The World’s Leading Sports Gambler, Haralabos (Bob) Voulgaris, became a professional gambler when he discovered that bookies neglected their half-time NBA scoring projections, that is to say, Voulgaris deduced that bookies took their projected final score and cut it in half to arrive at a half-time score. When you think about it, the practice was lame.
Voulgaris recognized it for what it was: an enormous opportunity to exploit. He won millions and established him as a serious professional gambler. And boy, did he exploit it, raking in win after win, but like all glitches, the bookies figured out where they made a mistake and they closed the loop. The bookies analyzed and correctly calculated half time scores, leaving Voulgaris out in the cold.
It is crazy, but Voulgaris continued gambling! He gave an enormous amount of money back to the bookies before he realized his secret weapon had become obsolete. Recognizing his error late, he nevertheless, turned it around with enumerative analysis. He brought young computer genius into his operation. Every aspect of NBA games Voulgaris breaks down with amazing detail and can plot the causality with every game he analyzes.
Voulgaris looks at every stat made available to the public to compile his models. They take into account variables like time of possession, individual match-ups, the defensive play of individual players and many more details. Voulgaris may have branched out into most major sports gambling, but he remains an NBA gambler, and his focus is on the NBA. He watches parts of almost every NBA game played in a season.
Like many gamblers, he learned from a loved one, in this case, his father. His father loved gambling, but he lost money.
Back to his winning ways, Voulgaris is no longer dependent on one insight to keep the money flowing. More than anybody working today, Voulgaris best exemplifies today’s professional gambler. The devil’s in the details. With Voulgaris, piles and piles of stats reveal his process.
Author and renowned horse punter, David Nevison, grew up watching his grandfather bet on horses. Nevison loved his grandfather, even though he was a bad gambler. Blind love for his grandfather was what got him hooked on horse racing.
Unfortunately, he had to make a living. Quitting the racing life to find employment, Nevison took a job in finance. He worked as a currency trader and then lost the job during reorganization. Confident in his mathematical skills, Nevison took his severance pay and went to the racetrack. “Never start with anything less than 45,000 pounds,” he advised a journalist. He has been around long enough to see bettors making a miserable 150 hundred pounds a week. He developed a better way and Nevison has never punched a time clock since.
The house he owns, the means to support a spouse and children come from an income some estimate to approach a million a year. He writes autobiographical books and sporting columns, but most of his income comes from horse betting. At 43, he is a ruggedly handsome, middle-age father in a sports coat hanging out at racetracks. His face appears on the covers of his books so he is recognizable. His methods have proved so successful, he must use associates to place bets for him.
The insight that turned his luck around, according to sources, was to see every opportunity a racetrack afforded a good punter. He analyzes all the races running at race time: the horses and the jockeys, and he studies what the race card offers. Nevison might discover a horse with long odds that he feels will win, then analyzes a slow horse and hedges with a spread bet. He will put numerous bets on a single race. He can come out miles ahead, or lose his wad, but he wins more than he loses.
Behind a pair of ray-ban sunglasses and a gray hoodie lurks a highly educated Frenchman with seven years’ experience as a poker player, Sylvain Loosli. He has a chip on his shoulders about beating American players, with about the intensity that other non-American players do. He also believes the French could dominate tournament play, but shrugs when he’s the only French player left in the game.
He played for years in computer poker games and joined the live fracas with ambivalence. He’s still a youngster, so he observed many things when playing an old hand like JC Tran or other past tournament winners with large piles of chips. Intimidating? You would not know it to look at him, but the live game has been transformational. It has brought out his patriotism – his friend, French poker champ Bertrand Grosspellier, seems more like an Olympic teammate — and Loosli’s desire to win the coveted WSOP diamond studded gold bracelet with prize money approaching nine million dollars has made him serious.
Did he just luck out to make it to the final table? It does not seem possible.
Born in Toulon France, Loosli lives in London in order to take advantage of the high stakes cash games of online poker, his focus. Tournament play is rather novel. The big table he’s facing has the nine of the best poker players in the world. The final table at the WSOP puts him very near the top of the poker world with zero money live tournament wins behind him. Unless he wins it all, coming in sixth in chips to the Final Table has to be the biggest event of his career.
Loosli plays the mid-limit online poker games on the Internet and makes enough to travel around the world playing video poker.