The anticipation for the upcoming release of the book “Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk” from noted gambler Billy Walters hit a new high after a recent excerpt highlighted Phil Mickelson’s gambling habits.
On the latest episode of the No Laying Up podcast, Walters said he wanted to write the book because he thought he could help those who come from similar backgrounds and battle addiction like he does. He began betting on sports at an early age when there was an “ignorant perception” of those who gambled. Now that gambling is legal across a majority of the United States, Walters wanted to share everything he knows about handicapping and betting with sports fans.
“I wouldn’t have sold this information for $30 million 10 years ago, but I’m 10 years older and I want to share this with sports fans,” said Walters. “It’s my legacy so to speak.”
He also wanted to set the record straight with regard to his conviction in the Southern District of New York for insider trading and his relationship with the six-time major champion Mickelson.
Walters was once regarded as one of the most successful sports bettors in the country. He was sentenced to five years in prison for conspiring to commit insider trading from at least 2008 through 2014, was convicted on all 10 counts against him, fined $10 million and sentenced to five years in prison in 2017. His book, which also goes into greater detail on the insider trading charges related to Dean Foods that sent him to jail, will be released on Aug. 22. Mickelson was a relief defendant in the civil suit, and agreed to pay back $1.03 million, including profit and interest.
Walters did partnerships with many people over the years both before and after Mickelson. The two met at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2006 and didn’t see each other again until two years later at the 2008 Wachovia Championship in Charlotte. Walters ran into Mickelson in the locker room and he asked him how his partnerships worked.
The pair began a five-year betting partnership – a simple 50-50 split where each put up the same money – and a friendship that lasted about eight years.
Walters said Mickelson had nothing to do with the selections and the pair were successful enough that the bookmakers closed their accounts. Walters became concerned when he learned Mickelson had previously done business dating back to 1995 with two other men that led to a money laundering investigation.
“I was completely unaware of that, if…