The Old West Petticoat Dealer "Madame Mustache"

Eleanore Dumont, known as “Madame Mustache in the frontier gambling saloons, was truly one of the historical phenomenons of that era. As a young petticoat dealer, she became a “super star” dealing twenty-one on the gambler’s gypsy circuit that roamed throughout the West.

There is debate about Dumont’s birthplace; some say that she was a French born immigrant named Simone Jules while others say she was born in New Orleans around 1829. What is known is that a Madame Simone Jules rolled into San Francisco’s Bella Union Saloon and Gambling Hall in the spring of 1850, took over a roulette table, and created a major sensation. Forty-niners, hungry for a mere glimpse of a beautiful woman were staggered by the young Frenchwoman with creamy alabaster skin, shinning black eyes, a flirtatious smile, and long dark tresses that fell to her shoulders. Within a few days men were standing in line to lose their gold dust to the demure mademoiselle that on very close inspection showed a thin line of downy hair on her upper lip.

The Bella union was packed night and day with players eager to see or play against the marvelous Madame Jules. Not to be outdone the other gambling halls quickly imported French women to preside over their roulette wheels. Over the next few years, women croupiers or dealers became the headliners for most of the gambling operations throughout Portsmouth Square. Then as suddenly as she had appeared Madame Jules disappeared from the scene and her name was not mentioned again in any records or newspaper reports.

Several years later in 1854, a stagecoach rolled onto the dusty streets of Nevada City, California, and a well-rounded young woman emerged. Dressed in fine Parisian clothes and expensive jewels, the whole city was set on its ear by the mysterious raven-haired French woman that descended from the coach. She was small and dainty, with doe-like eyes, a mane of curly dark hair, and just a slight hint of diaphanous down on her upper lip. She said her name was Madame Eleanore Dumont and offered nothing about her past – an inscrutable woman of mystery.

Satisfied with her transformation to Madame Dumont the gambling vixen rented a place in the center of town and hung up a sign naming her establishment, the “Vingt-Et-Un” (French for “twenty-one”). Citizens all over town received invitations to visit Broad Street and enjoy a game with Madame Dumont. Though there were over a dozen gambling halls in Nevada City, the Vingt-Et-Un was the undisputed queen of the sporting crowd. Twenty-one was Dumont’s game of choice and she was a master at the game, sweetly expressing regret as she raked in her winnings. When she closed up her table, she would order bottles of champagne to treat the losers, leading most miners to say that they “would rather lose to the Madame than win from somebody else.”

Miners and townsfolk flocked to the establishment, drawn both by the attraction of winning money and the charisma and wit of the French hostess. Decorum was strictly enforced, customers could not engage in brawling or using vulgar language; strangely enough, the rough crowd of miners found it impossible to resist the polite requests of the tantalizing owner. In a very short time, she moved her operation to larger quarters where she added faro, chuck-a-luck, roulette tables, and a staff of dealers. She called her new gambling hall the Dumont Palace and hired a Nevada City gambler named Dave Tobin to be her manager-partner.

Then over the next two years, the money rolled in on a daily basis, so much so that Tobin, who had moved in with Dumont at the National Hotel, wanted to take control of the operation. When he tried to make his move Dumont flew into a rage – just because they shared a bed did not make him the boss of the outfit. She gave him an ultimatum; if he did not like the arrangement then “get the hell out.” He certainly did not like the setup so after a final settlement he slipped out of Nevada City and headed back east.

When the gold in Nevada City eventually ran dry, Eleanore sold her operation and began a tour of the other mining camps of northern California. She opened her game in the Yuba River settlements of Bullard’s Bar, Downieville, and Sierra City; then moved on to mining camps on the Feather River and later the Klamath. In 1857 she dealt twenty-one in George Foster’s City Hotel in Columbia for more than a year before she moved on to Virginia City where she managed a swanky joint that boasted furnishings valued at over $30,000. It was during these series of California mining camps that she added the “extras” to her table operations – a visit to her boudoir requiring a “room charge.”

Dumont left for the gold strikes in Idaho and Montana in the early 1860s and by the end of her tour, she was approaching her thirtieth birthday. The passing years had not been kind to her; the long nights of cards and debauchery began to take its toll, and her once-legendary appearance slowly started to fade. Looking jaded and spent, she lost her hour-glass figure and what was years before only a faint hint of fuzz on her upper lip, had begun to darken – earning her the sobriquet-Madame Mustache.

At Bannack, she teamed up with man by the name of McHarney in a two-story gambling saloon that featured upstairs cribs for quick trysts with the young dancehall girls that worked the saloon below. They had the operation up and going for only a short time before her partner was shot to pieces in a gun battle with another gambler named MacFarlane. What to do? Never missing a beat Dumont had the bloody corpse dragged away, fresh sawdust scattered on the floor, and the saloon swung back into action as if nothing had ever happened. Then she hustled down to the jail to post a one thousand dollar bail for MacFarlane, who in less than an hour after the killing agreed to be her new partner. Yes sir, the Frenchwoman never missed an enterprising opportunity.

