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The program would run tens of thousands of simulations for each matchup, discarding the most outlandish or improbable results. It would be a black box -- prophecy as output.
Between the statistical analysis, the algorithms and the programming, it took two years to create their first model, version 1.
Voulgaris continued to bet subjectively, marking time until the model was ready. When they finished, they called it Ewing. At some point in the process of breaking the game down into its component parts, they realized that Ewing would also require a kind of feeder model, one that could forecast the lineups a team would most likely use each game and the minutes each player was likely to see on the court.
They called that model Van Gundy. Van Gundy, in turn, required its own feeder tool, one that would track the overall roster patterns for each team, the trades, the draft picks, the midseason player-acquisition tendencies.
That database, less intricate than the other two, they at times jokingly referred to as Morey, as in Daryl Morey, the quant-minded GM of the Rockets.
Ewing, Van Gundy, Morey. Player, coach, GM. The names of each corresponding, of course, to the job of each tool. Every score the model spit out was higher than the average lines produced by the bookmakers -- the standard by which they would be judging themselves.
The model, in other words, was recommending that Voulgaris bet the over in every single game. After weeks spent poring through code, Voulgaris finally caught the flaw.
In more advanced versions of Ewing, they would jettison this primitive free throw method. The key is to find those scraps that are more predictive than others.
Each player has two values -- on offense and as a defender -- and those values are constantly changing. So Voulgaris and the Whiz created, for Ewing, an aging component.
Further number-crunching revealed that different types of players, based on position and size, will reach their zeniths at different ages and on trajectories that are possible to predict.
Ewing now grasps the curve of the lifespan of the point guard, the shooting guard, the forwards, the center -- and predicts the downslope and expiration date of every NBA career.
When Ewing went live with actual betting for the first time toward the end of the season, Voulgaris was not yet sold on its powers.
For another, the model was performing unremarkably with their money on the line -- right above the break-even line. So too has the frequency of his wagering.
In a season, he now regularly puts down well over 1, individual bets. It might come as little surprise to learn that Voulgaris has intermittently dreamed of becoming the general manager of an NBA franchise.
If not maybe all. In pursuit of this, in Voulgaris broke one of the cardinal rules of the sharp sports bettor: He sought publicity, conducting interviews with gambling and NBA-centric blogs.
As with everything Voulgaris does, it was a calculated move. He wanted to burnish his bona fides as a quantitative basketball expert.
And it worked. Despite the fact that he was giving up a yearly income that he says would dwarf all but the highest-paid executive in the NBA -- who is Jerry West of Golden State, Voulgaris is quick to point out -- he stopped gambling and signed a contract during the season with one of the co-owners of an NBA franchise to consult on matters of player acquisition and roster assembly.
The owner, according to Voulgaris, made certain alluring pledges. He has had contact with other NBA executives; he has met, for example, Daryl Morey.
The quant revolution in sports at large has brought these two worlds closer together than ever before, at least intellectually.
Every winter at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, members of the gambling community openly intermingle with GMs and their staffs of wonkish analysts.
Voulgaris spent five months working for the NBA franchise. He says he advised his co-owner client on several trades.
The stats nerds have no chance of ever becoming general managers. During the NBA regular season, which he splits between any number of North American and international ports of call, he watches as many games as he can, clocking more than 80 hours a week.
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Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Because of his success as a betting man, he could start out at high stakes tournaments as a semi-professional poker player.
That is also why he needed so few cashes to build up millions in career earnings. His first massive score came in February He lost to 4-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Michael Mizrachi heads-up for the title.
Voulgaris managed to take 4th place in this star-studded field. As we wrote earlier, Voulgaris originally made his money by betting on the over on total points scored in the second half of NBA games.
He sometimes saw in a dream some numbers and made bets based on these dreams. Bob says that his father simply did not know how to bet correctly and was a regular unsuccessful gambler.
In order not to make such mistakes, it is necessary to select reliable gambling establishments the conditions of which allow players to win large sums of money.
When Vulgaris was eighteen, after leaving school and before starting college, he and his father temporarily went to Las Vegas.
The father played in a casino but Haralabos was not allowed to go there in order to gamble at a casino in Las Vegas, a person must be over twenty-one.
There, in Las Vegas, Haralabos assisted by his father made his first bet of one hundred dollars, which the future successful gambler lost.
After that trip, he realized that it is impossible to win without understanding what you are doing. Afterward, Vulgaris went to college, got a job at the airport and continued to make small bets on basketball.
Read more: The Best Bookmakers. Vulgaris achieved success in the 90s and became a very rich man at the age of For one gaming day, his NBA betting turnover could be a million dollars.
Especially successful for him were bets on the Los Angeles Lakers team, which won the championships in the seasons of and In addition to bets in those years, he was fond of poker , playing for big money in Las Vegas and other major American cities where gambling was legalized.
At present, players from diverse countries of the world can try gambling online. In order to play casino online, you just need the Internet and a personal computer or any other device.
Vulgaris Haralabos was naturally talented and hardworking. He spent a lot of time watching matches and analyzing the information.
However, at the same time, he knew how to take risks in order to win. By , the gambler was at the peak of his successful career.
Vulgaris noticed a mistake and took advantage of this. Vulgaris was enjoying his success. At that period, he thought that it would last forever.
According to the sports bettor, this was a real disaster for him. In the NBA season, in just a month, he lost a third of his money.
Vulgaris analyzed the situation and came to the conclusion that it would be necessary to change his approach.