Saturday October 6, 2018 at 3:23 pm

Former sports bettor and high-stakes poker pro Haralabos Voulgaris is joining the Dallas Mavericks according to a report by ESPN. Voulgaris, also known as Bob or by his Twitter handle @Haralabob, is finally getting his dream job: running the analytics department of an actual NBA team. Since the early 2000s, Voulgaris was known in gambling circles as the premier bettor in the NBA. Haralabob utlized his proprietary algorithm, Ewing, nicknamed after former NBA star Patrick Ewing, to predict game totals. Haralabob wagered up to a $1 million on the over/under of a single game.

HaralabobNBA
Haralabob NBA-bound! (Image: Neil Stoddart)

Haralabob is NBA bound! Haralabos 'Haralabob' Voulgaris is often spotted sitting courtside for NBA playoff games. If you were ever wondering, "Who's that dorky guy sitting next to Jay-Z?" Well, that's Haralabob. One of the greatest professional sportsbettors in the world.

The ex-pro bettor has a new day job. The Dallas Mavericks offered Haralabob the chance of a lifetime to lead the Mavs analytics department.

The Canadian-born gambling wunderkind watched more basketball than the majority of scouts in the NBA. Over the last decade, Haralabob developed a system for predicting game totals (a.k.a over/unders). Haralabob created a special algorithm to track every player and every possession. He named the program, Ewing, after New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing.

Haralabob and Ewing crunched NBA data to generate predictive outcome models of games. Haralabob looked for games where he had the best edge. Ewing's mapping system was near perfect and Haralabob's bankroll swelled into the millions. That's how he was able to afford redonkulously-priced courtside seats for the NBA Finals, build a swanky beach house from scratch, and date models that you'd only see while scrolling through Instagram.

HOW A CANADIAN BAGGAGE HANDLER WON $500,000 ON THE LAKERS

All superheroes have an origin story and Haralabob has one of the best I've ever heard. Haralabos Voulgaris grew up the son of Greek immigrants in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Haralabob's father gambled a ton on the ponies and other sports. Haralabob learned what not to do by carefully watching his father and other gamblers.

Haralabob's last "square job" or day job was at the airport as a baggage handler. He endured his share of frigid winter months hauling luggage. After hours, Haralabob watched non-stop basketball. He taped as many games as he could and studied nonstop.

Haralabob saved up money from his day job and combined it with his sportsbetting/poker bankroll. Approximately $80,000 USD. He bet his entire savings on the L.A. Lakers to win the 2000 NBA title. Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss hired Phil Jackson to coach the team. Haralabob also loved the tandem of Shaq and Kobe. The Lakers were 6.5 to 1 odds to win the championship. This was several years before he developed the infamous Ewing algo, but Haralabob more than had a hunch. He knew it in his heart and loins that the Lakers were going to win the NBA championship. Haralabob put his money where his mouth is. All $80,000 of it. If the Lakers won, he'd win over $520,000.

It was a heck of a sweat during the 1999-2000 NBA season, but when the Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers in 6 games to win the NBA title, Haralabob was instantly a half-million dollars richer. The former skycap quit his job and moved to Las Vegas to pursue his passion full time. The rest, as they say, is history.

Haralabob won an undissclosed amount wagering on NBA totals. He typically bet six-figures on a single game and up to $1 million on a total. Haralabob stuck to the regular season and did not bet NBA playoff games, but he admitted to wagering on a series winner from time to time.

MAVS BOUND

According to a dual report by Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe at ESPN, the Mavericks tapped Haralabob to run their analytics department. We're in the era of Big Data in pro sports and Mavs don't want to miss anything.

According to the 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."

Mark Cuban feels Haralabob's knack for predicting outcomes is their special weapon. It's a perfect match. Cuban can only spend so much money on player salaries, but the billionaire had unlimited funds to hire coaches and a top-notch staff. Typically, NBA teams only have three assistant coaches, but Cuban employed an entire team of coaches. There were so many that they required a second row of seats to sit behind the bench.

It's no surprise that Cuban wanted to look outside of the box to improve the Mavericks. After all, the Mavs are in the toughest conference in the NBA and the West is loaded with talented teams such as the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, and the San Antonio Spurs. The top teams have the top players, but the Mavs are hoping that Haralabob can pull off a Moneyball type situation in which he utilizes Ewing algo to determine the optimal lineup. It's up to Haralabob to help the Mavs compete against the best in the West.

