New Zealand isn’t a place known very well for its horse racing or gambling, but it produced one of the world’s greatest gamblers and horse race bettors, Robert Moore. Born in 1953 in the island country east of Australia, Robert started from humble beginnings but would grow to become one of the world’s greatest gambling figures of all time.
Most of Moore’s fame comes from his distinct ability to pick winning horse races, as well as to win at the card game, blackjack. Moore was known to be a skilled card counter, and he used this talent to quickly amass a small fortune in winnings. This was back in the time when card counting was still relatively new to the gambling industry, so casinos were still learning to spot card counters, which was a big key to Moore’s success.
If he were to try his strategy at today’s casinos and blackjack tables, odds are that he would quickly be banned from playing. While card counting is not illegal, it is something casinos look for and they do reserve the right to refuse the right for players’ to play if they feel that they’re counting cards or gaining an unfair advantage over the house. In today’s gambling and blackjack culture, players that are banned from various casinos wear it as a badge of honor, showing that they were so good at beating the house that they’re no longer welcome to play there.
In the 1970s, when most of Moore’s blackjack success came, card counting was still relatively new to the industry and casinos were still playing catch up to the intelligent players’ tricks at the time. By the early 80s, Moore was starting to move away from blackjack, and he would eventually end up in Hong Kong in 1983 with only $5 to his name. It was here where he met up with world famous blackjack player and horse race bettor, Alan Woods, and the two would work together to pick horse races in Hong Kong.
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Alan Woods is a very storied figure in his own right, as he’s considered to be the greatest and most successful Australian-born gambler and blackjack player ever. His fortune at the time of his death was estimated to be around $670 million dollars.
It was in Hong Kong where the two teamed up to devise what was to become one of the revolutionary horse race picking methods of the time. Both Woods and Moore made a large fortune using their new horse racing betting system, and Moore in particular was known to be flamboyant and throw his wealth around in questionable ways.
For example, at a pool bar in Hong Kong, as manager asked Moore to wait in line for a pool table. Feeling slighted and not liking the tone that the manager took with him, Moore bought the bar from the owner with the sole purpose of firing the manager that asked him to wait in line.
In another similar incidence at another pool bar in Hong Kong called the Flying Pig, after growing increasingly annoyed by waiting for one of the two pool tables, Moore threatened to purchase the space below the bar and open up his own bar where he would have three pool tables, instead of two like the upstairs bar. He eventually did exactly that, and it was due to these kinds of consistent occurrences that would cost Moore millions.
In his daily horse racing wagers, Moore was said to wager on average around $2 million per day, and he would regularly win around 38% annual return on that. With those kinds of numbers, it’s not hard to see how Moore quickly became one of the most prolific horse race pickers in the history of horse racing.
Moore would eventually leave his partner Alan Woods in 1990 and join a rival horse race bettor, Bill Benter, who had his own successful horse race picking formula that was said to be even better than that of Woods’ and Moore’s. After having a bit of a falling out with Benter, Moore attempted to sell Benter’s formula and data back to his old partner Alan Woods.
A very storied and at times troubled life, Moore would eventually commit suicide via sleeping pill overdose in October of 1997. His legacy lives on as one of the greatest horse racing bettors and blackjack players to ever play.