Jeff (Jfen) made over 85 units of profit since May 2013 on MLB! Lets find out his secrets and follow his system together!
1. Hi Jfen! Let us know about yourself. Where are you from?
Hi Z-Fam! My name is Jeff and I am a dual US/Canadian Citizen born in San Diego, CA. I was the first American born in my family. My family is mostly from from Montreal. I am 30 years old with a wife and two little girls at home (Ages 7 & 1).
I am what you would call a sports nut. I have played sports my entire life and still play competitively today. Growing up, football/baseball/soccer were the sports of choice and I boxed in college.
Sports are truly my drug. I work out 6 days a week doing 4 days of weight lifting and HIT cardio at least 5. I do Spartan Races and am currently training to one day hike Mt. Whitney on August 4th. Eating healthy, getting proper sleep and having fun are critical to remain at your peak!
I am not a Math whiz or extremely book smart like others in the community. My true gift is I am extremely street smart and can process a lot of information in an instant and make adjustments (which allowed me to crush sales throughout my career and ace law school). I went to law school originally to be a sports agent but found out quickly how unflattering a world that truly was. I decided to finish school but go a different route in life. After law school I started, ran and sold a few companies and currently own an Internet marketing agency, tailoring to large national and international brands. We specialize in increasing revenues for websites (My partner is a web celebrity and would be happy to help any one in the community if you have a site or need some help). My role is very limited these days as I spend most of my time neck-deep in sports!
2. You are not new to sports investing. Please tell us more how you started?
For as much as I played sports growing up, I watched even more. I have been playing fantasy sports since I was 9 years old when my older cousin let me in his leagues. This was pre-internet and each manager was responsible for going through box scores for MLB and NHL (depending on the league) each day and keep a hand written tracker of everyone’s points. My cousin now runs his own hedge fund for stocks. While in school I worked with him and watched him make a ‘killing‘. I tried desperately to understand how I could capitalize on the financial markets like he did, as opposed to just being average. It never worked for me and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why… I couldn’t figure out why a smart guy (not Mensa smart where NASA will be calling, but smart enough to hold an intelligent conversation with almost anyone) couldn’t find a way to make millions in the markets. I even studied the greats besides my cousin and then even considered going back to school to focus on this area.
I realized that to truly master the financial markets, you have to have a passion for it (which I didn’t) and the math background (which I also didn’t) to capitalize. Then it hit me, to truly be successful I would have to match my skill sets with my passion…. SPORTS!! So I decided to approach the problem a little differently. I would ask myself, how could I make serious money from sports? Since I couldn’t hit a ball out of Petco Park or throw a 50-yard TD pass, I wasn’t going to be a professional player. Since I gave up on being a sports agent since the true work is very different then my initial expectations, I had to find another way to make it in sports. Then I read something that would change my life forever:
I read a blog post by the billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban. http://blogmaverick.com/2004/11/27/my-new-hedge-fund/
This is the part that changed my life but PLEASE, do yourself a favor, read the entire thing:
“When you think about betting on sports, there really is far better information about your local sports team than
there is about any local business in your market. The local papers cover the team every day. The local TV station gives a report about every game. There are radio stations that cover them for hours at a time. That’s far more information than you get about Tyco or Computer Associates or NFI.
In sports, when someone does something wrong, they pretty much tell you the next day or two. Someone suspended, you know it. Someone hurt they report it, and do a better job of policing that than any industry watch group.
And stats? My goodness. There is no comparison. You can tape everything and create your own stats, which I’m sure
every “smart money” gambler does. There are public play-by-plays of every game. There are websites that
analyze every which way from Sunday every action and inaction of every player in the game.
There also is no such thing as insider information either. Player and team reps can’t talk to
known gamblers, but do they really need to?
Reporters are there after every practice to interview the players and coaches. They ask the same questions that
every gambler wants to know, if only so they know whom to pick for their fantasy teams. They also get to see and
report on who is there and who isn’t and who is limping and who isn’t.”
