Posted on December 29, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
The face of sports gambling may be about to change, and it doesn’t look at all the way you think. It’s not someone with an advanced degree in statistics from a prestigious university who uses all of the metrics available to make the best bet possible. With teams themselves relying more and more on analytics, you’d think that would be the case. But it’s not.
Instead, the next face of sports gambling is a 25-year old college dropout. The next face of sports gambling is someone who cares about living a lavish lifestyle hanging around athletes, celebrities, and beautiful women just as much as he cares about betting and winning. The next face of sports gambling is Robert Gorodetsky.
On the surface, Gorodetsky is not someone who you think would be a gambling expert. He looks just like another millennial looking to have a good time in Las Vegas. He wears designer clothes, hits up blackjack tables, and sports a black hat that reads GAMBLR, noticeably missing the “E.” His Instagram profile is a mix of winning gambling tickets and pictures of the jaw-dropping women he hangs out with on a regular basis. But those looks are quite deceiving.
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The truth is that Gorodetsky was born to be a gambler. He started taking bets from his friends while he was still in middle school. By high school, he was organizing poker games, only to get suspended when school officials learned he had won massive amounts of money from his friends.
When he was still in high school, Gorodetsky would log in to his father’s Ameritrade account and move tens of thousands of dollars at a time. By the end of the high school, he had made half a million dollars trading stocks. After high school, he spent less than a semester at the University of Arizona before dropping out to become a professional poker player.
Cut to three years later and Gorodetsky had made $90,000 playing poker. When he turned 21, he moved to Las Vegas to become a sports gambler. Now at age 25, he has a bankroll of roughly $3 million and financial statements that say he bet more than $26 million on sports in 2017. On top of that, he’s living the kind of lifestyle that would make any young person jealous.
Gorodetsky lives a unique lifestyle that combines over $1 million a week in sports bets with quality time spent with celebrities, athletes, and beautiful women. On any given night, Gorodetsky could lose $100,000 on a game, make it back in a short period of time playing black jack and roulette, and then retreat to a private booth in a popular Las Vegas club where he’ll be surrounded by sorority girls. He’ll wear a hoodie that costs $6,000, sneakers that cost $2,500, and a watch that costs tens of thousands, all while barely remembering how any of those items cost.
Of course, all of that is possible because of Gorodetsky’s success gambling on sports. He’ll spend over $300,000 on any given Sunday betting on NFL games. It’s not unusual for Gorodetsky to place $100,000 bets on MLB or NBA games. In fact, he has no problem placing six-figure bets on minor college football games or even NBA summer league games.
“Can you believe we have $100,000 on this stupid college game that nobody’s watching in this world?” Gorodetsky said of a game between Colorado State and New Mexico earlier this fall. “It’s sick, right?”
Gorodetsky won his bet on that game and countless others. His biggest secret to doing so is that he has no secret.
“People are always like, ‘What’s the secret?'” he says. “I’m like, ‘There is no secret.’ It’s hard work. It’s luck. It’s odds. It’s probability. It’s not a magic show. It’s not Copperfield.”
Gorodetsky relies mostly on his gut to make picks. He has no specific formula for success. Yet, just as he made half a million in high school trading stocks, he has a knack for picking games. Gorodetsky claims that in the sports gambling world in which 52.4% is breaking even and 55% is being at the top of your class, he wins 60% to 65% of the games he bets, as if there’s nothing to it at all.
“I would take my knowledge and my gut instinct and bet the best numbers,” Gorodetsky explains. “I just kept pounding them. (The casinos) started lowering my limits because the house has no idea who’s going to win in summer league. They don’t know anybody who’s playing.”
He strategy has Las Vegas gambling experts completely befuddled. The casinos don’t believe he’s cheating, yet most who understand sports gambling would have expected Gorodetsky to go bankrupt long ago. But he hasn’t, saying that after four years of doing this, it has to be more than just luck.
“Imagine if you were writing about this guy that was walking on the high wire in the wind with no net,” says well-known Vegas gambling analyst R.J. Bell. “Well, the fact that you’re still writing about (Gorodetsky) means he hasn’t died yet. But the story is about two things. How amazing what he’s doing is, right? And number two, when does this end?”
His success in the gambling arena has made Gorodetsky a popular figure among athletes and celebrities alike. He says he’s close buddies with Giants star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Gorodetsky has pictures of himself and Beckham with their arms around each other, as well as stories of hanging out with Beckham and loaning him money so the two can play blackjack. He also claims Beckham has texted him looking for gambling advice, something Beckham’s agent denies because it’s a violation of NFL rules
Gorodetsky says that his gambling success has earned him a place in NBA circles, claiming that basketball players often contact him looking for betting advice, but not on basketball games, he adds. Gorodetsky also says that none of the professional athletes he knows want their relationship with him to become public.
“I have a lot of NBA friends and we’ve bet together,” he told USAToday. “But they can’t be in the article or I’ll be dead.”
Aside from having relationships with athletes and celebrities, Gorodetsky currently has over 170,000 Instagram followers. Of those followers, more than 100 pay upwards of $500 per month for access to his picks. Those close to him believe that if and when sports gambling becomes legal outside of Nevada, Gorodetsky will take off and be the face of the sports gambling industry.
“When it goes legal, we’re going to be billionaires,’” says close confidant Elo Hankham. “We’re the No. 1 entity, and we’re going to have a market share of at least 5% of a $150 billion industry.”
Until then, Gorodetsky has no plans to stop doing what he’s been doing since he moved to Las Vegas four years ago. He says he doesn’t fear losing, and even if he’s down one day, there’s no doubt he’ll come back the next day. Of course, it helps that in between he enjoys the company of celebrities, athletes, and gorgeous women, as he lives a lifestyle that would seem like pure fantasy to most people. Between all the bets he’s won and the lifestyle he leads, there appears to be no turning back for Gorodetsky.
“At a certain point, you start to feel like you have a sickness, that you have something wrong with you,” he says. “But betting, once you start, you never quit. People are like, ‘I’m done.’ But you’re never done.”