Interview With a Professional Gambler – Insights From the High-Stakes World

The phrase ‘professional gambler’ calls to mind a life of ease and luxury: green felt, big bets, king-sized coffers and a five-day work week if you’re lucky. Christatos Aristad is none of the above.

Getting leadership right in high stakes situations certainly matters for new ventures, for mergers, for crises of varying types or other forms of organisational challenges. Getting the right attitude might get you there first.

Insights from the High-Stakes World

It is this exhilaration that fuel the appeal of gambling, but the addictive nature of it and frequent financial losses make it highly risky and unstable. Low-stakes gambling offers a safe and stable way to enjoy the excitement that gambling offers.

One critical discipline for professional gamblers, emotional regulation, involves remaining centred and making clear-headed decisions in spite of the emotional ebbs and flows of a bet. Various forms of mindfulness techniques and exercises – such as breathing and meditation – help someone stay centred while simultaneously reducing stress levels. A second discipline, psychological flexibility, is routinely part of cognitive behavioural programmes such as acceptance and commitment therapy. The third discipline, adaptability, is closely associated with cognitive flexibility – or the ability to change your strategy or approach when conditions change or when emotions arising from those conditions shift.

Good bankroll management helps mitigate risk and ensure the financial protection of both you and your finances when gambling operations affect your financial life. You should have a functional budget set up so that these activities don’t invade your everyday expenses and you should strengthen both physically and mentally because you have to be resourceful, focused and able to make life-or-death decisions. Develop a routine where you exercise regularly, eat healthy and definitely get as much sleep in order to maintain your stamina (as you would by drinking plenty of water).

What is a Professional Gambler?

Professional gamblers have an occupation which enables them to make money through gambling either in real casinos or online. Their specialisation is often related to one particular game so they spend a lot of time researching and studying the rules and strategy of this game. Besides being very good at keeping the finances under control and keeping discipline, a professional gambler must have very high level of self-control.

While the gambling racket is itself a questionable choice for a career in today’s world, professional gambling, for those who can and want to wade through the drudgery needed to master a game, is indeed the most fulfilling of life’s callings. Gambling requires good time management, and the overcoming of emotional and mental blocks that distract from focus on a goal.

Gambling is a competitive industry and studious professionalism is therefore the only way to insist that dealers and all casino staff treat you as an equal, so do not taunt, swear or otherwise behave in an unprofessional or disruptive way to anyone else at the table.

What is a Professional Gambler’s Role?

If you’ve managed to make a living betting on sports or card games such as blackjack, you might be tempted to make the leap from part-time to full-time gambler. But now you’d have to be willing to show self-discipline and be fiscally responsible – two qualities that are necessary for a career in gambling to succeed.

When assessing the psychological issues, professional gamblers need to understand that their winning and losing streaks can vary wildly (a concept that has been likened to a very low-paying job with lots of ups and downs, and where the individual needs to accept this highly irregular schedule). They also need to count the hours of research necessary to develop their craft. For both reasons, a support network of other gamblers and mentors is essential for success.

Casino game spotters can also spend a lot of their day watching and trialling new strategies, by devising theories of what circumstance might allow to beat casino games and then testing these hypotheses on computer-based simulations. That can often make your day. Third group are often experienced gamblers who realise that winning little bits more often than losing is a lot better than winning big one-off sums.

What is a Professional Gambler’s Job Description?

Professional gambling is very real – as it is also very profitable – but it appears to be as distant and hermetic for most of us as the interiors of Russian palaces. No mere gambler can break in. It takes a special conception of the game and even more of the blackjack mentality, skill and commitment that we have been alluding to throughout this book. Professional gamblers have all of these qualities, of course.

Professional gamblers earn their income by gambling and specialise in various games such as sports betting or blackjack. Similar to other self employed persons, professional gamblers report their income on a regular basis to the IRS.

A good pro gamer accepts that this is a tough game, with some good days and others not so good when taking on other world-class players. A supportive network will overcome feelings of isolation at work, provide direction when needed, and help navigate the emotional highs and lows of winning and losing more easily – this is vital, and as a consequence of adopting this way of working, the stress on physical and emotional systems can be high.

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