6 things I learned after making 1,043 bets in 4 months

What I learned after making 1,043 bets in my first 4 months

Sports betting for a living is hard.

It's incredibly easy when you're on a winning streak.

But when that inevitable losing streak comes? It's a true test of will. 

When I started thinking about the outline for this article, 6 things easily came to mind that I had to share with you. Keep reading to find out what they are.

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Losing streaks make you question every thing that you've learned. It doesn't matter that you've placed over 1,000 bets. It doesn't matter that you have a profitable ROI.

Your emotions take over and in those moments you really find out if you're able to make it in this business.

Sports betting for a living is HARD

I've been at this for 111 days.

I've placed 1,043 bets.

That's an average of 9.4 bets per day.

I do this part-time, since I still have a day job at an office.

I'm probably going to have my 2nd losing month in a row.

Yet, I've made a total overall net profit of $1,126.65.

My ROI is 2.38%, and my win rate is 55.1%.

Both of those numbers will probably continue to drop a bit more, because I've read over and over again that the best ROI will be between 1% and 2%, while the best sports bettors in the world would be ecstatic with a 55% win rate.

And even with those really great numbers, I still have to say that this business is hard. It's very stressing. 

I'm nowhere near being able to quit my job and do this for a living full-time

When I first started out (especially after that awesome winning streak where I just couldn't lose), I was too cocky. I was super-confident that I would be the one that beat the system.

With the incredible rate of growth I was achieving, I figured it would be maybe 6 months at most before I would be able to quit my job and be able to follow my passion.

Yeah. I was wrong. Really, really wrong.

I remember towards the end of my winning streak, I made a few comments in some of my posts that I almost wished the losing streak would come, because I knew that it was.

Well, be careful what you wish for. After a 2-month winning streak, I'm now on a 2-month losing streak. There's still almost a week left in March, but I won't be able to turn this ship around in the next few days.

I will have my 2nd losing month in a row.

It's really hard to say that.

What makes it a bit easier is that I know that my own systems are very profitable and have kept my bankroll intact. It's a couple of the handicapper's tips that I'm using that have wiped out a large chunk of my profit.

Most people would tell me to drop the losing handicappers. That would seem like the logical thing to do, right? Wrong.

Playing leapfrog with handicappers is what keeps a lot of sports bettors from winning. They jump on-board a handicapper when he's on a winning streak, then abandon ship when he starts his losing streak.

You can't do that. You have to ride out the losing streaks, especially when you have the documented stats that prove that they are a long-term winning handicapper.

And even though my mind knows what to do, my emotions still come into play when I lose a thousand dollars in a week. That's a lot of money for me. That's a significant percentage of my bankroll.

Knowing how to play the game is entirely different than actually playing it

Just because I know how to play football, doesn't mean that I can play football. Well, it doesn't mean that I would be good at it. In fact, I would suck at it.

It's no different with betting on sports. You can listen to and read all of the expert advice from people that have been doing it for decades, but until you actually jump in and get your hands dirty, all that "knowledge" doesn't mean much.

Sure, you'll know what you're supposed to do, but it's an entirely different beast when you have to learn how to control your emotions when every thing logical says to stay the course; to continue doing exactly what you're doing.

I've already had to make changes. I was using a betting amount that always stayed the same, until my bankroll reached a new high. I had to change this when my bankroll was cut in half.

Now, I reconfigured the formula in my bet tracker spreadsheet so that it shows me a flat 1% of my current bankroll (not what the previous highest bankroll amount was).

Sure, this dropped the amount I will be risking, but it also will help protect my bankroll during any losing streaks. I was way too cocky and risky when I was on my incredible winning streak. I've been smacked back down to Earth, and it's actually been a blessing.

But wow, it's been one heck of a hard lesson to learn.

Handicappers are very inefficient

​I wish the whole process were more efficient. It'd be great if handicappers would release all of their picks at one time, in the morning. Or in the afternoon is fine, too. Just pick one time for the day and release them all at once.

I really like how Pro Computer Gambler does his. He sends one email before noon CST every day. I like that. That's how it should be.

Other handicappers release picks all throughout the day. Or even worse, they won't even let you know if they don't have a pick that day. Or if they do release picks throughout the day, they don't let you know when they're done releasing picks for the day. How about some consistency here?

It's annoying to not know if I'm going to have any more picks for the day or not. In an ideal world, I'd get an email or text in the morning from the handicappers that release picks in the morning, and then a second one in the afternoon. I don't have a problem with that.

What I do have a problem with is having to check websites, member's areas, email or text messages to see if maybe more picks have been released. 

I suppose all businesses have supply chain issues. In my business, handicappers are my suppliers, and I would really like it if they would get more organized; more professional.

Don't get me wrong. There are some very professional handicappers out there. I love the way they do business. I just wish there was some consistency between them all.