HARALABOB BUSTS DONKS, TOO

Like many of you, I first encountered Haralabob on the poker circuit. I quickly learned Haralabob was also a serious sports bettor. Sure, almost every poker player gambles on sports... with an emphasis on gambling... but Haralabob was not a degen. He was the complete opposite. Haralabob was as sharp as they come. For one, he didn't waste his time betting on sports he didn't have a firm grasp on... just to have action. Haralabob focused on the NBA, which he knew every intricacy and coach's tendency.

When I first moved to Las Vegas in 2005, my friend Shronk had a side gig logging data for Haralabob. That's when I first caught a glimpse of Haralabob's vast operation that included several other diehard basketball fans and computer geeks working endless hours to tweak Haralabob's algo.

Haralabob is no slouch at the poker tables either. He won $1.8 million in career tournament earnings according to Hendon Mob, plus an unspecified amount playing cash games at nosebleed stakes.

Check out Haralabob's Poker Life Podcast with Joey Ingram.

Latest news
Saturday October 20, 2018 at 5:48 pm
partypoker ONLINE Millions starts November 25

Set your calendars for November 25. That's the start of the partypoker's MILLIONS Online. The $5,200 buy-in Main Event in the MILLIONS Online will have a $20 million guarantee with $2.5 million set aside to the champion. Last year's winner, Jon 'apestyles' Van Fleet, binked the MILLIONS Online for a $1 million payday. partypoker is offering different ways to get into the MILLIONS Online at affordable price points through Feeder Satellites, currently running and starting as low as $0.01.

Friday October 19, 2018 at 12:38 am
WSOP Europe: Hanh Tran wins Event #3 PLO, Second bracelet in 2018

Hanh Tran, a cash-game specialist from Austria, joined a special club of poker players who shipped bracelets at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and the WSOP Europe. During the summer Tran won a Lowball bracelet. At the King's Casino in RozVegas, Tran won Event #3 €550 PLO for a score worth €59,625. French pro Romain Lewis took third place and final tabled his fourth WSOP event of the year.

Wednesday October 17, 2018 at 12:42 am
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Thursday October 11, 2018 at 3:33 pm
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In February 2018, Micah Raskin was arrested by Nassau County, New York prosecutors on five drugs and weapons-related charges for dealing marijuana to associates in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. Raskin, a poker pro with approximately $2 million in cashes, was swept up in Long Island's largest weed bust according to the District Attorney. Raskin's home in Westbury, NY and storage unit in a nearby town were raided by law enforcement. Police seized over 350 pounds of marijuana and hash oil with a street value estimated at $500,000. According to the Baltimore Sun, Raskin was also charged in U.S. District Court with distributing 100 kilograms or more of marijuana.

Tuesday October 9, 2018 at 4:49 am
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Monday October 8, 2018 at 5:07 pm
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The 2018 World Series of Europe starts on Tuesday, October 9 at the Kings Casino in Rozvadov. This year's WSOPE runs through November 2 and will feature 10 bracelet events including the €10,350 buy-in Main Event championship. There will be a WSOPE-version of the COLOSSUS that has 8 opening flights. The MONSTER STACK will also make an appearance in Europe. There's a pair of High Rollers with the €25,500 Super High Roller and €100,000 King's Super High Roller. In total, there will be €13 million in guaranteed prize pools, including a €5M guarantee Main Event and High Roller.

Monday October 8, 2018 at 3:13 am
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Sunday October 7, 2018 at 6:55 pm
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Thursday October 4, 2018 at 3:50 pm
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Wednesday October 3, 2018 at 3:03 pm
Liv Boeree Ted Talk

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Tuesday October 2, 2018 at 3:15 pm
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Monday October 1, 2018 at 5:05 pm
Doug Polk on Staking Players

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Thursday September 27, 2018 at 4:46 pm
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Tuesday September 25, 2018 at 3:19 pm
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Friday September 21, 2018 at 3:41 pm
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Thursday September 20, 2018 at 3:37 pm
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Wednesday September 19, 2018 at 3:27 am
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Tuesday September 18, 2018 at 4:06 pm
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Free tournaments and added prizes

The Club Poker organizes freerolls and special tournaments with added prizes.
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6-MAX
$2.20
Big Poker League
Wednesday October 24, 2018 at 7:04 pm
$125 added
6-MAX
$2.20
Big Poker League
Wednesday October 31, 2018 at 7:04 pm
$125 added