"Do you do
that in your business? Do you cheat your boss?"
he treats me decently. When business is good he gives bonuses. He talks to me.
He treats me like a human being. I take pride in the organization."
"No. A few
years ago a guy I knew as a player called me up and said he had information. I
followed him for a while and we won. Then we lost, so I quit. I still can't
THE MAIN MAN
Bob Martin ran a
bookmaking operation with two associates in a house across the street from the
State Department in Washington (laying odds, no doubt, on everything from the
Berlin Airlift to the Bay of Pigs). They were arrested, tried, convicted and
sentenced to up to five years in prison. The case went to the Supreme Court,
stewarded by Edward Bennett Williams, the trial lawyer who is now president of
the Redskins. Evidence had been gathered through presumably illegal
Bob Martin was so
certain the verdict would be reversed that he took 10-to-1 odds from one of his
associates, $1,000 to $100, that the decision would be 9-0, unanimous, a
forfeit. When the decision was handed down he was sunning in Miami.
"I knew what
the call was about as soon as I got it," Martin said in his office at the
Churchill Downs Race and Sports Book, one of several bookmaking emporiums in
Las Vegas. ( Martin is no longer with Churchill Downs, now being employed at the
Dunes Hotel.) "I didn't ask for the verdict, I asked for the score. It was
Bob Martin is 53
years old. He has a prominent forehead and Nixon-like jowls and brown
X-ray-vision eyes that give him the look of a wise old cherub. He grinned
warmly as he spun the yarn, relishing it, I thought, because yarns like this
are the chocolate souffle of the eight-course banquet that the world of
gamesmanship is to him.
"I middled a
Supreme Court decision," he said, delighted to see the glee in my baby