Why I Play So Many Games
by Robert Ferringo - 8/4/2009
The most common question I get from my clients is a simple and straightforward one: “Why the hell do you play so many games?”
There is an often espoused theory in gambling that the best players are the ones that only play a few games and that the more you play against the house the more you are going to lose. The idea is that a “pro” should only pick and choose exactly those precious few spots that lend him an advantage over the books. And anyone that plays over this imaginary – and unspecified – number of games is a sucker headed for the poorhouse.
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I defy this logic.
It is not uncommon for me to release 12 or 14 baseball picks on any given day of the MLB season. It could be a Tuesday in May or a Thursday in September. To me, it doesn’t matter: if there are situations to be exploited then I’m going to go after them. And I’m not going to let some hogwash old maxim stop me from winning money.
The number of games puts off some people that I release plays to. Some people love the action. However my goals are very simple and my motivations are laser-focused: I want my clients to win money and I want them to have fun doing it. If you can’t accomplish both things then what the hell is the point of playing? I don’t release this many plays to be cute or “just because”. I believe that it provides me the best opportunity to consistently put cash in my clients profits. And over the last three seasons I’ve had three winning years while putting up some of the best numbers in the country.
Here are five reasons I have for why I choose to wager the way that I do:
1. I go against conventional wisdom.
“Go against the public.” You’ve probably heard it a million times when people talk about gambling. And in certain respects that is true. I have found one. If everyone in the gambling universe thinks that it is ridiculous to play 8, 10, 12 games every day then why would I follow them? Don’t you want a handicapper that has strength in his own convictions and is willing to fly in the face of conventional wisdom? Don’t you want to wager along side someone that is creative and a little “outside the box”? Again, I’m not wagering on this many games because I’m just trying to be different. I believe it is the best system I have found to make money. It just happens to be different. And in the world of gambling if you’re usually different from everyone else you usually end up with cash in your pocket.
2. I am a systems player.
I have systems for everything in Major League Baseball. See, more than any other sport baseball is a game of numbers. It’s a game of percentages. And the sheer volume of numbers available – there are 10 times as many MLB games as there are NFL games, and there are twice as many games on the diamond as there are in the NBA or NHL – MLB lends itself to a cunning mathematician. As a result, there are infinite systems available to be played to someone that is able to hone in on the key numbers. I feel like I can do just that.
I have underdog systems, sweep systems, chase systems, left-handed systems, run line systems, totals systems, umpire systems, home/road systems, bounce back starters systems, etc., etc., etc. All of them are sound both numerically and in regards to fundamentally baseball strategy. I could reasonably pick just one or two of these systems, play them all season long, and make a profit. But why do that when I can play all or even most of them? If you have 10 systems that can generate you $1000 of profit per season would you play all 10 of them or would you only play two or three of them?
3. It’s all numbers.
This is a good segue to my next point: it’s just all about the numbers. And while the answer to my previous question about the number of systems you would play seems like a no-brainer it obviously isn’t. If it were I wouldn’t get questions about why I play so many games!
The bottom line is this: you will make more money winning a lower percentage of your wagers and playing more games than you will hitting a higher percentage with less games.
Let’s say that you were betting $100 per game and just playing totals at -110. Let’s say that you played 810 games for the entire season (five per day, every day) and that you managed to win about 55 percent of your games, giving you a record of 454-356. That would give you winnings – after juice – of $6,240 for the season. Not bad.
Now, let’s say that you were betting $100 per game but that you only placed 162 bets for the season (one per day). And let’s say that you had an incredible season, winning 60 percent of your games. That would give you a record of 97-65 and your winnings for the year would be $2,590. So even though you won 60 percent of your games (which is the Holy Grail number for cappers) and I “only” won 55 percent of my games I made MORE THAN TWICE AS MUCH MONEY!
The key point here is this: over a large enough number of trials a handicapper can’t hide who he is. If someone is good enough to hit 55 percent they will do it over 2,000 trials. Any clown can go 6-4 or 18-12 and say that they’re hitting 60 percent. But over those same 2,000 trials I am going to beat them. I’ve seen people go on 18-2 runs and clean up. But that is a statistical anomaly and I will guarantee you that those same cappers or bettors will go through a 2-15 run not too long after their big windfall. And at the end of the day that leaves you 20-17 and right around even. I will go through spells like that as well. But for someone playing one game per day those 37 plays represent over a month of gambling. For me it’s about four of five days out of your week to get to the same point, profit-wise.
4. I open myself up for much, much bigger runs.
When you’re hot, you’re hot. Winning streaks and losing streaks happen to all bettors – even system players like myself. But if I’m playing 10 games per day over one of my hot stretches I’m going to make a lot more money for you than someone playing just one or two games per day. The bottom line is that with a traditional handicapper – betting two 4-Unit plays per day – then the best you’re going to do on any given night is +8 Units. Well, I’ve had some days in college football and college basketball where I’ve posted +26 or +30 Units in a single sitting. Granted, the reverse is true and I’ve had some soul-crushing days in which everything falls apart. But that just goes back to what I previously said about how the numbers will work out over a long enough trial. But if you can be on board during one of my “runs” you’re going to make more money with me than with anyone on the Internet.
5. Being disciplined with your bankroll is more important than how many games you play.
Whether you play one game or 20 the most important thing is to be disciplined with your bankroll. Hey, everybody wants to be able to play $100 or $500 dollars per game. But that’s unrealistic unless you have about $10,000 that you’re betting with. Your bets should be about two percent of your actual bankroll. And if you follow Doc’s Sports Unit System then each unit should probably represent about one percent of your stack. The people that run into problems are the people that are betting 10 or 20 percent of their roll on one single game. If that were the way you like to do it then my style wouldn’t mesh with yours. But if you like a steady pace and a long-term strategy for success then I think that my method is a proven moneymaker.
In conclusion, I admire people that have the discipline to play only one game per day. Or who can go through a football season and play just two or three games per weekend. I really do. But I don’t think that their style or system of betting is any better than mine. I believe that in order to make the most money possible it’s best to go one or two ways: my method of betting more games based on statistically significant systems or to go the other way and only bet on about 20 games, in all sports, over the course of a full year and to bet them for very large sums of money. But I feel like my way works and that I have had a solid string of success to profit it.
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