Sports Wagering Basics, Part 10: Sports Wagering Full Time by Travis K Sports Investments
Please note: The following article was originally published by Travis K Sports Investments as a tweeted image on his Twitter page. With Travis K’s permission, it has been lightly edited for context clarity and presented as sports handicapping advice. For more information about Travis K Sports Investments and the series of articles, click here to go to his Handicapper Spotlight Page. Enjoy the read! -PointsDoc
Sports Wagering Full Time
“Can I do this for a living?” and “What does it take to do this full time?” are the two things I hear most. So…. Can you?
What does it take?
Obviously, there are some caveats to this and I’ll explain what they are, and I’ll also tell you what it takes to be a “Professional Sports Gambler” and I promise very little, maybe nothing I say in this article will be encouraging.
“But You Did It”
Yeah, and it was hell. The story of why I became a full time sports bettor is in my bio and a combination of things got me there. They are:
- I was good at it
- I had to be at home to help with our son
- My education and marketable skillset are very specific and not something I could do from home
- I love numbers, sports, manage money well, and in general I have a good feel for where teams are headed
But I jumped into the business prematurely due to a couple of occurrences with our disabled son and while it’s what I felt like I had to do, I would never recommend it to anyone and I can confidently tell you that if I hadn’t loved the business so much, it would have destroyed me.
This is the part of the story that you’ll rarely hear from “Pro Sports Bettors”
If anything, I’m living proof of why people shouldn’t do this full time because of the financial hell it sent us into for the next few years. In a bit, I’ll tell you what you need to go into this as a living, to be a “pro”, but the one thing I didn’t have was proper financial backing. The result was, I was under HUGE pressure and believe me, that does NOT help when trying to handicap games. And, all my profits were eaten up by basic living expenses which meant I couldn’t build my accounts and the only way to build was to wager too much.
And, that’s what I did… I had no choice. It was sink or swim and I didn’t exactly sink but I made things worse. Long story short… we barely survived while I built up my bankroll to an amount that would allow me to wager enough to be comfortable, and it took me a couple of years and we survived on almost nothing.
What You Need
A) You need a lot of money. Period, end of story. You need a minimum of $30,000 to $50,000 – and you need that in combination with the other things on this list. If you’re married and have children, you should have $100,000 ready to go. At least. If you’re not debt-free (outside of basic living expenses), you’ll need more than that. The day I quit my job and paid a few things that needed to be covered, I had about $10,000 and with a family, that just wasn’t remotely close. It’s a GREAT amount if you’re supplementing an income, but to produce an income? No way in hell.
And I paid a dear price for not having enough money. I won’t bore you with the lengths to which we had to go to survive, but it’s not pretty. It was harder than hell, but the positive side of it was my son that needed me at home had what he needed, and money trouble didn’t mean much to him. Ultimately, we made it “to the other side” but OMG, it was BRUTAL. Without my wife cheering me on the whole way? No way, not a chance.
B) You need to be debt-free. That’s the one thing I had going for me, I only owed house & utilities, no extra bills/credit/car payment/etc. of any kind.
C) If you’re married with a family and have a job… keep it. Do this on the side and use it as a way to live better or set up a better retirement. Just remember, if you jump into this full time, you’re responsible for medical insurance, life insurance, retirement, hell, you’re responsible for everything. This ain’t no cakewalk, but I know, when you see guys like James Holzhauer on Jeopardy and he’s introduced as a “Professional Sports Gambler”, it looks SOOO enticing, but the truth is: he comes from a plentiful upbringing, he’s never had to win sports bets to keep a roof over his head, and he makes WAY more money from other ventures than from Sports Gambling.
I can name you at least ten people who have cashed in their retirement, moved to Vegas with six figures hoping to make it in Sports Gambling who went broke and/or ended up hawking picks on the internet, begging for signups. Actually winning at this and producing a living income? I can’t tell you how hard it is. Some of the names you know… RJ Bell, Steve Fezzik, Preston Johnson… they DO NOT make a living betting sports and they never have. All three have losing records and make their money from media and the internet.
In fact, EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. I know who makes a living at this? You would never know them. They’re quiet, they keep their head down, and you couldn’t ever pick them out of a crowd. And, there are only a handful that make truly “big money” at this. Most are like me… I make a decent living, it’s comfortable, my neighbors have no idea what I do for a living (“day-trading & internet investing” is my answer if I’m ever asked) and even with what I’m doing, I’m still worried about retirement because it’s ALL up to me. So again, this is one of the most difficult things in life you could ever do.
D) If you’re relatively young, single, no dependents, no bills, a good income and you’re able to live minimally and save up a large amount of money, you might have a chance. But notice, I haven’t even mentioned winning (53% in -110 sports will make you a good profit) or money management and you MUST master the concepts I’ve written about in the first nine parts of this series. I also haven’t talked about balancing money between 15+ offshores (if you don’t live in Nevada) and how difficult it is to “stay under the radar”. There are several more things that are brutally difficult.
Sports wagering can be a nice addition to your lifestyle but it is a brutal way to live. When I say I’m a “Pro Sports Bettor”, there’s not an ounce of “brag” in that… the truth is, I had to walk through hell with a water pistol to get where I’m at and I have ZERO guarantees of the future. So if you ever decide to do this, go buy a LOT of ulcer medication because you’re about to do some suffering. Sorry, but it’s the truth.
Original posted image from Travis K Sports Investments: