Sports betting has always been a source of entertainment for most people. However, several bettors elevated this hobby into an actual profession and have found success in this risky career path. These professional bettors ensure their bets make a positive impact on their ROI.
This article highlights professional sports gamblers and introduces several widespread bettors who made a name for themselves.
Truth About Professional Sports Gamblers
Defining professional sports gambling comes down to betting to win rather than betting to risk. Those who consistently make and win valued bets with higher stakes can get rich in sports betting. People with a gambling career cannot afford to put their money on the line for risky wagers that constantly eat away at their bankroll and life savings. Professional bettors are capable of reading sports betting lines to find valued markets.
There is a misconception that professional bettors have super-human analytical minds that lets them calculate the chances of a bet coming true by calculating various data. These data also include calculating the potential payout. Another insidious myth is how prosperous bettors have inside information on which team or player will not perform well in a game. The truth is that pro sports gamblers are realistic about their wagers and returns. Those who have unachievable goals often make losing wagers.
While other sports gamblers look at the prices of betting site markets to see which ones can give them a massive or guaranteed payout, professionals look at how these markets are priced. Career bettors need to know the factors behind the price. There is a reason bookies have the LA Lakers at 2.40 against the Mavericks at 3.5 for one game, such as the first team having one of the season's MVPs. Finding this reason will help bettors know which valued bets can grant them their monthly salary.
Every professional bettor considers a wager's expected value (EV), which measures what they would win or lose from any market. Positive +EV shows a bet with long-term profit potential, while -EVs can lead to a slow loss. Note that EV covers money lines and spreads as well as every other market.
Another critical difference between a professional and a casual bettor is attitude. When a pro enters any UK sportsbook, they avoid attractive markets such as parlays or bonuses for other gambling activities. Instead, they focused on promotions that would improve their margins, such as free bets for NFL semi-finals. This focus comes from a disciplined attitude where sports betting is a business instead of a recreational activity. Professionals are all about treating wagers as investments instead of entertainment.
Famous and Successful Sports Gamblers
There have been several bettors who were able to make a livable profit from sports betting. Below are the most popular sports gamblers that are successful in their careers.
Anthony Grant Bloom or Tony Bloom is an English sharp sports bettor. Being a sharp bettor, his bets make an impact among bookies since Tony's wagers tend to be accurate. Bloom's success led to becoming the head of Starlizard, a sports prediction firm.
While his primarily fortunate came from making valued bets over the years, he also made waves in professional poker games. In 2008, he took home more than $1,500,000 in cash through live tournament winnings.
Marco D'Angelo proved the saying: "slow and steady wins the race," by making conservative bets over the years. He follows a betting system that lets him find chances with a high percentage of winning and knows how to handle losses like a professional.
D'Angelo's system turned into the Marco-ism style of betting that looks into the details or information not found in the usual sports statistics. This style also requires bets to be less than 5% of the total bankroll, which helps develop a discipline among bettors who will not allow wins or losses to affect their wagers.
Hailing from Australia, Zeljko Ranogajec's professional gambling career includes blackjack, keno, and horse race betting. His first success came from using card counting to turn a couple of $100 into millions. Ranogajec would make a high-risk, high-reward play by placing around $7.5 million worth of wagers on keno and made a sizable return through the total payouts.
After getting in trouble with casinos and the law, Ranogajec still was able to support his sports betting lifestyle by keeping a low profile through anonymous online accounts.
William T. Walters is one of the very selective lists of sports bettors who have enjoyed 30 years of consistent winning. Before this legendary winning streak, Walters was experiencing a tremendous loss around the early 80s, when he lost his house through gambling.
Walter's luck changed when he met the Computer Group and utilized computer analysis to get a clear read on the outcomes of the sporting events. This period was the start of his 30-year win streak. If you want to be technical, it should be a 39-year win streak if he had not lost one wager throughout that period.
Steve Fezzik is not just a famous sports bettor. He has been a recognizable brand in sports betting and has sold professional sports picks to fellow professional bettors for over 12 years. Fezzik started by making low-key bets in Las Vegas and has gained nearly a million dollars in profit.
Fezzik's massive success came from his use of analytical math to find exploitable errors made by bookies. He is also known to use various betting strategies, such as closely observing how far the lines have moved right before a game. The significant line movement was operators balancing their books and an exploit Fezzik had taken advantage of. Should it move in one direction, Fezzik would bet on the opposite.
How to be a Professional Sports Gambler
Everyone wants to walk in the shoes of a professional sports gambler, where they turn their visit to US sports gambling sites into a work day. While there are no manuals, guides, or charts that would have you start winning millions from any wagers, here are several valuable pointers to give you a head-start in professional gambling.
- Use the EV formula = (fair win probability) x (profit if win) - (fair loss probability) x (stake). If the result is positive, this is a bet worth taking.
- Set your starting bankroll at least $500 to make $1 betting units. This limit helps you discipline yourself in making intelligent and well-planned wagers and lower the risk of bankruptcy.
- Adopt a mindset that losses and winnings from your bankroll are adjustments to the total betting units you have available and not potential money to spend on personal enjoyment or needs.
- Focus on only one sport, helping you find errors in sportsbook pricing and potential wager opportunities.
- Shop the lines on several sports betting sites. Use an odds converter to help you real the sports markets on different sites if needed.
Professional sports bettors are successful because they can find exploits, make conservative bets that are guaranteed to win, and have analyzed a game to make high-valued bets. While it is not possible to follow their example entirely, anyone can make a serious attempt at a professional bettor by treating sports gambling as a business.
This article was published on September 5, 2022, and last updated on August 30, 2022.