Haralabos Voulgaris will not be precisely a family title, however if you happen to comply with the NBA, guess on basketball, or are severely into poker, you’ll have heard of him.

In 2013, ESPN ran a narrative on “Bob” titled “Meet the world’s prime NBA gambler” the place they detailed how Voulgaris had earned a fortune in sports activities betting earlier than he was even 30.

He has performed within the World Sequence of Poker, labored for the Dallas Mavericks and is even the proprietor and president of the Spanish third-division soccer membership, Castellón. Oh, and his present web value is estimated to be $5 million.

So, we’re going to interrupt down the story of one of many playing world’s most enjoyable characters and have a look at his life in betting, sports activities, and past.

How Did Voulgaris Make His Fortune?

Haralabos “Bob” Voulgaris was born in Canada to Greek mother and father, who had moved to the nation of their 20s.

His father was an entrepreneur in Winnipeg and had an actual property enterprise and a Greek restaurant named after the Greek god Hermes.

In Greek mythology, Hermes is the god of a number of issues, together with video games, sports activities, and sudden enrichment, which in all probability wasn’t coincidental as a result of Voulgaris Sr. was a severe gambler who gave his son the bug.

By his enterprise ventures, Voulgaris’s father grew to become a multi-millionaire, and after Bob completed highschool, they traveled collectively to Las Vegas for a two-month journey spent virtually completely at Caesars Palace.

Bob was too younger to go on the on line casino ground, so he spent most of his days within the sportsbook, the place he watched numerous NBA video games.

He took notes on the video games and the guide’s changes and began playing on them together with his father at night time.

It was in no way excessive stakes (his largest guess was for $100), however this Vegas training left an enduring imprint on Voulgaris, who mentioned, “I realized at a younger age that it’s robust to beat the home – until you already know what you’re doing.”

After returning to Canada and beginning his research on the College of Manitoba, Bob continued to guess and took what he’d realized on board. He would guess on NBA and CFL video games, making tidy income whereas finding out and holding down a part-time job.

When he completed faculty, he determined to up the stakes, and forward of the NBA season, he positioned his life financial savings of $70,000 on the Lakers to win the 1999/00 NBA championship.

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This was an enormous gamble, because the Lakers didn’t make it previous the earlier season’s second spherical of the playoffs, however it paid off.

And when captain Shaquille O’Neal raised the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy above his head, Voulgaris cashed a slip for almost $500,000.

Skilled Playing

This was the injection of money and confidence that Bob wanted to take issues to the subsequent degree, and within the 2000/01 season, he made round 350 wagers on the NBA with lots of success.

Sportsbooks have been nowhere close to as refined as they’re now, and Voulgaris noticed a weak point that he might exploit.

Totally different books would make projections for what number of factors they thought could be scored in a sport however would additionally take bets on how a lot could be scored in every half.

Unbelievably the sportsbooks simply divided their projected sport complete in half, which didn’t account for the truth that many shut NBA video games have a lot of fouls within the fourth quarter.

Fouls imply free throws, and free throws imply factors, so as a rule, groups would rating extra within the second half of video games.

Voulgaris seen this development and took full benefit of it, however he knew this wouldn’t final, and finally, the sportsbooks realized the errors of their methods.

So, Bob determined to maneuver on to larger and higher issues and had the thought to construct a predictive betting mannequin that might take the instinct out of betting.

The Mannequin Scholar

Bob Voulgaris clearly had a expertise for numbers, however he knew he wanted somebody genuinely gifted to make his dream of beating the bookies come true.

So, in 2007, he employed a math prodigy (who he has by no means named publicly) to assist him construct a predictive mannequin that may very well be used on any NBA sport.

This prodigy wasn’t simply the neatest child in school, by the best way.

He scored an ideal 800 on the mathematics SAT in seventh grade and gained nationwide competitions earlier than changing into a young person.

Ultimately, after two years of trial and error, Voulgaris and his prodigy developed the mannequin to a degree he was proud of.

So, he used it closely throughout the second half of the 2009 NBA season to important impact.

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He made as much as 1,000 wages a season and made cumulative bets that will attain in extra of $1 million each day.

