The Players: Chuck Esposito, The Bookie
Official Title: Assistant Vice President, Race and Sports Book Operations.
Chuck grew up in Chicago loving sports, but he was only 5'6" and too heavy to be a jockey. Instead of playing, he collected sports cards and studied facts and figures until he had developed an encyclopedic knowledge of statistics. His parents worried that this would take him nowhere-or worse-but it took him straight to Vegas, where he worked his way up to head odds maker for Caesars Palace. He admits that the only part of his job that he does not like is that he can no longer root for Chicago; he has to root for who the house needs and often finds himself hoping his favorite teams will lose.
Still, it is more than made up for by being able to work a job he loves that would be illegal in most other places-because Chuck, unlike the typical odds maker, is a family man. He has two daughters in grade school and a toddler son, in front of whom he is proud to call himself a "legal bookie".