I’ve always thought the professional gamblers of this world must have balls of steel. I mean they are pretty much betting day after day hoping to make a living – there are no guarantees…
I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately, you see I’ve been having a very good run with a football tipping competition I am a part of (it’s tipping, not gambling) and so I started looking into how well the processionals were going in comparison.
That’s when I stumbled onto a blog of a local guy who had started his professional gambling career 5 years ago with an aim to collect $25 a day. Turns out that he smashed that, as he has now turned over $5 million.
Reading through his early posts it all looked so simple, however, it wasn’t too long before he had his first big couple of losses and looked like he was about to pack the whole thing in. He was lamenting that he had spent a couple of months of his life working hours each day and had almost nothing to show for it, he mentioned he would have been better off working at McDonald’s over the period.
After many hours of reading I have managed to catch up to where he is today and he is once again having a bit of a bad run of luck, but instead of losing smallish amounts of money, he is blowing more than $30,000 a week – yikes!
You can tell from his posts that the frustration is there and he knows he can do better than this. I have to had it to him though, i’m not sure I could handle the stress of working hard, but losing money day after day – it was be terribly demoralizing.
Back to my own purple patch of form, and I have come to realize that successful punters aren’t making money because they have really good selections (that helps a lot), they are making money because they are good at math and they bet strategically depending on probability and the odds available. Many use a system known as the Kelly Criterion, which essentially pits the probability of a selection winning against the odds that you can get, if the end result is positive, you bet a certain percentage of your overall bank, and if it’s negative you don’t touch it.
The whole thing is fascinating to me, but I’m sure I don’t have the stomach for it. It’s no wonder that only 2% of gamblers are successful in the long run, there is so much more involved in it than many people will ever realize.
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