Betting Experts Answer: Biggest Lesson Learnt from Sports Betting? | Part 1

Welcome to the 14th question in our series: “Betting Experts Answer The Industries Biggest Questions.”

Whether you have been betting for ten years or ten days, sports betting will never stop teaching you lessons you can incorporate into your betting or general life. So, we asked eight betting experts:

Q14: What is the greatest lesson sports betting has taught you about betting or life in general?

Check out Part 2 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of sports betting analyst - Joseph Buchdahl, founder of Edge Alerter - Joonas Karppinen, and pro sports bettors - DanShan and Harout Massoyan.


The most important aspect for me has been surrounding myself with smart people. What’s great about gambling is the only barriers to entry are being 18 years old and bookmakers’ restrictions, neither of which are insurmountable. No matter where you start from, if you've got a bit about you and work hard it’s not too difficult to make a few quid if you do things right. There are a couple of sports I bet on at present where I’d consider the people I work with to be right at the top of their game and I’m either on a par with or looking up at them. Matt Le Tissier was a great player but what did he ever win?

Get in touch with Anthony via his LinkedIn page.


I can't say whether it is the greatest lesson but certainly one of the greatest and one that I am probably most frequently reminded of is as follows.

Humans have a near infinite capacity for self delusion.

By and large humans are optimistic at the subconscious level. We are dreamers and we have aspirations. Without the ability to lie to ourselves convincingly we would stagnate as we would take far fewer risks. This becomes a double edged sword in betting in particular. Long term losers manage to convince themselves that they are "about flat" in their betting careers and continue to hand over money to bookmakers. On the flip side, people are able to convince themselves that despite the billions of dollars in technology at bookmakers, the model they built in Excel in a couple of hours is going to make them rich. You may think the second one is as bad as the first but the reality is that you need to try and invariably fail a few times at least in order to ultimately get the reward. Many very successful bettors can look back and think that they were quite deluded about their edge and staked far too big but also recognise that without that naivety and self delusion they never would have achieved exit velocity. So you have to be deluded enough to give it a shot but not so deluded you don't realise that you are never going to make it. This leads to the simple business rule that can be applied to all parts of life. Define what success and failure look like before you start. Success definitions may be a little over optimistic at first but you should have a clearly defined point of failure. The only way to know when to have a reality check on your own level of delusion is to have that trigger point, that line in the sand that says if I find myself in X position I need to stop and reassess everything from the ground up.

So I guess the lesson is that you need to be deluded enough to make sure you give things a proper go but not so deluded as to harm yourself. One thing learning it and another thing applying it though.

Check out Matthew’s podcast ‘Inside Betting’ here.


I think betting teaches you a fair few lessons, including a few skills that go against the grain in the current climate of instant gratification. I have personally found betting to have helped greatly in not getting too high when things go well, nor too down when things go against you. Rolling with the bad beats, especially unlucky defeats when betting allows you to do the same when bad luck follows you around in life. You learn to recognise you can't win all the time, nor be successful in everything all the time, but that if you are more right then wrong in general and back yourself to always have an 'edge', then in time you will be just fine.

It also teaches you the value of money and to not allow your ego or sense of self worth to be dictated to by the performance of a bet. Just because that golfer you backed sunk a 20 ft putt for the win, doesn't make you any better than those weeks he missed it by a millimeter. The best bettors I have found quickly learn to shrug their shoulders at a narrow beat or unlucky loss and not let it eat away at them for too long or impact their sense of self worth and mood around those they love. It's a challenge at times, sure, but if losing eats away at you too much, then you are likely not setup right or fit for the game - there is no shame in that either!

Follow @SBCinfo on Twitter & check out the Smart Betting Club website here.


Make sure you take advantage of edges whilst they last. Don't get too caught up in short term variance.

Follow @SmSportstrader on Twitter & check out the Smart Sports Trader blog here.

Check out Part 2 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of sports betting analyst - Joseph Buchdahl, founder of Edge Alerter - Joonas Karppinen, and pro sports bettors - DanShan and Harout Massoyan.

Love getting the opinions from experts in the betting industry? Then subscribe to the Trademate Sports Podcast, where we interview the most important people in the sports betting industry.

Here are the other questions we have got our industry experts to answer so far:

  • Q1: Top 3 tips for betting beginners? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q2: How do you define “finding value” in betting markets? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q3: How do you determine whether your betting results are based on luck or skill? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q4: Kelly criterion or flat staking: Which stake sizing strategy do you consider to be the best and why? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q5: What is the best method to use to make money from sports betting? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q6: How difficult is it to beat the sports betting markets? How efficient are the odds? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q7: How to manage risk when betting? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q8: Is there a best sport to bet on? If so, what is it? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q9: Assuming you have an edge, at what point can you start accurately evaluating your results and say that variance has played out? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q10: What is the one thing you would like to see change in the gambling industry? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q11: How to overcome emotions in sports betting? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q12: What are the top 3 mistakes people make when betting? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q13: Biggest bias you’ve overcome in sports betting? Part 1 & Part 2.

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