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Old 07-02-2011, 08:53 AM
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Calzone Lord Calzone Lord is offline
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Default Plunger Walton's great rise and fall

The New York Times cleverly ended Plunger Walton's obituary with Walton defining heaven and hell - and his claim he was as old as God.






Walton was from Philly and had a street-cleaning business. He was the first big American bettor to be nicknamed "Plunger" - that was what the English newspapers first referred to him as when he showed up in England and absolutely startled bookmakers with his super aggressive tactics.

Walton would sometimes bet as much as $100,000 on a race (that would obviously translate to millions of dollars today) ... (my understanding is the English bookmakers were backed by extremely wealthy people and offered credit)

He won $320,000 in two seasons in America - and over $400,000 in his first season in Europe - before a conspiracy would ruin him.







Walton bought up a lot of horses. At his (very short-lived) peak, he owned a stable of over 120 horses - many he imported. A remarkable amount when you consider yearly foal crops were about 30 times smaller back then. It would be like an owner today having 3,600 horses.

Walton's betting success helped him take charge of New York city hotels such as The Grand Hotel, The St. James, and the Brighton Beach hotel.

It wasn't long before Walton's betting failed him and his stable of horses and hotels diminished to zero.

When all seemed lost ... he found one last chance in the hotel game.





He failed. Once a big celeb - he vanished from the spotlight for many years until his death. He died practically broke.
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Old 07-02-2011, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone Lord View Post
He was the first big American bettor to be nicknamed "Plunger" - that was what the English newspapers first referred to him as when he showed up in England and absolutely startled bookmakers with his super aggressive tactics.
Not to be confused with his modern day doppelganger, Plunger1985.
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:02 AM
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James R. Keene was one of the worlds richest men because of his success on wall street. He managed funds for J. P Morgan and William Rockefellar.

He owned an amazing 7 Hall of Fame race horses. (Sysonby, Colin, Domino, Kingston, Peter Pan, Commando, and Maskette) and left $15 million behind at the time of his death in 1913.

He attacked Plunger Walton in Europe:





Here's the opening of a column from the 1920's where Salvator describes Plunger Walton forty years after his demise in the racing game:

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Old 07-03-2011, 07:23 AM
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The season before Plunger Walton went to Europe - he couldn't show his face at Saratoga.

The fact that so many bookmakers went running to the press with stories about what kind of scoundrel he was - I think that is pretty telling proof that he did in fact CRUSH them.

If you believe the bookmakers - the racing officals at Saratoga would have had Plunger Walton killed if he showed up there...






More bookmaker accusations to the press:





A well known gambler defending Walton before his collapse:


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