How a Wall Street Trader Made $1 Million Betting on Baseball

In January 2020, a Wall Street trader named Eric Spindler got an unexpected call from his doctor. It was a short conversation, but Spindler knew what it was about. His doctor had just given him the results of a blood test that detected something strange. Spindler, who lives in New York City, works in risk management at a technology company, and is a self-described baseball junkie, had just a couple of weeks earlier made a wager with a colleague on how many home runs Bryce Harper would hit before the All-Star Break. Harper is currently in the midst of a career-best season, swatting baseballs left and right, and at this point in the year he had already hit 29 home runs. It was a steep wager to be sure, but Spindler was undaunted. He considered it a calculated risk that he was more than willing to take. The following is a tale of how a humble beginning—spent in an Internet cafe in London—transformed into one of the most successful betting stories of all time, an unlikely tale involving some of the most beloved sports in the world.

A Chance Meeting In London

In the summer of 2019, while in London on vacation with his family, Spindler decided to revisit some old haunts, including Wembley Stadium. It’s been his favorite place to watch sports for as long as he could remember. Sitting in the stands there with his family, especially during the summer months when the heat is less brutal and the games are played at night, is surely one of the finest experiences a sports fan could ever have. The first game he decided to attend took place on July 15, and he placed a bet on the Canadian team, Toronto Blue Jays, to win the game. As fate would have it, it was a struggle from the very start as the visitors were defeated by the home team, Blue Jays, 6-3.

It was a difficult loss, but Spindler had learned a valuable lesson. Next time he bet on sports, he decided to bet on the home team, so he could at least have some faith in the outcome. One day later, he placed a bet on the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series. Once again, the Blue Jays triumphed, this time in seven games.

A Profitable Hobby

Sporting events are undoubtedly one of the most exciting ways to spend an evening, and for someone whose day job involves working on Wall Street it would seem odd to spend his evenings engaged in such meaningless pursuits. For Spindler, though, it’s the other way around—the excitement of wagering on sports events is what drew him to the tables in the first place. He soon found that placing a sports bet was not only exciting but also very profitable. Even after including all the commissions, his earnings from wagering were more than sufficient to finance his annual vacation to London. On top of that, he decided to place a few more winning bets, which further enhanced his earnings. He decided to keep the winnings from his final bet in mind, as a sort of “fuck you” payment to his muse, the Brooklyn Dodgers. After all, it had been nearly 90 years since the team had won a World Series.

A Self-described “Baseball Junkie”

Spindler grew up in North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he majored in economics. He then went on to study for his master’s degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science. It was during his studies that he became interested in betting on sports, which he described as “a profitable hobby that had the potential to become a full-time career.” Once he had completed his studies, he took a job as a strategist in the alternative investment group of a global firm. Since then, he has enjoyed a fruitful career, becoming one of the most successful investors in the industry.

Away from work, Spindler is an avid sports fan and attends all the big games. He is a huge fan of the New York Yankees and has had a lifelong love affair with the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 2020 alone, he attended over a dozen games, including seven World Series. He also follows European football closely and has a keen eye for potential betting opportunities on matches involving the continent’s biggest teams.

In 2019, while on vacation in the UK, Spindler attended the world-famous Wimbledon tennis tournament, which is held every year in June. It’s one of the premier events on the sporting calendar, and the fact that he was able to wager on the matches made it even more attractive. The thrill of placing a wager and seeing it pay off multiplied many times over during that vacation. It was then that he realized the potential for placing wagers during the World Series. With the right bookmaker and some careful research, he felt certain that he could turn his hobby into a profitable career.

A Bookmaker With A Reputation

When Spindler first heard about esports betting, he was somewhat surprised. After all, he had grown up in the days of the Grand National, the British equivalent of the Kentucky Derby. Back then, people didn’t wager on games—only on horse racing, and that is mostly for sport. The idea that someone might wager on the outcome of a video game was quite foreign to him. Nevertheless, he was intrigued and decided to try it out. After all, it was the perfect opportunity to make some money while having fun with a hobby.

The UK has always been a hub for esports betting, with Ladbrokes Sportsbook becoming the first bookmaker to offer esports betting in the country in 2019. The fact that international fans can now place bets on the NBA, NFL, and other leagues in the United States via popular online sites such as BetOnSports and MyBookie, mean that the option is now closer to home than ever before. And at least for the time being, the UK continues to be the hub for esports betting in Europe. That is surely due in part to the country’s love of all things British—most notably, football—but also to the fact that games from the United Kingdom are some of the most popular online. With the 2021 season just around the corner, it looks like Spindler has found a welcoming environment for his betting hobby in London.