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My Personal Journey to Growing a Bankroll

Recently I've had several members reach out to me with great questions around properly sizing their betting units. A few have also asked me about my personal sports betting portfolio beyond soccer.

I've written about bankroll management before. And certainly outside of this blog, that in an of itself is nowhere near an evergreen topic. So I hope by adding some color around my personal portfolio this will be an engaging read. Like all of our blogs on sports betting fundamentals, our goal is to help you become a better bettor. Thanks for reading!

It was a Sunday Night Football game in October 2002. There I was kneeling on the floor in front of the small TV in my crappy, off campus apartment. Jason Elam had just made a 55 yard FG to give the Broncos the slimmest 1 point lead with 55 seconds to play. But 1 point was all I needed since I was on the Broncos moneyline. This win would keep my account above $0 and mean I could continue to bet into the next week. This wasn't the first time I'd been down to my last bet, but this one was a lot bigger than usual as I had tilted from a day of bad beats and poor results. But finally things were turning my way. I promised I would never do something so foolish as going all in again and was thankful that my stupidity didn't cost me everything.

Then Jay Fiedler took the field and proceeded to hit 17 and 22 yard passes to set up an Olindo Mare 53 yard attempt to take back the game. Surely the gambling gods will smile down upon me and show some mercy. I begged and pleaded that I would be better; I wouldn't put myself in this position again. And here's the kick, it's up and... good.

I lost everything I had left.

Many of you reading this can relate. Perhaps you even have your own Broncos - Dolphins story. One you can perfectly recite almost 20 years later. I was betting $100 units (and not even consistently sticking to a plan as you can tell) with a bankroll that was probably only 10 times that big at best! I cringe when I think about those days.

Here we are today and while I have been far from a perfect sports bettor in the time since, I now consider myself a strong recreational - plus bettor with a track record of successful bankroll building.

The Plan

I was determined to be disciplined and grow from here. I knew it would take me a long time to get back to betting $100 units, but if I was going to be in this for the long - haul, it would be a fun and rewarding climb to success.

Here's the chart I made. I've tweaked it a bit over time, but it's the one I still use today.

Unit Size Evaluation Dates: Jan 1, Apr 1, Aug 1



# of Units Minimum

Cashout % of profits

< $2,000




$2,000 - $4,399




$4,400 - $7,199




$7,200 - $10,399




$10,400 - $13,999




$14,000 - $22,499




$22,500 - $31,999




$32,000 - $50,999




$51,000 - $71,999




$72,000 - $94,999




$95K - $159,999




$160K - $219,999




$220K - $499,999




$500K +



Cash back to $500K

Key Points

  • Only adjust the betting unit size at pre-determined dates. I've personally developed this as it helps me against raising my bet sizes into a run of regression. If you adjust the bet size as soon as you hit the next level, that automatically means you've been running good to get to the next level, and there's likely some regression coming. By using dates instead, I can eliminate some of that variance. I personally use January 1 (end of NFL regular season), April 1 (start of MLB) and August 1 (college and NFL football about to start) as my dates. You don't have to follow these, but I strongly recommend you preset your evaluation dates (quarterly at most, not more often)

  • As the unit size increases, the number of units in the bankroll also increases. This is very important as it helps us have a larger tolerance for a draw-down (bad run) as we grow. The last thing we want is to have to reduce the betting unit size often. I've only had to do this once since I started this plan. If each bet becomes a smaller percentage of our overall bankroll, we help mitigate this risk.

  • Cash-outs are evaluated at the end of each month. Once the $200 unit level is reached, we start to begin taking a percentage of profits each month. You could start this earlier if you wish, it will just mean you grow more slowly. Or you could delay this even more if you desire to get to a bigger betting unit size more quickly.

  • This takes discipline and a long time! Most people don't have the patience for this. But if you're looking at this as an investment that you expect to make positive returns from, this is what it takes. I took some time away a few years back when we were dealing with very young children. I restarted just over three years ago with $5,000 at the $40 unit level. Today I'm at the $150 unit level closing in on the $200 unit level. But it's been a great and rewarding journey

  • My personal sports betting portfolio. As you all know, I personally handicap soccer. I've found that it's the sport I'm best at using the model I've built to find value in the markets. In 2021, we also entered the UFC handicapping market and have been nicely successful there (@UFCPicksClub on Twitter) posting Free Picks on every UFC card. For every other sport I play, I tail other handicappers I've grown to trust over time. Here are all the sports I participate in:

  • Soccer

  • UFC

  • NFL

  • College Football

  • College Basketball

  • NHL

  • MLB

  • WNBA

As you can see, it's quite the range of sports! As such, it's not unusual for me to have 50+ bets in play on a Saturday when soccer cards are huge, UFC is going, one of the college sports seasons and especially in September when MLB is still in play.

That's why it's so critical that I have lots of units in my bankroll to be able to place all that volume and withstand a potential poor day. But it's also how I'm able to celebrate some absolutely incredibly profitable days. If you aren't going to have quite that volume of plays, you could adjust the chart above but I strongly recommend trying to have at least 100 units in your bankroll at all times!

The best bettors are the ones who are still around to reap the rewards of those great days because they didn't go broke on the most recent bad one!

To the Top!

Nate, SoccerPicksClub

@Soccer_Winners on Twitter

@SoccerPicks_VIP on Twitter for all our plays

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