Top Ten Insane Poker Player Prop Bets
Poker players are no strangers to the side hustle, indeed many of us began playing poker as a side hustle, which gradually rose to eclipse our other forms of income or just became an enduring passion. Still, you often see poker pros still playing side games even while they compete in high stakes pots, taking unders or overs on side bets, and more.
One of the most famous examples of the poker side hustle is the prop bet or proposition bet, in which players put money on the line that one or another participant will or will not manage a specific challenge, often over a specific time period. Not only do some of these prop bets involve big money (often held in escrow by a third party), some of them have become mired in controversy due to defaults on payment or other issues, whilst others are frankly bonkers. These are the ones we’re going to hone in on today at PokerDeals as we explore the wild world of insane poker prop bets with this top ten.
10th - Lodden Thinks
One of the best known poker prop bets, and one which is continually morphing into new versions of itself across live poker tables the world over, is the “Lodden thinks” side bet. This was first initiated by poker pros and buddies Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak, when they were seated at a final table alongside Norweigan pro Johnny Lodden in the 2008 London WSOPE.
The idea was that the two friends must bet privately (and quietly!) on Johnny’s opinion on a specific topic, taking their guesses, and paying out based on what Lodden actually states he believes at the end. The original bet was on what Lodden thought was the current world record for holding one’s breath. Lodden answered 6 minutes and 25 seconds, meaning that Antonio won with his guess of 5 minutes 30 seconds. You can find variants of the game going on all over the poker world to this day, and Antonio has been known to take bets on this game up to any amount his opponent wishes to wager.
9th - Erick Lindgren’s Four Rounds of Golf in a Day
This $340,000 bet was dreamed up in a Las Vegas bar between Lindgren, Phil Ivey and Gavin Smith, although several other pros took action as well. Lindgren had to play four full rounds in a day at Bear’s Best in Vegas, walking all the rounds and playing them back-to-back, as well as playing from the back tees, the pro level, and scoring under 100 for every round. Despite his opponents getting to choose the day, and selecting one of the hottest on record, Lindgren went on to complete the mission, causing all buy Ivey (who had $200k on the line) to buy out of the bet during the fourth, by which point Lindgren was looking sure to crush it. The day was not without its cost for Lindgren who suffered heat exhaustion, dehydration and lost 14 pounds in a single day thanks to the heat.
8th - Vegetarian Phil Ivey
Phil Ivey was keen to turn veggie, and he was well-known for being a huge fan of red meat. During the televised High Stakes Poker Season 6, he famously bet Tom Dwan a cool million US dollars that he could go without meat for a full year. The bet didn’t last long or work out too well for Ivey, who bought out of it after a measly three weeks, paying $150,000 to Dwan for the privilege.
7th - Biker Bilzerian
Back in 2016 Dan Bilzerian bet Bill Perkins that he could ride from Las Vegas to Los Angeles in just 48 hours, a feat many considered impossible given that a) that’s over 300 miles, b) Bilzerian claimed he had not ridden a bike in 18 years and c) Dan is not a professional athlete! He pulled it off, taking coaching prior to the event from Lance Armstrong, donating $25k of his winnings to Armstrong’s charity of choice and netting himself $1,200,000 in the process. He also, insanely enough, bet his private jet against Rick Solomon’s $250,000 on condition that Solomon would only win if Bilzerian were to either die or become “braindead” as a result of the challenge.
6th - MMA Madness
Two poker players who seemed to build a bet out of actually not liking each other too well were JC Alvarado and Olivier Busquet, who agreed to wager $150,000 on the outcome of 5 rounds of MMA action in the ring against one another. Despite Alvarado initially being considered a favourite due to his experience in Jiu Jitsu, Busquet entered the ring looking built and dominated the fight, leading to a victory declared after just three rounds on medical grounds.
5th - Esfandiari Lunges towards Victory
Antonio Esfandiari is considered quite sporty, and has been known to do some workouts at the live poker table, but this time he made a bet that he would only move around via lunging for a full 48 hours, during the 2016 PCA Main Event. The first day was passed peacefully in his room, but the second was a day full of poker action for Antonio and he lunged his way across the Rio tirelessly. Lunges are well-known for exhausting the legs in a matter of minutes, so Esfandiari, feeling that his legs wouldn’t make it to the bathroom, resorted at one point during a WSOP $5k buy-in to the old pee bottle technique (used by online pros before scheduled breaks), attempting to pee under the table discreetly, he was busted in the act and disqualified from the event! The exact amount of the bet is unknown, but he did win it, and surely it was many times greater than the $5k buy-in he lost out on! Still, funny but pretty gross. Definitely not Covid-friendly, we doubt he would have even attempted this in 2021.
