The Eastend Hustle

It’s been a long time since I bemoaned my dismal luck and questionable decision-making with that article on gambling. A lot has taken place in those months. Balotelli scored (a tap-in), Redknapp lost his job, most of the big teams are out of the FA Cup, but Chelsea stay top of the league. We’ve seen plenty of fantastic own goals; I was a particular fan of Wes Morgan’s header against United, woeful; but there were plenty more, and some outrageous goals from overseas. This week we’ll be seeing Micah Richards playing on English soil too as Fiorentina visit in the Europa. There have been plenty of dubious penalty decisions too including one involving a certain England captain and a League One side…

Nailed It...

Nailed It…

Most importantly, I’ve been successfully avoiding losing too much money on all of those outcomes and many more. A brief sabbatical from the game was in order for me after just a few too many frustrations. I’ve managed to curb my appetite through consistently losing on SkyBet’s Super6 – even that week when 55 people won. In recent weeks, however, the temptation has gripped me once more; the Rugby Six Nations is just too much I think. I won’t go into too much detail; suffice to say I haven’t won a single bet… I will elaborate on one particular occasion, though. No trophies (just like Newcastle…) for guessing that I am referring to the infamous Lucy Beale fiasco.

I’ll set the scene:

Arriving home one afternoon I was met by housemates in high spirits. They had charged, like Bale in space, into a ‘foolproof’, ‘nailed-on tip’. Ben Mitchell, I quickly discovered, was a ‘dead cert’ as the potential murderer. Everyone I spoke to had come across the same information, and from such an array of sources (mostly a chain of friends linking conveniently to one of The Eastender’s show writers) that it had to be true. Surely? I would be a fool to ignore this juicy piece of bait and, obviously, I bit. Looking back, it does look a little bit fishy…

I didn’t put a lot down; nothing compared to some of the people I know. Nationwide, students were putting down hundreds; apparently there was £10 million placed on the killer! That’s how much Southampton spent on Frazer Forster. We probably should have clubbed together and picked up a massive ‘keeper rather than listen to that awful tip.

Mitchell and Beale: Neck and Neck...

Mitchell and Beale: Neck and Neck…

At show time my flatmates and other punters gathered around our screens with baited breath. It was a two-part episode, of course. We were frantic when our man appeared on screen, consistently nervous and with few lines. We agreed that was a good thing – anyone with screen-time and lines we dismissed as obvious red herrings. Worryingly, however, the bookies’ favourite – the victim’s own younger brother, Bobby Beale – was a glaring absence. He surfaced in the second part, looking a picture of innocence in his pyjamas. Ben Mitchell, on the other hand, lurked menacingly and threatened the unfortunate girl.

Cold-blooded Killer.

Cold-blooded Killer.

With minutes left of the episode a raft of characters flitted through the scenes, tensely interacting with Lucy Beale. When Ben entered again we glanced, to no avail, to the corner of the screen for the live logo that would let us know the end was nigh. Speechless we looked on he robbed Lucy of her purse and ran to the hills. She wasn’t the only one who was robbed. The bookmakers pocketed all of our cash moments later when it was revealed that Bobby Beale had done it. Depressed and despondent we searched high and low for a silver lining; it could be worse: we could be QPR fans.


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