Sports betting is one of the most popular ways to gamble today. Millions of players bet daily but only very few had a chance to make history and build a fortune on sports gamble. One of those few is Haralabos “Bob” Voulgaris – a guy who won millions on basketball bets.
Bob Voulgaris was always an eager NBA fan, he could watch the games for hours. Diligence and patience along with the talent to analyze became the key factors to his success in betting. Most probably he inherited a passion to bet from his father who was a self-made man that made a career on a real estate market deals. He also made money on sports betting as a hobby. Growing up, Bob Voulgaris gained an invaluable experience of making sports bets together with his dad. When he enrolled to college, the level of his betting income was enough to pay for his accomodation.
In the following 5 years Bob made a fortune on basketball bets. During those years bookmakers did not take much effort in analyzing the match totals during the game itself. They simply doubled the halftime score in order to set the fulltime total. The idea of Bob Voulgaris was that the second half is never the same as first and teams will play different in order to define the final score.
Bob analyzed the work of 3 different NBA coaches – Byron Scott, Eddie Jordan and Jerry Sloan. He later used this analysis to forecast the strategies of their teams when making bets. This allowed Bob Voulgaris to become a millionaire in a very short period of time and allow himself a lifestyle that very few people in the world can afford. But this could not last for too long. Bookmakers do not need players that bring them major losses. They analyzed Voulgaris’ strategy and made certain changes to the odds they offer.
This resulted in major losses for Bob this time – he lost around 30% of his bankroll. He took a break to think his strategy over. This was the time when Internet was just on the rise and many new players arrived to bet online. Many understood that they need a good mathematical analysis in order to beat the bookmakers and started to use and develop various betting software programs. Bob knew about this and decided to create a super software to increase the winning rate closer to ideal. Ofcourse he could not develop it on his own, he needed a professional to help him with programming, mathematics and statistics. He found a young professional and started to work on a program that could help to define not only a match winner but also the outcome. The beta version of the program took nearly two years to complete. They called it “Ewing”.
Bob and his assistant started to test the software immediately – in summer 2007 they used completed matches to compare the scores. At first there was a problem, because the totals tended to exceed the actual outcomes. It took a few weeks to find a fault – his partner was not a basketball expert and miscalculated the free throw percentage for the teams. This allowed to make some changes and develop a software that allowed Bob Voulgaris to predict the match totals quite carefully. As he admitted, the software took into the account a really broad range of data and predict not only the match outcome, but also note an individual progress of players involved.
Bob enjoyed a second wave of success and tore apart the bookmakers again. “Ewing” showed great results. Nontheless, Bob Voulgaris admits that he is ready to quit betting.
For quite a few years Bob’s dream was to become a GM of one of NBA’s franchises. This might seem arrogant, but Bob is a great expert on the other hand. In 2009 he finally got an offer from NBA to become a player aquisition consultant. The GM post was in sight, but it did not happen. Nevertheless, NBA values Bob’s experience and knowledge, and uses Bob’s consultancy. His future should well be connected to NBA.
At the moment Bob Voulgaris still makes a living with betting on basketball. “Ewing” still shows great result even though Bob admits that he is close to reaching the limits. Bookmakers are not sleeping and develop their own analytical strategies to make profitable betting harder for players. And players like Bob are the best teachers for them.