Mark Cuban had the idea of starting a Sports Investing Hedge Fund. I found that concept to be interesting but really had a different view. What he helped me realize was how profitable sports investing could be. For example, in MLB, there are 30 teams. There is no opportunity for some whiz kid, sitting in his dorm room, to start FACEBOOK and completely wipeout MySpace. Sports provide a closed environment, where everything is known in advance. You know the season schedules, the players on each team, the rules of the game, etc. Then you add the power of the web, ESPN, podcasts, local sports news agencies, local radio, and social media (GOT TO LOVE TWITTER) and you know everything there is to know! I know if the star player is dealing with stomach flu, I know if the SG is under investigation for rape, etc. In the business world, you don’t know if a CEO is fighting with his wife, has stomach flu, or what.
SO, I decided to try and understand how I can use my years of sports knowledge, my education and the closed environments in front of me to start making some money. That is how I initially got into sports investing! I then started building systems and paper testing them, reading what I could find, talking to others, spending time in Vegas, etc.
I then developed my Sports Investing Plan. I came to the realization that if I started with $1,000.00 and doubled my money every 6 months, in 5 years I would be a MILLIONAIRE!
Day 1 = $1,000
Month 6 = $2,000
Year 1 = $4,000
Month 6 = $8,000
Year 2 = $16,000
Month 6 = $32,000
Year 3 = $64,000
Month 6 = $128,000
Year 4 = $256,000
Month 6 = $512,000
Year 5 = $1,024,000
So there was my blueprint, figure out a way, to double my bankroll every 6 months. With 4 major sports (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB) and many smaller sports (CFL, WNBA, etc.), how hard could this be, right? Well, it was a bit harder at first since I was new to sports investing. So I sought out to build a model that would not necessarily get me rich over night, but was a sustainable investment strategy that could build me personal wealth and personal freedom over time. The most important thing I learned and hold as the CARDINAL RULE of Sports Investing is BANKROLL MANAGEMENT IS EVERYTHING! There will be good times; there will be bad times… BUT, if you have a strong Bankroll Management system in place that you NEVER divert from, you can withstand the swings and make money in the long-term.
3. You have several MLB systems on zcode forum. Which one is more
profitable? Please tell us more about the differences?
My most profitable system historically has been my NFL system (to be out soon J). Currently on the forum, however, I have my JFEN MLB Progression system, my NON SYSTEM Flat system, and my CFL system about to start. The most profitable will be my JFEN MLB progression system. I have found some parameters that I have built into profiles in MLB that allow me to predict, with very high confidence (over 92%) the winner of series. **CAUTION TO NEWBIES** Progressions are dangerous. While everyone sits back and thinks, I can predict a team to win 1 out of 3, without profiles and parameters, you may be right. However, nothing is perfect and you will take losses. A single loss can lose you over 20% of your bankroll if you aren’t careful.
This is very different from my other MLB system that is solely flat betting. While flat betting can be extremely profitable, the NFL and the NCAA Tournament can show you, in one game ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. However, if you have a system, backed by solid fundamentals, over the long run, you will profit. Now, when the outcome is no longer predicated on just ONE game, but rather, 2, 3, or 4 games, you eliminate more of the ‘chance’ that can be found in a single game. So by fine-tuning my parameters over the last 7 years, my Progression System has truly allowed me to double my bankroll almost every MLB season. I average winning around 85% per MLB season with my JFEN MLB SYSTEM.
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My NON SYSTEM JFEN FLAT system is also built based on profiles but is not as profitable as my JFEN SYSTEM.
4. Lets talk more about progression system which made 47% profit so far
Why do you prefer to use % instead of traditional units?
I use % instead of units for a few reasons. The first is because my goal is to double my starting bankroll every season now (as opposed to every 6 months). Units are a bit confusing as everyone has a different % of bankroll per unit and it’s hard to really understand how to compare and value each system. I am a big follower of the KISS principle (the system rocks too, btw!!) that if you keep it simple stupid, you will be better off. So for me, using % of my bankroll allows me to understand exactly what is at risk, what is to be gained and where I am currently at. If I am up 42 units, I am up 42% on my starting bankroll. I understand my ROI. Also, what exactly is a unit anyways? It’s a way to dictate how much to wager. So, I always like to do things in their simplest form and I use a % of bankroll.
