The Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the seventh game of the 2017 World Series to win the first championship in their history but it was a mysterious Eastern European gambler that was stealing a large percentage of the headlines with his betting.
The Faceless Punter
Little is known about the anonymous gambler but the fact they won over $14 million from Let It Ride bets placed on the first six games of this year’s World Series has seen the bettor become an overnight sports betting legend.
News of the faceless punter came from CEO and Founder of Pre-Game.com, RJ Bell, who tweeted about the high stakes betting activity after he successfully made it six wins from the first six games between the Astros and the Dodgers.
Speculation was rife about the identity of the punter. It is believed the individual placing the bets was aged younger than 30 years.
Professional gamblers denied they would have placed such large bets at the poor odds being offered. This led to suggestions that the individual was either an amateur punter that had struck lucky or a representative of an anonymous group of punters.
What was certain was that the punter was placing spread bets across a number of sports books in Las Vegas. One sports book confirmed the punter had attempted to place a massive bet worth $2.8 million.
Interestingly, there was also little history available for the punter’s betting patterns. It was reported that the punter had only previously bet on UFC fights where he had enjoyed great amounts of success betting on the sport.
Story of the World Series
On 24th October, the Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the World Series with a 3-1 opening game victory over the Astros. The Astros then won the next two games by scores of 7-6 and 5-3 to storm into a 2-1 lead overall.
The Dodgers pulled the series level with a 6-2 win in game four before the Astros sealed a dramatic 13-12 victory to take the series lead at 3-2. The Dodgers then brought the World Series level once again with a 3-1 win in game six on 31st October.
That result left the World Series to go down to the epic final game seven. Whoever would win that last game would be crowned the 2017 World Series champions. Rumours were circulating that the mysterious punter was considering one last Let It Ride bet that would gamble their entire $14 million winnings so far.
Not to Be…
Tweets from RJ Bell soon started to appear that eradicated any hope of seeing the punter take one of the biggest gambles in US sports betting history.
RJ Bell confirmed that his sources had revealed that the punter would be cashing out their winnings after game six.
As it turned out, the Astros sealed a convincing 5-1 win over the Dodgers in the final game on 1st November to secure their first World Series title. It is not known what bet the mystery punter would have placed.
Despite not giving us the fairy tale finale of a seventh game bet, the mystery punter has still left shockwaves across the Vegas betting scene. In fact, RJ Bell even hinted that the punter’s outrageous betting had been responsibility for changing the lines offered by sportsbooks.
RJ Bell claimed that before game six, the Dodgers were being listed by the Southpoint Casino at +105 until 7:09pm on 30th October. It is then shown that the odds of the Dodgers quickly got worse at this sportsbook.
Why? It is alleged that this was the time the punter entered the sportsbook. At 7:58pm, when the punter left the sportsbook, the odds returned to their original value.
Just a Hoax?
This story has not come without its controversy. Some critics of RJ Bell have slammed his tweets as lies.
Certain individuals have labelled the story a sham and just a poor attempt at getting more personal exposure. Bell’s recent cameo in the TV show Ballers being proof of his obsession with the limelight.
Reddit user, jeauboux, points out, “RJ Bell is a known liar. This whole story is a sham.”
Another user, beengettingpaid, stated, “Its an imaginary character. RJ looking for publicity and it swayed bettors opinions trying to fade him thinking no casino will pay out 8 mil. We never saw 1 pic, 1 name, 1 bet slip, nothing at all.”
User flintlock519 added, “If you believe anything about this story I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale as well.”
Even though there is a lot of speculation that RJ Bell could be using the fabrication of this story to boost publicity for his tout site, there is still strong evidence backing the claims that RJ Bell makes from sportsbooks in Las Vegas.
If the mysterious MLB punter proves to be genuine, they will forever remain in the history books when it comes to baseball betting.
Baseball has hit the headlines before when it comes to sports betting in the US. In 2011, an anonymous St Louis Cardinals fan bet $250 on their team to reach that year’s World Series at odds of +50000.
As if that wasn’t enough, the punter then followed it up with another $250 bet at +99900 on the Cardinals going all the way and winning the 2011 World Series. The Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers 4-3 over seven games to produce one of the biggest sports betting wins of all time.
The 2017 World Series will certainly be remembered for the Houston Astros winning their first ever MLB championship. It will also be revered for the fearless and high-risk bets placed by one unidentified punter in Sin City.