PCA 2014: Prop betting 101 with Lodden, Jorgensen and Wahlbeck
"My wife told me: if you win, you win. If you lose, you got outrun by a penguin." - Theo Jorgensen.
Whether it's Huck Seed's failed attempt to stand in the ocean for 24 hours, Ted Forrest successfully losing 48 pounds in three months, or the millions (and millions) of dollars players have wagered on the golf course, prop betting and poker are, like, total BFFs. But what should you do next time someone sticks their hand out and asks, "hey, wanna bet on that?"
This morning's Team PokerStars Q&A panel were pretty big authorities on the subject of on-the-spot wagers. Theo Jorgensen, Ville Wahlbeck and Johnny Lodden -- a name so synonymous with prop betting he has his own game (with it's own website) named after him -- took their seats in front of a healthy crowd. When all the coffees were poured, PokerStars Head of Communication, Lee Jones got ready to chat about some "really crazy stuff" and the result was a handy guide to setting up the perfect prop bet.
More importantly, it's a guide on how to avoid those bets you'll definitely lose. Enjoy!
Don't be afraid to use animals
Jorgensen thinks penguins are slow on land, and, more crucially, slower than he is on land. So when a discussion at a baby shower with a woman who worked for a zoo -- a woman with access to penguins -- was struck up, a prop bet wasn't far behind. "Five days later I'm out training in a hockey hall trying to find out what shoes to wear."
1) get a penguin
2) make said penguin hungry
3) put a "delicious meal" 60 metres away from said penguin
The result: prop bet cancelled due to potential animal rights abuse.
Do bet on the golf course with Johnny Lodden
Lodden doesn't do many sporting-based prop bets because, well, he's "really bad" at all sports. But he did once have a big golf bet. "On the last hole, the guy said what are the odds of hitting the green (it was a par three), and one of my other friends bet big on it," Lodden told everyone this morning. "That cost me a six-figure number..."
Don't bet on the basketball court with Ville Wahlbeck
Unlike Lodden, Wahlbeck definitely is good at sports. "I shot 46 three-pointers in basketball out of 100," the EPT London 8-Game champ said of his most proud prop betting moment. "I had to pay $1,000 for each shot, and I made $2,000 for each one I made. That was pretty successful."
If prop betting at the poker table, whisper
Want to make a prop bet at the poker table, but not sure of the proper etiquette? "Keep it as quiet as possible," advises Wahlbeck. "You can't say 'look how nervous he is', that's giving out information that might affect a hand. But other than that it's perfectly fine. "
Never wager more than $50,000 with Gus Hansen
In 2009, a prop bet pushed Jorgensen and fellow Dane, Gus Hansen, into the boxing ring for a skuffle. Jorgensen won. What was his secret? He bet less $50,000. "Most likely if I keep the bet under $50,000 he's not going to train much so I'm going to be favorite - that's what went through my head."
When prop betting to lose weight, always use carrots
If you're carrying a little extra timber, here's a great way to lose, say, about 17 kilos in two months. Just book yourself six-figures worth of action. According to Jorgensen, that's exactly what an overweight friend of his did. Through multiple other proppers he got a "$250,000 carrot".
"There are a lot of guys who go around collecting bets because they can't get enough action and for motivation," according to Wahlbeck. "They just collect a lot of small bets. Once you hear somebody is doing that absolutely stay away from that bet."
Let that be a warning to you.
Quitting smoking is all about discounts
A nicotine hit at the Atlantis will set you back about $10 for a pack of Winston Lights (give or take). But if you're a specific friend of Wahlbeck, it could cost anything up to €500. Two years ago, said friend set up a €10,000 that he'd quit smoking. The money was paid up front with one stipulation: if he ever wanted another smoke, he'd have to pay for it with more than just his health. To date, it's cost him about "€6,000 or €7,000".
"He's still a recreational smoker, so now he has to call or text aksing: 'How much to smoke one or two?' €100? Okay, fine," laughs Wahlbeck, before revealing that at Barcelona last year, a whole pack cost his buddy €500. Apparently it was a "volume discount".
Always question Viktor Ramdin's edge
Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin - "a 55-year-old guy, with a farily big stomach" (Jorgensen's words, not ours), bet Jorgensen he couldn't beat him over a 50 metre run on the beach here at the Atlantis Resort. He'd even give the Dane a 12 metre head start.
"We can't figure out the angle. We know there is one... It has potential to make me look very, very stupid."
If you need us, we'll be at the beach making sure this happens.
Like all of this week's must-visit breakfast Q&As, the stories covered above are just a fraction of what was talked about. Check out the video below for more from this morning.
Alternatively, if you want more for the sessions here at the PCA, click here for ElkY and Eugene Katchalov's nutrition tips, or hear what Vanessa Selbst, David Williams and Ike Haxton (aka the Brain Trust) had to say on staking.
Plus don't forget to check out our coverage of this year's guarantee-busting 2014 Main Event.
Keir Mackay is a copywriter for PokerStars.