“Parlay Patz,” Notorious Sports Bettor, Pleads Guilty to Threatening MLB Players Over Social Media
The chickens have come to roost for the deranged keyboard warrior Ben “Parlay” Patz after the Department of Justice announced yesterday that he has pleaded guilty and faces up to 5 years in jail for “transmitted threats in interstate or foreign commerce.” In normal-people terms, these charges translate to “sending insanely graphic DMs to athletes after they ruined his precious parlay bets by doing their jobs.”
Who is Parlay Patz?
If you’re new to the story and thinking “What the hell? Who is this kid?” then go check out our coverage of the story from back in December. If you’re too lazy to click a goddam link, here’s a quick refresher:
The Parlay Patz Saga
- Parlay Patz was a college student in NYC who accumulated over $1.1 million in gross winnings via parlay betting in 2019 over the course of just two months. This includes a stretch where he won $463k on four bets over the course of 7 days.
- He became a cult figure due to his insane success and the charming little fact that he would drive across the bridge from Manhattan to a Korean grocery store in Fort Lee, NJ, to place his bets legally every day. He was profiled by Darren Rovell and his bets were featured on the Action Network. And he also became known for chartering private flights to the Virgin Islands with his buddies and living an extravagant life from his winnings. (I can’t really blame him for that.)
- In March 2020, Patz turned himself over to the FBI after he was caught sending hundreds of threatening messages to athletes over social media related to gambling losses. These included, but were not limited to, threatening Julian Edelman after he helped the Patriots beat the Rams in Super Bowl LIII, several MLB players, and a Pepperdine basketball player, who Patz informed that “his throat would be severed open while his entire family will be beheaded and burned alive” for committing the horrible crime of winning a college basketball game and ruining his parlay.
Overall, a decidedly not chill guy to say the least.
What This Guilty Plea Means
The charge that Parlay Patz pleaded guilty to is directly related to a series of messages he sent to 4 Tampa Bay Rays players in the middle of a game in July 2019 (not the hundreds of other messages he sent). By pleading guilty, Parlay Patz is acknowledging that it was indeed him who sent the messages from his social media accounts (no fucking shit, it was sent from @parlaypatz, you moron) with the intent to threaten to injure the person and with the knowledge it would be viewed as a true threat.
The court has not set a sentencing date yet. And while his sentence will require him to spend three years on supervised release upon release from a prison sentence if imposed, it remains unclear if Patz could avoid prison and receive probation.
That leaves two big questions for how the plea deal will work.
1. The Length of the Sentence
Some of you may be thinking – so what? He sent some crazy DMs because he became pissed after losing a big bet. Athletes and celebrities get trolls in their DMs all the time. Did they actually take this seriously and think he’d kill them? Does Parlay Patz really deserve 5 years in prison??
Absolutely. Listen, it’s one thing to tell an athlete they suck. It’s another to tell them you will “sever your neck open” or “enter your home while you sleep” and “cut up your family.” That is way beyond “trolling” and is fucked up behavior.
I get just as pissed as anyone when I lose a big bet. Just ask my completely dented metal garbage can I kicked 15 times after the Bruins lost in OT on Tuesday. But the answer is not sending over 300 messages to professional and college athletes (even more fucked up since these guys don’t even get paid), threatening to rape and kill them and their entire families.
Online harassment is a huge issue right now. And while I’m not sure he’ll get the full 5, I think the courts will want to send a message and make an example of a high-profile guy like Parlay Patz.
2. Does Parlay Patz Get to Keep His Winnings?
The other wrinkle at play here is that Patz sent many of these threats during and before games had happened, not just as angry responses to bad losses. There is a legal argument that by threatening athletes before the game was over, Patz was illegally trying to sway the outcome of his bet by intimidating the participants. If this was the case, he would have to relinquish his gambling earnings from games that he tried to impact.
His plea deal is specific to the charge of “transmitting threats” and is only for the messages he sent Ray players. (There were hundreds of others.) But there is no mention of the charge for influencing the outcomes of upcoming or ongoing sporting events. This could be a separate case down the road. It also doesn’t help that he sent the following texts to Rays players in the middle of the game:
- “I will sever your neck open you pathetic c**tbag”
- “I will enter your home while you sleep”
- “And sever your neck open”
- “I will kill your entire family”
- “Everyone you love will soon cease”
- “I will cut up your family” and “Dismember the[m] alive.”
Right now, we’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out. But we’ll keep you updated here at The Odds Factory as it all plays out. In the meantime, see what you can learn from the Parlay Patz saga about how to keep your cool while betting and not be a complete psychopath on social media.