So You Want My Job: Professional Gambler

by Brett on June 3, 2009 · 30 comments

in Money & Career, So You Want My Job

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Once again we return to our So You Want My Job series, in which we interview men who are employed in desirable man jobs and ask them about the reality of their work and for advice on how men can live their dream.

Today we feature a singularly interesting and unique job, that of the professional gambler. Many a man has gambled in his day, whether with real money or cookies. But Christatos Aristad was able to parlay his talents in gambling into a real profession, a lucrative one at that. While some may see professional gamblers as a bit shady, Mr. Aristad is of an older school of gambler, and is the consummate gentleman. Recently retired, he’ll be penning a series of articles for AoM on the basics and etiquette of a variety of games.

1. Tell us a little about yourself (Where are you from? How old are you? Where did you go to school? Describe your job and how long you’ve been at it, ect).

My name is Christatos Aristad. I was born in London, and I am 52 years old. I went to Cambridge entirely as a product of family connections and spent a completely unspectacular 4 years there mostly drinking and gambling with my fellow students. I then made a go at a Medical Degree to complete a childhood dream of being a doctor and discovered that my patented combination of drinking and gambling did not work at all in the more difficult atmosphere of graduate degrees and dropped out in my first year. I picked up gambling professionally about half a year later at the age of 24 and have been doing it ever since. As you can imagine, there isn’t really a formal education for gamblers. I am currently in the process of retiring, and am trying to figure out where to settle down.

2. Why did you want to be a professional gambler? When did you know it was what you wanted to do?

When I completely flunked my way out of graduate school. I was only ever good at one thing, gambling. I wanted to be a doctor, but I was good at gambling. After I flunked out of medical school, and realized it was because I was going to make a terrible doctor, I decided to try gambling. After playing in small games and small casinos for awhile, I had enough to try larger games. Eventually, I got rung up by a man with a pocket full of cash and a game he wanted to win who didn’t think he could do it on his own. He paid my stake, I played the game, and we both walked away quite happy. That game got me invited to a respectable London betting parlor, The Portland Club, which got me into the scene. After that, I accrued all the contacts you needed in those days to play your way to a hot meal, a firm roof and a clean suit.

3. Many men gamble for fun. How did you move from being a recreational gambler to making it your profession?

A combination of necessity and pure enjoyment. There was no single moment where I just slid into being a professional gambler, but there was a point where I realized I didn’t have any other source of income. At that point, I decided to stick with making money through gambling and keep leaching off of the rich men with dreams of poker, bridge, backgammon, euchre and craps and just keep going. Thinking about it, I guess it’s like being in a band except with shorter hair, no instruments, and regular bathing. The second part is access. Getting the invitation to the Portland Club was, for me at least, the golden ticket. Without that, I think I probably would have settled down and stayed local. But after meeting the people I did in The Portland Club and making the connections I did, especially through the man who invited me, everything else became possible.

4. You often gambled with other people’s money. Will you explain how that worked and how you went about finding people to back you?

The first question implicit in that is how does the backer and booking agent relationship work, and the truth is that it works like any other job where you have a backer; you just have to look harder and in different places. People have money and want to invest in games and players, booking agents act as middlemen and talent scouts, and players act as talent. The problem is getting discovered. To be honest I’m not sure how that works today. When I was playing, it was just a matter of being a poorer but better player, playing for wealthier men who could barely hold their cards, and staying in the business as it evolved. Today the business is changing, as tournaments are becoming more popular among emerging talent, despite the fact that they hold less money over the long term and that people are committing to poker and blackjack over baccarat and craps.

The second part of that answer would probably take a book to explain, and more experience than I have if you wanted an idea of how it works beyond how I do it. My booking agent for most of my career has been my dear friend, Albert Hull, the man who swung me an invitation to the Portland Club. Albert has made his career, and much of my own, finding games for me to play, or money for me to play with. Generally, one of us gets wind of new money in the system, or a juicy game down the pipe, and we start our engines. If new money is in the system, Albert, being a real blue blood, and a man with a legitimate job and some actual connections, woos the financier until they agree to open their wallets and give us a taste, and I just grab the nearest chair with a deck of cards or handful of dice in reach. If a game is in the pipes, Albert taps one of our reliable money people, and I start making waves about wanting a place at the table. If my name checks out, my check clears, and I don’t come across as a complete ass to the people running the game, we’re steady.

