I was driving to the gym this morning and I got inspired to write about why prop betting is important and why more people should be doing it. I also said on twitter that if I failed to write this today I would be paying out 1kusd to some lucky retweeter. This is a prop bet (more freeroll) that I will not be losing
What is a prop bet? In the poker world it is considered anything you might side bet on doing against another person. For example, some of the prop bets I've done are playing 50k hands in a day, playing 600k hands in a month. The bets don't always have to be as extreme as those, they can be as simple as you betting another person on who plays more hours that week (I did a bet like this before with some poor soul who did not have a chance )
Why do people prop bet? Some people do it because they see a chance to make a large amount of money assuming they are wiling to take on a good amount of action against. Some people want to challenge themselves. Some people want to try to make a name for themselves.
Okay, now that we got the basics out of the way, lets talk about why prop betting in poker is important for you to consider doing. The number one reason I initially did my first prop bet is because I really enjoyed the challenging of trying to do something that no one else had ever done before. Every prop bet doesn't have to be as dramatic as this but trying to do something where you are actually going to have to bust your ass to do can be an incredibly positive long term choice. If you are able to win the bet, your confidence will be super high and in the future you will feel much better taking on anything. Even when you fail at winning the bet, assuming you worked you ass off and tried your best, you will have a better understanding of what hard work in poker is. The confidence I have gained myself is something that will probably stick with me forever.
The easiest way to get a prop bet started is to come up with an idea and ask your friends what they think about it and if they want to make a small/big wager against. It might be something that you can compete against each other and that way you both push each other. Another way to get action is to post on the poker forum that you frequent and see if anyone is interested in betting against you. You will need set in place rules, a reliable escrow to hold the money, and a judge(s) to handle any problems that might come up for most prop bets. I think coming up with challenges that you and your friends can do is one of the best sources of motivation that exist in poker (outside of someone saying you don't understand the game you frequently play).
If you are at the small/micro stakes level and want to get your name out there, doing something crazy is the best way to do it. I know some people don't play poker to get any sort of recognition and only play for the money but I think most people enjoy being recognized for something. It can be a great way for you to meet new people that might be following along or that play in the same games you do. I met my San Diego roommate (without him I never would have moved to California) during my first prop bet when we started chatting on twoplustwo and then on Skype when we found out we lived close by. Networking like this can be important for your growth as a poker player. It can also be stepping stones to having a podcast that people enjoy watching .
I don't think most of this will be new information for the mid/high stakes guys out there but for the recreational/micro/small stakes guys this should be something you seriously consider doing more of. I think even for the more established players, taking on something very challenging could be what you need to bring back the passion for the game you once had. If anyone has any questions about anything, it could be a prop bet you have in mind or you might need a judge for your prop bet. Feel free to message me here in the comments, private messages or on twitter @joeingram1 or on facebook.
I also have a standing prop bet offer to anyone in the world for any type of PLO volume competition on Pokerstars
I was watching a video yesterday and a person mentioned how most people that start a business only focus on the short term roi and completely neglect long term roi (return on investment). I've never really said it in that way but I talk about this idea in a different way often with my girlfriend. I talk about how if I work really really really hard now, it will pay off huge in the long term. I can say this confidently now because this is the exact approach I took when I started playing poker about 6 years ago. People who are friends with me on facebook or follow me on twitter saw a point in time where I constantly talked about partying or raging non stop. I had spent the previous 4 years playing poker 8-10 hours/day and thinking about poker 24 hours/day with the idea that if I worked hard enough now, eventually I would be in an extremely comfortable place and be able to take a break and live life. I probably went out to really drink less than 10 times in my life before this point of my life. I lived out the stage of my life that most people experience when they are 18-23 but I was able to do it all around the world and do whatever I wanted to do.
I may have taken it a bit overboard but the lesson I indirectly taught myself is something I am able to apply again now to my life. The idea that if you work extremely hard, harder than anyone else around you, right now....you will put yourself in a position to have an extreme level of success. Doing this does require sacrifice and that is something most people do not know how to do. I've had many poker friends over the years who only looked at the short term who are now unable to play anymore, wishing they worked harder when they had the chance. I think its hard for most people to have that outlook who haven't achieved any success with what they are going for. Most people tend to not have the self-confidence and belief that it can be done. I've started applying this to learning basketball, how to dance, and playing instruments in the past months but I probably wouldn't have been able to had I not had the success with poker. The confidence you get from knowing you can do something if you really put in the work is real. I wish I knew how I was able to instill this into others that I talk about it with but all I can advise to people is that if you have the belief in yourself, put in the time and you give yourself a greater chance success will come.
You can apply this to poker and you can also apply this to anything you are doing with life
I think I meant for this to be longer but I don't get motivated to write much like this so I wanted to take the opportunity to put something down while I did