Jim Makos is a sports bettor, advantage gambler, poker player, blogger and also a web entrepreneur. He is an all-in-one with a multiple roles in his career. He is a born gambler and risking money to make money has become his passion. Even with many roles in his career, he manages to balance them smoothly and gained a huge success. His official website will give you an insight for all his work. Read and find out what else he has told us about his interesting journey.
Hello Mr. Makos, can you tell our readers a little bit about you?
I am 36, coming from Greece. I studied Chemical Engineering but decided to drop out when I learnt how to make money counting cards in blackjack and then how to trade sports odds at betting exchanges. I am now running a small internet publishing business that helps me raise a family of three and keeps me sane during my investing’s ups and down.
What inspired you to step into gambling world?
I liked card games since I was very young. I remember myself holding a deck of cards at all times, should someone decided to play with me. My dad and my uncle taught me how to play popular games at that time and I enjoyed watching them play with friends deep into the night. Betting on sports and lotteries was also the norm in my family, so I guess it grew into me.
Yet, it wasn’t until I found out how to become a card counter at casinos, that becoming a full-time handicapper crossed my mind for the first time. I could make real money by playing cards! It couldn’t get any better for me back then.
You have multiple roles in your career life. How do you manage to keep all balanced?
Being a professional gambler (I detest the term) requires adapting. What works today may not work tomorrow. Adapt or die, they say and it’s so true when it comes to gambling and investing. Those two terms very rarely go hand in hand, but for people living off gambling, it stands true. Finding your edge can happen anywhere, from blackjack games and sports betting, to online poker, stock and forex trading.
I have dealt with all of them in my 15-year career. I became a sports trader after casinos barred me, due to my card counting skills. Then I moved to online poker playing mostly cash games up to 5,000NL and ended up investing in the US stock market and forex.
In reality, an advantage gambler seeks an edge where possible. It’s either a bet with a 50-50 chance that is offered at better than even odds, or buying something low to sell high (and vice versa). There are so many similarities among them that is frighteningly simple to make the move from one to another.
Even in entrepreneurship, businessmen are trying to find their edge. Do something different, better or first! It’s pretty much the same in gambling and investing. Thus, while it may seem I have too many roles, I follow pretty much the same strategy everywhere!
Find an edge (granted, the most difficult part), build a strategy and manage your money properly. Success will come.
What is the story behind your success?
It comes down to sticking to the plan. As long as you have a plan, that is!
Back in my card counting days, I practiced a lot at home before hitting the casinos. By the time I sat down to play, I knew my course of action in every possible scenario I would run into. There were no surprises.
When I moved to sports trading, my plan was to take advantage of the momentum that built up due to punters moving the betting odds. This made me have many successful trades and significantly fewer losing ones, aiming at small odds movements. The trading style I followed is called scalping. Accordingly, I was getting out of the market as soon as it turned against me and let my profits run for a bit more.
Of course, I didn’t begin trading big in the beginning. Starting slow and respecting my bankroll allowed me to capitalize on my trading skills, when I finally developed them.
Later I had to adapt as sharp bettors converted into traders, but I opted to move over to online poker. Success in poker came as the competition was laughable at first. People didn’t have the slightest idea of how to play properly and that allowed many professional players to build huge bankroll in the early days of poker. Again, more sharp people found their way into poker, while beginners joined educational and poker training websites, improving their game. The value was quickly diminishing.
Online trading is my latest endeavor but I admit I haven’t found success yet. To tell you the truth I am not that much into trading nowadays as I am focusing on my web business more than ever. While selling a stock for a 100% profit in a week’s time sounds fascinating, I find a lot more seducing to watch my company grow.
If you could change anything in your life, what would it be?
Although I did make lots of mistakes, I wouldn’t change a thing. Those mistakes made me a better handicapper, a better investor or a better person in general. I might have learnt a lot more from my failed attempts, than from the ventures that went as planned.
As Michael Jordan puts it, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
Are there any advices you would like to give our BettingRunner tipster community?
The best tipster is yourself. Believe in that. Learning the ins and outs of the sport betting game will make you the best tipster in the world. Following blindly tips won’t make you a better punter. Still, following a tipster will open up your game. You get an inside view at a premium price that you need to take advantage of, besides making money in the process. You have the opportunity to study another skillful bettor’s style, which in turn will help you to develop your own strategy.
Another word of advice is to have respect for your bankroll and don’t jump from one strategy to another before you can come to safe conclusions. Develop a strategy and try it out in paper for a couple of hundred bets. Then apply a flat betting system and risk no more than 1% of your bankroll. At around 1,000 bets you’ll have a pretty good idea how your system performs. Then you will know if you can increase your bets or apply more sophisticated staking plans, such as the one based on the half-Kelly criterion.
Oh, and most importantly, betting won’t solve your financial problems, if any. Gambling isn’t the answer to your prayers and won’t get you out of the hole you dug yourself into. You need piece of mind in the stressful environment of sports betting. Additional pressure won’t do you any good.
As an expert tipster, can you make a prediction for our readers on Premier League for next week?
I am far from the expert here. Learning never stops. By the time I consider myself an expert and my confidence reaches the sky, I will be toast. Being overconfident is a flaw that won’t allow you to see what’s coming to you.
Now, a single prediction is like a drop in the ocean. If I wanted to play it safe, I would pick Manchester City to beat Bournemouth. Will that make me a good tipster? No, in the same way it won’t make me a bad tipster, should Bournemouth scores a miraculous win. Betting on sports is a marathon, not a sprint race. Always keep your eyes on the big picture and aim for being profitable in the long run.
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