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Poker News | World Poker News

Prop Bets: The “Other” Bets in Poker

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Recently Erick Lindgren won a prop bet where he had to play 72 holes of golf in a single blazing hot Las Vegas day, score less than 100 on each round, carry his own bag, and hit off the pro-level tees. The four rounds of golf netted Lindgren $300,000. Lindgren was not the first to accomplish such a feat, however. Huck Seed once won a similar bet by shooting under 100 on four rounds of golf in a single day - and Huck was only allowed to use a five iron, a sand wedge and a putter.

While we will defend to the death that poker isn't gambling, it's hard to ignore the fact that many in the game have a gambler's heart. Here at the WSOP, there are dozens of prop bets each day that any casual observer can witness and probably hundreds more that go on behind the scenes.

The most common prop bet at the WSOP goes on during play. Each player picks a card denomination. If that card comes up on the board, they collect $100. These prop bets are designed to be even money propositions; statistically each player has equal odds to win. The edge is paying attention and collecting your won bet. If you snooze, you lose. Jason "strassa2" Strasser (below) won his entire buy-in for a tournament from Gavin Smith in prop bets. Michael Mizrachi (above) is pictured with his stack of prop bet hundreds at the ready during a recent tournament.

Joe Sebok and Gavin Smith have an ongoing series of prop bets with creative payment and penalty schemes. During last year's WSOP, Sebok, on the losing end, had to wear stupid costumes during the WSOP main event. On another bet, Gavin Smith had to get Sebok's initials tattooed on his backside. This year Sebok, Smith and Jeff Madsen have a three-way prop bet going, based on the amount of cashes each one makes. At one point, this bet became problematic.

On the bubble in the $5K Pot Limit Hold'em event, Joe Sebok was folding in agony. He said if not for the prop bet, he would have pushed to try to go deep, but it was too important for the prop bet that he try to eek out a cash. Actually it worked out both ways for Sebok; he road out the bubble and went deep, finishing in 11th place.

If you can bet it, they have; weight loss, weight gain, standing back-flips, consecutive hours in a strip club, etc. And I guess if I had to pick the most outlandish prop bet ever executed it would be have to be the one that Brian Zembic took and won. Zembic took a $100,000 bet that he wouldn't get breast implants and keep them for one year. Not only did Zembic complete the obligation of the bet, he kept the breasts and is still proud of them today.

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