I bet $50,000 that you….?

Because sometimes, the money in the pot just isn’t enough…

Would you live in a Bellagio bathroom for 25 days for $40,000?

For most of us “mortals,” the answer would be probably – yes.  And so did poker player Jay Kwik who was on the receiving end of that amount from Andrew Robl.

Prop bets have become as popular at the poker tables as cigars, or drinks. It is especially prevalent at the high-stakes tables, where the top players run between themselves prop bets that can easily stretch into the millions. Not for the faint of heart (and low on cash). The best can range from who-can-knock-the-bottle-into-the-trash kind; ‘guess the flop color,’ win a coin flip or stand up and sing before everyone (and in a WSOP tournament, that could be a lot of people). Huck Seed once bet he could learn to perform a backflip in two weeks. He also bet Phil Hellmuth for $50,000 that he could stand in the ocean up to his shoulders for 18 hours straight (he lost.) Sometimes players will take part of a prop bet to get out of another prop bet, as was the case with Huck Seed, who ran a marathon with Ted Forrest to get off a tennis-related bet he was obliged to.

Here is a sample of some of the more well-known poker prop bets…

–      ‘I’ll take vegetables for $1,000,000, Tom.’

At a high-stakes game, Phil Ivey enticed Tom Dwan into a prop bet where Ivey would call off meat for a year for the pocket-change amount of$1 mill. The result? He bought ‘out’ after 20 days, for a ‘discounted’ $850,000.

–      Lose some weight, gain some cash:

During the 2007 WSOP, Mike Matusow and Ted Forrest got into a prop bet regarding Matusow’s weight. Forrest laid $100,000 on the line, saying there’s no way Matusow could get back to his high school weight of 181 pounds by the 2008 WSOP. Matusow took up the challenge: he hired a trainer, changed his lifestyle and worked hard the shave off the pounds. With less than 2 weeks to go, he was still 15 pounds behind the target weight, but he just managed to squeeze by at the last moment – weighing at just under 181 pounds.

2 years later, Matusow and Justin smith turned the tables – quite literally – on Forrest. Forrest bet $50k that he could lose close to 50 pounds by the 15th of September; with matusow and Smith giving him 20:1 odds and a further 10:1 on $100K that he couldn’t do it before July 15th. In all, Forrest had $150,00 up for a chance to be slim and gain a hefty $2,000,000.

The bet was hard enough given the amount of money involved, but his bettors didn’t make things easier on Forrest, having room service deliver cakes and steaks to Ted at the poker table. On July 13th, during a break in the WSOP Main Even, Forrest stepped on a scale and the numbers on the screen showed: 138. He lost the pounds but gained the dollars…lots of them.

–      70 miles + 24 hrs = $300,000

22 year old poker pro Ashton Griffin managed to persuade Justin Smith and Haseeb Quershi to prop-bet him on what seemed like an insane bet: to run 70 miles in 24 hrs. Starting at 12:30 pm, and with less than a full night’s sleep, he started on his quest at his local gym. Even though his parents drove over to persuade him to stop, Griffin, who had a background of cross-country running and was, according to friends, in great shape, refused to let go. With the exception of a few breaks, and running at a consistent speed limit, Griffin managed to do the unthinkable – and stepped off the treadmill after 23 hours, 15 minutes.

–      Do you want fries with the cash…?

Many people around the world love a good hamburger – or cheeseburger. That holds true to poker players. Poker pro Howard Lederer (brother of Annie Duke, incidentally), however, is not one of these people. Following a gastric bypass surgery, Howard decided to pull off cheeseburgers from the menu.  Trying to find out fact how determined Lederer’s new vegan stance was, he laid $10,000 on the table, offering it to Lederer in exchange for Howard tackling burgers once more.  Unfazed, Lederer took the bite, enjoyed one more cheeseburger and pocketed $10,000 cash.

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