5. What is the best part of the job?

The rush. I have done a lot of things in my life other than gamble, but nothing compares to gambling with real gamblers. The rush of slowly coming to control the game. The moment of realization when you know you are in charge, the mathematical reduction of each players stock of chips. The steady duel between you and the other winner. Each of the fine moments that remind you why you deserve to be sitting at that table. Winning is really a letdown after that steep and steady high. If I had my way the game would never end. But if you draw it out forever and never go for the throat, you lose control, and they eat you alive. The price of the high is that YOU have to end it. A rather terrible realization when it comes to you, really. But then it is that moment of realization that separates the professionals from the hustlers. A professional enjoys what he does, but knows at the end of the day that he has to keep what he does about business. For all the pleasure he derives from it, if he loses sight of the bottom line, he is digging his own grave. A hustler never sees what they are doing for what it is. They think you can balance out the fun and the money, and keep riding the rush. They are wrong. In this business, just as in life, you must grow up. For a time yes, you can play for fun and money, and live for rush after rush, but after a time, if you don’t grow up, you are living on the edge of a razor every time you play. Because in every single game there is that critical moment when the fun must end and business must begin, and you must put the competition away. A hustler never learns to see that moment for what it is and wins on luck or skill. That is until they meet an old hand who knows the game well enough to survive long enough to learn their style and drive them into the ground once they run out of tricks. I have seen it happen at least half a dozen times, and it is never pretty to watch a hungry young kid get bled dry by someone who doesn’t really need the money, but sees it as more of a lesson than anything else. I guess it is a commentary on the job that the best part is a double-edged sword.

6. What is the worst part of the job?

Playing sports. Horse racing, college games, professional, whatever. Whenever a backer came to Albert or me with a fat stack of money and told us to make him a mint off the next season of his favorite sport we died a little inside. Playing a game, you can only control 50% of the variables at most. But betting on sports, you control nothing. All you can do is play the odds and that’s just luck. And luck is the biggest bitch in the world. She will leech you dry and then bury you alive under a pile of flesh eating beetles before building an explosive broken glass factory on top of the pile, then burn it down.

The things I have seen luck and chance do to gamblers over the years are damn ugly. Look at a betting pool sometime, and recognize the math that makes it worth your investment. If 200 players invest $50.00 in the pool and only 5 win any money, at a graded rate, then 195 lose their entire stake entirely on non-controllable factors for a non-computable chance of winning 1 out of 5 graded prizes that depend on 195 losers for their value. That is the nature of luck. The tiny percentage of winners are chosen randomly by statistics to suck every penny out of you, the vast majority of players’ pockets, so that the prize at the end of the tunnel is large enough to keep everyone interested and playing. And the word for you, the vast majority of players by the way, is losers. All gambling is dependent on this system, sports betting is just more direct about it so I can’t squeeze my way out of confronting it. It makes me feel like a very bad person. In a game, you can say with some confidence that everyone there is in control and knows the score, but with sports, the entire system is crooked from start to finish.

7. What is the biggest misconception people have about the job?

That it is just numbers. Counting cards, knowing the odds, is really not the point. If you can’t read people, you are going to be wearing a comically large barrel in a very short period of time. What’s more, there is no such thing as a “tell.” People do not play an entire game of poker and reveal themselves with a single tick unless they are really, really bad liars. They have a pattern, a series, a system of ticks and twitches and so on that tell you a lot more than, GOOD! BAD! LIE! TRUTH! If you don’t know people and how they work, you are out of money very quickly. My impression for awhile has been that people think if you sat the internet down at a table that it would be some kind of Rainman winning machine. It would not. Pattern recognition and math are fine and good for beating the house, but for a professional, beating the house isn’t the issue. The issue is beating people who already own the house, a cabin, and several lovely vacation spots. These people don’t need to worry about the odds. They need to worry about you. And you them. It is like playing cards with wolves. They smell fear.

