Episode 12: Haralabos Voulgaris – Beating an “Unbeatable” Game


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Haralabos Voulgaris is one of the most accomplished professional gamblers in history.

Focusing solely on the NBA, his edge early in his career came from a keen understanding of match-ups, mapping the tendencies of head coaches, and exploiting mistakes in the lines set by the sportsbooks.

This approach was profitable for years, so much so that Haralabos regular wagered $1,000,000 per day on games. Around 2004 the sports books caught on to his strategies and made adjustments to kill his edge.

This was when Haralabos made the shift to using statistics and algorithms to inform his betting decisions. He became a pioneer in NBA statistical analysis and in addition to being recognized for his gambling prowess, he’s been featured in the MIT Sloan Analytics Conference, and consulted for NBA teams during the off season.

In this episode, Elliot and Haralabos discuss winning in a game that most believe is unbeatable, balancing extreme success with happiness, and the value of personal development.

In This Episode…

[2:15] Why Haralabos doesn’t like the “professional gambler” label, even though he has regularly wagered $1,000,000 a day on NBA games.

[3:45] The process that Haralabos goes through to find an edge in a field where 99% of the participants are losing money.

[7:05] The “Beard” strategy Haralabos employed to make large wagers even when the Sports Books had blocked his action.

[12:15] Why having a different mindset than the rest of your industry is the key to breakout success.

[16:50] How Haralabos’ analytic methodology landed him a consulting gig with an NBA team (and why NBA managers refuse to talk to him during the season).

[19:55] Two ways to balance your happiness with the effort and dedication that extreme success requires.

[27:13] How to use meditation to reverse the adverse effects of excess social media usage.


Haralabos Voulgaris on Twitter

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