4th - Titanic Golf Shot
The host of the very first World Series of Poker back in 1970, Titanic Thompson was a bit of a hero of his time. His was one of the first prop bets to become legend, when he made a bet that he could drive a golf ball far further than any golf pro had ever managed, 500 yards. Thompson simply waited for winter and drove his ball far across a large frozen lake, easily winning his bet.
3rd - Amarillo Slim’s Mad Selection
We found it too hard to choose from Slim’s insane prop bets as there were so many to pick from, so here are some highlights. Rafting down the “River of No Return” in the dead of winter, beating a World Champion Ping Pong player using Coke bottles as paddles, outrunning a horse over 100 yards (accomplished by selecting a racetrack with a 180 degree turn halfway), riding a camel through the Casino El Mamounia in Marrakesh, and wagering that a cat could pick up a coke bottle. He was pretty much famed for being the biggest hustler of his day, as this list can testify.
2nd - Not so “Kwik” Bathroom Break
One of the many things poker pro Jay Kwik was known for back in 2008 when this bet took place was playing poker constantly, and he was said to have not had 10 days away from the game since he first started playing. This must have made the prop bet he made with fellow pro Andrew Robl all the tastier for his competitor as they bet he could not survive 30 days living only in the bathroom of his Bellagio hotel suite. Various conditions were placed on the bet, including a cap of 400 minutes talking time on his phone, no physical human contact, and he must be on webcam constantly. The full bet amount is unknown, but Robl bought out after 20 days for a cool $40k as it became clear that Kwik was, in the words of his rival, just “too good”.
1st - Zembic’s Bazoongas
Poker pro Brian Zembic became infamous for his prop bet, as he bet $100,000 back in 1976 that he couldn’t go a full year with breast implants. Zembic had to pay for the surgery and went for a 38C cup. The incredible thing about this story was not that he won the bet easily, but that he was so fond of his breasts that after winning the bet he went on to keep them for another twenty years, going so far as to claim that they made him a much bigger hit with the ladies!
Don’t Try this at Home
We hope you’ve enjoyed this round-up of PokerDeal’s favourite insane poker player prop bets, but please do take care before making any insane prop bets of your own! Remember these are trained professionals (or something)! If you do try any crazy prop bets, remember to wager within your means, use an escrow if you don’t have perfect trust with your fellow bettor(s), and for goodness sake, don’t do anything dangerous, and do your homework before laying your money on the line!
Simoes has done it, closing out an immense run to top a field of 1,073 runners and taking down the prestigious €5,300 European Poker Tour Monte Carlo Main Event ! In doing so he also becomes the first Brazilian to ever ship an EPT Main , winning the trophy along with a sick €939,840 in prize money. Marcelo Simoes is a big player in Brazil, where his previous best score was $109k for first in a $900 BSOP Main Event back in 2017. With this result being almost 10x bigger, he must be walking on air after his trip to Monaco. The Brazilian player was the only representative of South America featured on the final table, busting out players from across Europe and the United States to secure the win, including Spanish PokerStars Pro Ramon Colillas . How did the action go down? During six-handed play Simoes really shone, building a huge chip lead thanks to consistently aggressive play. Across a hectic half-hour's play, German Erkan Soenmez , French Hugo Pingray , US player Jaime Cervantes and Dragos Trofimov from Moldova were all eliminated, leaving just Simoes and Danish player Morten Hvam to fight it out heads-up. The heads-up itself was also a short one, lasting under an hour. In the final hand, Hvam opened to 500k at 125k/250k (250k bb ante) blinds and faced a 3bet from Simoes to 1.3 million which he called. The flop came down 9 ♦ 7 ♦ 6♠ and Simoes continuation bet a further 1 million . Hvam considered briefly before shoving all-in, a total of 3.4 million chips, with Simoes snap-calling him. Simoes tabled K ♥ K ♦ for the overpair, and all Hvam had to show was the K♣T ♦ for a gutshot with overs. When the board ran out 5♠, J ♦ the Dane was eliminated, and Simoes was crowned EPT Monte Carlo Main Event Champion for 2022. EPT Monte Carlo Main Event 2022 Winners and Payouts Place Player Earnings (USD) 1 Marcelo Simoes Mesqueu $986,832 2 Morten Hvam $592,872 3 Dragos Trofimov $417,469 4 Jaime Cervantes $313,645 5 Hugo Pingray $239,883 6 Erkan Soenmez $175,402 It was a long, hard battle for the Brazilian over five days of intense poker action, and a well-deserved win for this passionate poker player. We are sure that his family and friends back home will be celebrating his win for Brazil for a long time to come. Well played sir. Image courtesy of Pokerstars