8. What is the work /family/life balance like?

You get one, then the other. There is no balance. When the game is on and the backing is in, you are on a plane. The people who set up the game, and the people who pay for your ticket, do not care in the slightest if your wife is pregnant, your daughter is teething, or your son is in his school’s presentation of the “Parade of Nutrition” or whatever the heck children do. They either find someone else, or they don’t play. I have known some players to have a family, but I wouldn’t recommend it. That hollow look in a man’s or woman’s eye when they sit down at the table during their child’s birthday is probably the saddest thing in the world, and no one can play worth a damn in that condition. It hurts to win when you know the score, and I have always tried to tell them to back out if I knew, but most don’t. A job is a job, and back out even once, and they might never call again. This is not to say that you cannot date, but if you have any intention of forming a meaningful relationship before you retire, I would suggest a more family friendly line of work, like mobster or deep sea diver.

9. Some would say that gambling is not an “honorable” profession. How would you respond to such critics?

I would agree. On the other hand, I never sit at a table with anyone who doesn’t want to be there. The truth is that “real” professionals aren’t usually the kind of people who play at a public table at Vegas with Bob from Idaho who’s betting the farm on that last hand of Blackjack. We do not play at $5.00 tables. We do not sit at $500.00 tables. Unless there is a lack of space, we sit in private rooms, and we play with no limit. We play with big money and know what we are doing. If someone at the table stakes themselves and places a bet that they can’t afford to lose, I have no pity. This is not a game for fun, this is a game for profit, and any good businessman knows you should never risk going into debt you can’t handle. The reward should always outweigh the risk, and no reward in gambling outweighs getting beaten by a bookie or losing your house on the roll of a dice.

And as for people who gamble themselves away in the ordinary casino, I have always had reduced pity for them. Gambling is not a way to make money unless it is the way you normally make money. It is a good way to have a good time and lose your shirt, but anyone who has taken a statistics class know that even if the casinos didn’t tilt the odds in their favor, the odds would already be in their favor, even if you were a statistically ideal player making perfectly rational choices and bets every time. And I have met exactly one person who meets that definition, and I do not know that I would call that young man a person so much as a freak. Casinos know they have you fighting an uphill battle the second you step in. But if you should ever go gambling and earnestly want to make money, all I ask is that you figure out this piece of advice, and it’s importance before you do: Play the other players, not the house.

10.    Any other advice, tips, or anecdotes you’d like to share?

Quite a lot actually. But I will break it down to three pieces of advice, and anecdotes and tips on request if I deem them reasonable and that is within the rules of our generous host. These are of course, my opinion, and not universal rules.

Never bet a penny more than you can afford to lose. There is no reward in gambling worth going into debt with the people who are willing to let you play. Only bet money you don’t need. How do I define don’t need? Unless you are a professional I would strongly recommend against gambling with anything more than 15% of your net disposable income for the month. That is the money you don’t need. A fraction of the money you have for frivolities, that month. If you have to save up for months to make big bets, that is a message from God, Allah, Vishnu, Buddha, your Banker, or whoever, that you should stick to the $5.00 tables and keep it tight. Fun should never be so fun that it costs you or a family member something you will regret. Regrets are for love and drinking, nor for gambling.

In a card game containing 5 players, no matter the game or rules, after 1 hour of play or ten hands there are 2 winners and 3 losers. If you don’t know who the winners are, you are one of the losers. If you are one of the losers, walk away. The winners are the winners because they are better than you, not because of luck. Luck never lasts long enough to save you from yourself. If you are one of the winners, try to determine if you are the big winner or the small winner. If you are the small winner, play it safe. If you are the big winner, don’t let it get to your head, or you will magically become the small winner, and eventually a loser. These proportions expand pretty well, but let me simplify the principle. There is always a steep ratio between winners and losers in any game. If you don’t know you’re a winner, you’re a loser. If you’re a loser, count your losses and leave.

