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COULD YOU BE A PROFESSIONAL GAMBLER?
If I've learned anything, it's that 99 out of 100 men should NOT consider sports betting as a vocation
Today's professional-level sports bettors are not what most people believe them to be. For openers, they are not those screaming fellows on cable television wanting to sell you picks. Forget those guys. No real pro expects easy profit or 70% winners. Ninety-nine percent of sports touts make their living by selling their worthless picks to gullible people expecting instant riches. Those touts' advice, including such nonsense as a "1-star, 2-star, 3-star" betting system, or promises of 65% winners, proves they are NOT genuine professional-level sports bettors at all. Those fellows don't actually bet for a living; they make their living by peddling their picks.
Successful sports bettors appear to be pretty much like anyone else. Most are married, have children, a mortgage, a car loan, a lawn mower, and all the other accouterments of 'normal' people. The difference is, they absolutely love what they do for a living. Although they generally put in a lot of hours, they are their own boss. They can pick their own hours and their own work environment. Generally speaking, many don't consider themselves gamblers at all; most would say they're better described as 'investors.' Sports betting, after all, can be likened in many ways to investing in the stock market, only in very, very fast motion.
Strangely, many pros choose to live away from the glamour of Las Vegas. Bob McCune, for example, chose to live in Lake Havasu, Arizona, and rarely went to Las Vegas at all. A couple others I know live at Mount Charleston - about 45 minutes north of Las Vegas - and almost never go to town. The last I heard, Billy Baxter lives in Georgia, and goes to Nevada only occasionally. Other pros choose Florida, others live in California, and I know one that likes the mountains of West Virginia. My main home is in the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau, about 55 miles east of Nashville, Tennessee. I built my own 3,000-sq. ft. home on 10 acres on Stone River about a mile from Readyville. I also have a place in Las Vegas and a place in Northern Indiana. One of the best things about my chosen profession is that it gives me autonomy. Every day is my own to do with as I please, whether it's building a house or restoring an antique car, traveling, swimming, writing, or laying face down on the sofa. I enjoy both the "chrome-and-plastic" environment of Las Vegas and the rustic, natural environment of Middle Tennessee. I enjoy an evening at Glitter Gulch in downtown Las Vegas with the beautiful strippers, and I enjoy my bird feeding station outside my home in Tennessee.
As a successful sports bettor you have no time clock, no boss, no employees, no 'customers', no daily commute battling traffic, - none of the hassles of most everyone else you know. You can work from home and 'home' can be anywhere you choose. You can work from Mexico City, or New York, or Moosebreath, North Dakota - or anywhere between. You can spend the day in swimming trunks or tuxedoes or in nothing at all, - and you have plenty of time for your favorite hobbies or other pursuits.
As mentioned above, sports betting has many of the characteristics of investing in commodities or stocks, - but without some of the disadvantages concerning insider trading, Enron-style scandals, overpriced broker fees and a general feeling of not being in control of your own destiny. In the stock market you're pitting your expertise against world-class experts and corporate insiders who get most news a long time before you do. On the other hand, with this weekend's sports games, you're pitting your expertise against the average sports bettor. It is self-evident who is easier to outthink, the full-time stock market player or the average sports bettor.
The average sports bettor is amazingly uninformed. He bets from intuition and emotion. He does very little actual research. When you consider you figure to win 50% of your plays simply flipping a coin, can it really be all that tough to win more than 53 percent?
Yes, I'm afraid it's a lot tougher than it looks, and combined with the hazards of faulty money management, sports betting is a very slippery slope. My guess is that no more than one in a hundred bettors can make sports betting their sole vocation. Another big difference between sports betting and gambling on stocks or commodities is, of course, that in sports betting you have no chance of making or losing 5%-10%-20% of whatever you risk on a particular "stock." You figure to either lose 100% of your investment in that "stock" or make 91% on your investment...And, of course, with sports betting you don't wait for weeks or months to know if your investment was successful. You get an answer in about three hours. Consequently, you can turn over your total bankroll much more quickly, and your investment remains much more liquid. Typically, a full-time professional sports bettor can have up to 2,000 opinions per year and an "edge" (an expectation of winning) of between 54% and 58% of those bets wherein he must risk 11 to win ten.
At 55% winners over 2,000 plays a bettor would have 1100 winners and 900 losers. At those figures, his gross profit would be over 100 betting units. If his bet size is 1 percent of his beginning bankroll, and even if he does not increase the size of his bets as his bankroll increases, he makes 100 percent profit on his original investment every year. Risking 2 percent of his original bankroll, he figures to make 200 percent profit per year. Changing his bet size when his bankroll increases (or decreases) by 50%, he can make much more. Compare that to investing in stocks or bonds, which pale by comparison.
...And all it takes is to call at least 54% winners against pointspreads and totals, - and, of course, to properly manage your bankroll.
That's what this web site and this material is all about. Take a look at the Order Page. The 'how-to' materials available there are by the most respected sports handicappers in the business. What you can learn from these men can be every bit as valuable as the best college education.
I don't mean to make sports betting sound like an easy way to get rich, and I want to make it clear that the vast majority of people reading this sentence should NOT consider sports betting (or serious gambling in any fashion) as a serious avocation. There seems to be a million ways to fail. For one thing, probably the most important of all things, you should be as objective as possible when considering your own psychological qualifications. Sports betting should be addressed as a business; not as some sort of amusement park thrill ride. Be sure to read the articles on this website concerning money management and the differences between genuine pros and all the 'wanna-be's' that stalk the Internet. I whole-heartedly agree with my friend, Lem Banker, when he said, "It is easier to become a movie star than to be a successful professional gambler." Nevertheless, if you've got what it takes, it's gotta be the best profession in the world.
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