Professional Gambling

PROFESSIONAL GAMBLING DATA SHEET

Poker
I dropped out of uni to become a poker player and then applied for a financial trading development programme off the back of it. But since online is nearly solved by AI, I wouldn't suggest taking this up now but there will be years more left of hustling idiots at the tables of casinos, poker clubs and cruise ships. You'll make a good career if you have a knack for poker and can get in the right games.

Sports Betting
I believe this will be around for decades to come. Everyone likes to have an opinion on sports and there will be markets to facilitate that. I have been sports betting for 7 years after I met guys on my trading programme (they recruited gamblers). They showed me the ropes and I have some of the best contacts in the world now which is the most important factor in pro betting. Few will be able to survive on their opinions alone. I'm a jack of all trades and rely on sharing with a network of experts in their chosen field.

Legality
Sports betting is illegal in most of the world which means you must set up accounts in your own name (and friends' names) of a jurisdiction where it's legal (or where Bet365 flout regulations).

1. UK & Ireland
2. Australia
3. Places like Malta/DR/Costa Rica

Bet365 flout most regulations so you could make a living out of them burning through accounts from wherever you're based. For example you could move to India and get an agent to find 10 accounts per month for you for a fee and then burn through them betting on cricket. I say burn through because accounts will be closed whenever they realise you beat them. Try to act like a fool for the first 10 bets or so, so you get the green light. Never deposit in large amounts too, build it up with mug bets then smash them with a 5k lump before they realise what's happened. However places like Pinny, Topsport.com.au, Betfair.com (exchange), 5Dimes won't limit you.

Getting the edge
Basically you need to have an eye for a sport, watch a ton of it, understand all the nuances and know how much injuries and such matter. Injury news is probably 10% of pro betting. When Federer pulls out of the French Open or Dustin Johnson falls down the stairs, if I see it quickly on Twitter, I'm making free money. Once you have the edge, you bet within your bankroll and turn over as much money as you can, building and building. Your edge will get greater and your bankroll will snowball with greater exposure, specialisation and growing contact list.

As I said I'm a jack of all trades but it's a far better idea to specialise. In something you're already good at preferably.

Best markets in my view (liquidity + edge):
1. Cricket (mug Indian money and fixing make these markets very lucrative)
2. Lower league soccer (forget Premier League and CL. Tony Bloom and others bet that for 1% margins)
3. Horse Racing (these markets are often way out of whack because there's so much mug money in the markets)
4. Tennis (highly liquid on majors and a sharp eye will be able to profit nicely)
5. Rugby Union & League (fairly good if you know your stuff)
6. US College sports (& some major league stuff like NFL injuries/matchup related props/anytime TD scorers and playoff handicaps)

There is other decent stuff but stuff like Golf I wouldn't even bother with if you're just starting out. The edges are small and variance is horrendous.

OK so once you've watched 500 hours of your chosen sport and have made detailed notes whilst paper trading the markets on Betfair.com, whilst also looking at pre match and in play odds with bookies and spying on gamblers on Twitter, you might be ready to start out. After this kind of exposure, you should be able to identify value and bet accordingly.

"Hey Zac Ertz is 3/1 anytime against the Giants who struggle against the Tight End and 2/1 with most other books. That looks like true value is 5/2 so that's worth a bet"

"This is looking like a tough pitch with the way the ball is moving off it and the batsman mistiming, I'm going under 160 runs here at Evens. Batsmen are poor too"


Mentality
Don't bet when you're on tilt. I've been gambling for over 10 years and bet well within my bankroll with a rock hard constitution so never tilt, but this is a major flaw in most people and will weed out the people that can't do it. You will suffer downswings. Deal with them and move forward. Last year I was £100k under EV. Luckily I could survive that having lived frugally and saved well for the past years but it was the worst year of my life.

