1. This is Haralabos “Bob” Voulgaris. He’s a professional poker player who has gained a reputation over the last few years as a very successful NBA gambler.
2. Voulgaris has been a recurring guest on Bill Simmons’ popular podcast “The BS Report.” He portrays himself on the show as a very successful NBA gambler whose proprietary analysis helps him win.
3. Simmons often dubbed the Voulgaris episodes “Smart Guy Wednesdays.”
4. Voulgaris has a star turn in New York Times stat guru Nate Silver’s new best-selling book “The Signal and the Noise.”
Robert Gauldin / AP
5. And so when people gave Bob Voulgaris crap on Twitter, he turned the tables and went full troll — claiming that the idea he makes money gambling on the NBA is a sham. First, an “assertion” that he hasn’t won money betting on sports in seven year
6. Then he claimed that his picks for games would be “worthless”:
7. He offered a suggestive pseudo-explanation, creating doubt is key for a good troll:
8. He issued a sarcastic “apology” to Nate Silver:
9. Gave seemingly legitimate reasons why he “doesn’t really bet”:
10. Explained away the fancy house Silver described him as having (a house he had given a tour of on video):
11. Issued a boast of his deception:
12. And then claimed that both Simmons and Silver had no idea:
13. This would be a HUGE deal if it were true. This is Nate Silver’s introduction to Voulgaris in his book “The Signal and the Noise.” If Voulgaris were being honest in his tweets, all of the highlighted sections would be false:
15. The video from 2010 of Voulgaris showing off his house — the video he refers to in the above tweet about “housesitting” — matches Silver’s description in the above passage.
AND THE KICKER: Public records show that before he moved to his current address, he sold that Los Angeles house from the video in 2010 for $3.3 million, which means he wasn’t house-sitting. Bob Voulgaris responded to our email and confirmed that he is indeed a master troll. “Smart Guy Wednesday” and Nate Silver’s sterling reputation lives on.
This post has been updated.
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