Sports Betting: When it Began

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The momentum and areas of growth for sports betting is just beginning. I’ve recently seen some commentary on how people got into sports betting. For me it came via a job posting back in 1999.

Just six months earlier two high school friends and myself responded to an Arizona Republic sports section opportunity for high school kids. They were looking for a few candidates that would get hands on experience as a Coyotes Jr. reporter.

Somehow the three of us filled the limited spots of eight Jr. reporters. Each month of the hockey season a Jr. reporter got the opportunity to go to a practice, game, and write two columns for the Arizona Republic. It was an awesome opportunity and the perfect timing to launch a beginning appetite for sports writing.

I latched on with two sites around the same time for free content. Within months the passion transferred over to paid gigs in the dot com boom. I was literally cranking out content before school and after school for four to five websites.

It was not even about the money at the time. Certain sites would pay $50 an article and one was even paying $150 an article. As a freshman in high school I had tunnel vision on the passion and kept taking on any type of freelance opportunity.

Some sites gave sports memorabilia as compensation, and a local site in Arizona gave tickets to the main sports teams. On request they were placed at will call.

Rotowire also paid solid money and gave feature opportunities in their annual fantasy football magazine.

When a friend forwarded me the job posting for an eSports Entertainment writer, I did what I always had. Applied no matter what.

It took some time to get a response but eventually I had a phone interview. A few days later I received a phone call on if I could relocate from Arizona to Las Vegas. In the back of my head I thought here goes this opportunity but I stayed calm and the gentleman was fine with me working from Arizona.

Once I found out the site was I became glued to their business more than any other site I had done work for. Here was a team of guys such as Wayne Root, Chet Coppock, Phil McConkey, Dan Hampton, and Randy White that were offering picks and doing weekly shows on main networks.

At the time I was doing ghost columns to attract readership for the above names.

The pay was eye-popping for a high schooler. They would send $800 checks bi-weekly to my home address in Arizona. As with the other gigs I was unconscious with the thought of money and could care less if it was $800 or $100.

Throughout college I scaled back my online work to focus on getting my degree, which turned, into a salaried job offer from WalMart.

Retail was a passion that I still love all aspects of. The job was a true real world eye-awakener, which is how the business world works. I was set in the retail ways until Wal-Mart went through a management schedule change in 2009.

The grind of retail management was endless hours where days off were truly recuperating days. The new structure would allow day management a 3 on and 3 off schedule and overnight managers a 4 on and 4 off schedule.

I had just purchased a townhome the year prior and two buddies were renting out rooms. I went from no free time to getting back into watching sports on a regular basis.

This was also the second year of the economy recession. With the extra time off friends and I went on a trip to Las Vegas in June 2009. That trip spawned a five-year run of constant travel to Vegas. Flights could be had for $39 flying Southwest and we always paired it with dirt cheap hotels (usually Excalibur for $29 a night).

Betting sports at first did not go well. Unplanned bets would fare the same pattern. Landing on a Thursday and lose/bet the first game on the college football board followed by the same scenario on Friday. Needless to say the CVS ATM became a patented routine.

Yet by Saturday and Sunday we would be closer to even or slight profits.

That 2009 year of betting in Vegas turned into the launch point of my appetite for best practices when betting and a need to get back into the business. I emailed the folks at and they gave me an opportunity to post picks for two of the guys on the site.

It was fun and I even got a nice note from Wayne Root as one of the guys I was posting for sales were up dramatically.

2010 was when the discipline practices of betting became a normal routine for myself. That took a quantum leap in 2012, which I still consider my best year betting.

Both myself and my buddy had thousands in our offshore account literally from $100.

In March of 2013 I had an NFL style inkling on a college basketball money line parlay. It was such a strong inkling that I put a quick blog post for readers to do.

When it hit I was about an hour into my overnight management shift of 730PM-830AM.

I felt the same jolt of passion of not for the money as I did back in 1999 working for all the dot com companies.

And that’s how sports betting should be. Money can’t be won without the ability to block out the dollars.

That’s what I can say is my number one ability in sports betting. The ability to recognize the number and on field talent. Correlating the two together is my number one advantage.

I moved to Vegas shortly thereafter with a transfer in hand at a Las Vegas Walmart. I backed out of it and enjoyed the year being in sportsbooks and building new skills for betting.

It’s been a true uphill climb that reflecting back on has been a journey of a journey, and timing has been the domino for every step of it.

2018 here we come.


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