We're down to the last eight in the World Cup in Brazil, and so far Mr Nim has been right in his 'predictions'. His contacts in FIFA have obliged with denials of any corruption by players or referees. Mr Nim would argue that it's not corruption anyway. He calls it influence. He explained his theory to Caroline when they first met at Prince Lippi's casino in Trieste. Caroline, a novice at gambling, was curious how Mr Nim managed to win such large sums.
gambling is all about chance. All the things people gamble on are
unpredictable. Otherwise there would be no point.”
the smile disappear briefly from Nim’s face. She wondered if she had revealed
her gambling naivety.
is my enemy. That is what I fight against. To be a successful gambler you must
reduce the unpredictable and increase the predictable. Sometimes it is a matter
of one percent here or there, but adding together the one percents is enough to
tip things in your favour.”
thought of asking him if he gambled on football, but then remembered his advice
about not asking direct questions. She tried to remember some of Robert’s moans
about football matches when his team had not done well.
surely all sports are full of unexpected events. An important player might be
injured in the game; the referee might miss something obvious; the goalkeeper
might make a mistake.”
are right. And that is why I have a team of analysts to examine every aspect of
the game; the players, the managers, the officials, the players’ wives and
agents, the qualities of the grass on the pitch, everything you can imagine, and
in great detail. Gambling is a war of information and the man with the best
information wins. One percent here, one percent there, one percent everywhere.”
no idea. So when you said you have good judgement, you mean you have good
are necessary. Even with good information we can fool ourselves, allow greed to
cloud our judgement.”
waiter appeared carrying clean plates and a silver platter containing a whole
skinned sea bass. Caroline stifled a groan at the sight of more food, and
helped herself to a piece of the delicate pale flesh. The smile returned to
see you have had enough to eat. After this, let us return to the tables.
Tonight I am feeling lucky.”
your one percent theory work here too?”
course. But I cannot tell you how. If I did, I would have to kill you.” He
smiled. She laughed. They drank green tea from fine porcelain bowls.