Don’t let it ride. Don’t ever, ever, ever, ever let it ride. Pocket the winnings, and then decide on a new bet. The dice don’t like you, the cards aren’t magic, you aren’t lucky tonight, and neither is your girlfriend/boyfriend/that cute guy/girl you just met at the bar who you think might have a thing for you who’s gambling with you. You will thank me later. And if you don’t, shame on you for not listening to your mother.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Trish Lewis June 4, 2009 at 3:24 am

Super post, Brett – where Do you find these people to interview?! I just met a man who gambles for a living…a definitely unique breed, they are…

2 David Dovey June 4, 2009 at 3:43 am

Christatos Aristad is such a good name for a Man to have.

3 Chad June 4, 2009 at 7:03 am

Wise words here. I am also a professional player. I have much disdain for the term “gambler” though. Gamblers rely on luck and gambooooool! They don’t understand the game. True professionals understand it very well. We will take that 10% over the long run; similar to the 1% ish at the blackjack tables that the casino takes against tourists.
There is a lot of work that goes into understanding each bet/game/etc. That makes it a VERY hard job. This is not the glamorous job that everyone thinks it is. Yes, we can make some good money, but we also have a lot of thin situations that most people simply cannot handle.
Any of you thinking of trying this, heed the wisdom here. I’ve never worked harder for anything in my entire life. I’ve never had to learn to be so conservative.

4 Shane Kuester June 4, 2009 at 7:16 am

I have been reading this blog for over a year now, and most of the time really enjoy it. I think the call to man up is desperately needed these days.

But, after reading this post, I am disgusted. If you actually read this article, you will see that it directly contradicts much of what this site claims to stand for.

I don’t even need to add my own comments. The author states flat out that..

1) Gambling is not an honorable profession.
2) He made money as a leech.
3) Professional gambling precludes any chance of success in relationships or family.

It would seem to me that this is a classic case of gaining the world and loosing your soul. If this is your idea of success, I want none of it.

If this is a taste of things to come Brett, consider me an ex-reader.

5 Robert June 4, 2009 at 7:53 am

This guy sounds like he’d be quite interesting to hang out with. Thanks for cool interview.

6 Hallock June 4, 2009 at 8:33 am

Shane:

“So You Want My Job” isn’t about describing the ideal profession for men, rather shedding light on the variety of employment opportunities men seem to want.

If this article has showed you what a professional gambling is, and you find that it is not within your morals, then it served its purpose.

It certainly makes for a more interesting read than the Puritanical Weekly.

7 Thomas F. June 4, 2009 at 8:52 am

This guy sounds really interesting. For some reason I imagine him looking like the Dos XX Most Interesting Man in the World. I’d love to sit down and shoot the breeze with him.

Oh and somebody should call the Whaaaaambluance for Shane’s third degree temper tantrum he’s having.

8 Adam Snider June 4, 2009 at 10:52 am

While I can see where Shane is coming from, I still found this to be an interesting read. It sure made me realize that I never want to be a professional gambler (not that I’m any good at cards, anyway).

While I think Shane is over-reacting, I do find it interesting that you’d publish an interview with a guy who essentially says that he is, in many ways, the type of man that AoM is trying to help prevent men from becoming.

But, like I said, it was still an interesting read and a nice look into a lifestyle that I’d likely never have really understood otherwise.

9 Christatos Aristad June 4, 2009 at 11:13 am

While I appreciate the kindness, I think that everyone should display a little more regard for Shanes views. Remember that by agreeing to do the interview, and agreeing to have it published, I agreed to have myself subjected to criticism. That in mind, I can take care of myself.

In regards to your criticism Shane, I have two responses. The first is that while I do not have illusions about the nature of my business, I have always considered myself a gentleman, and I intend to give you the respect of treating you as one and behaving as such. That in mind, surely two gentleman can have a civilized conversation.

