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How I Became a Professional Gambler

I had never gambled before and knew nothing about it, but I'd gotten too many e-mails like it. I was at my parents house for winter break during my first year at UT, and I was bored.

"Free $50 just for downloading our casino!"

Hmm. That doesn't seem very risky. I might as well download to see what it's all about.

Opportunity costs: Working on the weekend

On Sharplayer

It's an unfortunate fact of being a professional gambler that your weekends and evenings tend to be some of the busiest work periods. It's the Easter bank holiday weekend here, and most 9-5er's are enjoying the rare occurrence of a 4-day weekend. For anyone betting on sports markets for a living though, this weekend is no longer than any other. Add to the fact that this was the first year horse racing has been allowed on Good Friday, and it's been a pretty busy couple of days so far.

Most sporting events take place over the weekends, in the evenings or on major holidays. Take the christmas period for example. Whilst many people will be putting their feet up and enjoying the festive period of indulgence, this is a hot time for betting. Theres several high profile racing meetings, and a lot of Premier League football action. As it's a holiday, the bookmakers tend to take the opportunity to think up some festive promotions and try to squeeze some cash out of the punters pockets whilst they sit back and watch the action. This means rich pickings for advantage players, however it comes right at the time of year when family are around, and the opportunity cost of working is high.

It's another example of the glamour of professional gambling being all too misleading (which I wrote about here). Ask most people if they'd be happy to give up their entire Saturday morning and afternoons for work, and you'll get a fairly consistent 'no'. Add to that giving up most major holidays, and it's starting too look decidedly less glamourous.

The freedom to take holiday whenever you like is also a double edged sword. As anyone who is self-employed will tell you, the cost of taking holiday is two-fold: The expense of the holiday itself, plus the loss of earnings from not working throughout the duration of the holiday. This makes it harder to justify time away from the desk, and coupled with the nature of seasonal promotions, makes you holiday at times others are likely working. Great for cheap holidays, bad for spending time with family and friends.

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