pain and, with it, the numbing realisation that I’d cost a lot of other people money as well…” Harry Findlay
He adds that he did mitigate some of the fallout thanks to an urgent £600,000 to-win wager placed at half time: reducing the blow to a still-terrifying £1.9 million.
That one wager cut the gambler’s wealth in half – but it didn’t end his love affair with gambling, which continues to this day.
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