Prop Bets Gone Wild

by , Sep 30, 2007 | 12:05 pm

While the WPT has been lounging working to host a tournament in Turks & Caicos this past week, they’ve also been documenting some prop bets through the live updates and video updates.

Side note: Kimberly Lansing has been in better form during this tournament – no rapping or other embarrassing less-than-professional antics. And so far, Layla Kayleigh has stayed away from the video camera and Kimberly while she’s schmoozing flirting working.

The prop bets, while common amongst poker players, are normally silly but not life-threatening… until now. Sean McCabe willing to pal around with sharks, even entice them with “chum” to increase the danger level, is swimming in the danger zone. I think they’ve gone too far.

The first big bet recorded (thanks to BJ Nemeth) in Turks took place yesterday, during a day off before the WPT final table. Matt Gianetti, a player from Austin, TX, took a $15k bet that was based on being able to stand in the deep end of the pool for 12 straight hours. He came out severely pruned but alive and well. No harm, no foul.

The second bet didn’t take place… yet. But the details of it are a bit disturbing. Mark Seif challenged Sean McCabe to stand shoulder-deep in the ocean for 24 hours. The bet was supposed to be for $100,000, but after discussing the risk of sharks and other dangerous ocean creatures, Mark was willing to place odds at 2-1 if he could toss blood and fish guts in the water surrounding Sean. Sean claimed to have the upper hand as a certified rescue diver, but they were arranging for a local doctor to be on call during the bet because of the dangers of the situation.

The bet actually fell apart because Mark finally became concerned about the safety issues involved, though Sean claims he is willing to take the bet if someone will put up the money.

Boys, boys, boys. Putting lives in danger? I understand the appeal of the money, but are these guys so hungry for action that they’ll step over that line? I may sound like their mother telling them not to run with those scissors, but someone is going to come close to death (or actually die) in one of these prop bets, and then they’ll be sorry.


4 Comments to “Prop Bets Gone Wild”


  1. DanM
    says:

    What was Gianetti thinking? I mean Austin is pretty dern landlocked … what does he know?

    But Jen, I think you are being a little sappy. I mean shark-bait prop bets?!? How is that not more awesome than Fear Factor? It should be on pay-per-view.


  2. BJ Nemeth
    says:

    Thanks for the shoutout, Jen. 🙂

    Sean McCabe’s bet has been on-again-off-again for a few days, but I still believe all the key elements are in place for the prop bet to begin (terms, money, and victim). Maybe in Aruba, maybe not.

    I think it’s good for poker that some of the higher-profile prop bets are being closely recorded for history (such as Lindgren’s golf marathon during the WSOP). It’s much more interesting to the history of our sport if we have verification and details on things, rather than Huckleberry Seed’s memory of standing in the ocean for three hours on a bet with Phil Hellmuth.

    You could certainly argue that this is all *bad* for poker, but in my opinion, I think it adds some flavor to our “sport.”


  3. California Jen
    says:

    I do like that some of the bigger prop bets are being recorded. Most of them are funny and entertaining. Phil Laak and Antonio Esfandiari even have their own TV show based on crazy prop bets.

    I only take issue with them when they come close to endangering someone’s life. (That’s why I don’t watch Fear Factor, Dan!) I don’t think prop bets need to be life-threatening to be creative and interesting.

    Overall, I like the flavor, as BJ said. There just have to be limits based on sanity and logic. (Yes, I know I’m talking about poker players here, but I’m saying it anyway.)


  4. DanM
    says:

    C’mon, even Houdini died while doing a magic trick. How could a crazy prop-bet death be anything but “good” for poker? I mean really, I think ratings and online sign-ups would soar, but even if I am wrong here, if one death prevented 10 others, would that be good?

    By the way, I only buy my own argument about 16 percent.