There Is No Fool Like A Careless Gambler Who Starts Taking Victory For Granted. – Hunter S. Thompson

Can you Really be a Professional Gambler if you Don't Smoke Cigars?

I doubt you have really thought about this question.

Even a smoker of King Edward cigars would be unlikely to contemplate whether or not a professional gambler should, ideally, smoke cigars.

Who knows, perhaps you have such a preoccupation just like me.

My Dad smoked Castellas. They are a kind of everyday cigar someone would smoke. In the sense, they are affordable but still, in this day and age, relatively expensive if not a luxury. I don't really like saying luxury as smoking is harmful to your health so the positives should be kept to a minimum. 

I guess the addict's mind would transform smoking a stick of dynamite into an exotic twist on smoking. 

Instead of getting lung cancer, you would, if not paying attention, find your head had been blown off. I'm imagining the packaging on the box of Dynamite Cigars (carefully, hand-rolled). Instead of a picture of contaminated lungs, hideous ulcers in the mouth, or yellow fingers, it would display a picture of a neck with no head. A gush of blood flying through the air like a horror film.

Dad loved to smoke. 

I think he gave up a day too late. 

He may still have been here today if he hadn't enjoyed a pint and Castella. 

I remember, when he was feeling flush, he would buy a few King Edward cigars. They had a slighter wider girth and extra length. Like Eddy Large rather than Sid Little. I think as kids we bought a few cigars for Xmas presents. 

Times change, hey. 

The stereotype of the professional gambler as a smoker of cigars is a familiar picture. 

I was devastated when Sir Mark Prescott gave up smoking the cancer sticks. I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. I guess it was due to health concerns and the want to live longer. 

Not a bad idea, hey. 

I have two cigars in the cupboard. I bought them ages ago in memory of my Dad. I guess they have dried out and probably smoke like a fuse rather than a perfect blend of tobacco leaf. 

I should really light one up and have a go. Considering I've never smoked before, it probably isn't the best decision a 50-year-old can make. 

Perhaps I should wait until I go back to Great Yarmouth racecourse. A place where my father used to smoke, bet, and have a pint. They were good days. How beautiful it would be to go back in time. 

Sadly he passed away on July 4th, 1998. 

Time flies when you're not having fun. 

As with most losses in life, you consider how things could have been so different if Dad had lived a long life. He passed away at the age of 62. That is far too young. Sadly, so many people have no luck in life. Little children struck down by illness. There is no logic to somethings. My uncle Roy (dad's youngest brother) passed away at the age of 40 from a heart attack. He was such a wonderful man. 

Dad's two sisters, Rose and Pam lived into their early eighties, similar to his older brother Keith.

I wish my father, Colin, could have lived until his 80s. An extra 18 to 20 years would have been a blessing for us all. 

Without a shadow of a doubt, our lives would have been different in so many wonderful ways. 

Dad deserved so much better. 

He was caught out by life. Always too busy earning a living, putting on hold all those things he would do in retirement, not realising his day would never come.

The next time I go to Great Yarmouth racecourse, I will smoke one of those cigars. I will look into the stands and say: ''Thank you for being such a wonderful man and I hope I never let you down.''

Without question, you were the one person who believed in our hopes and dreams. 

God bless.

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