A glimpse in the lives of professional sports bettors

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What do sports bettors do? They spend their days predicting sports results and placing wagers on them. Today, most bets are on American football, basketball, baseball, racing, and boxing. Betting also extends to non-athletic events like reality shows, elections, movie awards, etc. 

The Field of Dreams game is all tha...
The Field of Dreams game is all that's right with baseball

The Exhilarating Lives of Professional Sports Bettors

Thanks to the internet and mobile devices, it is so easy to place a bet on sports these days. Today, sports bettors are no longer combing the newspapers for events to wager. With apps like DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, and Unibet, anyone can put their money down on games happening locally as well as overseas. But what does it take to be a professional punter?

“Parlay” Patz

Patz gained notoriety in sports betting in November 2019 when he was a college student. At one point, he garnered nearly $1 million within just a few months. Benjamin Tucker “Parlay” Patz reportedly made trips from Manhattan to New Jersey to place bets which included 15-leg parlays. 

Unfortunately, his life came crashing down in 2021 after pleading guilty to making threats to athletes. Patz sent Instagram messages to Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox players in 2019, saying he would kill them. 

Billy Walters

William Walters is a retired professional gambler regarded as one of the most successful sports bettors in Sin City, with a winning streak lasting over 30 years. He grew up poor in Kentucky and started gambling at the tender age of nine. Then, Walters bet whatever he earned from his paper route on the New York Yankees in the 1955 World Series. Although he lost that wager, it did not deter him from his passion.

Walters was a losing gambler right up to his 40s. His luck changed in the 1980s when he used computer analysis to predict sports outcomes. Billy liked betting on basketball, the NFL, and college football. Over a period of 39 years, there was only one year where he ended in the red. In a 2011 interview, Walters claimed to make around $50 million in a good year on sports bets.

In 2017, the courts convicted him for insider trading and he was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $10 million. Today, his net worth and holdings make up $220 million.

Tony “The Lizard” Bloom  

Known fondly as The Lizard, Tony Bloom is a professional sports bettor, poker player, and entrepreneur from England. His wealth is estimated at a few billion, although no one can verify this. Bloom got his first taste of gambling at 10 years old when he tried his luck on a slot machine. This got him hooked. Using a fake ID, he managed to sneak in a few bets in sportsbooks before getting caught. 

Bloom is famous for his cold-blooded gambling approach and now has a team of experts that coordinate bets on his behalf. Immediately after winning big in the 1998 World Cup, he formed BetVictor, one of the most famous UK betting brands. In addition to his sports betting acumen, he’s also a very well-established poker player and owner of the English Premier League football club Brighton & Hove Albion. 

How to Be a Professional Sports Gambler

Professional sports betting statistics show that the industry will be worth $140 billion in 2028. With that much money floating around, it’s not surprising you’re looking for a cut, and what’s a more exciting career path than sports wagering? 

When we picture successful sports bettors, we imagine them living glamorous lives and winning thousands or millions on every wager they make. The reality is that even the best in the business face significant losses. Smart bettors exploit small edges through large bets. They put long hours into their art and slowly increase their bankroll while working on their handicapping skills. This way, they won’t lose too much money along the way.