Two poker players recently found themselves in one of the strangest prop bets in poker history, as Rory Young had bet Rich Alati that he wouldn’t be able to tough it out for 30 days in solitary confinement.
If Alati could pull it off, then Young would give him a $100,000 prize. If he couldn’t do it, then he’d be the one paying out the six-figure sum.
One side bought out early – but it wasn’t who you would expect.
The Nitty Gritty of the Prop Bet
An 11-page legal contract was created, and both players placed $100 000 in escrow before the date Alati would be heading into confinement – November 21st. They even appointed a panel of three judges to ensure that Alati would stick to the contract.
The area where Alati stayed was an undisclosed location in Las Vegas. The room only had a mattress, shower, washroom, washer/dryer, bin, and a fridge. All of his communication devices were seized and every light source was removed – even the light bulb in the fridge.
His meals were delivered in three six-date intervals – randomly, to ensure that he wouldn’t know exactly how long he had been in the room.
The bet ended early, but not for the reason you would expect. While you’d assume that it was Alati that couldn’t hack it in solitary confinement for a whole month, Young was the one who folded. On the 20th day of the bet, Young made his meal delivery to Alati, who seemed positive and in high spirits. It was obvious that Young would lose the bet, so he negotiated.
He initially offered Alati $25 000 to buy out of the bet, but it was eventually negotiated $62,400 – $3,120 for every day that he lasted in solitary confinement.
“I underestimated his mindset, his resolve,” Young said in an interview. “I’m not disappointed I made the bet, I thought I had the better side, but he has exceeded all my expectations.”
Famous Prop Bets in Poker History
Prop betting is a long-standing tradition in the poker world. If you’ve ever been to a live poker game, you’ve likely encountered thrill-seeking players who will wager on anything – from which card will show up on the river to whether or not they can do 100 push-ups.
This isn’t the first time that poker players have taken prop bets a little too far. In 2010, Phil Ivey bet Tom Dwan $1 million that he would be able to be a vegetarian for year. He only lasted three weeks, and ended up buying out of the bet for $150 000.
Another interesting prop bet was wagered when Ashton Griffin proclaimed to Justin Smith that he would be able to run 70 miles in 24 hours. Smith would pay out a hefty sum of $300,000 if Griffin could complete the run in the time allocated.
The 70-mile run was a harrowing experience for Griffin, but he managed to complete it with 45 minutes to go – and ended up over a quarter of a million dollars richer.
Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak are perhaps the most famous prop bettors in the poker world. The pair even had a short-lived television series, where they wagered on all sorts of crazy situations, including:
- Finding out who could collect more tips bartending for an hour
- Competing against each other in a Medieval Times tournament
- Visiting a sperm bank to measure the “manliness” of their samples
- Determining who is the better ballet dancer
One of their most famous prop bets was caught on camera during High Stakes Poker, when Esfandiari bet that he could do 35 push-ups. You can watch the action unfold here:
Surely, it won’t be long before another pair of poker players up the ante. Rich Alati and Rory Young have set the bar pretty high, but we’re certain someone will be able to top them soon.