How the Actor reportedly cleared close to a million dollars betting on college games for Las Vegas gambling legend Billy Walters.

Ashton Kutcher is a big Sports FanActor Ashton Kutcher at Hawkeye Game next to team mascot
Actor Ashton Kutcher claimed to have been the "front of the largest national sports-betting syndicate in America" in an Esquire Magazine article earlier this year.
Billy Walters, considered to be the most successful professional sport bettor ever and head of the largest syndicate in the nation, had no comment, when reached by phone.

But here is the big surprise. Kutcher's story actually checks out in Vegas.

The 35-year-old actor told Esquire he spent half of a college football season
placing bets for a syndicate. Kutcher came off as knowledgeable about sports
betting in the interview, describing how the syndicate pinpointed statistical
anomalies and took advantage of point-spread movement.

"We were clearing, like, $750,000 in four weeks of college football. It was
pretty fun. Then they caught on," Kutcher said in the Esquire article. "The
hypothesis had been that the house would just assume that I was a dumb actor
with a lot of money who liked football."

A former Las Vegas sports book manager told The Linemakers on Sporting News
that he was very familiar with Kutcher's sports betting in the early 2000s, the
same time frame chronicled by author Michael Konik in "The Smart Money: How the
World's Best Sports Bettors Beat the Bookies out of Millions."

"They thought they had a sucker on the hook, then he won $800,000 in four
weeks," said the ex-bookie, who asked to remain anonymous. "They had to shut him

Many believe Kutcher is one of the characters in Konik's highly-acclaimed
book that details the author's time working for Rick "Big Daddy" Matthews, a
gambler described as, "the world's smartest sports bettor and the mastermind
behind the Brain Trust, a shadowy group of gamblers known for their expertise in
beating the Vegas line."

It's widely believed, but never publicly acknowledged, that "Big Daddy"
Matthews is Walters, a reclusive Las Vegas businessman with a reported net worth
in the hundreds of millions.

"My book 'The Smart Money' is a non-fiction memoir that includes an
explanatory note about honoring privacy," Konik wrote in an email to The
Linemakers. "I have no further comment."

Celebrities like Bruce Willis, Floyd Mayweather, Phil Mickelson and poker pro
Phil Ivey have all been rumored to have been a part of Walters' syndicate at one
time or another. Willis is also rumored to be one of the characters in "Smart
Money," as is current Linemakers' analyst Richie Baccellieri.

Baccellieri was a sports book manager at Caesars Palace in the mid-to late
1990s and is rumored to be the character "Stevie The Pencil" in "Smart

Baccellieri would not comment on his or Kutcher's inclusion in the book.

The idea behind having a celebrity make the wagers is that their high-profile
status and large bankroll tend to give them special treatment in a casino
compared to a regular Joe or someone labeled as a professional bettor.

Kutcher's days in Vegas seem to be curtailed. Norm Clarke, celebrity
columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, told The Linemakers on Sporting News
that he had not heard of any regular sightings of Kutcher in at least the last
"four-to-five years."

"That's somebody that I would hear about," Clarke said. "I would be surprised
if he was coming over that often and we weren't hearing something. I just don't
think of him as much of a regular."

By:  David Purdum                                                                                   

Tags: Ashton Kutcher, Billy Walters, Bruce Willis, Phil Mickelson Floyd Mayweather  


Phil Mickelson started Sunday 5 shots off the lead. He finished with his first Open title and fifth major championship after a stellar 5-under 66. He says that he is playing the best golf of his career and we would have to agree.

Against all odds, Phil Mickelson got a chance to celebrate early. A brilliant closing round
at challenging Muirfield made it possible.

Mickelson won the claret jug for the first time and his fifth major
championship with a 5-under 66 on Sunday, matching the best round of the
tournament on a day when the other contenders -- including Tiger Woods -- faded away.
2013 Open Champion Phil Mickelson talked with Doug Bell after coming from
behind on Sunday to win his first Open Championship and fifth major. 

Lefty birdied four of the last six holes, winning by three strokes and
emphatically erasing the memory of all those close calls that didn't go his way
-- the latest one just last month when he was runner-up at the U.S. Open for a
staggering sixth time.

"This is such an accomplishment for me," Mickelson said. "I never knew if I'd
be able to develop the game and the shots to play links golf effectively. To
play what is arguably the best round of my career, to putt the way I putted, to
shoot the round of my life, it just feels amazing to win the claret jug."

Overall, Mickelson has eight runner-up finishes in the majors, including one
at golf's oldest major championship just two years ago.

Now, at age 43, he's finally got his name on the claret jug, three-fourths of
the way along to a career Grand Slam and assuring he'll go down as one of the
greats of the game.

"I putted soooo good," Mickelson said.

He began his amazing finish with a 8-footer for birdie at the 13th, getting
his score back to even par and giving him a score that he thought would be in
the mix at the end if he simply parred out.

Mickelson did much better than that, rolling in a 20-footer at the 14th for
another birdie, reaching the green in two at the par-5 17th to set up yet
another birdie, and closing it with a 10-footer on the final hole for a 3-under
281 total.

Even though there were still four groups still on the course, Mickelson knew
he had done more than enough to win. He pumped his fists and let out a yell. His
caddie burst into tears. His wife and kids celebrated just off the green.

Lee Westwood began the day with a two-stroke lead
but was again denied his first major title. He struggled to a 75 that left him
four shots back, and Mickelson's victory was assured when Westwood didn't come
close to making the eagle he needed on the 17th.  Woods was two shots out at the
start but a 74 left him five shots behind the winner.

Mickelson was the only player to break par over four days at a baked-out
course that bedeviled the world's best golfers.

Everyone but Mickelson, that is. Henrik Stenson was the runner-up at 284. Ian Poulter
and Adam Scott finished another shot back.

"Phil must've played really well," Westwood said. "Five-under par is a good
round of golf this afternoon."