When it comes to betting on horse races, in particular, Barney Curley is what you would call a professional gambler. He has a lot of experience in this field.
Curley was so preoccupied with horse racing that he went on to acquire a number of successful racehorses over the course of his life, the most notable of which was Yellow Sam. Curley’s obsession with horse racing led to his success in the sport.
Curley was successful in executing the biggest betting coupons in the history of the world, which resulted in a revenue boost of several millions of dollars.
Curley became a celebrity not just in Ireland but also across all of Europe as a result of his many successful coups.
The Initial Years
1939 is the year that Bernard “Barney” Curley entered the world in County Fermanagh, Ireland. Charlie, the man who he was named after, was a lifelong gambler. Because dad often spent the most of his money on dog races, I think it’s fair to say that a passion for gambling runs in the family. dad always gambled on the dogs.
Curley went to work in an English factor after graduating from a modest Irish boarding school so that he could contribute financially to his family. However, he always had the intention of eventually becoming a Jesuit priest. After devoting himself to the accomplishment of that objective for a whole decade, he finally came to the conclusion that it was not the path for him, and he immediately switched to writing books.
Even though his abilities as a bookmaker were, to put it mildly, mediocre, the experience did give him a greater knowledge of gambling, which would prove to be beneficial to him in the years to come. Curley began gambling on a sporadic basis until he had his first substantial victory, which he placed on a horse named Little Tim. This experience motivated Curley to commit the rest of his life to pursuing a career as a gambler.
Coup de Sam Betting Yellow Sam
Yellow Sam was one of the very first horses that Curley had purchased, but he had a scheme up his sleeve that would transform this racer into his golden ticket to untold wealth. Yellow Sam’s opening price on the day of the race was 20–1, which provided Curley with a significant amount of space to earn a profit on his wager. If it became public knowledge that significant quantities of money were being bet on the horse, those figures would radically alter; nevertheless, Curley had a strategy for how to handle the situation.
Because of this, Curley decided to run Yellow Sam at the racecourse in Bellewstown instead of any other location, despite the fact that there were only two telephone lines servicing the racetrack. It’s not uncommon for one of the lines to become inoperable in the middle of the day, leaving customers with just one option. In order to prevent any off-course bookmakers from lowering Yellow Sam’s starting price, Curley instructed a buddy to act as if they were having an extended phone conversation with Curley’s aunt, who was in the last stages of her battle with cancer.
Dozens of Curley’s friends and hired accomplices waited at bookmaker’s shops around the country with money to place bets ranging in value from $75 to $450. These bets were placed on the outcome of the race. Because Curley made sure that the bets were securely enclosed in envelopes that were not permitted to be opened until Curley called them, none of his assistants had any idea in advance which horse they would be choosing or which race they would be participating in.
Curley contacted the majority of his team members many hours before the race, but he kept a select few of them on the edge of their seats until the last 10 minutes before the start of the competition. That day, Curley wagered his whole life savings of $22,000, which he had accumulated over the course of his career.
Because he had such a strong desire to see the race firsthand, he insinuated himself into the middle of the track and observed the competition in plain sight. You have to understand that he had already built up quite a name for himself in the world of racehorses, and he was worried that the very fact of his attendance would arouse suspicion.