Team PokerStars Online: Prop betting with DaWarsaw
Grzegorz "DaWarsaw" Mikielewicz is good at poker. Better put, he's good at online poker, and it served him well-enough to earn a spot on Team PokerStars Online. With that understood, you should know Mikielewicz is terrible at prop betting. I mean, really stinky. Fortunately, he can admit it. That's really the first step.
"I am very bad at giving and getting handicaps, as I am looking for serious challenge and a big satisfaction if it is won by me instead of positive expected value," he told us candidly. "I look for the bets as a way of fun and challenge, unfortunately others wants to have an edge."
If you know anything about prop betting, you know that's a problem. Compounding the problem is that Mikielewicz will bet on just about anything--bowling, go-carts, basketball, xBox, which elevator comes first, you name it. But the worst? The really, really bad one?
Three or four years back, in an effort to motivate himself to get better, Mikielewicz decided to make a bet that he could--within 18 months!--reduce his handicap from its sad state (24 to 28) down to five, and then play three rounds of gold with a five handicap in 24 hours.
"I am still embarrassed by that," he admits.
He got the best coach he could find. He practiced hours every day. And then he factored in one ugly truth.
"I realized that to get close into making the bet I would have to almost completely sacrifice the poker game during this time," he said. "So I did some calculations and decided to not go for it and paid the bet off."
Goodness, it's not just the bets he makes that cost him money. Mikielewicz is also known for not making bets that could've won him tons.
"In 2010 in August I was offered a couple great bets against me to make Supernova Elite but I refused them all, and then ended up making the SNE status," he said.
That is a long preamble to reminding all of us (including Mikielewicz) why he's a poker player and not a professional hustler. After all, it was his poker play that snagged him a starring role in his own short film. It's a skill he's honed through practice and...get this...humility.
"I think all poker players should be honest with themselves and have realistic goals. I am aware that I am not the most talented player and there are many better than me," he said. "However, with a little work and discipline I am still able to be stay above average and keep winning over a long period of time. I consider discipline, organization of work and avoiding tilt as my strongest poker skills."
To see a little bit of Mikielewicz's winning poker and losing props life, here's another look at his short shot in Poland over three days.
Brad Willis is the Head of Blogging at PokerStars