He's had a wild ride to get here, and besting a field of 1,014 entrants Daniel Lakerveld has done it, he has gone on to take it down in first place after eliminating Simon Gyorgy heads-up and taking the win in the spring Malta Poker Festival Grand Event. The end game was surprisingly fast and brutal in this one, with players busting out almost ceaselessly late on Sunday evening as they played down to 18 . Our PokerDeals Last Longer winner was finally crowned, as Robert Lim was eliminated in 17th place when his K ♦ T ♦ couldn't hold up against James Clarke's Q♠J♠ . This made Federico Petruzzelli the winner of a free entry to the very next Malta Poker Festival Grand Event (as well as a PokerDeals hoodie of course!). Petruzzelli himself was also sadly eliminated in 13th place when his A♠6♠ could not catch up with Chris da Silva's 9♣9 ♥ . Federico Petruzzelli - PokerDeals Last Longer Winner! Final Day Action at Malta Poker Fest Across those first hours of play, o ne by one the field fell away until it teetered on the very brink of the final table - just one player left to go out for the final table of nine to be formed. It was James Clarke's fate to be the bubble man, although you might argue he made that fate himself. In a limped pot good for 480k , Clarke checked back the 5♣2 ♦ with composure but then on the T ♥ T♠5 ♦ flop the Brit opted to rip almost 4x the pot with his remaining stack, giving Silva, who held T♣7 ♦ , a very easy chip-up with his hand. The 8 ♦ , 4 ♦ runout did absolutely nothing for him, and Clarke walked out as the Final Table bubble, 10th for €5,500 . James Clarke When Polish player Piotr Tuczynski got dealt QcJc in the Big Blind early on in the final table of nine he had two options, facing a 400k min-bet from Chris da Silva . He could flat or he could jam, with his 17bbs . Both fine options. He chose the latter, and he might have regretted it shortly thereafter as he ran straight into da Silva's A ♥ Q ♥ . The Q♠8♣6 ♦ 4 ♥ 6♣ runout could not help him, and he went home in ninth with €6,500 for his troubles. Piotr Tuczynski Nicolay Langfeldt from Norway had just got short. Like really short. With no time to waste, he put his last 425k , less than 2bbs at time time, into the pot with K ♦ J ♦ , met Georgios Ninis' A♠9♠ in the middle, and could not win the standoff, losing as he did on an A ♥ 8 ♦ T ♦ T ♥ 5 ♥ board and exiting in eighth with a €7,500 payday. Nicolay Langfeldt In a similar story, UK player Stephen Kane got his last 4 bigs in facing a min-open from da Silva on the Button and sitting in the Big Blind. He was met with an ace under ace situation - his A♣6 ♦ against da Silva's much prettier A♠T♠ , and the T♣6♣7 ♦ J♠ Q♠ runout was nothing more than a tease. Kane busted in seventh with €9,000 to mop up his tears. Stephen Kane Polish Pawel Zawadowicz was powering through at the end of Day 2, as Chip Leader coming into today, but he had to put his last chips in the middle sometime, and this was the moment, as he looked down at A ♥ K ♥ . A shove, he decided, with just south of 12bbs in his 3.5 million chip stack . He was in the Cutoff , it might certainly look weaker than an open to some players. Lakerveld had too good a hand to think twice, with 8 ♥ 8♠ on the Button. The two players flipped it out, and Lakerveld landed on his feet, with a T ♦ 6♠2♠ flop making him a firm favourite. The turn and river brought nothing but a Jack and a five of ♠ s for the Pole, and the pain of elimination, and he walked out in sixth, taking home €11,000 with him. Pawel Zawadowicz Greek Georgios Ninis had been playing a solid game. He got it in on this final table in an excellent spot, A ♦ 5 ♦ on a 9 ♥ 2♣5♣ 5♠ board against a worse five, exactly what you want. Gyorgi Simon was the other involved, stuck in there with just T ♥ 5 ♥ . Then a miracle - the T♠ ! With very even stacks Ninis was struck out in fifth in a huge near 9 million chip pot. Ninis took away €14,000 in winnings from this one. Georgios Ninis Dutch player Jasper van Moorsel got it in in very fine shape with his J♣J♠ blind vs. blind against Simon Gyorgy's Q♣7 ♥ , but it was his turn to run bad as a Q ♥ in the window followed by a 5♣2 ♥ K♠ K♣ spelled the end for van Moorsel and had him out in fourth, cashing for €18,000 . Jasper van Moorsel When Simon Gyorgy put his 10 million