Goodbye PM (11/13/17)

By Rob Pizzola
14 months ago, a colleague of mine wrote a blog post about how Prediction Machine was growing significantly. In that post, he officially handed the site over to me and announced the changes coming up in the future. It is now my turn to write a similar blog post, and announce some major changes in the process.

For the past 14 months, I have served as Prediction Machine's Business Manager. My main responsibility was quite simply to coordinate everything that the site was doing. From working on simulation engines to creating business partnerships to being the so-called “face” of Prediction Machine, I have loved every minute of this role. Well, I've loved 99% of it at the very least. That is the honest to God truth. This was, in a sense, a dream job for me. It allowed me to work on things that I would personally just be doing in my spare time anyways, and get paid for doing it! There are very few people in the world that have that same luxury, and believe me, this very rarely felt like work. And that's the problem for me—it very rarely felt like work.

I never want to come across as pompous and that certainly isn't my intent with this post, but for those that know me personally, sports betting has made up the majority of my income for the better part of nearly four years. I often got asked the same question regularly… “Why are you selling picks if you're so good at betting on sports?”. There is a common notion that these two items are mutually exclusive. The truth is that I love to work. Between my previous job as a Product Manager for theScore and my current job as Business Manager for Prediction Machine, I spent my days grinding away to make a living through daily fantasy sports (DFS) and sports betting. It was a horrible lifestyle. It was a lifestyle that left me without much social activity on a day-to-day basis, and generally in a poor state of mind. I spent most of my days sleeping, watching conspiracy documentaries, and generally contributing a whole lot of nothing to society. This wasn't for me.

While I love to work, the most important factor for me is to work on something challenging. I love a good challenge. While some people may spend their spare time going to the movies, or partaking in leisure activities, my favorite thing to do is go to escape rooms. Seriously. I'm a nerd, I know. If you don't know what an escape room is, it is essentially a giant logic puzzle in which you're locked in a room for an extended period of time and forced to solve a variety of puzzles in order to “escape”. True story: I have gone to escape rooms in Las Vegas. Also true: I have spent the last four Friday nights playing co-operative board games. But this is my passion. I'm a numbers guy; a logic guy—always have been and always will be.

I am very proud of what we have accomplished over the past year, but it is time for me to move onto something new and more challenging. The challenging component of Prediction Machine was what originally drew me into that position in the first place, but I guess you could say we grew much faster than I could have ever expected. An opportunity has presented itself that ticks all the boxes for me, and at this point in my professional career, I simply cannot pass it up.

Tuesday will officially be my last day with PM; however, the site will continue on in good hands. Over the past year, we have assembled a team that I would consider to be an industry leader. Our sports analytics group consists of some of the sharpest minds I've ever come across… Minds that continue to teach me new things on a daily basis. Our development team is one of the best I've ever worked with; quick to respond to pressing matters and most importantly, patient enough to put up with my regular BS. The site will be more than fine without me. It has outgrown me. And I'm fine with that.

I can't disclose what PM is working on right now, but like many previous PM innovations, it will have a lasting impact. When I accepted this role in August of 2016, I was adamant that I wanted to do picks “the right way”. Every single day, I strived to produce a product that I myself would use as a bettor and I feel like the site is currently there, but there's so much more that this group can do. The team in place will accomplish that. I firmly believe in them and I think this site is headed to being an absolute powerhouse in the very near future.

I am extremely appreciative of all the positive feedback that I have received on social media, email support, and from my peers on a regular basis. That means a lot to me, and I will certainly cherish the relationships that I have been able to build over my time at Prediction Machine. If you'd ever like to contact me personally, I have open direct messages on my Twitter account and you can reach me there at any time.

Thank you for everything.

Rob Pizzola
Business Manager, PredictionMachine.com