5. You’ve been very consistent with that system so far. What are the
keys to success?
The first and most important key to success with my system is we never alter our betting size. Meaning, we base our % of bankroll off our STARTING bankroll. This is very different from others in the community and both methods work. I choose to do it this way because I am willing to forgo some profits to protect both principle and profits earned. My goal is very simple. I want to double my starting bankroll each and every season I invest in the major 4 (NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB). By never altering my starting bankroll, I can lock in my profits by never losing a higher % relative to that point. If I adjust based on my current bank and take a loss of 15%, it could be much higher than 15%. So, I made the decision at the beginning that I wanted to build both personal and financial freedom through sports investing and was willing to win a little less to ensure I met that objective, long-term.
Second, I don’t ever stop learning or fine-tuning. Sports are always evolving and the games are always changing. The NBA, thanks to the genius of D’Antoni with PHX, is currently very heavy with spacing, 3 point shooting and quick offense. The days of get it in low and pound it are behind us (for now). So point spreads in NBA are a bit more fickle then they were in the early 2000’s. Scores can change drastically fast. You have to pay attention and adjust. Just because a system worked last year doesn’t mean it will work again next year. Pay attention to the environment and try and make adjustments. If you aren’t moving forward you are falling behind. There is no standing still in life or in sports!
6. What are the key elements when choosing a team for progression for you?
Some of the key elements are:
- The pitching matchupsfor Game 1 and the last game of the series
- The reason I care less about the games in between are because I only start a series when I expect to win the first and last game. The game in the middle is important, but I have found it is less important in dictating whether I win or lose a series. If my system loses game 1 I need to know I can win it at the end so I can continue. Winning the middle game is great and I love when I do, but it’s hard to find progressions where you have the edge in all 3!
- Home vs. Away
- My system invests more in home teams. Home teams obviously win more than road teams so home teams get a serious edge.
- Away team are played, but more of parameters have to be met
- Middle of the lineup
- I don’t like to start a progression when the team I am selecting’s main hitters (MLB) are gone. The Nationals for example were tough for me to play when Harper was out of the lineup. These guys truly make a major difference in run output (regardless how bad the Nats just played even with harper). So usually progression only happen when a teams usual 3 & 4 hitters are healthy and in the lineup. Occasionally, this translates to a leadoff guy or 2nd, 5th hitter depending on the team. For a real time example, the Orioles are not a strong play to me if Machado, Jones or Davis are out of lineup.
- This is critical. Regardless of how SURE something is, if the line is -300 I just cant take it. You only really know game 1’s line in advance so I have to make sure that game has a positive expected value long term otherwise I wait for another opportunity.
7. Do you plan to have systems on other sports?
Yes, I have a system for NBA, NHL, NFL, CFL and MLB. I will share them all with the Z-Fam community in hopes that you will all make more money, help me fine tune my craft and have a lot of fun.
8. You tips to the newbies and followers!
I provided a lot of tips above but will share a few more:
- Decide what your bankroll is and don’t touch it. The worst thing you can do is say I have a $10,000 bankroll and then need to borrow from it to pay rent or a car payment. Set aside whatever amount you can afford to ‘lose’ and not touch and let it grow
- Don’t play 100 systems. Find a few systems on the community that you like or make you money and stick with them. There are tons of ways to skin a cat but its more important you let your money follow a system and grow. If you are opening your bankroll up to multiple systems, you won’t be able to play them all perfectly. Following a system fully is one of the most critical ingredients.
- Stay positive regardless of the short-term variances. I am a HUGE quote guy and share a daily quote on the wall for everyone. As Bo Jackson says: “Set your goals high and don’t stop till you get there”. Time is gong to pass whether you like it or not. If you aren’t where you want to be, do today what you must so tomorrow you can be.
- Start with the end first: Decide why you want to invest in sports and what you want to achieve. Then, once you have decided, devise a plan to get there.
That’s it from me at this point. I wish you all the greatest of success and lets keep this community thriving.
Z-Code truly is a very special place and I think you should invest more time learning about the tools that are offered and spend time exchanging ideas with all the experts that are here. Your ticket to financial freedom is right here at Z-CODE!!!!
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