How Does Sports Betting Fit into Your Life

I used to think that sports bettors came in three flavors with a clear pecking order:

  1. Pros

  2. Semi-pros

  3. Recreationals

My gambling career has resided in the first two bullets: semi-pro & pro. Right now I am a pro. When I say I am a "pro" - I mean that sports betting pays my bills. I would have defined "semi-pro" as someone who creates some income sports betting. And finally, a recreational is a category that I placed all losing bettors.

But then I started to poke holes in my definitions...

Billy Walters, the best to ever place a bet, made money from other businesses. Does this mean Billy wasn't a "pro"? Billy could have supported himself without betting - so was he recreational or a semi-pro? And because I don't have another business I am a pro?

Take this a step further - does this discourage me from starting another business? Because then I am not a "true pro" eating what I kill from the sports betting jungle.

Considering these definitions lead me to question what the goal of sports betting is. Is there even a pecking order that the pros sit on top of?

And I remembered an observation I made during my poker days!

Yes - stay with me for a brief poker story. I used to play in a live 5/5 cash game at the Sugar House Casino in Philly. The game played deeper (PLO) - and the average buy-in was about $2k. In poker this isn't considered a "big" game - but it's big if you aren't trying to make a living from cards.

At the game, there were three buckets of people.

  • Winning players: The majority of this bucket was poker pros. Some winning players had jobs - most played cards full time.

  • "Shit Regs": It's hard to explain shit regs...they aren't winning players and they don't seem to have jobs. They come and go.

  • Recreational Players: These were people with established careers who were here for fun. You have to do pretty well in your career to be able to lose $2k+ in a night of poker - so the recreational players were successful.

I remember losing a big hand in a very unlucky matter to this rich dentist who played in the game. The hand hurt a lot - and I remember being pretty mad after. I usually wasn't mad when I lost to recreational players, but I was jealous of this dentist.

I remember thinking..."Wow, he is just here to have fun. Winning or losing that pot has no real impact on his finances (hopefully)."

Whereas, losing a big pot like that was harmful to my finances. My emotions and ego were tied to the results of hands like that. And yet, I would still place myself ahead of the dentist in my mental pecking order. I was the pro and he was the "rec".

I started to see recreational players and semi-pros in a new light. They had this life outside of poker that fulfilled them AND they got to play the same game I was playing. And they got have fun doing it? It all seemed impossible to me.

So I changed how I viewed the purpose of gambling

Now when I consider how sports betting fits into my life, I don't see it as solely a monetary engine. It also is:

  • Something I enjoy

  • A way for me to work remotely and live in the area I want to live in

  • How I broke free of the standard corporate path - and gained freedom & time

  • A community

When I think about sports betting/poker as just a way to make money, I do it a disservice. Because the goal shouldn't be just to make money - if that were the goal I would still be in investment banking. I love sports betting because I can make ENOUGH money, and check the more important boxes.

And I realized goals are personal!

My goal is probably not your goal. I know a lot of people who read this are building a strong second income stream with sports betting.

That's awesome!

If you don't need the second income, but sports betting fulfills your problem solving itch - that's great too.

My definition of success has changed. I used to believe the person that made the most money, or had the best model was the most successful. Not anymore. Now I believe the following:

The most successful sports bettor is someone who gets sports betting to fuel their dream life.

Thank you everyone for reading! If this was interesting to you, check out some of my other free content available at