In a nutshell:
"With a 57.5% winning expectation,
you are as likely to go 4-10 as to go 12-2... Sports bettors
don't go broke because they can't call winners, and they don't
go broke because of vigorish; - they go broke because they use
faulty money management."
- J. R.Miller
This article has been edited from a larger feature story in
The KANSAS CITY STAR newspaper, written by Sam Mellinger,
and published on Saturday, February 09, 2008…
Winners in sports
betting are the ones
who treat it like a
by SAM MELLINGER
The KANSAS CITY STAR
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Miller…likes the seclusion that his rural Tennessee house
provides…He’s made enough to own a second home in Las Vegas
and pay the better part of 30 years’ worth of bills betting
on sports. He’s made enough of a name for himself that he
now runs a Web site where he gives advice to thousands drawn
to the macho utopia of beating Vegas.
makes it sound so damn easy.
…Miller says, “You flip a coin and you win 50 percent.
All you have to do is make 53 percent to keep your money…”
Of course, if it really were that easy…Vegas
wouldn’t have all those presidential suites and neon lights
and seafood buffets. The now-illegal offshore bookmakers
wouldn’t think it worth the effort to skirt American law
Estimates say as much as $400 billion — roughly
equivalent to car sales — is bet on sports each year in
America. Most of that is revenue for the house, and the
biggest chunk is done illegally online.
100 million Americans place sports bets each year, ranging
from entertainment to recreation to full-time. A small
percentage of them live the dream of gamblers everywhere,
from the recreational, $20-on-my-alma-mater guy to the
compulsive, lost-my-house guy.
You call it
gambling, they call it investing. Some people play the stock
market, they play the point spreads. Same theories, they
say. Better chance of high rewards.
How they do
it is a risky and harder-than-it-sounds story that some
experts say is nothing more than a mirage that feeds the
gambling machine. But as long as there are casinos taking
bets, there will be millions of people trying for the dream
life that only a few can realize.
brother lived in Vegas,”
Miller says. “And, well, one thing led to another.”
Vegas led to blackjack, which led to sports bets, which
led to a newsletter and Web site —
www.professionalgambler.com — that now provide most of
his income after decades of paying the bills on bets that he
made either in Vegas or online when it was still legal…”The
most important thing is money management, and that means
keeping bets steady and reasonable.”
about 2,500 games a year. That’s six or seven a day, 50 a
week and 200 a month. It’s a wearing-down process.
The house’s advantage comes in a small portion it takes from
winning bets, known as the juice or vigorish, a margin that
means the break-even point for bettors is 52.38 percent.
relies on his research and time for an advantage of around 2
percent that, when multiplied a couple of thousand times
over, turns a profit that matches his neighbor’s salary. He
keeps his bets to a small fraction of the total bankroll,
allowing him to withstand extended losing streaks — like
0-13 during week 15 of the 1985 NFL season.
will kill most people is greed, making their bets too big,”
Miller says. “It’s all about money management. The stats
and information, with the Internet, are there for anybody to
...Successful sports gamblers are dispassionate, removed
and emotionally uninvolved. Bets are expressions of
mathematics and never to be taken personally. Trouble is,
sports gambling often attracts the exact opposite kind of
Copyright, KANSAS CITY STAR
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER
Hell is J. R. Miller?
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