Dallas Mavericks Hires Professional Gambler as Strategic ThinkerOctober 10, 2018 8:34 am
It was announced last week that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has hired NBA betting expert Haralabos Voulgaris to be his team’s Director of Quantitative Research and Development. The Dallas Mavericks have been struggling of late in the toughest of the NBA’s two conferences, The Western Conference, with the NBA sports bettor recruited in order to help run their analytics department during an era of ‘Big Data’ in sports.
Recent years have witnessed an explosion in data collected and analyzed in real-time across all pro sports, as teams seek to gain even the tiniest advantage over their opponents on the pitch. Commenting upon the recruitment of the renowned Canadian sports bettor, reporters Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe explained in an ESPN article:
“Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is expected to utilize Voulgaris as a strategic thinker who will help examine on-court strategy in big-picture ways. The state-by-state legalization of sports gambling has inspired the NBA and teams to better harness information and betting expertise to create revenue, and advance the gathering of information.”
Founded in 1946, the National Basketball Association (NBA) consists of 30 teams divided evenly between the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference. The latter iteration, however, has fallen further behind its Western competitor and since the 2008-9 season has won the championship on just three occasions. Furthermore, these victories were assisted in no small part by the efforts of Lebron James, regarded by many as the greatest player ever, while representing either the Miami Heat (2012,2013), or Cleveland Cavaliers (2016).
Needless to say, the Dallas Mavericks have been having a tough time recently competing against the likes of the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, and the San Antonio Spurs. In fact, Dallas has failed to reach the playoffs during the past two seasons, and hasn’t seriously contested the NBA title since 2007. While teams can only spend a limited amount of money on player salaries, however, unlimited funds can be directed towards hiring coaches and other staff. With the recruitment of Haralabos Voulgaris, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is now hoping that the sports bettor’s expertise will help his team improve their record against the best in the West.
Finding An Edge
The son of Greek immigrants, Haralabos “Bob” Voulgaris grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and after learning from the gambling mistakes made by his father started betting on NBA games in the 1990s. Saving up money from his airport baggage handler job, as well as income earned from his sportsbetting and poker activities, he then placed his life savings on the Lakers to win the 2000 NBA title. Voulgaris’s $80,000 bet subsequently earned him a $520,000 payday, and over the years he has subsequently made millions observing and exploiting the “game-management tendencies” of three NBA head coaches in particular, namely Eddie Jordan, Jerry Sloan, and Byron Scott. He has even been able to take advantage of bookmakers overlooking specific referee’s tendencies to pad his winnings further.
The 43 year-old has also built up a strong following on social media, and currently has 145k followers on his Twitter account who regularly log in to listen to his in-game commentary and analysis, as well as the creative ways in which he views the statistics. Mark Cuban is now hoping Voulgaris can help his team find an edge against their opponents, and rebuild their NBA chances.
In addition to his sport betting prowess, Voulgaris has also been able to gain an edge over his competitors at the poker tables, too. According to his Hendon Mob statistics, Voulgaris was most active playing live poker tournaments between 2003 and 2012, during which time he finished runner-up at the 2005 L.A. Poker Classic $10k Main Event for $904,122, and third at the 2007 Borgata Poker Open $10k Championship Event for $434,560.
Despite only recording two live cashes since 2012, Voulgaris has still managed to amass $3,091,797 in poker winnings, including at the 2017 WSOP High Roller for One Drop finishing in a 4th place position for a $1,158,883 payday.