Bankroll management
Use a factor of Kelly Criterion. No more than 25% really unless you believe you can hedge your bet later on so the true risk is lower. If you can bet at 2/1 odds and the true odds are Evens, Kelly says bet 25% of your capital. So let's say we bet 6.25% of our $10000 bank. We stake $625 on the 2/1 odds so hope to make $1300 50% of the time. Of course you can bet to Kelly in full as this is optimal, but you will go broke much more often.

Tax
Gambling is tax free for the most part. It was a major factor in me dropping out of uni to do this full time. I figured I could make £100k per year within a few years and work from anywhere in the world I like, in my own time. How does that compare to a city job, paying half of your wages to single mothers and wars that bring refugees to your country to bomb and stab your girls? I'd probably need a £500k p.a to switch to a normal job.

Resources
Books: The Smart Money - Konik, Gambling for Life - Findlay, Enemy Number One - Veitch.
Twitter: This will be your #1 source for news, public discussion and contacts you can trade info with.
Betfair.com, Bet365.com - the 2 best betting sites in the world. Of course there are 100s of others but do your research on where you can get an edge and who pays without problems.


My life: I live in London for now as it's the best betting shop centre in the world and I was born here but I make sure to travel often, always bringing my laptop with VPN along. I invest my money into the stock market and soon to be real estate markets and then later other businesses I will enjoy running.

Open to questions.
 
I know a guy that bets out of USA and uses 5dimes mostly I believe. Some of the other Costa Rica books will be OK too but I don't know a lot. Try and get a Betfair account from a state where it's legal. College hoops and football with be your best markets to explore in US time zone. In play NFL can be good too on Betfair though I struggled last season because of the amount of prime time blowouts. Horse racing can be good too. I don't know much but I've had a few bets on Belmont Park and Oklahoma Derby this week but the market liquidity is tiny.
 

Road_Less_Taken

Woodpecker
Great thread! I can tell it is written from someone with a lot of experience and work.

In terms of monitoring twitter, you follow people that may post a rumor then bet off that? I had an idea that any information that comes out will be immediately priced in, therefore the information itself is little advantage. Or do you have a short window sometimes to get your bet off before the odds are adjusted?
 
There is always a window yes.

I saw the Dustin Johnson stair fall news a couple of minutes after it was reported. I had the Masters market open and my account fully funded. I laid him to win for a couple of k and laid him to top 5 for a few k. Within minutes these bets had doubled in price so I was able to trade out and ride free profits. Unfortunately he didn't start the tournament so bets are void on Betfair but I had covered a ton of other guys in the field so with Dustin out, all my bets were worth 14% more value.

In cricket and soccer markets when surprising team news is released, the market can move violently with 10s of thousands trading at each price. If you have the edge and know how much a team change is worth, again you can make thousands.
 

Mr. Accuride

Woodpecker
Interesting post. When I think about it, what you mention probably works, but you took an awfully difficult route to accomplish what you do.

However:

ProGambler said:
Best markets in my view (liquidity + edge):
1. Cricket (mug Indian money and fixing make these markets very lucrative)
2. Lower league soccer (forget Premier League and CL. Tony Bloom and others bet that for 1% margins)
3. Horse Racing (these markets are often way out of whack because there's so much mug money in the markets)
4. Tennis (highly liquid on majors and a sharp eye will be able to profit nicely)
5. Rugby Union & League (fairly good if you know your stuff)
6. US College sports (& some major league stuff like NFL injuries/matchup related props/anytime TD scorers and playoff handicaps)

I have to seriously disagree with that. Horses are bloody hard. I can imagine spot betting Mayweather-like situations where the edge is too good to ignore, but I cannot imagine that there are enough +EV bets in Horse racing to make it one of the best markets out there. The house vig is normally way too high to consider these seriously.

What makes you think you have such a large edge in horses?
 

Mr. Accuride

Woodpecker
I was referring more to methodology than winnings. There are edges that can be found at any sport, so total winnings is really just a matter of getting enough volume to fulfill quarter kelly as you mentioned.

