Sports bettors have a lot to learn on what it takes to become a winner

Jul 24, 2018 3:00 AM

My assistant called me and said he bet Francesco Molinari at 30-1 to win the British Open. This is the first bet he has made on his own since the opening round of March Madness.

I congratulated him, but then thought to myself, “Wow, has he come a long way.”

I was thinking, back in 2002 a friend of mine said his nephew loved sports betting and he wanted me to meet him. When I first met him, he was a 23-year-old, know-it-all just out of college. I remember going home telling my wife I just met this kid in Atlantic City who was interested in advantage gambling/sports betting, but I thought he had little-or-no chance of survival in the business for many reasons.

The kid kept in touch with me over time, asking questions, and I invited him to one of my monthly visits to Las Vegas. This is when I learned he was actually a big sports fan, watching hours of ESPN daily. He read half a dozen websites, studying all he could about the upcoming college and pro-football week. When the weekend games came, he was ready.

I met him down in the sportsbook to watch the games. He was wearing his Chicago Bears hat. He got into an argument with a guy who was betting against the Bears. I literally remember yelling at him, asking him to stop arguing.

Later that night, I told him to maintain his composure and block everyone else out when watching games. Further, to be a professional in this business, you have to act like one. He needed to lose the allegiance to any sports team and make it just your bankroll.

I told him, “You said you wanted to learn more about advantage sports betting, but yet you didn’t bet on the teams I’ve bet on. You bet your own games that you handicapped.”(And lost.) His response was, “Yeah, but I usually win also.”

This is exactly what everyone goes in thinking, or else why would they do it? Think about it! If you are a winning sports bettor, then your bankroll from sports betting should be huge. You should be betting one to two percent of your bankroll on each play. This means that as your bankroll grows, your bet size should also grow. Has it? Well, there is your answer.

Many people just want to be looked at as a winner with every decision they make in life. They want to pat themselves on the back and prove they can win betting sports on their own.

Back to my assistant… The kid also has a very bad case of “hot shot disease.” He came from a very affluent family and was given everything as a child. He had new cars given to him every few years, money handed to him all the time, and never had to work a job as long as he went to school.

I did not do him any favors either by letting him stay weeks at a time in my two bedroom penthouse at the top of the Golden Nugget (where Steve Wynn and Frank Sinatra filmed commercials). We had RFB, which meant everything was comped. This lifestyle went on for a decade. I mean, when you are in your 20’s in that situation, how can you not have hot shot disease?

I eventually took him under my wing, mentoring him and opening my playbook of 20 years of advantage gambling. He stopped betting his own plays every week; he took a piece of everything I did and saw the light. Recently he told me, “It took years but I finally learned it is a waste of time and money doing my own handicapping.”

I also eventually met his father, (and his entire family) who is a professor at one of the top colleges in the United States. His father pulled me to the side and said, “Billy, thank you for taking my son under your wing. I think he respects you more than anyone else in the world.”

Actually, this is not true; I know he respects his dad the most (as he should).

Meadowlands: Last week’s article on the price gouging going on at Meadowlands certainly drew a lot of attention. It received 40,000 views on my Twitter feed, all with positive comments. I had calls and interviews from a dozen media sources. It looks like sports bettors are getting smarter and smarter every year and some will not stand for these practices.

Keep an eye on: Tampa has beaten the Yanks the last four games and will be a nice home dog to look at over these next few days.