The second is that, while I acknowledge your criticism, i must ask if you feel the same way about insurance salesman, bankers, stockbrokers, agents of all stripes, and the like? They too make their living with other peoples money, but are considered honest. While I do not pretend that I am equivalent, I do ask that you reserve judgement as sharp as the one you have made until you consider things completely.

Adam, thank you for your level and even comments. Indeed my intent in this interview was not to hold myself up as an ideal but to ask people the existing question in the title of the series. So you want my job? My assumption after people read my interview would be that they would not, and my intent in the articles I intend to write is to retrain the gambling instincts that most young men have towards less self destructive directions and teach them to gamble with class, etiquette, skill, and manners, a one should apply to all areas of ones life in my opinion.

However gentlemen, if I erred, and gave the wrong impression in my article, I apologize, as the romantization of my lifestyle was not my intent. Thank you for your time, your consideration, and your words, kind or critical as the case may be.

I would also like to apologize for my typographical and spelling mistakes, which are really unacceptable in a document intended for publishing. I hope you can overlook them, and that there is some way to correct them.

10 Brett June 4, 2009 at 11:47 am

Well Christatos certainly can take care of himself, and what I’m about to add is already patently manifest in his comment above, but I’d like to personally attest that in many ways Mr. Aristad is exactly the kind of man that we are seeking to help men become on AoM. We have had fairly extensive online interactions and he is far and away the most well-mannered, respectful, responsible, and thoughtful man I have met in a very, very long while. He puts my illusions of being a gentleman to shame. And while being a gambler may not be the most honorable profession, I do not believe it is dis-honorable either. Christatos has used his talents to earn himself a living. As he himself alludes to, his job is not all that different than say a financial planner. Yes, not the same, but not completely different either. He’s truly an upstanding man. And I appreciate him putting himself out there for this interview.

11 isaac June 4, 2009 at 11:54 am

Interesting thing to read about. Luckily, none of us are forced into gambling by reading about it. If this is a touchy subject for you, don’t read about it. If the author gives his opinion about it and continues on in the article, he is covering a subject people are interested whilst letting us know his opinion doesn’t condone it. This is called journalism. If you want editorials, read editorials.

12 pelle June 4, 2009 at 1:31 pm

I my opinion there are much more honorable ways to make a living then gambling, but if i were to blame anyone it would certainly be the brokers/casinos/tournament organizers instead of the players.

13 Derek Archer June 4, 2009 at 5:06 pm

I really enjoyed this article, and even more how Christatos handled the answers, was thoughtful in his responses, and how he responded to criticism. A lesser man would be glorifying himself or his career, and he just called it like it is.

I was challenged to think of the integrity of more “honorable” professions, even before his response to Shane. Aren’t most of us taking a cut and playing with someone else’s invested money?

If you are still looking for a place to retire, Bellingham, WA ranks as one of the BEST retirement spots. Would love to meet you.

14 Caffeinated June 4, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Spectacular. Especially Mr. Aristad’s answer to #5 was absolute poetry.

Looking forward to more. Stories of going mano-e-mano with other quality pros would be excellent.

15 Dewayne Havens June 5, 2009 at 3:04 am

an intersting read, to be sure. I would commend everyone on discussing their respective positions as gentlemen. I will defintely be checking back often for more insightful commentary

16 Lee June 5, 2009 at 4:50 am

I really enjoyed the post. I guess I don’t look for the “dark side” of any post but enjoy reading it for the pure enjoyment of it.

I thought the advice, tips, etc in #10 were dead on and honest.

17 Shane Kuester June 5, 2009 at 8:00 am

Hello again Christatos,

I really appreciate the way you took the time to respond to me. I am impressed.

I wanted to make it clear that I am not disgusted with you at all. As you said, you did nothing illegal. You are charming and articulate and given the opportunity, I think we could be friends. If we were friends though, there would come a point when I would challenge you to reconsider your career and choose something that gave you better chance for real success.