Coming out of Bannack, Dumont headed to Fort Benton, a hustling-bustling supply point for the Montana goldfields. Here she duplicated her previous operation that featured booze, beauties, and betting. However, the luster was gone from her earlier emporiums where elegance and decorum was paramount. She was reduced to operating in a low-rent dive. Steamboat captain, Louis Rosche described Dumont’s gambling saloon:

“The inside of the gambling house was worse looking even than the outside. The bar and the gaming rooms were housed in one big downstairs room. A rickety set of stairs led up to a second-floor balcony where I saw doors leading to about a dozen smaller rooms. The place was foggy with smoke and smelled of sweating, unwashed bodies and cheap whiskey. The floor was filthy… Faintly from one of the upstairs rooms I could hear the gibberish of a drunken man and the high, shrill laughter of a woman who was quite sober.”

Dumont bounced from one location to another until she decided it was time to retire from the gambling life so she bought a cattle ranch in California and for a short time tried to make a go of it in honest work. Quickly realizing she had no idea how to run a ranch she hooked up with a smooth-talking man named Jack McKnight who claimed to be a savvy cattle buyer. Handsome and well-dressed, McKnight promised her he could take care of everything and they tied the knot. With the ink barely dry on their marriage certificate McKnight did just that – he took everything she had and absconded.

Forced to return to the only thing she knew how to do Dumont hit the mining camps and eventually landed in Deadwood in the fall of 1876. She dealt twenty-one in various saloons and was observed by John F. Finerty, a journalist for the Chicago Times. In an article, he wrote: “She had a once-handsome face, which crime had hardened into an expression of cruelty. Her eyes glittered like that of a rattlesnake and she raked in the gold dust or chips with hands whose long white fingers, sharp at the ends, reminded me of a harp’s talons.”

Reduced to barely eking by as a dealer in low-class gambling dens, Dumont finally drifted into Bodie, California, in 1879. By this point, she was usually drinking heavily and finding it much harder to compete against professional sharps that sat at her twenty-one table. On the night of September 7, at the Magnolia saloon, she borrowed $300 to bank her table against two blacklegs. Try as she might she just did not have it in her; she was 49, penniless, befuddled by a whiskey soaked brain, and finally as she turned the last card she was completely out of luck. Gathering all the dignity she could muster she pushed her chair away from the table and stood up, “Gentlemen, the game is yours.”

The next morning they found her dead lying beside an empty bottle of morphine. Among the personal items found on her body was a letter that she had written. Along with directions for the disposition of her effects, the letter stated, “she was tired of life.” The Sacramento Union summed up her entire life with these few lines: “Bodie: September 8. A woman named Eleanore Dumont was found dead today about one mile out of town, having committed suicide. She was well-known throughout the mining camps.”

The Addictive Personality, Part One

How do you envision someone with an addictive personality? Do you picture an alcoholic, someone strung out on drugs, a chain smoker, or a gambler down on his luck?

Addictive behaviors are commonly thought of as behaviors that impair a person’s ability to function. Often they do but not all addictive behaviors have that effect. Some addictive behaviors do not negatively influence or impact the person’s life.

Many people are unaware that they even have the tendency because their behavior doesn’t fit the image they have in their mind of those who do. Someone with an addictive personality can turn a positive activity, such as exercising, into an obsession. As one mental health expert put it, healthy people plan exercise around their life. Addicts plan their life around exercise.

Those with addictive personalities have urges other people don’t have that can impede their ability to make good decisions. They have the tendency to do things that are fine in moderation, things that those without addictive personalities do with no problem, and become addicted to them. They are prone to becoming dependent on substances, activities, and other people-just about anything. And they are especially at high at risk of becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, pornography, exercise, work, and codependency.

It is theorized that 15% of American people have a predisposition to addiction. Doctors and clinicians still debate whether or not the addictive personality exists. The National Institute on Drug Abuse calls it a brain disease. Though addictive personality has not been classified as a personality disorder by the American Psychological Association, there are common traits that those with the tendency have-certain characteristics that make them more susceptible to physical or psychological dependencies that may negatively impact their quality of life. Not everyone demonstrating these characteristic will develop an addiction.

A common characteristic of the addictive personality is poor stress management skills. Without the benefit of healthy coping skills they are prone to using substances, activities, or other people as a way to manage their emotional discomfort and alleviate stress. They have the tendency to self-medicate, believing they are only using it symptomatically, but in fact are using it as a way to cope with life. Some have social anxiety or have trouble letting their guard down. Substances help them let go and have fun.

Many with addictive personalities suffer from insecurity or are excessive approval seekers. They may use substances such as drugs and alcohol to provide a temporary sense of worth, a pseudo-identity. Though they are aware that the sense of worth achieved that way is false, they like the way it feels and crave it more and more. They may turn to addictive substances in order to deal with insecurity, or they may ultimately feel powerless to stop an addiction once it starts.

Another marker of the addictive personality is the lack of ability to get in touch with feelings. The feelings are there but they may be too painful to look at. Feeling makes them feel vulnerable and out of control. This causes someone to focus outward, searching for anything that makes them feel good inside and comforts them.

