Golf Digest has published an excerpt from Billy Walters' upcoming book Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk. Walters was convicted of insider trading in 2017. He served five years in a federal prison and was sentenced to pay a $10 million fine. He has an axe to grind with Phil Mickelson, whose gambling habits are well-known but spelled out quite explicitly by Walters.
You've probably already seen some of these stats and figures from the piece floating around social media.
• He bet $110,000 to win $100,000 a total of 1,115 times.
• On 858 occasions, he bet $220,000 to win $200,000. (The sum of those 1,973 gross wagers came to more than $311 million.)
• In 2011 alone, he made 3,154 bets—an average of nearly nine per day.
• On one day in 2011 (June 22), he made forty-three bets on major-league baseball games, resulting in $143,500 in losses.
You may have also seen that there may have been some heavy flirtation with betting on the 2012 Ryder Cup, which Mickelson was playing in. All of this is understandably catnip for the masses but it's Walters' closing salvo here that is the real story. Something so stark and menacing that it stands out and send shivers down spines.
Phil Mickelson, one of the most famous people in the world and a man I once considered a friend, refused to tell a simple truth that he shared with the FBI and could have kept me out of prison. I never told him I had inside information about stocks and he knows it. All Phil had to do was publicly say it. He refused.
The outcome cost me my freedom, tens of millions of dollars and a heartbreak I still struggle with daily. While I was in prison, my daughter committed suicide—I still believe I could have saved her if I’d been on the outside.
While this excerpt focuses solely on our betting relationship, my book explores how Phil finagled his way out of not one, but two cases that ended in criminal convictions. As my book makes clear, Phil is not always the person he seems to be.
Those are some strong words suggesting that there's going to be plenty of unpleasantness in the pages that didn't make this excerpt. Mickelson is already popular while being polarizing and everything's essentially baked-in. It will be interesting, though, to see how he handles any resulting queries about the details considering what happened at the Rocket Mortgage Classic back in 2021 following a Detroit News report that looks like a nothingburger compared to what Walters has put out there.