Morikawa Bettor’s Parlay Streak Continues–But At What Cost?

Posted on August 13, 2020 - Last Updated on August 16, 2020

One Illinois parlay winner is over $1.1 million richer (before taxes) this week. That doesn’t mean bettors in IL should rush out to try to replicate his feat, however.

Following a wager on Collin Morikawa’s PGA Championship win, the IL resident hit on four separate MLB/NHL parlays to claim the seven-figure payout. In most instances, however, this plan isn’t advisable.

Details on an amazing week for one Illinois parlay winner

This bettor is undoubtedly one of Morikawa’s biggest fans. This is the second time that he has staked Morikawa to win a PGA event with great success.

The bettor claimed a similar payout last month when Morikawa won the Workday Charity Open. His prematch wager on Morikawa paid out over $1.1 million.

The winner did not stake Morikawa before the PGA Championship, but his later round wager still paid out over $327,000 when Morikawa emerged on top. That was just a warm-up, however.

On Wednesday, the same IL resident hit four different parlays involving MLB and NHL games. Those parlays were:

  • Four-way parlay: Astros vs Giants (5-1), Red Sox vs Rays (5-9), Yankees vs Braves (6-3) and Brewers vs Twins (2-12)
  • Two-way parlay: Canucks vs Blues and Rangers vs Mariners (7-4)
  • Two-way parlay: Cubs vs Indians (7-2) and Marlins vs Blue Jays (14-11)
  • Two-way parlay: White Sox to beat Tigers (7-5) and Diamondbacks to beat Rockies (13-7)

Because these were parlays, the payout was substantial. The amount of money that the bettor had to stake on each was as well, and the risk he took was even greater.

That’s why just focusing on a seven-figure payout is deceiving. The full context of the situation shows that this bettor’s activity was very risky, if not foolhardy.

Why counting on hitting parlays like this is counting on losing big

BetRivers, the sportsbook who took this man’s bets, isn’t in the business of just handing out millions of dollars.

IL legal sportsbooks aren’t obligated to accept any bet a gambler wants to make. They are fully within their rights to decline any wager, and many times, it makes sense for them to do so.

In order to get BetRivers to accept his parlays at the odds he cashed out, it’s likely that the bettor had to stake hundreds of thousands of dollars on his wagers. That’s a lot of money to stake on what really isn’t commensurate odds.

In any form of gambling, as your potential reward escalates, so does your risk. The house builds in its “vig,” or its interest in profiting off your wager, into your odds.

Parlays are especially risky because instead of just adding to your risk, they multiply it. That goes up exponentially for each leg you add to the parlay.

A four-leg parlay is an exponentially greater risk than even wagering all four events separately for the simple fact that you need to hit on all four legs or you lose. With parlays, there are usually no consolation prizes.

Winning a million dollars in one day is something that all bettors dream of. But do realize that this bettor very likely lost some big wagers too in an effort to win big.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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