With social media essentially changing the landscape of sports handicapping and betting, we here at Sports Gambling Podcast thought it was important for you, the listener to understand and get a better insight into some of the movers and shakers within the social media industry.
This will be a weekly article highlighting either a handicapper or a company changing the way sports is bet via social media. Our first guest will be Adam Chernoff (@AdamChernoff), a former odds maker turned professional bettor who has worked all over the world. Adam’s speciality is reading a market, working within margins and is one of the most talented bettors I know when it comes to to being able to read where the market will go. He is also a content provider for a variety of websites and outlets.
Adam, You have one of the most interesting stories I’ve ever seen from start to where you are today. You been all around the world in a variety of different roles regarding sports handicapping on both sides of the counter and are one of the sharpest minds in the industry in my opinion. Let’s start from the beginning, how did you get where you are today and a brief background.
I am not sure how I got to where I am today. It was a little bit of luck and a lot of ambition. Or, a lot of luck and a little bit of ambition. I don’t know. The short version is that I moved to the Dominican Republic shortly after graduating from high school. I had a couple of thousand dollars in my pocket. My plan was to see how long I could last and it ended up lasting about six years.
After that, I worked as the sportsbook manager for ASureWin.com – a multi-million dollar betting company from 2011-2015. I wanted to try something a bit different eventually, so while living in Medellin, Colombia, I started my own lottery company. I made more money than I could count until my developer took the servers hostage and deleted all user account info. I essentially lost everything and was next to broke.
In the end I sold everything I owned and moved my wife back to Canada. Now, I work for the biggest slot operation in Western Canada and run the casino floor from 8pm-4am six days a week. Oddly enough, I am happier now having very little than I was before having everything. All of my betting is currently done in the offshore or European markets these days. These days I mostly provide free content to inform readers on Medium. The long story can be found here:
So, with this being a feature that outlines how social media is changing sports handicapping, how do you feel social media is changing the game?
I will break it down into two categories. America (unregulated betting market) and UK/Australia/Europe (regulated betting market). In America, The traditional answer experts give is that social media has made bettors smarter than ever before. In reality, I do not think that is entirely accurate.
I feel a better way to put it is that bettors have access to more information than ever before. The problem is, very few of them can apply it. There is a massive education issue in the country. If there was a “sports gambling test” given to all bettors in America, I believe the average grade level would be elementary. Social media is helping improve that, but, there is a long way to go.
In the UK/Australia/Europe (regulated betting market,) The average punter (changed the terminology to fit the geographic area) has become too smart for corporate bookmakers. Together many are using social media as leverage against them. Five or six years ago, there was no way for the masses to come together and voice their concerns. Social media has brought them together.
Numerous accounts are standing against low margins and limiting from bookmakers with huge followings behind them. Other accounts are attacking traditional land-based gaming operations, specifically fixed odds betting terminals and gaining traction in cases at the national government level. Social media has also helped punters rally against tipsters encouraging transparency and honesty. Just a couple weeks ago the BBC published a national story about legal tipsters promoting betting websites and taking affiliate fees.
What do you see for the future of sports handicapping from a social media perspective?
I believe Twitter blows up within the next 12 to 24 months and bettors move elsewhere. Honestly, twitter is playing out exactly as many popular betting forums did in the 2000’s. When forums like TheRX, MajorWager and EOG started, there was a core group that shared info and helped each other win. As forums grew more bettors joined in the discussions and it snowballed. Recreational bettors joined the forums and in turn brought the handicappers selling picks.
Handicappers would pump up accounts, build an audience and flip them for profit. Forum owners then started to milk their websites for cash too with advertisements and affiliate links. Bettors eventually got fed up and started going to a new platform called Twitter where information was transparent with no underlying intention. We are at the final step with Twitter where it is becoming too saturated I think.
The reason Twitter got to the point in three years where forums took ten is that it is far easier to monetise than forums were. Handicappers are in control of their audience; there is no moderator to ban them or cut them off. There is no risk for sellers. I predict that this year more bets will be sold than ever before. If there were a way to track such a thing, I would bet everything I own on the over.
I think bettors soon get fed up and move on to the next platform. I do not know what it is, but, it will be clear soon enough. There is a lot of easy short term money on social media right now. The real winners are the people who give genuine content to their audience with no expectation of anything in return. The present is the first time in over ten years where attention and dedicated readership is worth more than the dollar value of selling.
You provide what I consider some of the best free written content on the internet and are one of the top contributors to Medium, what made you get started there?
Medium is a beautiful platform. It makes writing and publishing so bloody easy. There are no formatting issues. Everything comes out consistent and looks the same on any device. I do not need a domain name or have to put in any work to set up. I just write and click publish. My favorite part about Medium is that it is not a popularity contest. Medium has human editors who read content and bump the quality to the top.
Audience size or response does not matter. If content is original, it can reach the top. I rank as a top writer for Sports, NFL and Investing and feature in their search for those topics. I did not put a dollar into my account to get those accolades. I can not imagine the price it would cost to rank for the same words on Google or Twitter.
What platforms do you feel are the most beneficial for recreational gamblers to gain more of an edge?
There are too many podcasts, and I hate almost all of them. Except yours of course. One person publishes a podcast on Monday, and a thousand different versions of it come out Tuesday through Friday. It annoys the hell out of me. People need to realise; a podcast is not pushing the record button on a phone and talking into headphone microphones for two hours. Radio is an art. The reason I like Sports Gambling Podcast is that it is easy to listen to, is well produced and sounds great. I respect that. I can not say the same for many others.
If bettors want to improve their edge they need to get involved with different betting tools. The best free ones are OddsPortal or Oddschecker. These two can help bettors get comfortable with looking at the market as a whole and watching prices. Understanding how the betting markets move and becoming familiar with the bookmakers within them is very important. Subscribing to an odds service is very beneficial too.
These services provide live updates and help bettors stay in touch with the market and movements. The best one in the United States goes for $15 a month at the basic level. Betting is all about getting in front of the market and anticipating the movement. I encourage any tool or platform that can help do that. Books are great too. But, instead of searching for “sports gambling” look at more popular related genres like investing and behavioural economics. The number of books that are relevant to those two topics and sports gambling is astounding.
Where can people find your work?