Monday, May 31, 2010

How to Get Rich at World Series of Poker

Every year, starting at the end of May, excitement bubbles and egos flare up as the WSOP begins again. While a small, elite crew hope to set records and make historical bounds, the average professional is just hoping to score a profit on the overlay of recreational players who stampede the gates of the Rio every year. After spotting a new article on yesterday, I saw an opportunity to make a huge potential windfall on the first mentioned brand of player without the benefit of talent or experience.

Before I go into my spiel, I would like to point out that I am not a professional sports bettor, so if I am making any clear mistakes, please kindly bring them to my attention. On the other hand, if I misspell a word or make any other ridiculous oversight, please don't waste your time pointing it out (yes, that was for you, Mr. Jolly Toper).

In any case, on Cardplayer I had spotted an article about Tom Dwan offering a prop bet that gives himself 3.25:1 odds to win a bracelet this year. What is better is that he does not benefit in regards to the bet by winning multiple bracelets in a single year. While many people might balk at taking such a bet against such a massive talent, had I $5k to plunk down, I would give serious consideration to taking this bet.

It is fairly common knowledge that the best way to succeed in such prop bets is to play in the smaller field events. Unfortunately for Dwan, most of said events are in dying breed games like stud and lowball. To make matters worse, these events are populated with old guard veterans who will possess a huge gap of experience and knowledge over Dwan.  Secondly, as we all know, tournament strategy varies widely from cash game strategy. While Dwan has scored over $1m in various tournaments, he still will have to overcome the disadvantage he possesses at stacked final tables to those play and study tournaments full-time.

This article was not meant to single out Dwan as a clear sucker in such bets. In fact, I would probably do a little more homework before taking such a bet. His was merely the first such bet that I saw and the tip of the iceberg where profitable situations are concerned. If you take a look HERE, you will see that virtually no one has the track record to lay these type of odds for such a bet. Many well known names, such as Chris Ferguson, Men "The Master" Nguyen, T.J. Cloutier, Scotty Nguyen, and even Stu Ungar himself have averaged over four years in between bracelet winning WSOPs.

Is a guy like Dwan better than all of these guys? Maybe, maybe not. Even still, the odds are stacked against him because he is running against the legacy of players who competed in far smaller fields with runners that sometimes did not even crack the 20 mark. While there may be more events these days, three of them are not open to Dwan and several of them run concurrently to one another. Many of the fields are gigantic and rebuy events have been eliminated as well.

Furthermore, all "x-factors" will benefit you and you only. Your man blows up and decides to go home early, you win. He needs to fly to Montana for a family emergency, you win. He comes in second in an event, goes and gets hammered at the bar and doesn't show up the next day, you win (for that day, anyhow). If you take action with multiple players, it would be very hard to really take a bath on the deal, since each event can only have one winner.  This means that if you lose one bet, you are that much closer to winning your other ones. Also, anyone winning multiple bracelets, even if it was one of your guys, would be doing you a favor. I imagine that you could also benefit in classic arbitration style by taking bets with a player who has bracelet bets as well as bets to cash, since these goals are in complete opposition.

Even if you don't feel like betting against poker's wunderkind, there are many far less skilled wannabes with raging egos that will happily give you action on a variety of bets.  Just make sure that if you do it, don't take a bet with a guy who has a reputation for being broke!


Concerned said...

Where would a guy find such a bet to take? Do you have a link Lorin?

Lorin Yelle said...

You can usually find them at the blog of the bettor, such as or on 2+2. While it is too late to get the same good odds as you might be able to next year, you could conceivably start a fund with your friends, which I would like to do as well.

I think (if one does not already exist) that this would be great if someone devoted a site or at least a section on a site where you can connect with the prop bettors and have a list of all available open bets.