What are you doing to overcome the large house vig? How are you determining that the house price is wrong in your above examples? Do you have a network of people who just study horses all day long?

I understand if you don't want to give away the rice bowl in detail, so just a general explanation would be fine.

I'm only asking because horses are one of the few types of wagers that I wouldn't normally touch with a ten foot pole. I have never met anyone who characterized horses as being easy or being one of the best betting markets. Even the winning horse handicappers I've met don't say that.
 

DVY

Ostrich
Gold Member
handicapping horses is one of the hardest things to beat because of the way winnings are collected under the PM system (parimutuel). Track take is ginormous- about 15-20% overround compared to 5% for sports
 
Mr. Accuride said:
I was referring more to methodology than winnings. There are edges that can be found at any sport, so total winnings is really just a matter of getting enough volume to fulfill quarter kelly as you mentioned.

What are you doing to overcome the large house vig? How are you determining that the house price is wrong in your above examples? Do you have a network of people who just study horses all day long?

I understand if you don't want to give away the rice bowl in detail, so just a general explanation would be fine.

I'm only asking because horses are one of the few types of wagers that I wouldn't normally touch with a ten foot pole. I have never met anyone who characterized horses as being easy or being one of the best betting markets. Even the winning horse handicappers I've met don't say that.

UK horse markets are 120% or less with 15 different books offering prices. So 105% if you shop around. On Betfair you can get 101% 5 minutes before the off. Plus we have each way terms which offer value in the right race structures. Still had it off on Battle Station at Belmont Park this week at 6/1 7/1 8/1 on Betfair though ;)
 

Kid Twist

Hummingbird
DVY said:
handicapping horses is one of the hardest things to beat because of the way winnings are collected under the PM system (parimutuel). Track take is ginormous- about 15-20% overround compared to 5% for sports

The other issue is that even if you diminish the overall takeout by doing multi-race wagers, the inability to avoid state and local taxes (at least in the US) makes it a definite no-go, being a game that's already tough enough to beat with that vig. Offshores usually have per bet limits, and the whole point of playing a P4 or P6 is that you're going for 5-6 figure payout.

It's sorta like the supercontest in Vegas right now, it's a notoriety or publicity motive. They charged a new 8% fee and if you hit the top prize or even finish in the top 30 (even worse in a sense), you get taxed at income. Hmm, effectively that just became a 25-38% vig. No thanks.
 

NKD

 
Sorry for my lack of knowledge, but what do you mean by mug money? What do you mean highly liquid in terms of bets? What do you think of surebets?

Why not premier league for soccer bets? I've made decent money betting on them. Wouldn't lower league teams be very inconsistent and unpredictable?

Honestly you're living my dream lol. I so badly want to get into trading and bet on sports on the side. Thanks
 
Mug money - people that don't know what value is and bet on their feelings.
Liquidity - money available to bet against in the market
Sure bets - no such thing
Why not PL - it's already pretty much solved by Tony Bloom and other highly talented statisticians
Inconsistency and unpredictability - is what you want as a bettor. There is nothing worse for traders than stable markets.
 

icrus

Robin
Solid datasheet. Anyone who thinks money can be made in gambling should start with Joseph Buchdahl's books. Work your way up from his "Fixed odds sports betting".

Either way, it is impossible to win in the long run if you cannot beat the benchmark in the markets, which are Asian bookmakers (aka Pinnacle Sports, SBO and a bunch of others). And the only way you'll do this is either having insider info or playing at soft books, so you can consistently beat closing odds.

Personally, once I had exhausted those two options I thought I could beat Asians as well. No you can't. You'll only be treading water. That's why I find "Ima turn x into Y in Z amount of time" amusing threads.

btw @Progambler yes 5Dimes do limit indeed. At least at their mirror book Sportbet I got limited. Funny enough B365 never limited me although I am surely 5 figures up there lifetime.
 
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