J.V. Miller is widely recognized as one of the world’s top
New York Times
“The Millers are a small percentage who have made a
career out of gambling…earning all of their income from gambling.”
Business, November 9, 1997
Article: EARNING IT. Life’s a Gamble. A Few People Make
It a Profession
By Staff Writer Andrew Bluth
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“We sought out a few pointers from people who have
made a living from sports betting…Mr. Miller likes to focus on four key
January 29, 2012
Article: Enjoy the Game, Don’t Lose the Bet
By Staff Writer Matthew Futterman
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Could YOU be a Professional Gambler?
The Best Way to Gamble
A Crash Course in Vigorish
Debunking the Kelly Criterion
How to Beat NFL Preseason
Ten Most Important NFL Pointspreads
to Make Money Betting NFL Football
Moneyline Conversion Chart
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If you stick around long enough,
you'll see some very funny stuff
I love gambling stories. They often have an
insider's perspective that only other veteran gamblers can fully appreciate.
They can be disastrous and funny at the same time. They can be about
everything from bad beats to near misses to insights into human nature. If
you gamble long enough you'll surely collect stories of your own. Here are a
few of mine...
In Week Eleven of the 1995
NFL season, the San Francisco 49ers were 9-point underdogs at the Dallas
I was in line to place a bet at the Mirage sportbook in Las Vegas. The fellow ahead of me finished
placing a bet, stepped aside, and paused to put his ticket in his wallet. A
woman who had to be this guy's wife stepped up and confronted him. She was
scowling, obviously disapproved of his buying the ticket.
She hissed sarcastically, "After last
week, I thought you were all finished gambling on football."
The fellow unconsciously stroked his wallet, and
answered, "I'm getting the 49ers plus nine points...You can't call
(...Sure enough, the 49ers beat
the Cowboys outright, 38-20.)
Keeping Your Money Separate
Reizner tells about the fellow who borrowed $100 from him to buy groceries.
Sonny loaned him the $100, then spotted
the man stepping up to place a football bet. "Hey," Sonny
said, "You told me you needed grocery money. Why are you placing a
"Oh, I've got gambling money,
alright" the guy answered. "I was out of grocery
The Chargers, J. R.?
There was a fellow called Limpy who used to hang out at the Stardust sportbook on Sundays to watch NFL football. Each and
every Sunday, Limpy would risk precisely $20 on a
10-team NFL parlay card. (A 10-team parlay card at that time paid
850-for-one, making Limpy a $16,980 winner if
Trouble was, Limpy never
had a clue which ten teams he liked. To help him decide, he prompted advice
from a regular group of professional-level handicappers. Limpy
valued these men's opinions and he'd form his own opinions from what they had
I was one of those honored advisors. In those
days, the Stardust was one of my favorite sportbooks,
and I could easily be found at my favorite station, watching for line moves.
Every Sunday, sooner or later, here would come Limpy,
and he'd ask me which teams I thought he should put on his ten-banger.
I always took the time to do my best for
Limpy, even though I discouraged his ten-teamers.
The payoff actually wasn't all that bad, but the wins figured to be too far
apart. At 850-for-1, you can expect your present wife to divorce you and your
dog to die before you hit a winner.
As luck would have it, I got on a pretty good
streak for several weeks - (or, at least, Limpy
perceived me to be on a good roll) - and finally one Sunday Limpy decided I should have the honor of picking all ten
of his bets.
So I did.
Whaddayouknow, the first six
games were early games and all six were winners. Then, in the four late
games, three were early blowouts in Limpy's favor.
Wow. Limpy was coming unglued.
He was giggly and excited, talky and nervous. His hands were trembling and he
was sweating and he paced back and forth, chain smoking and shouting orders
at the various television screens. He'd sit, he'd stand, he'd pace, he'd sit,
he'd recheck the total amount he planned to win, he'd order another Mountain
Dew from the cocktail waitress and pace some more...
Sure enough, the three blowouts went on to win, making
nine of the ten games winners. My picks were 9-0, leaving one game still in
the air, the Chargers -3 at home against the Raiders.
The Raiders finally beat us, 12 - 7.
Limpy was crushed. Another losing
Sunday. Another $20 lost and gone. Another $17,000 winning ticket down the
drain. He sat slumped in his chair with his head bowed, sullen and withdrawn.
I approached him with a sympathetic hand on his
shoulder. He angrily swatted me away, angry as hell, and shouted, "The
Chargers, J. R.?!...How the hell could you pick the Chargers?!"
the Mirage sportbook:
"I don't mind losing the bets,
but I hate losing the money."
