Phil Mickelson has wagered more than $1 billion, according to a renowned player’s book


According to a highly anticipated book by acclaimed gambler Billy Walters, Phil Mickelson has wagered more than $1 billion over the past three decades and wanted a $400,000 bet on the 2012 Ryder Cup while playing for Team USA place.

The stunning betting estimates that Walters provides – based on his own detailed notes from two sources he believes reliable – are detailed in an excerpt from Walters’ book Gambler: Secrets from a Life of Risk.

The release is scheduled for August 22nd. The FirePit Collective received an excerpt from the book. Mickelson’s leadership group did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Walters is widely regarded as America’s most celebrated player, claiming to have a winning streak spanning more than 30 straight years.

He said he ended his betting partnership with Mickelson in 2014. Two years later, Mickelson was a substitute defendant in Walters’ insider trading case. Mickelson was never charged and had to pay back about $1 million he made from a stock deal. Walters was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. He said he could have avoided jail if Mickelson had told a “simple truth”.

Walters said he never told Mickelson that he had inside information about Dean Foods stock.

“All Phil had to do was say it publicly. He refused,” Walters wrote. “The result cost me my freedom, tens of millions of dollars, and a heartbreak I still deal with on a daily basis. While I was in prison, my daughter committed suicide — I still think I could have saved her if I had been out.”

Walters said Mickelson told him he had two offshore accounts and that Mickelson had a limit of $400,000 for college games and $400,000 for the NFL.

He said that between 2010 and 2014, based on his detailed records and additional records provided by sources, Mickelson’s gambling included:

  • Bet $110,000 to win $100,000 on 1,115 times and wager $220,000 to win $200,000 on 858 times. That alone totals just over $311 million.
  • Mickelson placed 3,154 wagers for the year in 2011 and placed 43 bets on Major League Baseball games in one day (June 22), resulting in $143,500 in losses.
  • He placed 7,065 bets on football, basketball and baseball.

“Based on our relationship and what I’ve learned from others since then, Phil’s gambling losses were not $40 million as previously reported, but rather $100 million,” Walters wrote. “Overall, he’s wagered more than a billion dollars over the past three decades.

“The only other person I know who has beaten that volume is me.”

Walters said they first met at the 2006 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and formed a betting partnership two years later.

The most impressive thing for Walters, he writes in the excerpt, was a call from the 2012 Ryder Cup in Medinah. He said Mickelson was so confident that he asked Walters to bet him $400,000 on America winning.

“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” Walters wrote. “‘Have you lost your (expletive) mind?’ I said to him, “Don’t you remember what happened to Pete Rose?” The former Cincinnati Reds manager was banned from baseball for betting on his own team. “You’re considered a modern day Arnold Palmer,” I added. “You’d risk it all for that?” “I don’t want anything to do with it.”

He said Mickelson replied, “Okay, okay.”

“I have no idea if Phil placed the bet elsewhere. Hopefully he’ll come to his senses,” Walters wrote.

Europe bounced back from a 10-6 deficit on Sunday to celebrate the biggest comeback by a visiting team. Mickelson and Keegan Bradley won three straight games before Mickelson urged US captain Davis Love III to rest them on Saturday afternoon. Mickelson lost his singles match to Justin Rose, a pivotal moment in Europe’s comeback.

The PGA Tour suspended Mickelson in early 2022 for helping Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf recruit PGA Tour players. He signed with LIV for a bonus of more than $150 million.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated Last year, Mickelson was asked about speculation that he was struggling financially.

“My gambling became so reckless and embarrassing that I had to deal with it,” Mickelson said in the interview.

“Gambling has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember,” he said. “But about a decade ago I would say it’s gotten reckless. It’s embarrassing of it and with me and the process. After many years, we have arrived at a place where I feel comfortable with it. It poses no threat to me or my financial security. It was just a series of bad decisions.’

Walters was so successful with his gambling business that bookies often limited the size of his bets. He would work with others who had larger boundaries. He wrote his partnership with Mickelson was a 50-50 split.

“In all the decades I’ve worked with partners and beards, Phil has had accounts as big as any I’ve ever seen,” Walters wrote. “You don’t get accounts like this without wagering millions of dollars.”

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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