New subscription service launched
Former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher Michael Schwimer has introduced a US-focused subscription service to the sports betting tips market.
He acknowledges that there has been a lot of fraud and corruption in the industry in the past. However, he is hoping to change this perception with the launch of his latest business venture, Jambo Picks.
Commenting on the current state of the sports betting tips market, Schwimer said:
I will use the harshest language possible: The industry is disgusting, it’s heartbreaking, it’s just awful.”
There is little to no oversight in this industry which leads to fraud and corruption allegations. However, with sports betting now legal federally in the United States, Schwimer hopes that the touting industry can clean itself up.
His new venture promises to do the opposite of what has traditionally been seen in the touting industry. Jambo Picks uses a predictive algorithm similar to what many professional gamblers will use to try and identify an edge.
Schwimer is committing to greater levels of transparency in his venture than has ever been seen in the touting sector. He is even giving bettors the chance to win their stakes back if the picks are not successful.
Is this viable?
Due to the lack of oversight, there are no solid estimates as to the size of the touting sector in the United States today. However, there are popular operations whenever there is gambling. Social media and race pamphlets are the most popular ways for touts to advertise their services.
According to Anthony Cabot, a gaming law fellow at the University of Nevada, most touts aren’t legitimate. He says: “They’re really not experts in what they’re doing, but they sell themselves as experts and they use unethical methodologies to try to get people to pay them.”
However, he does admit that some of them are legit.
Path of Schwimer
Schwimer is now 33-years-old and had a very brief stint in the big leagues, playing five games for the Philadelphia Phillies.
He says the only reason he had mild success was due to having an algorithm for his pitching which highlighted the given hitter’s past tendencies. However, a shoulder injury in 2013 put an end to his baseball career.
He went on to create an algorithm attempting to predict the future success of minor league players
Following his retirement, Schwimer did an internship at the PAW Capital Partners Hedge Fund. He went on to create an algorithm attempting to predict the future success of minor league players. This was called Big League Advance and he managed to raise $26m for this project.
The project gives funds to young minor league players in exchange for a cut of their future MLB earnings. They invested in 77 players, with 38 currently playing in the major league. This includes Fernando Tatis Jr, a candidate for Rookie of the Year. The real return will not come until their rookie contracts end and they can enter free agency or engage in arbitration.
On the back of their early success, Schwimer raised a further $130m. Using management fees, he put together a team of experts in sports analytics. They looked at various opportunities but decided to enter the sports betting space.
Progress of Jambo Picks
Schwimer began testing the algorithm in December 2018 in Las Vegas. His focus initially was on college basketball and he spent 16 days doing so. He successfully made a profit in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range. This led the sportsbooks dropping this max bet down to $300 for a game.
This is where his idea for a sports betting picks service came from. Schwimer said: “So I had this realization. I can’t bet $300,000 a game, but a thousand people can bet $300 a game and that’s when the subscription service came about.”
Cabot from UNLV is skeptical about the model of touting. He says that the best bettors are not going to be selling their picks. They would instead base themselves and set up offices in locations where they can place higher bets than the likes of Nevada.
However, Schwimer is promoting his refund policy heavily to try and break the norms of the touting industry. The level of refund depends on what subscription plan you look at. The longest plan is for 17 weeks and costs $3,000. They are promising a $10,000 refund in no money is made through the picks.