Betting on sports takes a lot of time

Before I decided to see if I can make a living from this, I bet recreationally, and it only took a few minutes out of my day. Now that I'm doing this professionally, I realize how much time it really takes.

Sure, each bet still only takes a few minutes, but I'm making on average about 10 bets a day. I have to run my systems to get my own picks. I have to check which sportsbook has the best odds, login and make that bet. If I'm at work while a pick comes out, I go to the bathroom to make the bet.

For the handicappers I subscribe to, I have them setup as VIP in my phone, so I get the notification on my phone when I receive an email from them. It takes time to check odds, login to a sportsbook and make the bets. And if a handicapper has 5-10 picks, that's even more time it takes. I also record each bet I make into my spreadsheet.

Then, every morning when I wake up, I open my bet tracker spreadsheet on Google Docs, and I grade every bet that I made for the previous day.

On top of all that, I run this website, which takes quite a bit of time, because I'm still building it. Writing all these articles, designing the graphics, doing the programming, updating content, answering email, handling the marketing, SEO, and social media; I do all of it. It's a one-man show at this point. It takes a lot of time.

Now granted, I know that you won't be spending as much time as I do (because I also run this website), but you definitely need to be aware that running any business will take up a significant portion of your free time. And as I've said plenty of times already, this is a business. Make no mistake about it. If you want to be successful and profitable, you absolutely must treat it like one.

I really, really love this business

I've been passionate about sports betting for a long time now. I've been trying to figure out the system for at least a decade now. In the past 5 years alone, I've spent thousands and thousands of dollars (and tons of time) trying to crack the code.

I'm now fully, completely, 100% confident that I've done so. I'm putting my own hard-earned cash on the line, instead of just tracking in a spreadsheet how much I would've made.

I'm putting it all on the line, so now I have a much better understanding of what other professionals are talking about when they talk about how to handle your emotions and stress.

I love every minute of it. Every win, every loss. Every bet I place. Every entry I record into my spreadsheet. Every article I write. Every post I make on social media. I love it all.

To be honest, it was in the back of my mind that maybe I would grow to hate sports betting. It's been a hobby of mine for so long, and when you try to take your hobby to the next level (by doing it professionally), you run the risk of burning out and hating it.

I realize that it's only been 4 months, but I've had to experience just about every thing in these past 4 months.

First, I've made over 1,000 bets. Any sports betting professional will tell you that you can't even begin to rely on the results of your systems until you log a minimum of 1,000 bets.

Second, I've had a 2-month winning streak where I just about tripled my bankroll, followed by a 2-month losing streak, where I chopped it in half.

I suppose the only thing left to experience (as a professional) would be to go bust and to have to invest more money to basically start all over again. I've set every thing up so that that shouldn't happen, but anything is certainly possible.

Closing thoughts

I do have a few more handicappers that I would like to try out, but I'm going to wait until later in the year. I really want to have my money in action 24/7, so I've been researching several soccer and tennis handicappers from around the world.

The good news with international handicappers (they're called tipsters) is that they charge significantly less than American handicappers do. I suppose it's because in most of the world, sports betting doesn't have the stigma that it does in the States.

MLB starts up in a few days, and I'm quite curious as to how it's going to turn out. I've said several times that I will give each handicapper one full season to see how they really do. So far, the 2 handicappers I'm using (besides the 2 MMA handicappers) haven't been profitable, but their stats show that they are definitely profitable long-term.

Using those 2 handicappers is what caused the drastic drop in my bankroll (and ROI). By the time MLB is over in October, I will have over 1,000 picks for each handicapper, so it will be a very good trial for them. I really hope that I will be giving them a positive review in October.

MLB should be my most profitable sport. It has been for years now, primarily because out of all of the American sports, it has the most betting opportunities. No other sport comes close to the number of games played during the season.

Sports betting is all about volume. If you want to be truly successful in this business, you have to turnover your money as much as you can (of course, while still turning a profit). You have to make as many profitable bets as you can.

Our edge/ROI is so small that, unless you start out with a rather large bankroll, you will need to make tons of bets to make a consistent, upward-trending profit.

Personally, I would be just fine with a $10 million annual turnover and making a 1% ROI. That would give me a net profit of $100,000 for the year.

To make that kind of turnover, I would have to place a lot of bets. The great thing about placing such a large number of bets is that it gives variance a chance to even itself out.

When you're just making 100 bets, variance can be all over the place. But when you're making 10,000 bets, variance won't affect you as much. Your numbers even out over time, and they become much more stable and reliable.

I don't know about you, but I don't like going on a 2-month winning streak, followed by a 2-month losing streak. I'd rather keep it much more stable and consistent.

About the Author Steve

Steve firmly believes that most meals can be improved with mac n cheese. When he's not helping people make money betting on sports, Steve loves mountain biking, playing video games with his son, & annoying his wife. He also drinks green smoothies, but don't hold that against him. Oh, and he's a big Dallas Cowboys fan. Don't hate.

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