The book by fellow gambler Billy Walters wants to take a look at the man whose talent at the golf pitch was only rivalled by his passion for gambling, and who once tried to place a $400,000 bet on the 2012 Ryder Cup when he was a member of Team USA – a potentially career-ending move if it had come to pass.
Mickelson’s Gambling Rollercoaster
Mickelson’s gambling exploits have become legendary, and also the source of much media speculation. The book, aptly called “Gambler: Secrets from a Life of Risk” tries to retell the story of the golfer who became a little too involved with gambling.
Walters, the author, is a self-styled professional gambler who claims to have had more than 30 years of winning streaks. The pair go all the way back to 2014 when they got summoned in a case involving insider trading. Mickelson was never charged with wrongdoing but was ordered to repeat $1 million.
Some of the interesting details emerging from the book are that Mickelson had limits to bet on college games and the NFL set at $400,000 each and that he had two offshore accounts at one time back in the day. Walters, though, does not leave matters to random speculation and vague facts. His book actually bothered to check the exact amounts that Mickelson had been placing over the years.
Between 2010 and 2014, Mickelson is said to have bet $110,000 to win $100,000 on at least 1,115 occasions and also wagered $220,000 to win $200,000 on 858 occasions. This tallies up to $311 million and counting.
Mickelson, Walters books stipulates, placed a total of 7,065 bets across football, basketball, and baseball. The author claims that Mickelson spent close to $1 billion on gambling, with his losses approaching $100 million, up from what was previously thought to be $40 million. He added that there was only one other gambler in history to have wagered more – himself.
End of the Road for a Tired Gambler
The book is not about Mickelson’s exorbitant spending habits, though. It also sees the player struggle to deal with controlling his habits and admits to his behavior being both reckless and embarrassing. “I had to address it,” Mickelson once said in an interview. The book is about the saucy details and the profligacies of gambling spending as it is about the path to recovery.
In the meantime, Walters doesn’t miss a chance to put his name as the most successful gambler in history – so good in fact, that bookmakers often limited his accounts. Although this makes for a good story, you may want to take this with a grain of salt.