Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Insane Golf Prop Bet

I was sweating all day. I had $2,700 riding on Erick Lindgren. That was the most I had wagered on a single event since March Madness and I couldn't get enough updates. Every few minutes I'd ask Schecky or check Wicked Chops Poker on his progress.

Lindgren was not playing in a poker tournament. Rather, he was on the golf course. Even though the second to last day of the $50K HORSE was running, most of the attention in the Rio Ballroom fell upon the shoulders of a guy who wasn't even in the casino. One of the things I do love about Las Vegas are when degenerate gamblers bet outrageous amounts on trivial things.

I felt I had an edge. I didn't have a lock or feel that the fix was in. But I felt as though I was on the better side of that seemingly impossible bet. Something that Brandon Schaefer told me in Australia resonated while I was making a slew of side bets with friends. Schaefer told me that he gambles for a living and assesses risk. If he was going to set a prop bet, against anyone, they would be the underdog. So when Lindgren made that bet with Gavin Smith and Phil Ivey, I felt strongly about Schaefer's words. Erick Lindgren is a professional gambler and he was a former athlete. Add those two facts together, and the obvious choice was to bet on Lindgren. I found a handful of suckers who pooled together $2,700 and I scored. Big.

Erick Lindgren had to shoot four consecutive rounds of golf at Bear's Best, all under a score of 100, without a cart, and in one single session. He had to carry his own bag but had a caddy to help with distances, replacing divots, and green reads. Gavin Smith, Nordberg, Chris Bell, and Phil Ivey all wagered against Lindgren for a combined amount of $340,000.

"I got a lot of action," said Lindgren.

Guess what? Not only did Lindgren do it... he did it after getting shitfaced drunk the night before and on 90 minutes of sleep while surviving 115 degree temperatures under the sizzling Nevada sun. That's the stuff legends are made of.

His prop bet was a variation of a Huck Seed bet that was done several years ago. It was also similar to the one in the film Lucky You, but since like seven people saw that film, no one would know that the same golf course they shot that scene happened to be the same course Lindgren played four consecutive rounds on.

The first two rounds were a breeze. He struggled with the third round. At the start of the fourth round, a big problem arose. What happened if he shot 100 exactly? Ivey and Lindgren decided to flip a coin to decide the outcome... should they have that issue. Unreal, I thought. My entire wager night be decided on a fuckin' coin flip.

Anyway, Schecky gave me the low down on the final round. Lindgren shot the front 9 at 49. The back 9 is much tougher, but the Las Vegas winds had died down as did the temps. Lindgren had struggled on the back 9 all day in the previous three rounds, yet he prevailed. By the 13th hole, Chris Bell and Gavin Smith took a buy out, but Ivey did not.

Chops sent a RawVegasTV camera man to interview me since I was one of the few people who bet on Lindgren. Fernando was the one who found out the official outcome for me. I indeed won and and if you add up my cash in the WSOP on Sunday, I picked up close to 7.5K in less than five days.

Here's the clip. I'm in it at the end for like five seconds.

Click here to view the video via RSS and Bloglines.

Of course, my bar tab at the Tilted Kilt has reached four figures and if you add up all the money I lost in "throwing things" prop bets over the last four weeks, I'm hovering around almost breaking even. On Day 27, I dropped $80 on a water toss and another $5 on trying to hit one of our interns in the head with a wadded up piece of paper.

Thank God for Lindgren. Now I have enough money to pay my bar tab.

Editor's Note: This originally appeared on Tao of Poker a few days ago.

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