Billy Walters

Last Modified on 1/1/1900

The best punter in the world

Every industry has its top players, ground breakers, the ones that define their field, the ones that set the path for everybody else. Well when it comes to gambling only one name goes - Billy Walters!

"My whole passion, my whole life is about nothing but gambling," Walters said in an interview brief moments before reporting to prison on October 11th 2017. "That is what I wanted to do. ... I probably came in as a gambler, and I am going to go out as a gambler."

Early Life

Stricken of poverty in Kentucky he was raised until 12 by his grandmother and after 12 by the streets and his environment. Billy has had passion for gambling since an early age, placing his entire saving (75$) on a Yankees game in the World Series of 1955. The Yankees lost to Brooklyn Dodgers and so did Billy. In the mid 1980s after a decade of misfortune in personal and professional life (we are including a minor gambling conviction and a major drinking problem) he moved to Las Vegas.

Introduced to Professional Gambling

There he met Dr. Ivan Mindlin and Michael Kent whose help made out of his gambling issue the most profitable gambling career of all time. Ivan and Michael had been developing a computer algorithm that can predict outcomes of sport events. So basically in the early 80s these two were disrupting gambling and they did it under the name of the now-legendary Computer Group. Their associates included gamblers, handicappers and investors and until 1985 all of them started to make millions. Billy started to work on a professional punting career that did not disappoint. After a while in the Computer Group Walters quit drinking and became a member of the Las Vegas` influential elite. He developed golf courses, subdivisions and industrial parks. In a couple of short years he redefined himself from a Las Vegas gambler to a successful entrepreneur with interests and investments across different fields. His professional punter`s salary was astronomical and combined with all of his other business activities he was on the road of becoming the richest punter in the world. Or how his Vegas friends put it ”Walters says sports betting now occupies less than 7 percent of his time”.

How Billy Avoided Being Banned From Bookies

In the 90s Walters has already made a name for himself and was not welcome in many sportsbooks in Vegas so he leaned on a network of “runners” who will set bets for him and get a small percent profit out of the winnings.

"When I was first introduced to Walters, he told me, 'This is the first and the last time you'll ever see me,'" says Rubalcada, one of his betting boys. "He was like, 'If they see you with me, you are no good to me.'"

With his big network he mitigated obstructions such as bet limits and risk of successful accounts being shut down. In sport betting, the house takes a 10 percent cut, so gamblers have to win exactly 52.38% of their games to break even. Anything above is free money. But what Walters usually does is going beyond 55% and that is like climbing mount Everest. Today he owns a fleet of car dealerships, several high-end golf courses, a private jet and homes in places like Palm Desert and Cabo San Lucas. And this isn't all thanks to gambling because Mr. Billy Walters is a financial investor, has a real estate firm and shares in numerous companies.

Billy's Strategy

In an ESPN interview one of his man Rubalcada who has worked for him shared a hypothetical situation on how Walters made his magic. He explains that in fact he didn't have to win, though it wasn't clear back then. Walters' keys to success was that some of his tips were wrong, intentionally making his man lose so he can manipulate the odds. Through others Walters will bet $40 000 on a team giving 3 points, then $55 000 more on the same team when the line reaches 3.5. The moment the line gets to 4, a runner places an even larger bet lets say $200 000 on the other team. The initial $95 000 will be lost, but when things go according to plan, the $200 000 on the other side will win enough to make up for it many times over. This thought process is used on multiple games at the same time making for Billy millions.

The mentioned above maneuver is not illegal. Today analytical inclined gamblers rely on computers to research and analyze so they can produce a delta (that's the difference between the Vegas bookies` line and what the bettors conclude the point spread should be). The bigger that delta gets, the more money gamblers will bet. Sometimes the delta`s line can be moves by one big player and that's that, but however Walters` strategy is different: he utilizes more people, considers vaster amounts of information and bets more money in more places.

He is leading a war for better regulations on gambling against  the US government. He is asking for more clear and just regulations and also for a transparent laws on gambling. He knows people like to and will gamble in future times, the question is how and for what cost.   

Billy Walters Gets 5 Years in Prison

"Everybody in this country bets on sports," he continues. "If you were to take away the office pools, fantasy pools, people betting on sports, I guarantee the TV viewership would be cut in less than half." says Billy on the topic.

While this article is being written Billy Walters is still in jail serving five years that he and his family hope to be diminished to two for good behaviour. He has been convicted of 10 counts of conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud. He wasn't expecting a negative verdict however and sadly he was caught by surprise.  

The life of Billy Walters is far from over even though his poor circumstances at this moment. The world has to watch and hold the government accountable for Billy`s conviction because at the end of the day all he did was that he is just too good at his trade.