Recent Prop Bets
Poker players are notorious for gambling on anything and everything. Get a bunch of well-bankrolled poker players together, sprinkle in a little boredom, and you're almost sure to see money exchange hands on some zany propositions (hence the term "prop bet"). Most people have heard about John Hennigan's six-figure bet in which he claimed he could in Des Moines, Iowa for 30 days (he came back home to Vegas after two days), or the time vegetarian Howard Lederer was offered $10,000 to eat a cheeseburger (he promptly devoured one). The prop-bet stories of seasoned poker pros have been passed around for years. Instead of rehashing them, let's take a fresh look at some recent prop bets between poker playing youngsters:
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Living in a Bellagio Bathroom: Jay Kwik vs. Andrew "good2cu" Robl
During a cash game at Bellagio earlier this year, Jay Kwik got into a conversation with online poker phenoms Andrew "good2cu" Robl and Alec "traheho" Torelli about the challenges of living in tight quarters. The conversation escalated to a prop bet when Jay declared that he could live in a Bellagio hotel room bathroom for 30 days. Robl laid Jay 2:1 saying that he couldn't do it under the following rules: no computer, only 400 minutes of cell phone usage, no one is allowed to enter the bathroom, and he is not allowed to speak to anyone who delivers him food. To help prevent cheating, Andrew set up a 24/7 streaming live webcam in the bathroom and told the poker community that he'd give $500 to anyone who caught Jay violating a rule.
This prop bet didn't have a pretty ending. While Robl was traveling around on the World Poker Tour, Kwik made repeated violations of his terms including standing outside the bathroom for an extending period of time and then lying to say it wasn't him. Despite Kwik having made multiple infractions, Robl waited eight days before confronting him to claim victory. He later received ridicule from the poker world for choosing someone to moderate the argument who was a long time friend of Kwik's. Ignoring evidence to the contrary, the moderator declared that Kwik had not violated the terms of the bet. This happened 20 days into the bet, at which time Robl reportedly paid Kwik $40,000 to wash his hands of the debacle.
Playing a Chess Grandmaster: Tom "durrr" Dwan vs. David "raptor" Benefield
Tom "durrr" Dwan and David "raptor" Benefield, both legends of the online poker community, are friends and roommates known for their prop-betting habits. One night, Dwan declared that he could beat a chess grandmaster (GM) if the GM started the match missing one of his knights. Immediately sensing a prop-betting opportunity, Benefield bet Dwan $5k that he couldn't do it. A few months later, Dwan again drunkenly mouthed off regarding his chess abilities. Dwan wagered $50k that he could be a GM who starts the match without a rook. Benefield enlisted his poker-playing friend Greg "curtains" Shahade to take on Dwan in chess. He gave Shahade a 10% freeroll against Dwan's money in the process. Although not a GM, Shahade is an "international master", which Benefield figured was good enough.
In the $5k match, despite starting without a knight, Shahade won decidedly. This concerned Dwan regarding his chances in the $50k match, so he negotiated that the bet be changed to a best-of-three contest. In exchange, Dwan agreed to increase the stakes to $55,000. Before the match began, Shahade ensured Benefield by telling him, "I win 100% of the time in this bet." It didn't take Dwan long to realize that he wagered $60k effectively drawing dead. At one point during the first match, Dwan got frustrated and said, "damn I screwed up back there, if I didn't make that mistake I could have won this one," to which Shahade replied, "now let's not get carried away."
BCS Championship Participants: "shaundeeb" vs. "thay3r" Rasmussen
In a classic case of putting one's foot in one's mouth, Shaun Deeb laid fellow poker player Thayer Rasmussen 100:1 odds against a team with two-losses making the BCS College Football Championship game during last year's season. With the season just 25% complete, Thayer happily booked $100 and hoped to get lucky. Although traditionally the teams in the championship game have just one loss or zero losses, last year's eventual National Champion, Louisiana State University, came into the BCS Final with two-losses. That $10,000 might not be the last stack of cash Thayer takes off of Shaun. The two have a $25,000 bet going on which of them will record the most $10,000+ cashes in poker tournaments during 2008. To date, Thayer maintains a 30 to 22 lead.
Thanks to Ray "Exitonly" Coburn for providing details on these bets.
Oreo Prop Bet: Exotic Dancer "Alana" vs. Several Guys
Two Plus Two forum's "Irieguy" discovered that when asked, women commonly think they are capable of eating 100 Oreos in a limited amount of time. Having seen girl after girl fail miserably, he's concluded it simply can't be done. That was until an exotic dancer friend of his "Alana" said she would do it if the payoff was at least $12k. A few poker players pooled money together and came up with $14k. If Alana lost, as everyone expected she would, she would be allowed to pay off her side of the bet with lap dances. The rules stipulated that she could drink water or milk and smoke pot if she wanted to. In order to win, she had to eat 100 Oreos in two hours without puking until after the 100th Oreo was fully swallowed.
As documented in the Two Plus Two thread linked below, Alana pulled off the impossible and collected $14k for eating all of the Oreos. However, whether or not she completed the challenge without violating any rules remains a mystery. On more than one occasion during the bet, Alana excused herself to use the bathroom. A girlfriend accompanied Alana to the bathroom each time. Guys involved in the bet kept an ear pressed to the bathroom door to make sure they didn't hear her puking. Although no one heard her puke, it seems reasonable to suspect that she did. However, since the participants in the bet were unable to prove Alana violated the terms, she collected $14k and lived to dance another day.