The Unluckiest Lucky
After retiring at 76 years old, Bob
McCune sold his luxurious home in Las Vegas and moved to Lake Havasu,
He drives to Nevada regularly to place
bets. It's a 45-minute drive to Laughlin, Nevada, from Bob's home.
...But just before Week 7 of the
1999 NFL season, Bob decided to skip a week and lounge around the house.
Meanwhile, the local newspaper in Lake
Havasu had a weekly football handicapping contest. Participants picked 20
games, both college and pro, against the published pointspreads. It's a
simple contest, done to promote the paper's circulation. There is no entry
fee. Whomever calls the most winners against the pointspread wins $150.
Bob passed the time one evening by
marking off his choices and entering the contest.
The $150 was definitely not his motivation.
Never mind how much Bob, himself, risks on bets, that's not our business, but
pro handicappers at Bob's level generally risk at least $1,000 or more per
bet. With 20 bets for the day, you can expect a pro to risk upwards of
$20,000 - $40,000. Suffice it to say that the $150 contest was
nothing more to Bob than a way to relax for an hour or so.
He went 20-0.
Did you get that?.....Twenty
and Oh. Those are odds of more than a million-to-one. (1,048,755-to-1 to
be exact.) By not driving to a sportbook that
week he cost himself tens of thousands of dollars.
Bob called me the next day. The whole
thing struck him as funny. In fact, his reaction to the "unluckiest
lucky streak in history" is testament to Bob's character. He picked up
the check at the newspaper office before he called. "...And do you
know what they asked me?" he laughed. "They wanted to know
what I planned to do with all that money."
Email to our website:
"...I'm thinking about signing up to get your
newsletter...Please send me a breakdown of your last 5k to 8k bets..."
"I hope I break even
today...I need the money." - Phil Harris
the Mirage sportbook:
"The trouble with betting ten dollars is, you
can only win ten dollars."
My brother, R. J., was
known for his ability to concentrate. That's an asset in the long run for a
professional-level sports bettor, but as with an absent-minded professor, it
can have strange and often funny consequences.
R. J. and I were at the Barbary Coast watching
the closing seconds of a late NFL game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle
Seahawks. The pointspread winner of the game had long since been decided. The
underdog Seahawks had a commanding lead, 28-14, and had the game won
outright. My brother and I were still interested, however, because we were
both on the 'under' bet. The over/under line on the game was 48 1/2 points.
Of course, with the score 28-14 and time running out, we
seemed to be in good shape, having bet the game 'under' 48 1/2 points.
Trouble was, Denver and their Superquarterback John Elway had the ball, and they were
driving against Seattle's dreaded "prevent defense." The Seahawks,
meanwhile, had already begun to celebrate their unexpected victory. It was a
situation very familiar to over/under bettors.
While we were watching the game, a fellow came
wandering up from the casino area and began watching the game with us. He'd
probably noticed our interest in the game and wondered what was going on.
After watching awhile, this fellow asked my
brother, "What's the score?"
Without missing a beat and without moving his eyes
from the screen, R. J. answered abruptly, "Forty-two."
(...The Broncos went on to score,
by the way, losing 28-21 and beating us by half a point.)
Overheard at the Stardust sportbook:
can't win when I bet on home teams and I can't win when I bet on
visitors... I don't know who else to bet on."
"If you don't bet every day you might be in the middle of a winning
streak and not even know it." - R. J. Miller
betting for 40 years and multiple generations, inside information from a variety of sources is an advantage we
pass along to our subscribers. A pro handicapper must be able to recognize
when the wheels come off a team. All the emotional and subjective factors in
the universe seem to converge and cause extraordinary consequences. The
morning of February 27, 1998, we learned that the NBA Portland Trailblazers
were having internal problems that were not being shared with everyone on the
team – much less the public. We shared
the information in the morning’s Professional Gambler Newsletter. Within an
hour, a relative of one of the players called to complain that PGN was not
accurate. We assured the caller that we were confident in our source’s
information. Next, the media agent for
the Blazers called to inform us that everything was perfectly fine. We
figured the phone calls were an attempt to sugarcoat Portland’s problems.
Later, we learned both callers were totally authentic…they were just wrong,
unfortunately. The line was Portland -4. We handicapped the game in our usual
way, and finally decided the Pacers were a good bet. We advised the Blazers
were a bad bet. Portland ended up
losing the game, 124-59. We won the bet by 61 points; two more points than
Email to our website:
Feist's book costs less than your book and it's got more pages.
