Look through the history of the top footballers around the world and you’re likely to find that they started honing their craft at a young age. For instance, Wayne Rooney famously began his long career playing for the Everton youth squad at age 11. The same story reads true for just about every other sport there is – cricket, basketball, rugby, tennis and all the rest. This includes all the rest, including gambling.

Everton youth squadThat’s right; gamblers – the professional sort – often begin their love for the odd wager at a young age, perhaps betting on a Everton youth squad match. Professional sports gambler Dave Corkin started out wagering on minor league hockey games when he was only six years old. He wasn’t any good; of course, always betting on his team like the bookies knew every fan in the town would. It wasn’t until later when he gained the savvy to make some scratch for himself. In high school, Corkin ran an attendance pool with his classmates. When he graduated, he started an (illegal) bookmaking setup with a number of clients. And less than a decade after high school, he went pro and launched his career as a handicapper of sports.

This isn’t the path of an amateur; it’s the path of a professional, someone with the skill to beat the odds consistently, even though their intentionally stacked against them. It’s calculated that to make gambling a living, you have to win about 55 percent of your bets. Brazil has the highest winning percentage of any national team. It’s 63 percent. This isn’t for the weak.