**Note - the following article was originally published by
Dave Compton, who runs a great
football pick service.
GRINDING - the ONLY
Since my foray into the internet started
four years ago, I have had to adapt to an entirely new "type"
of clientele. The old fax/letter clientele was carefully built over many years
from a base of very sophisticated sports bettors who had a wonderful
grasp of all the nuances and shades of the sports betting game. Unfortunately,
the number of these types of people who come in from the net is infinitesimal.
For instance I have NEVER read a post in ANY gaming newsgroup that
I could be made to believe came from a "real" professional sports
bettor. The true pros in this arena just do NOT scrutinize the net for
< Still true today - September 24,
Before I continue let me give my
definition of a sports betting pro. It is anybody who makes his total living
wage from sports betting on the PLAYER side of the counter PERIOD.
NOBODY that posts to the gaming newsgroups meets that criteria. TOUT services
do not meet that criteria. BOOKIES do not meet that criteria and guys who
have ANY other job do not meet that criteria.
< Still true today >
Although less than I use to, I still deal
everyday with several people who DO meet that benchmark. I have come to know
and respect many of these guys through the circulation of this letter. So
what does this have to do with money management?
Well most real professional players
practices a VERY rigid form of money management based on the original Huey
Mahl stuff taken from the Kelly Criterion. His bet size and number of
bets per session is ALWAYS on auto pilot.
- If his bet size today is suppose be
$1200 then that's what he bets per unit.
- If his maximum units bet this session
is 6 then he NEVER exceeds it.
In a nutshell, what REALLY separates the
big guys from the patsies is discipline. They aren't going for the big
kill. They win and lose and win and lose but they are constantly GRINDING
that bankroll inexorably upward.
OVER 98% of ALL the people who
have corresponded with me from the internet site are "chasers".
They cannot control their money. Nearly every guy who tries to make it in sports
betting goes bust because of a lack of discipline. They lose and they
chase the loss. The have no "plan" to follow as far as the number of
bets they make and the size of those wagers. They try REAL HARD for a while but
sooner or later they just cave in and blow their bankroll. It is very sad but
also quite predictable.
statement is an absolute truth:
There are MANY THOUSANDS of great
sports "handicappers" but there are very FEW great sports
Since I have been doing this so long I
have had the opportunity to correspond with literally hundreds of guys trying to
make the leap from AVocation to Vocation as far as sports betting
goes. Of those several hundred, I have met SEVEN people that made it.
I can hear you now ; "HEY Dave, I
know a LOT of guys who bet sports for a living "
No, actually you don't. You may know
GREAT sports handicappers or bookies who hit it big year after year but you DON'T
know a LOT of guys who bet sports for a living because there aren't
a LOT of guys who bet sports for a living.
It takes a very special person to
develop the cast iron will that is required to make a living this way. Way less
than 1% of all the casual and not so casual bettors I have met in my lifetime
(and that is a BUNCH) have the confidence and self command to become real
SO..... since your chance of becoming a
pro is remote in the first place what are the things you can do to at least cut
your losses or boost your winnings?
O.K. Here's the scoop.
- QUIT betting so many freakin' games
- Pick a unit size you are comfortable
with and only bet that unit size this week.
- Pick the number of bets you can
comfortably affford to play at your unit size this week . DO NOT bet
more wagers than that this week.
- Keep a CASH LOG of EVERY
transaction you make and WRITE IT DOWN. After every entry, check
your log against your number of bets and bets size criteria. You will be
- At the end of the week (Tuesday for
most bettors) check your NET p/l for the week. WRITE IT DOWN.
- If you are net LOSER for the
week consider lowering your unit size for next week.
- If you are net WINNER consider raising
your unit size for next week.
- DO NOT CHANGE your maximum number of
weekly bets during the season.
That little list is really simple but not
even nearly 1% of the people who try to do those things are actually able to
do them over the long term.
That list won't make you a pro but
following the above criteria EVERY WEEK will loosely emulate what
the pros do in earnest all the time. It won't make you rich either but if your
handicapping is even respectable, you will be absolutely astounded at the bigger
profit or smaller loss you will show at the end of the season.
Over time, only the