It doesn’t matter if one plays online or live, it can get a little boring sitting at a poker table all day, every day, for weeks on end. There’s plenty of money to be made for a pro player with a respectable win rate, but any pro will tell you that they spend much more time fiddling with the chips in their own stack than raking in the chips from someone else’s.
With all that time to sit and do pretty much nothing, it’s no wonder that poker players have come up with some the craziest prop bets ever made — and paid — as they sit and wait for their next good opportunity to be dealt.
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Poker Players Have Always Been A Bit “Off”
There was the time Mike “The Mouth” Matusow bet Ted Forrest $2 million that he couldn’t drop his weight from 188 pounds down to less than 140 within just a few months. Forrest did it, finishing at 138 pounds and risking his health and his life in the process with extreme exercise and fasting. Unfortunately, Matusow only paid up about $75,000, saying that he didn’t have the money and never thought he’d have to pay because he expected Forrest to either fail or die trying to win.
Ashton Griffon made himself $300,000 richer by running 70 miles on a treadmill in less than 24 hours. He just barely made it, completing the task in 23 hours and 15 minutes.
In one of the most bizarre prop bets ever made, Brian Zembic accepted a $100,000 bet that he wouldn’t get breast implants and leave them in for at least one year. Not only did Zembic get the fake boobs and win the bet, he never got the implants removed.
30 Days In A Blackened Bathroom For $100,000
And now the tradition continues with another highly imaginative — if not completely insane — prop bet. Rich Alati has accepted a $100,000 bet from Rory Young stipulating that he won’t be able to survive for 30 days in a pitch-black bathroom at an undisclosed location somewhere in Las Vegas. In order to win the bet, Alati will have to live for 30 days in what amounts to a do-it-yourself sensory deprivation chamber without any contact from the world outside. If he fails, he’ll be the one coughing up the $100k.
Young said the bet stemmed from a heads-up poker session where he hypothetically asked Alati how long he thought he could last in a dark room without any human interaction. When Alati answered 30 days, Young said, “Oh, that’s interesting – would you ever consider putting any money on it?”
Rich then responded, “Yeah, but it would have to be a large amount to make it worthwhile.” He clarified that he was thinking of an amount somewhere in the area of $50,000 to $100,000 and the two began hashing out the details. Within a few hours, the bet was on. Alati entered the bathroom on November 21.
Young gave some details about the rules of the bet, saying, “The conditions are complete darkness, so no electronics, no light-emitting devices, no drugs of any kind. He is allowed any type of food that he wants. He has a bed in there, he has a shower and a bathtub. He has pretty lavish toiletries like Epsom salts, sugar scrubs, that kind of stuff.”
Alati has some foods stocked in a refrigerator like sliced fruits, almond milk, cereals and Pop Tarts. Food is also being delivered to him from Las Vegas restaurant Flower Child, however, deliveries are being made on a purposely irregular basis so as not to give any clues as to how much time has passed.
Young described the process. “Food is delivered every three to six days, and we’ve randomized what days it’ll be delivered, and we’ll drop off six days worth of food so he doesn’t know how long it’s been,” he said. “It could be three days. It could be six days. He’ll have no idea of how long it’s been, so no watches or clocks or things like that.”
Five night-vision cameras are in place around the room providing a live stream that Alati’s family and a small selection of other viewers can access. The only places the cameras don’t cover are the shower and a small cubicle around the toilet. The two gamblers are recording the entire ordeal and hoping that perhaps it can be marketed as a reality show of some kind when everything is over.
Young pointed out that if the roles had been reversed he would have asked for some kind of odds on his side of the bet. “I don’t think he ever thought to ask for odds. He just kind of wanted to do it. He didn’t think about it. I guess I was lucky in that regard. I feel like the true odds are between 5 and 10 to 1. His hourly throughout the whole thing, if he wins, is only $140. That’s a good hourly, but it’s not a good hourly for this, and he loses a decent amount of the time,” he said.
Alati’s family, and particularly his sister, tried to talk him out of the bet but he decided he was going to go through with it anyway. Young also admitted to having some concerns about Alati’s health during or after his extended stay in the darkened bathroom.
Young stated, however, that he didn’t feel any ethical guilt about making the bet, saying, “I’m a firm believer in that if there are two consenting adults and if it doesn’t do any harm to a third party, then it’s morally justifiable. I don’t have any hangups about the ethical side of this. I think it’s different if it was a freeroll. I think I can have some ethical concerns there. I have a bit of concern for his eyesight, but we’re taking all of the necessary conditions.”
Of course, a bet like this is getting plenty of word-of-mouth around Vegas. Perhaps the craziest thing about it, though, is that there are apparently others waiting in the wings to raise the stakes and top Alati’s accomplishment — if he lasts the entire 30 days.
Young said that he’d received a call from former WSOP champion Huck Seed who was interested in taking things a few steps farther. Young stated that Seed said he would do it for an even $1 million and that, “He wants to do it with no bed, no food for the first 21 days. He’d do it for a total of 40 days, and just water. Also, he said I could put some cockroaches in the bathroom.”
Alati seems to be doing well at this point, but there’s still plenty of time for him to change his mind — or lose it — and give up. And we’ll just have to wait and see if Young decides to take Huck Seed up on his million dollar offer.
We’ll keep you updated!