A Black Woman’s Journey Into Sports Betting: A Chat With Mom And Cashing In On LeBron

Entry #2, Part 1: May 19, 2018

“I’m getting into sports gambling.”


“It’s legal now so I have to do it.”

“No, you don’t.”

“Yes, I do. I have to learn the ins and outs, set aside a budget and then I’m in there.”

“Just remember this before you start: you don’t wanna have to move back to Cleveland.”

My mom is not wrong. I’m a germaphobe, and my parents are the opposite. So no, it would not be pleasant to lose everything and live with them.

However, I’ve made a vow to the TSFJ community and I can’t disappoint.  Also, I’ve already made a bet (shout out to Reg Adetula); $5 on the Cavs game tonight. Shaking on a bet feels very weird, even though I'm confident. It just feels like you can't go back. I can't imagine placing a real live bet in a betting establishment yet.

Anyway, did some googling and found out the process of sports betting, so here are some important definitions:

  • Action: Placing a wager on a game.
  • Wager: This is the actual bet, meaning, what amount of money or item you will lose if you… lose.
  • Book: The person or place that takes the bet from customers.
  • Square: Me. Also known as a casual bettor.

So that's what we need to know to get started. It gets complicated from there, and I’m not ready to delve that deep yet. And by “complicated” I mean that sports betting is an entire world of its own and people take it very seriously. Just reading about it has me feeling overwhelmed. And not just because there are so many terms, but because the stakes can get high, and fast. I don’t know if I’m ready for high stakes, so committing to a budget and strategy seems smart. For instance, only bet on games twice a month with a cap on wagers. For now I’m comfortable with a series of $5 - $10 wagers.

Entry #2, Part 2: May 20, 2018

I won $5.00! The Cavs embarrassed the Celtics in Cleveland last night, and my friend Reg paid me.

Cash out on The King. (Source: Getty Images)

In sports betting terms, this is what happened:

  • I, a square, actioned a wager of $5 on the Cavaliers vs. Celtics game.
  • There was no book involved.
  • If I were to use a book, I've heard that this is the place to find the best betting websites.

This felt really good, and even though it was clear from the first few minutes that my Cavs were going to win (let’s be real), I very much enjoyed this success. I would've enjoyed it more if the game was close, though.

I’m ready to up my wagers to $6, and one day, I'll be fully prepared to take on the challenge of actually going to a legal establishment and giving away all my money...but not yet.

I’m looking at you, Carden.

Update: Bonta sent me my hat.

Carden's Thoughts

Real quick: If we want this whole "gambling mentor" thing to work out, I don't think you can be setting me up for easy jokes on Cleveland. I bet I could get you steamed off Cleveland jokes faster than I could win any other bets.

I'm very glad for your first gambling. Well, that was your second win. Your first win was getting Bonta Hill to pay up. The odds of that ever happening were slim in the first place. You laughed in the face of the odds, then in the face of Bonta Hill. I hope you're gloating.
Speaking of odds, that's a homework assignment. Tell me what odds are and how they pay out. Because in winning your bet, you might have hit on a game against the odds, which means the bet was skewed in Reginald's favor. There's so much more to gambling than what you did...
...but that's not to take away from what you did. You won money! TAKE THAT REG!
You have two options with that money: You can pocket it or put it back into your gambling fund to keep riding it out. Your call here.
Keep up the good work. Win another bet or two and I'll give you a chance to take some of my money.

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