Chris Perry Column: Got A Hunch... Bet A Bunch

Chris Perry •

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If I were a betting man...

Oh, wait - I am a betting man.

I have been known to wager a few shekels here and there. Ask Struncis or Flannery. I love to play gin. Ask Trudel or Harnishfeger, I suck at poker. I never bet on anything with four legs so I leave the ponies to Steve Cheney and others.

Games of chance like blackjack and craps? Definitely, but I never buy insurance and always back up my come bet. NFL and NHL? Love it. MLB and NBA? Hate it.

If Billy B. has a tip, I go the other way. I’ll be honest, the Hot Dog Hole at Miacomet with Jay Dean, Ed Meehan, Larry Flannery, Cliff Mulcahy and Bill Becker has been a bit of a cash drain for me over the years.

Thankfully, I have a small cushion left over from betting the Bruins “over” for total wins. Thought about taking Stacie out to dinner with the extra cash, but then I remembered that yesterday was the first day sports betting became legal in Massachusetts. Thanks to former Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and House Bill #5164, in-person betting is now legal in three category 1 locations: Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor.

Well, I couldn’t resist. I certainly want to help the state of Massachusetts in its quest to capture an anticipated $30 to $50 million in additional revenue. So, I had to check it out.

It was a Festivus Miracle! Encore had a series of prop bets and one in particular captured my attention:

Next editor to be named at the Inquirer & Mirror......

Now, as most of you know, Marianne Stanton recently announced that she was stepping down as the editor of the Inquirer and Mirror. For over 200 years, the weekly paper has played a unique role on Nantucket, and in some shape or form, it has impacted just about everyone.

Personally, I have had my ups and downs with the “Inky M” over the years especially during my tenure as chair of the Nantucket School Committee. I think it is fair to say that I have not always seen eye to eye with the paper, but that’s for another time. But what we have here today is an opportunity to leverage our bets with some inside information, and if you have a hunch, you bet a bunch.

So, not wanting to miss out on a betting opportunity, here are Encore’s current lines in no particular order:

1. Nathaniel Philbrick (27-1): Let’s be honest, the man can write a good book. Can’t find a more sincere community member. This would be like getting David Pastrnak to play on your hockey team in Men’s League.

2. Gary Winn (18-1): Owner of Nantucket’s largest grossing real estate company. Guarantees a strong revenue stream.

3. Bruce Percelay (91-1): Come on... anything is possible. In 1913, Donerail beat the field by breaking from the fifth post as the largest underdog ever to win the Kentucky Derby at 91 to 1.

4. John Stanton (5-1): In-house candidate and it keeps the family name going. Short odds.

5. Nicole Harnishfeger (33-1): Recently moved to North Carolina, but has history and family ties to the island. Plus, she takes a dynamite photo.

6. Bruce Miller (17-1): Inky board member, entrepreneur, former FinCom member, well-traveled, and in his day, a solid tennis player who’s backhand occasionally let him down.

7. Elin Hilderbrand (29-1): Too scandalous? It could bring the Here & There column to new heights.

8. Brian Glowacki (24-1): This would be awesome. David and Ellen would be so proud. Just think, every Thursday, we could start the day with a chuckle and a smile on our face.

9. Ambassador Bagley (22-1): Recently took the position of Ambassador to Brazil. Career track could be Portugal to Balkan States to NATO to Brazil to Nantucket?

10. The Field (8-1): Probably the smart play. I imagine there is someone hiding in the shadows just waiting to pounce and take over. If not someone local, I bet the off-island candidate is looking for housing right now. Just sayin’.

I have carved out $50 to wager. In an attempt to get some inside intel, I must confess that I did reach out to the Inquirer and Mirror but received nothing credible back from the railbirds.

Nevertheless, the betting window is closing. I am not a bridge jumper. Consequently, I am betting to win. It’s time to pull the trigger so I’ve decided to make three plays:

Bet One: I am putting $20 on Elizabeth Frawley Bagley to win. It’s a dumpster fire down in Brazil right now as Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva squares off against Jair Bolsonaro. It makes perfect sense. Even though Bagley was sworn into office on Dec. 14, 2022 by Vice President Kamala Harris, she is still awaiting the presentation of her credentials to Brazil’s President. So, the door’s open. Plus, Bagley’s got housing...Nice housing! The odds are good at 22 to 1, so on a $20 bet, I am getting a $440 return.

Give me the Ambassador by a nose.

Bet Two: I am putting another $20 on Nicole Harnishfeger. Now, I know this is a bit of a long shot at 33-1 but I love the underdogs. The photographer extraordinaire has a stacked resume winning over 50 awards during her 29-year tenure. Nantucket High School graduate, New England Society of Newspaper Editors lifetime achievement award winner and an excellent dancer...

Give me Nicole for $20 hoping retirement in the Tar Heel State comes up short.

Bet Three: I was torn on my last bet. I have $10 left and it came down to Stanton vs. The Field. Naming John Stanton was just too easy. According to Hoyle, at 5 to 1, it’s not worth it if I am basically breaking even. So, in an attempt to hedge my bets and to put a few bucks in my pocket, I am laying a soft $10 on The Field. I believe there is someone out there (i.e. Henry Blodget, Josh Balling, William D. Cohan) that the Inky’s board currently has in their pocket...

Give me The Field for $10 at 8 to 1 for a net $30 profit or just enough to buy lunch at 45 Surfside.

If anyone out there knows something I don’t, please share the wealth because it might be time for a road trip up to Encore. With mobile betting not being legalized in Massachusetts until March, I’d hate to think we might get boxed out with an early announcement.

As “Fast Eddie” Felson said in the movie, Color of Money: “Money won is twice as sweet as money earned...”

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