The final table of the WSOP is right around the corner so naturally, the eyes of the poker world are upon it. Nine guys fighting it out for the right to be forever called “World Champion” of poker – to say nothing of the over $8M that goes to this years champion.
I have an unusual interest in this particular final table. It’s strictly a financial interest. Last spring, I was at a WPT event surrounded by some excellent young players and they were knocking the ‘old players’. Well, one thing led to another, and some proposition bets came up. The first bet was that I would take Phil Hellmuth to win a bracelet at the 2012 WSOP against anyone (and as many guys that they wanted) if they laid me 13-10 per bet on the money. Well, they jumped on that and started making up a list of players to bet against Hellmuth. They ended up picking eight players and laid me $13k-$10k per man. Later, I took bets from other guys who picked two and three more players against Hellmuth. (I wouldn’t take duplicate bets on any players.) So, altogether I had Hellmuth against 13 different players in a must-win bracelet bet at this years WSOP in Las Vegas. (If both won, there was no action and if neither won, there was no action.)
They Think I Was Crazy
Many guys thought I was crazy taking Hellmuth against these guys, but I loved my bet(s) as I figured I could maybe lose $20-$30k max if two or three of their men won bracelets and Hellmuth didn’t, but if Hellmuth won one, I could win maybe 10-12 bets. Well, when the smoke cleared, Hellmuth won a bracelet and none of their choices won any. I scooped the pot.
The Hellmuth Bets
After making the “Hellmuth bets“, I came up with another proposition for the ‘young guns’. I asked, “What do you think the price is for someone over 40 winning the main event of the WSOP?” They all thought it was a huge price. Some said 20-1, some said 15-1 and a couple said 10 or 12 to 1. I then announced I would take 10-1 on someone 40 or older winning the main event of the 2012 WSOP. One guy bet me $50k-$5k. While playing in a poker game a short while later, I mentioned this bet to the table and a younger player then said, “I love his side of that. I’d like to lay 10-1 on that as well.” I said, “OK. How much do you want it for?” He said, “I’ll take it for $200k-$20k.” I told him he had a bet.
I then contacted an expert math guy who plays poker and is a sports betting expert and asked him what he thought the price of someone over 40 was winning the main event of the WSOP. After calculating for ten minutes, he said, “It’s 5.6-1.” I couldn’t believe it. Five point six to one. Who would ever come up with that number? I then asked him if he’d like a bet where I’d lay him seven and half to one, $150k to $20k on that proposition. He said, “Yes and I’ll take all you can get me at 8-1.” So, I gave him 7.5 to 1 on a bet I was getting 10-1 on, thus freerolling for $50k. Later, another guy laid me $100k-$10k on the same bet, and I gave it to my man for $80k-$10k. On those two bets, I’m freerolling for $70k! How sweet it is! Life is great, huh?
That guy was Doyle Brunson
Word travels fast in the high stakes poker world, and soon others were betting on this proposition as well. Incredibly, one ‘old guy’ I thought would like the 10-1 on the ‘over 40 guys’, bet on the young guys, laying $100k-$10k. That guy was Doyle Brunson. But a number of older players liked my side and bet my way, including Barry Greenstein, Billy Baxter, and Layne Flack.
Two are over 40
In case you don’t know, there are two guys at the final table that are over 40 – Steven Gee (56) of Sacramento, CA and Michael Esposito (43) of Seaford, NY. They are sitting in 5th and 6th chip position. Obviously, I’m pulling for the “old geezers”. Gee is a former bracelet winner (2010 NLHE event) and Esposito has some experience under his belt as well. They might not win, but it will be a fun sweat.
So how do you think it’s going to play out for Mike Sexton? Let us know in the comments below and remember to follow us on Twitter for more poker greatness.