Phil Mickelson and his gambling

According to the IRS he lost 40 million dollars gambling from 2010-2014. This is detailed in Alan Shipnuck’s unauthorized biography on Phil. Bones, his caddy of 20 plus years, fired him because Phil owed him several hundred thousand dollars. Phil was making $40 million per year, but after those brutal California taxes was netting about $20 million per year. He was living large, too.

I hate this for Phil who was one of my favorite players. His legacy and reputation are ruined by this compulsive gambling, just like it happened to John Daly.

Hopefully, Phil can get his life back in order.

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About a year ago Phil was talking about moving to Florida to escape the tax burden.

Although that’s overstated. Cali only has the ninth highest total state tax burden at 9.72% according to Which is only slightly higher than a couple of Midwest states, Iowa and Kansas.

Of course that includes property and sales taxes. Income tax alone, the top Cali marginal tax rate is 12.3%; Florida is zero. So for someone of Phil’s income level he’d be paying somewhere in the neighborhood of $4.9 million in taxes, assuming he had completely incompetent accountants who couldn’t find him any deductions. A lot of taxes, to be sure, but he’d only save that much by moving to Florida. Which would just give him a few million more to blow on bets, it appears.

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Gambling among pro golfers is a way of life. Some say the pressure in a Tuesday practice round with lots of strange bets is much more severe than the pressure once the tournament starts. With the gambling now available on-line, I’ve always wondered what that does to the competition. I guess I still wonder that.

If Phil reported $40 million in gambling losses, then he won $40 million over the same period. The IRS tax code limits losses to the amount of winnings reported.

If his losses exceeded his winnings, we would know his true losses only from what he divulges publicly.

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What a waste. When I think of all the good things he could have done with $40M…

Gambling addictions must be awful. Glad I never had one. I enjoy going to casinos once or twice every 2-3 years, but always limit what I’m willing to risk. I think that’s what most people do. But those people who blown thousands or millions on such a “thrill” baffle me.


Only a fool would run up that kind of gambling debts… just ridiculous… got to know when to quit

Story about Augusta National & Phil… a few years back in late-Jan/early-Feb, Phil was playing in Augusta with the best member (Knox). They had a big game and Phil lost $30k, but didn’t pay. In early March, Phil reached out to the Chairman letting him know that he hadn’t received his invitation yet. The Chairman told him that he understood that there was an outstanding financial matter with a member that he needed to get resolved. A few days later it was, and then Phil received his formal invitation.


Dang Phil I sure hate you having to deal with that bad addiction that you’re struggling with.
Some folks I suppose would argue that you should have chosen a ahem more respectable addiction like
screwing other men’s girlfriends/wives.
There’s an amazingly amount of pressure on athletes. The added stresses Phil has to endure with his
wife and her disease I’m sure is no small task. Not an excuse, just additional info as to why it’s not wise to judge walking in another man’s shoes.
Here’s hoping the best for a speedy recovery Phil.

Then again, even though it’s not a healthy addiction, some can afford it and enjoy and grow accustomed to that lifestyle. To each his own kinda thing so who am I to say.

No deductions for gambling losses.

Well, put it another way, on years you win your gonna report it and pay tax on it? I’d be willing to bet (pun intended) some of Phil’s wins / losses came on the practice green. Not something you turn in to the CPA. And the 40 mil? Wonder how accurate that number is from Mr Un-authorized Biographer?

I wouldn’t be surprised if Phil doesn’t see his gambling as a problem. Like Michael Jordan, who likes the frequent bet, I suspect he rationalizes it as an outlet for his competitive drive. Even losing that much.

Amy Mickelson, however, might have a different view.

I have read that many PGA golfers view their entire career as gambling. They pay all their own expenses (from $400 tournament entry fees to travel, lodging, caddy, coaching, yadda yadda) and aren’t guaranteed to make a single dollar on tour. So the whole thing is a giant bet on themselves.


Michelson has a net worth of about 300 million. Endorsements annually in the neighborhood of 20-30 million a year. And Michelson ain’t no fool, ha, I read that comment.

To Clay’s point, I used to go to the dog track with my father in law who was a very successful retired HS football coach - competition junkie and also bet football, etc.

Anyway at the track it was like a NE Arkansas HS coaching convention. Always ran in to multiple retired coaching buddies at the track.

Competition junkies all looking for that outlet.

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Why is his reputation ruined because of gambling. His only reputation to me is as a golfer. I still don’t know why professional athletes are supposed to be something more than athletes. Certainly they have the platform to be influential, but I don’t care if they aren’t. It’s not why I watch them. Maybe our media guide should list out all the reputations of our football players before they take the field, nah, that’s just silly.

Lot of fools are hall of famers

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The STIGMA of Gambling, ha. The biggest gambling board in the world is the US stock market, but that’s ok, its business. :sunglasses:

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The scene in “The Color of Money” One of my all time favorites. The kid beats the guy down, the opponent says he’s busted, done. So the kid says, ok, let’s play, play. Play for fun. The guy and Fast Eddie look at him and react like he has lost his mind completely.

My disdain for Mickelson has nothing to do with gambling. It is how rude he and his then girlfriend were to my cousin. She was a volunteer working a Byron Nelson tournament. She was one of the friendliest people you ever met and she was trying to help them.

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I do not care if he is a President, janitor, or anywhere in between. Only a moron loses 40 million dollars gambling.


I’m unfortunately never surprised when a pro athlete is a jerk. I almost expect it. But Phil is both a jerk and phony.


Yeah he’s a fool I said it to keep going further and further in debt with the money he makes how about paying the debts off!!