EPT9 Sanremo: Prop betting to better yourself


You may have read on the blog about the antics of Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Eugene Katchalov earlier this week and their epic bike ride from Cannes to Sanremo. It was the next in a series of prop bets the pair arranged during WCOOP, with results determining who had to do what. First there was Katchalov's 1,000 push ups in 12 hours (done), then ElkY's ride to Cannes (done, with Katchalov along for the ride). And next up will be ElkY's efforts to conduct an interview in Russian (he speaks no Russian).

But while prop bets are often simply opportunities to swing an ego around or gets some attention, Grospellier and Katchalov have taken it a step further, as Katchalov explained.

"A lot of people when they make prop bets they bet money," said Katchalov. "We didn't want to do that. First of all we're friends, and we don't want to bet money against each other. Second of all I don't see any benefit to it. Okay, you win money, you lose money, it hurts or it feels good, whatever. It's not a big deal.

"But here we wanted to come up with something that you may not want to do but in the end it will benefit you. So we came up with these prop bets."

As Katchalov explained, they're the type of activities you don't necessarily want to do but which will benefit you. Who doesn't want to be a little fitter? Who wouldn't want to learn a foreign language? The market is flooded with hundreds of books telling you how to lose a lot of weight. Few work as well than a prop bet, a cut-off date and a forfeit.

"So that's what we wanted to do," he added, "to make it fun and if you lose then you're not that upset because at least you got to challenge yourself. We're not trying to punish each other, like shave our head or something. We're trying to do things to help each other."

Katchalov (left) and ElkY cross the "finishing line"

Just watching the video of the ride from Cannes, which you can see below, it looked fun, despite the effort involved that made for a tough day. Katchalov himself aims to do the trip again next year, although there is always a little pain to go with it.

"I hurt my ass a little bit! Just the outline of the bike seat! Other than that I feel great. I slept for 11-and-a-half-hours yesterday. I haven't slept that long in a long time. I must have been really tired."

The two of them have already discussed plans for their next prop bets, along the lines of sports or physical activity, although Katchalov ruled out anything dangerous ("I'm no daredevil," he said). The admirable quest for self-improvement continues.

That said, it presents some interesting opportunities to suggest alternative ways of travelling between EPTs. Next up is Prague, which could be approached by ski perhaps. Then there's the PCA. By canoe? The possibilities are endless. Let us know your suggestions by tweeting @PokerStarsBlog with your thoughts.

Keep an eye on the live tournament reporting from EPT Sanremo for all the news from the tournament floor.