Why would I want to buy your book?"
Overheard at the Gold Coast sportbook:
"The Patriots won?...The
Patriots? How the hell could the Patriots win? They weren't even
The Baseball Expert
One September years
ago, R. J. was flying to San Diego from Las Vegas and found himself seated
next to a baseball bettor who was on a very bad losing streak. This fellow
spilled his heart out, describing in painful detail having several losing
weeks in a row.
"Nothing seems to help," the
fellow whined. "Sides, over/unders, home
teams, visitors, dogs, favorites...I'm losing everything. Good pitchers have
bad days, bad pitchers have good days...It's the worst losing streak I've
After listening to this dreadful tale for what
seemed like 'way too long, my brother finally suggested, "Maybe you
should switch to football."
"Football?!" the guy moaned
disgustedly, "What the hell do I know about football?!"
"Find out what you're doing
wrong and stop doing that."
- Bobby Knight
Overheard at the Rio sportbook:
doubled up today to press my winning streak; - now I have to double
up tomorrow to get even."
The Bad Beat of the Decade
It was the 1999
MLB playoffs. It was the bottom of the 15th inning between the Braves and
Mets. The game was tied, 3-3. My friend Adrian from Singapore was on the
‘UNDER 9.0 runs, and The bases were loaded and my friend Adrian from
Singapore was on the "Under" 9.0 runs. With the score 3-3, he was
relieved and commented needed to catch a longshot break to win, of course.
with the bases loaded Robbin Ventura came to bat and hit a grand slam home
Adrian was ecstatic, of course. A final score of
7-3! "Over" 9! His sportbook credited his
account with his winnings and all was right with the world.
...But wait....Or was it? The fans flooded the
field, the players piled onto Ventura, and there was instant chaos. Ventura
was swept off his feet before he could run the bases.
Finally, the officials decided it can't be a
home run because Ventura failed to touch all four bases. They took away the
homer and called the homer a "single." Rather than the game ending
with a score of 7-3, it was offically scored as 4-3!....."Under" 9. Adrian's sportbook
took back their money and Adrian got the Bad Beat of the Decade Trophy.
Top 10 signs your 11-year-old son
might be gambling....
10. He's been rolling his brother's blocks and yelling "Seven-come-eleven!"
9. His backyard merry-go-'round has the numbers 1 through
36 written on it, plus a 0 and a 00.
8. While playing "Go Fish" he tried to double
7. He posted a line on his 6th grade spelling bee.
6. While the rest of his class is learning multiplication
tables, he knows how to convert moneylines into must-win percentages.
5. The Stardust sent him free airline tickets.
4. The last time your family ate at McDonald's it was
3. He recently bought a $800 sportcoat.
2. He knows way-y-y too much about NFL yards-per-point differentials.
And the Number One sign your
11-year-old might be gambling....
1. He's dating a
The last 5 words a Major League Baseball pitcher wants to hear is, "You've been traded to
"There are a lot of
bookmakers in Nevada, but probably not as many as in Cleveland."
Overheard at a Gold Coast
"I've been counting the cards...There are 52 of
- Whadda You Think?
stockbroker I met – I’ll call him “Charlie” – who retired to Las Vegas and
now passes his time betting on sports. The trouble is, he needs somebody
else's input before making any betting decisions. He's forever having second
thoughts, doubts, misgivings about every bet, both before and after he lays it.
It’s incongruous that a stockbroker can’t make decisions, but I never met a
man who could so easily be touted.
Charlie and I met for coffee at Terrible Mike's
restaurant in the Gold Coast and, as luck would have it, we were talking
about his inability to stick with a decision. He'd been betting on my
opinions for a couple weeks, and I'd just had a few losing days. Charlie was
ready to trash the whole idea of getting my opinions. He thought we should
try some other System Of The Week he'd heard about.
I knew the losing streak was a common
phenomenon. I reminded him of our long-term record and tried to shore up his
resolve. Of all people, you'd think a stockbroker would understand short term
fluctuations, but not Charlie. Moreover, he denied having any sort of problem
with indecision at all. So far as Charlie was concerned, if I had three or
four losing days in a row I should try using somebody else's opinions.
As we talked, Charlie offered to buy both of us a
fish sandwich. "Try one, J. R.," he said. "They make
great fish sandwiches here."
I passed, citing my diet, but Charlie left
for the counter to get one of his own.
When Charlie came back he was carrying a
hamburger sandwich.....Somebody touted him off the fish.
Angeles is one of two major cities without a professional football team...The
other city is Cleveland." - Unknown