stack in the middle from the Button and it folded to British player Chris da Silva's Big Blind , da Silva decided this was the spot to take a stand, and called it off with A ♥ 3♠ . Gyorgy showed down 4♣4♠ for the best hand preflop, and just to make the point, boated up on a Q♣8♣4 ♦ 8 ♦ 6 ♦ board runout. Da Silva, a live Pokerstars Pro, has to settle for third place this time, and €25,000 . Chris da Silva There had been some talk of a deal at three, and at two players remaining, but in the end no deal was struck, and Hungarian Simon Gyorgy would square up against Dutch player Daniel Lakerveld heads-up, playing for the trophy and a final pay-jump of €28,000 . The heads-up was, like the final table itself, to be relatively short-lived and dramatic, with the two players entering level 34 with roughly even stacks at 25-26 million apiece. With blinds at 300k/600k Lakerveld min-opened and Gyorgy called to see a T♠5 ♦ 3 ♥ flop, on which Lakerveld continuation bet 600k and Gyorgy called. The 8♣ turn was checked by both players, but on the 5♠ river something overtook both players. First of all Gyorgy checked, and Lakerveld overbet, 3.5 million. Then Gyorgy after the tiniest of hesitations jammed it in, to be immediately called. Gyorgy revealed K♠5 ♥ for trips, but Lakerveld had the best trips of all, holding A ♥ 5♣ . Simon Gyorgy - runner up Thus this incredible Grand Event was brought to its conclusion in fitting style with an epic cooler, Gyorgy departed €43,000 richer as runner up, and Daniel Lakerveld shipped the trophy, the €71,000 and the glory! Daniel Lakerveld - Malta Poker Festival Grand Event Champion 2022! Malta Poker Festival 2022 Final Table Results Place Name Country Prize 1 Daniel Lakerveld Netherlands €71,000 2 Simon Gyorgy Hungary €43,000 3 Chris da Silva United Kingdom €25,000 4 Jasper van Moorsel Netherlands €18,000 5 Georgios Ninis Greece €14,000 6 Pawel Zawadowicz Poland €11,000 7 Stephen Kane United Kingdom €9,000 8 Nicolay Langfeldt Norway €7,500 9 Piotr Tuczynski Poland €6,500 We have thoroughly enjoyed our time here in the lovely land of Malta covering this series for you, and the vibe has been excellent throughout. Good weather, good people, and oh-such-good games! We'll be back to do it all again soon, and we hope you will too. Remember to catch our live updates for the next big tournament. In the meantime, if you'd like to touch base or hang out, please connect with us over on the PokerDeals Discord channel. May the poker gods shine on you, and best of luck. by Lucky Luke
You have to hand it to PokerGO , the big events and ultimate entertainment just keep on flowing! It was a stroke of genius to come up with the format for this latest event, offering spots to the top of the PokerGO Tour leaderboard in a $25k buy-in Heads-up event and then filling out the remaining spots with big names from the game and entertaining "poker celebs”. Players were divided into four sections of eight identified by suits of the deck, and here's a quick breakdown of who made it through. Image courtesy of PokerGo This game was played for keeps, one match only, no re-matches, and $25k on the line. Amongst the heroic contenders eliminated in this first brutal round were the legendary Shaun Deeb , Jared Bleznick , arch-wizard Phil Galfond and staunch battleaxe Scott Seiver , amongst many other worthy contenders. Hellmuth and Persson Face Off We also lost, amidst a lot of bad language, on the feature table, the entertainer himself, Phil Hellmuth . Mr Positivity did lose his cool at the very end as his stack got fully mangled by opponent Eric Persson , and it was quite the psychological battle. Persson pulled no punches in talking foul to Phil , eventually earning himself a warning, but at one point both players were warned about their behaviour and language. Not quite what you might want to see on the feature table of a headline event, but entertaining in its own way, and not entirely unexpected in a clash between these two fiery and strong-minded characters. This leaves Daniel Negreanu as clearly the most legendary player remaining in the running, although some incredibly strong opponents also progressed to the next round such as Eric Seidel, Sean Winter and Alex Foxen . Check out this and more in the coverage from the day on YouTube. The reporting does a great job of roaming across the tables, and you can see all your favourite characters sweat it out in what were truly engrossing heads-up matches. Tune in to the PokerDeals Discord to tell us about what you thought of these epic confrontations! Well done PokerGO , and do please keep serving up these huge events!
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