To the sports betting world, he is known as Parlay Patz.
To the Tampa division of the United States District Court in Florida, he is Benjamin Tucker Patz, the California sports bettor who pled guilty to “transmitting a threat in interstate commerce.” In layman’s terms, Patz sent threatening messages to six players involved in the Tampa Bay Rays and the Chicago White Sox game on July 20, 2019.
In pleading guilty, Patz could face up to five years in prison, $250,000 in fines and three years of supervised release. Patz cannot appeal the court’s sentencing decision.
Patz focused his ire on pitchers
On July 20, 2019, the Rays and White Sox squared off at Tropicana Field. The Rays lost the game 2-1 on a Jose Abreu RBI single in the top of the 11th inning.
During the game, Patz sent a series of threatening Instagram messages to five Rays players and one White Sox player, according to the plea deal on record with the district court.
The account he used, @b82hs9, is no longer active, nor is the account that bears his nickname, @parlaypatz.
The court documents only provide the players’ initials: E.P., A.K., T.P., and C.R. for the Rays, and A.C. as the lone White Sox player.
What players received threats from Parlay Patz?
Based on the game’s box score, the initials match the following players who made appearances in the game:
- Emilio Pagan
- Adam Kolarek
- Tommy Pham
- Chaz Roe
- Alex Colome
Though unconfirmed, the initials match up with players who had a significant role in the game’s outcome.
Pagan gave up a run in the top of the ninth that tied the game. Roe pitched a scoreless 10th, and Kolarek gave up the game-winning run in the 11th.
Pham had a bad game. He lined out with a runner on first, struck out with runners on first and second, grounded out with a runner on first, and reached on an error.
Colome got the save for the Sox after pitching a scoreless 11th.
Patz sent graphic, lurid messages hoping player would see them
Court documents do not say whether Patz bet on the game, nor do they provide a timeline for each message Patz sent.
However, messages revealed in the documents indicate Patz likely bet on the Rays to win and sent the worst of his threats after the Sox tied the game in the ninth inning.
One could come to this conclusion based on the messages he sent to “E.P.” that, presumably, came after Emilio Pagan blew the game:
- “I will sever your neck open you pathetic c***bag”
- “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”
- “Dismember the[m] alive”
Patz knew that “E.P” and the players family may have viewed the messages, according to court documents.
“[Patz] sent the message to E.P. from California on July 20, 2019, and he did so with the knowledge that it would be viewed by E.P. and his family members as a true threat to injure the person of another.”
What’s next for Parlay Patz?
The district court has to accept the plea deal. If it does, the court cannot charge Patz with any other crimes related to the Rays-White Sox game detailed in the plea.
Whatever the outcome of the court’s sentencing, Patz’s plea deal includes waiving his right to appeal.
The court case serves as a cautionary tale for Florida sports bettors. Though sports betting in Florida remains illegal, residents can travel to Mississippi and Tennessee.
Should they choose to travel to a state where sports betting is legal, it would do Sunshine State bettors well to avoid threatening players and players’ families when a bet doesn’t work out.