What disgusts me is that this story was billed (in the intro) as a “desirable man job”. This isn’t a desirable man job, it is the antithesis of what this site has espoused up til now. If it had been posted under the heading, “Manly or Not” it would have been a great read, its a fascinating story after all. I would have voted against it, but I wouldn’t have been offended at all.

In regards to your question about do I consider other agents to be engaged in honest work, I believe it depends on the man. Any man can approach his work honorably or dishonorably. A used car or insurance salesman who honestly tries to help his customers deserves to earn a living from his labor. A banker who uses his intellect to siphon off all the cash he can get for himself doesn’t. That is how our economy got to where it is right now.

That applies to you too. For all I know you could have been raking in huge profits solely for the purpose of funneling the money to worthy causes. It depends on why and how you do what you do. Still, I wouldn’t want to promote professional gambling as a “desirable man job”. I think for most men it would lead to a life of hedonism and greed. From your demeanor I see that it is very possible that was not the case for you. For your sake, I hope so.

Sincerely,

-Shane Kuester

18 Shane June 5, 2009 at 2:27 pm
19 Christatos Aristad June 6, 2009 at 11:25 am

Shane, I thank you for your regard and honesty in your response. I appreciate anyone willing to be honest and abrupt with me at this point in my life. I think it would be best if I responded to your argument in e-mail, as it is beyond my provenance as gambling consultant to broach any deep philisophical concepts about morality and responsability here in my defense.

If people are really that interested in stories of my exploits, I’ll post a series in the forum perhaps about my great losses to give some proper perspective and some flavor to the story of my career. Some of them have been rather interesting.

And while this may seem rather ancient of me, who exactly is this liquor gentleman that I am supposed to be? I don’t really watch television.

20 Nathan John Johansen June 12, 2009 at 6:19 am

How anyone could argue that paying your bills with earnings from engaging in a game with professionals is un-honorable is practically insane in my opinion. I say again, in my opinion, Gamblers are athletes like any other. Table or field. The stakes are high in professional sports. If Christatos forced people to play cards at gunpoint then I would agree, but as long as he’s playing with professionals (or anyone who willfully entered into a casino to play cards for money) then I say he’s doing just fine.

21 Mac June 24, 2009 at 9:11 am

If you are staked in live casino situation then you sell your self for someone to put you in the game. Most kids these days take 50 bucks put it online and over 1-2 years of dedication and talent get millions. Some simply play get lucky at a big tournament “World Series of Poker” and get a million dollar a year contract for merely playing and advertising the fact that they won and so can you.

Most kids start online and can play anytime they want and hardly have to wait like in the old days of live poker. Where there was one table of unknown people or maybe some good regulars.

Online there are programs stats patterns that you cna get at your finger tips with only a click of a button. Some you have ot buy some you can pirate.

Bottom line what the guy speaks of is old time poker. Where the skill and edge factor was so huge, that anyone who wasn’t a moron could make money by understanding the cards.

Now poker has evolved online at least.People are educated and stakes are for grinders, the skill difference online is big. There is still a lot of good action live because all the young kids are online, while the tourists and such go to the casino to drop a few hundred. These players at live casinos are mostly recreational and have fun.

I think this post has some good info but some outdated info.

the internet has turbo charged poker.

Online p

22 James June 29, 2009 at 11:55 am

Keep in mind that you can be a professional in this and still have great relationships and the freedom not just financially. What Christatos Aristad did was that he was using other people’s money. So he is at the whims and handouts of other people. If he was using only his money, he call the shots and fully control his destiny and outcome. He is no different than some dude confined in the corporate world working for “the man.” Very one-sided view of things.

23 LeeJay Dillon July 29, 2009 at 10:53 pm

Very good article, and very much in the vein of the other “So you want my job” articles. Reading the other articles doesn’t endorse or support someone going out and pursuing a job as a bartender or as a Forensic Psychologist, it just states that this is what Christatos Aristad does and how he got there, I found it very interesting and look forward to hearing more stories from Christatos in the future.

