Canadian Poker Pro Haralabos Voulgaris Defies Odds in Sports Betting

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Canadian poker pro Haralabos Voulgaris from Winnipeg, Manitoba was recently featured in a story by ESPN, but it was not for his poker abilities, but instead for his successful sports betting.

Haralabos has made over $2 million in professional live poker tournament cashes, making him one of Canada’s top earners. He was also one of the few players who put up a cool million dollars last summer to play in the very exclusive Big One for One Drop at the WSOP.

Haralabos or Bob which is a shortened variation of his Greek name, makes his living outsmarting oddsmakers. He is one of a small handful of people who turns a large yearly profit betting solely on the NBA. He routinely wagered a million dollars in a single day of NBA games.

Bob is considered to be one of the world’s most successful quantitative gamblers, someone who uses very sophisticated quantitative predictive computer models in order to predict basketball games. With the help of a math genius whom he poached from a very successful hedge fund, he built this quantitative model that helps him predict the outcome of NBA games. He claims to have a winning percentage of 70%.

It is similar to the Moneyball phenomenon. Like the movie starring Brad Pitt, where games were won using statistical data models used to predict, value and select players to achieve high win ratios.

Bob got the gambling bug at an early age, his father was a gambler and Voulgaris grew up around the racetrack. He picked up a lot of lessons, but most of the stuff he learned was what didn’t work.

Voulgaris apparently got his start in sports gambling in the late nineties. At one point in 2000, he made a 6.5 – 1 bet on the Lakers to win the Championship, a bet that would pay off to the tune of $500,000 on a hunch. However, it was not always success for Voulgaris, when in 2004 he had hit a losing streak due to a series of randomly unfavorable outcomes. At this point he determined he needed to build a more predictive model for his betting.

Ever since then, Bob has fine tuned his quantitative models to be known as one of the most successful sports bettors in the world, betting mostly on basketball. Oddsmakers have changed their lines based on how he bets.

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