World Class Poker

Haralabos Voulgaris
Picture: Twitter/djbantiben1

After growing a mannequin that another bettor would kill for and making what will need to have been an unimaginable sum of money (he by no means confirmed numbers), Voulgaris began to seem in main televised poker occasions.

In 2012, he entered the World Sequence of Poker’s Large One for One Drop $1 million buy-in occasion the place he performed effectively however simply missed out on making any cash.

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However this didn’t deter Bob – skilled bettors know that you just win some and also you lose some – so he continued enjoying in a number of World Poker and European Poker Tour occasions through the years.

In 2017, he returned to the WSOP’s One Drop occasion and landed the most important match win of his poker profession.

He earned a whopping $1,158,883 for ending in fourth place and has amassed a profession complete of over $3 million in reside poker tournaments worldwide.

Transfer Into Professional Sports activities

After spending almost twenty years as knowledgeable bettor, Haralabos Voulgaris formally moved into a job in skilled basketball.

In 2018, he joined the Dallas Mavericks as Director of Quantitative Analysis and Growth.

Little question this appointment was made for his capability to research the sport of basketball, use statistics, and predict outcomes of video games.

This was a dream transfer for Voulgaris, who harbored desires of being an NBA GM at some point.

He even went on report saying, “I’d be capable to put collectively a greater staff than virtually any basic supervisor within the league. If not, possibly all.”

Now, this might sound a bit conceited, however when you think about his skilled playing report and deep understanding of the NBA, he in all probability has some extent.

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This wasn’t Bob’s first foray into skilled basketball.

Within the 2009-10 season, he signed a contract with an unnamed NBA franchise co-owner to develop into a marketing consultant on participant acquisition and roster meeting.

His ability set matched completely with the objective of NBA entrance places of work. They have been each attempting to know the worth of various gamers, and for NBA franchises, data was energy.

In the end, although, neither stint on the within {of professional} basketball developed right into a profession.

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He spent 5 months with the unnamed NBA staff earlier than feeling he was being excluded from decision-making and selecting to return to betting full time.

He additionally left the Dallas Mavericks in 2021, after lower than three years with the group.

It was reported that he had a rift with Mavs’ star guard, Luka Dončić, and participant energy clearly gained out.

CD Castellon

In his 2013 ESPN interview, Bob Voulgaris mentioned if he gained sufficient cash playing, he would purchase an NBA franchise.

However they don’t come low cost, so as an alternative, he settled for a third-division Spanish soccer membership.

CD Castellon was based in 1922, has a loyal following, and a stadium with a 15,000 capability – however a poor latest historical past.

In July 2022, Voulgaris bought the membership and was confirmed as its proprietor and president.

He insists shopping for the membership – in a sport he’s not related to – was not a “self-importance play” and he has set out a six-year plan for the membership to succeed in the highest division in Spanish soccer, La Liga.

Whether or not he can obtain his targets and switch the staff into success on and off the pitch will stay to be seen, however he’ll take inspiration from neighboring staff Villarreal.

Villarreal CF spent virtually all of its historical past within the decrease divisions of Spanish soccer, however after reaching La Liga in 1998, they’ve slowly developed right into a powerhouse domestically and in European competitors.

In 2021, the membership gained its first-ever main trophy, successful the UEFA Europa League and beating Manchester United within the remaining.

It’s the stuff desires are manufactured from, and Bob Voulgaris will undoubtedly have comparable ambitions for Castellon.

What’s Subsequent For Bob Voulgaris?

Bob Voulgaris
Picture: Twitter/haralabob

Bob Voulgaris is without doubt one of the most attention-grabbing figures on this planet of sports activities betting.

If he can translate his basketball data into soccer, it’s undoubtedly a matter of time earlier than he returns to the US {and professional} sports activities administration in some capability.

However, it doesn’t matter what he does subsequent, one factor is for certain – it gained’t be boring.

If you wish to preserve an in depth eye on Bob Voulgaris’ life (he has a brilliant cute canine) and get some unbelievable betting insights, you should definitely comply with his twitter web page.

Picture: Twitter/tonymakethinks1

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