Here it is the Full interview on Pregame's First Preview. I will try and do my best not to butcher this LOL.
Billy Walters is one of the most famous sports bettors in the world and it was a treat to get him on First Preview, as this is a guy that just doesn't do Interviews. Billy does state later on that a big reason for doing the Interview is that it is live and he can't be misquoted.
This interview really all came about due to an article that was released by Mike Fish and ESPN. Some of what was said in the article did some personal and professional damage to both Dave and Billy. These two were at one point really good friends and thanks to this article it did give them a chance to re-kindle the friendship some and clear the air a bit.
Billy stated that he was contacted in late May or June by Mike Fish about him doing an article on Billy. Billy responded at the time by saying he wasn't doing interviews.The timing was good at that point. Billy did feel that when the time was right he would do an interview. At that point Mike said he was going to do the story with or without Billy. When he got back to Billy he said he had done interviews for the interviews and one of the people he interviewed was Dave and it was said in that Article that Dave knew every integral part of what Billy has done over the last 50 years or so and Billy said that that just wasn't true. No one knows all that about him. Billy does state that Dave and he have had great success together in the past, but everyone goes through a period of time when things just don't work out and that is what happened here.
Billy states that the article was published and some may have read it wrong. Both Dave and Billy feel that had Mike sat the two of them down then everything would have worked out much better. Dave states that it's like a handicapper that just enough to try and win and gets mediocre results or a handicapper that goes the extra mile to look for the edges and has better results. Had Mike Fish reached out to both at the same time for an interview then allot he could have been avoided.
How does Billy balance his desire to be behind the scenes vs looking for the recognition that he deserves? Billy states that being a success is his own reward. He owns a few car dealerships and yet his name isn't on any of them. Everybody is different and for him it is just knowing that he is doing well is very satisfying. Billy also states that there is so much that a person can say that can be read wrong and so he would rather just stay behind the scenes.
Billy feels that he is a bit unique and has been gambling since he was 4 (he's now 68). He has gone through allot in his career, but still he gets the same rush as when he was younger. If there ever does come a time when that rush is gone then he will know that it's time to step away. That rush he is what just moves him to continue.
He does state that the game has gotten tougher than before, but its the new challenges that help keep it fresh for him.
Dave feels that a good story in the future will about what does it take to be in the field of handicapping. RJ agrees that it will be a nice story.
A story about Billy that is correct is about how Billy once lost his house by pitching nickles. He was drinking pretty good one night and thought he couldn't lose so he put up his house and lost. The next day the guy said he didn't want his house just the money that was owed him.
Billy did move to Vegas at about 35 and his success was hit or miss prior to that but really exploded once he got there. Billy states that there are a couple of things that lead to his success. One thing may was when he stopped drinking. He also partnered up with Chip Reese, who was probably one of the best money managers that Billy had ever met. You see Billy had won plenty of money in the past but just didn't accumulate it till he met Chip Reese. He learned money management through Chip. Stopping drinking and learning money management are really what cleaned up the two leaks in his game.
Billy is also a very good poker player as well, which is something that many don't know. Eventually he stopped all but sports gambling and devoted his other time to business. He also likes golf as well.
Dave states that right now he is laying about a half a point more on games as opposed to 10 years ago and 1 point more than 25 years ago and billy agrees. He states that right now it is getting harder and harder to win. Dave states that even though it is getting tougher he is impressed that Billy has continued to win. How can he teach that to others?
Billy states that losing is Ok only if you learn from it rather than make the same mistakes over and over. You have to be able to take risks and just can' t be afraid to lose your money. Instinct is a big part of gambling and you must rely on it just as much as the math that goes into handicapping.
Billy states that he is not a handicapper like the pros are and that some of his success is getting the right number, where as other is that he has a strong opinion on the game. What he does is handicap handicappers and comes up with somewhat of a consensus of them.
Join in the conversation.