24 CommonSensei November 13, 2012 at 12:36 am

A few things a more modern pro gambler can correct from the article:

“Sports you can’t control anything and it’s all down to luck”

- Couldn’t be more wrong, with cards and table games you are at the mercy of the house and the other players; in sports you have a plethora of historical statistics, as well as up to date real life information which makes gambling on sports practically 100% safe…

“Gambling inhibits relationship in life”

- Couldn’t be more wrong, I gamble every single day with out fail, make a very very good living (far better than I ever made in either commercial banking, or sales) and my family / girlfriend are totally supportive of the work I do, and to be honest know they wouldn’t have the lifestyle they do if I wasn’t doing it.

“Gambling is not moral”

- Where to start with this one? Nope it’s just too damn stupid a thing to sy for me to even try to combat with logic and reason.

A doctor may operate in a gamble to save a life – is this immoral?

A lottery ticket costing £1 may end up leading the winner to donate £500,000 to charity – is this immoral?

Buying a house or stocks and shares, hoping that their future value will increase not decline for the purposes of profit – is this immoral?

All those are gambles. Whoever said gambling is immoral clearly needs to relearn what gambling actually is, and what morals actually are.

Great article, the guy sounds a bit off pace though – these days cards and tables are the mug money games, sports gambling is far more an exact science!

25 John F. March 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Shane’s judgmental and condescending views disgust me about 200 % more than the idea of someone making a living off « gambling ».

26 Greg Elder May 2, 2013 at 11:38 am

Gambling as a profession continues to receive the societal stigmas of the past but is no longer filled with the outcasts of society. A true professional gambler is a disciplined mathematician who is in no way gambling at all, but using the laws of math and statistics through games to make money. In essence, taking the luck out of gambling and putting math on their side. The same as the casino does to the average gambler. I am by no means the most knowledgeable gambler to ever live, but I have learned that gambling is a viable profession. It is by no means easy, but it is indeed viable and practiced by many highly educated well-respected people.

27 Undisclosed May 14, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Awesome article.

My father was a Professional Gambler- Passed away a 4 years ago.

You “tell it” like it is.

Thank you

28 Sean June 9, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Ive been playing professional online poker for 2 years, it took 5 years of dedication and sacrifice just to learn how not to loose. It has been an emotional roller coaster that i would not have survived if I had not been so deeply committed to achieving my goals. Im not a genius or high stake player, But i grind out over 70 k a year by sheer volume of play. And nothing has been more rewarding than achieving each goal after i set it. But as for the family thing, it has definitely caused major problems. My sister and brother have disowned me years ago before i even was successful. now they refuse to even look at a chart that proves my success. Plus meeting women has been difficult, usually they laugh when i tell them what i do. Or they believe i have money from “other sources” and am a losing player, or that i am covering for an illegal profession. I have 1 friend, haven’t had a girlfriend in 7 years, and my i spend about half my life looking at 4 monitors, for an OK salary in a job that gets me no respect. I feel unappreciated for the hard work and discipline/patience it takes to play at such a high level consistently. I would not recommend this job for anyone, unless u know its what your meant to do, in that case never give up till u get there.

29 Mike D August 6, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Yes “THE RUSH”, but man a huge kick in the nuts for years and years until you get it right.
I know many professionals some struggling and some killing it year in and year out.
He is wrong about sports betting though, using mathematical algorithms and hedging like that new http://www.sportshedgemillionare.com
system there are quite a few making consistent big returns. Even the newbie can make huge money now using those systems. times have changed man!

30 S. Reliance December 14, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I might think it would be quite hard to realize a balance between the media predictive programming version of “professional gambler,” with the real life to-dos and travel of the real profession.

I recall a scene in Rounders with Matt Damon and Martin Landau. Martin’s character talks about originally being groomed to be a great Rabbi by his family, and the moment he knew law was where his passion was. “What choice?”
I think Mr. Aristad speaks to this as well. Studying for med school maybe for some just isn’t that exciting, and if you have the intelligence and can develop the discipline, gambling perhaps may be the last bastion of true capitalism left.

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