By Tony George
Recently I read some forums posts around the internet that had me doing some self examination. I have thought about it more than once over a 19 year span of being a Professional Capper, or a full time sports handicapper, term it as you must. Do I sell hype, or do I sell sports picks? I am confident that I sell the latter of the two. I though I would share some thoughts.
Now no one is ever going to say something nice about a guy who sells sports picks for a living, that just comes with the territory. But time and time again I entcounter such negative references to people that are handicappers, some who I know to be scamsters in this arena, that had it coming to them, and then there are those whom I know and respect and pro cappers who really did not deserve being called the lowest common element of human flith for touting a game of the year that lost by 7 points on the other side away from the spread. Get it over...S*it happens.
If it is hyped up as the super lock of the century with a team laying laying 8 that gets beat by 21 straight up, thats your fault for buying into it. If a guy like Marco DeAngelo (a true pro and a friend) says he has his one and only game of the year, I am ALL OVER IT. Because I know the guy, he is a handicapper and a sports bettor and he does not screw around or take that designation lightly or use it as a sales tool. He texted me his GOY this season, I dropped a dime on it and won without breaking a sweat. True Story.
I include myself in that statement. My Game of the Year this season was a 2 Unit Play with Miami of Ohio over Buffalo laying 3.5 points and they won by 9. I doubled my wager and won. It did not sell much because it was not hype to hell, but I made a dime on it so I was happy, and at days end, that is what matter most, winning games, especially what I consider a big game, double your wager.
HOW DID I GET HERE? What I am doing?
When I entered this business in 1992, basically on a goof, I never knew it would turn out the way it did, that I would end up a brand name to a certain degree and a national radio personality in the sports gaming arena and also legitimate circles in the radio biz as well. There was no Internet, Jeff Allen was at the height of his career before landing in prison for fraud, and boiler room operations were the main cog in the wheel in the business. Is Stu Feiner still around? You know the guys I speak of. I had balls big enough to say I will be the "Ethical Alternative" in sports handicapping.
I did not realize the size of the hole at the time that was in front of me with that statement.
I had no resources and no brand name, I was just a fly in the ointment that KNEW he could do better than most without the scams and high pressure, bait and switch scams, callbacks, hassles with western union, $500 a weekend charge for the super lock of the decade that the owner of this so called sports service has $100,000 personally on this particular game that some silver tounged devil is selling over the phone...balh blah blah. THEY WERE WINNING THE BATTLE for clients BECAUSE PEOPLE BOUGHT HYPE AND FANTASY, NOT SPORTS CAPPING.
A reasonsable price for a weekend worth of plays, some substance to them in terms of explaing why I like the play, and telling it like it is, win lose or draw.. I thought this angle could be the revolution in the marketplace in the 90's. That was the plan anyway.
You see, I try to not hype up a huge weekend too much, because I know this craft of betting sports, you can go 5-0 one week, handicap the same way and use the power ratings the next week, and go 1-4. Driving down the strip in Las Vegas makes you realize that the town was not built on the backs of Winners, but on the backs of guys who thought they had a sure fire system, short term or long term to beat the house.
I never have been a hype artist, never been a guy with 25 or 30 Games of the Year. A Game of the Month is just that. A 2 unit wager (double your normal wager). that maybe comes along once every 30 days or so. I preached flat betting to anyone who would listen. I preached LONG TERM. Well while those of us "in the know" understand this to be the only way to really profit long term, THAT DOES NOT SELL PLAYS!
Everyone with a Go Daddy account and half a brain can build a capping site, post a pay pal link and be called a handicapper. SO, if you want to make some cash in the marketplace, you have two choices. Hype the hell out of plays to attract attention, or join a combination site like Pregame or others that have established brand name guys and take your chances splitting up the pick sales pie with 20 other guys. Again I choose the latter of the two, although I have my own site still just because I have had it forever, I am better served on larger combination sites with fair reporting and some rules on touting the hell outta stuff so the playing field is level.
Bottom line is I sell sports plays against the Las Vegas line. I also bet those plays, and many in the business whom I have spent time with in Vegas or know me personally can attest that I put my money where my mouth is at. There are times you have to tout it up alittle in order to be seen or stand out in a crowd, but selling hype is for other guys out there in cyberland, not for me. I have decided that general public perception of handicappers is not high, I could care less, I sleep well at night knowing I have done my due dillegence and kept it on the up and up.
I look myself in the mirror daily, know what yesterdays story was, tell it like it is, and try to make a positive beat on the books daily with hard work, I will leave the heavy hype up to others, it aint for me boys!