Those with addictive personalities often have the need for instant gratification. They crave the quick, powerful feeling that makes them feel good in ways nothing else can. The euphoric feeling is short-lived so they are constantly seeking more. This sometimes occurs with those who have obsessive or compulsive personalities, and those who are perfectionists.

The inability to form emotional attachments with other people is another characteristic of those with addictive personalities. Many of these people are unable to make relationship commitments. Some alienate themselves from others believing that trusting relationships are unattainable. Some have brief, superficial relationships filled with emotional turmoil, and often with those who also have addictive personalities or are abusive. Substances such as drugs or alcohol become substitutes for the bond they lack with others.

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Arbitrage Betting Formula 1 – Part 3 – Sports Betting

Technology has always played a big part in affecting the outcome of a Formula 1 race. During the 60 years or so of its existence, the championship has seen advances in technology, although never forgetting the importance of the driver.

Two of the major innovations occurred during the early years – during the 1950s, Cooper’s revolutionary rear engine design led to two championship titles for Jack Brabham and in 1962, Lotus introduced their one piece chassis.

Technology developed rapidly during the 1970s and 80s and Formula 1 engineers began to be referred to as designers. The late 1970s saw the introduction of wings; and the early 1980s saw the widespread use of turbochargers.

Perhaps one of the most significant innovations was the so-called “ground effect” which used underbody design and side skirts, hugging the car to the ground. Improvements in design continue to play a big part in racing performance today. Several races are traditionally the highlights of the season. The Monaco Grand Prix which takes place through the winding streets of the principality is always exciting to watch.

At Monaco, the driver who gets pole position has an excellent chance of winning, as it is extremely difficult to overtake on the tight circuit. And in the UK, the British Grand Prix has become something of an institution since its inception in 1909, meaning a variety of betting options are available.

Sports betting is risky for the most part – many people who bet just occasionally are inexperienced and not knowledgeable. Many sports fans simply bet on their favorite team and often do not care too much whether they win or lose.

In fact, over 90% of people who bet on sporting events lose money; only a small percentage actually wins on a regular basis. However, there is a method of increasing the chances of winning, which is both easy and effective.

Getting an Edge in Sports Betting: Contrarian Sports Investing

Many people enjoy sports, and sports fans often enjoy placing wagers on the outcomes of sporting events. Most casual sports bettors lose money over time, creating a bad name for the sports betting industry. But what if we could “even the playing field?”

If we transform sports betting into a more business-like and professional endeavor, there is a higher likelihood that we can make the case for sports betting as an investment.

The Sports Marketplace as an Asset Class

How can we make the jump from gambling to investing? Working with a team of analysts, economists, and Wall Street professionals – we often toss the phrase “sports investing” around. But what makes something an “asset class?”

An asset class is often described as an investment with a marketplace – that has an inherent return. The sports betting world clearly has a marketplace – but what about a source of returns?

For instance, investors earn interest on bonds in exchange for lending money. Stockholders earn long-term returns by owning a portion of a company. Some economists say that “sports investors” have a built-in inherent return in the form of “risk transfer.” That is, sports investors can earn returns by helping provide liquidity and transferring risk amongst other sports marketplace participants (such as the betting public and sportsbooks).

Sports Investing Indicators

We can take this investing analogy a step further by studying the sports betting “marketplace.” Just like more traditional assets such as stocks and bonds are based on price, dividend yield, and interest rates – the sports marketplace “price” is based on point spreads or money line odds. These lines and odds change over time, just like stock prices rise and fall.

To further our goal of making sports gambling a more business-like endeavor, and to study the sports marketplace further, we collect several additional indicators. In particular, we collect public “betting percentages” to study “money flows” and sports marketplace activity. In addition, just as the financial headlines shout, “Stocks rally on heavy volume,” we also track the volume of betting activity in the sports gambling market.

Sports Marketplace Participants

Earlier, we discussed “risk transfer” and the sports marketplace participants. In the sports betting world, the sportsbooks serve a similar purpose as the investing world’s brokers and market-makers. They also sometimes act in manner similar to institutional investors.

In the investing world, the general public is known as the “small investor.” Similarly, the general public often makes small bets in the sports marketplace. The small bettor often bets with their heart, roots for their favorite teams, and has certain tendencies that can be exploited by other market participants.

“Sports investors” are participants who take on a similar role as a market-maker or institutional investor. Sports investors use a business-like approach to profit from sports betting. In effect, they take on a risk transfer role and are able to capture the inherent returns of the sports betting industry.

Contrarian Methods

How can we capture the inherent returns of the sports market? One method is to use a contrarian approach and bet against the public to capture value. This is one reason why we collect and study “betting percentages” from several major online sports books. Studying this data allows us to feel the pulse of the market action – and carve out the performance of the “general public.”

This, combined with point spread movement, and the “volume” of betting activity can give us an idea of what various participants are doing. Our research shows that the public, or “small bettors” – typically underperform in the sports betting industry. This, in turn, allows us to systematically capture value by using sports investing methods. Our goal is to apply a systematic and academic approach to the sports betting industry.