We have all at one time or another been involved in a 'last longer' bet. Players often make these side bets in single table satellites or with buddies in a multi-table tournament. Just a little extra action on the side to juice up the interest at the table or in a tournament. Professionals, however, notorious for betting on anything and everything, are a lot more savvy then just the straight up 'last longer' bet would imply.
Tony G. and Gavin Smith have had a $2,000 last longer on many of the events they have both entered. Some days they have pre-arranged the bet and on other days it's been a matter of finding each other in the Amazon room at the Rio. Since most days it's my job to find my "Spotlight Players", the first words out of Gavin or Tony mouth is often: "Morning Tim, have you seen Gavin yet?" or "Hi Tim, how big is Tony G's stack?"
I have seen at least two 11-10 'last longers' between Gavin and Tony, when one player gets off to an early chip lead. There have also been several days where the negotiation of odds has gone back and forth as the stacks went up and down. A few days ago with Gavin and Tony within shouting distance of each other the negotiations were in full swing when Bill Chen, double 2006 bracelet winner, offered Gavin an odds last longer. Gavin did not even glance at Bill's stack before replying:
"A good rule on last longer bets, if a math guy offers you an odds bet, don't take it."
Bill laughed and Gavin added:
"Besides, I like to bet with guys who play like me, live fast and go home early. That's why Tony and I bet a lot."
I began thinking about how even a simply bet based on who will last the longest in a tournament; is not really a simple bet. My friend, Mike the Rock, wins a high portion of our bets just because he is a Rock, we call him the Rock and we still make these bets with him. Duh!
Just then Gavin jumps out of his seat and shouts at Tony, who is on his cell phone:
"Hey Guoga! You gotta stop taking all those business calls; you are killing my expectations of a bust-out."
If Tony is not playing his fast and loose game, indeed the expectation of Gavin picking up the bet goes down by half. After all, you win the bet if you do well or if your opponent does poorly, if Tony is not playing one of the four options is removed from the equation.
And you thought this was a simply last longer bet.
Yesterday, the true nature of the last longer was taken to new heights. First I have to set the stage. Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow are seated one table apart in the Pot Limit Hold'em event. Mike and Phil were both in fine form and the topic was their many and assorted side bets, prop bets and future bets. Of course, why not throw in a last longer for today. Sounds easy and the value was set and action given. By the way Mike and Phil have a current side bet that Mike can or cannot play in any WPT events unless or until the WPT player release form is rewritten. Phil does not think Mike can hold our for a full year and Mike thinks he can or that the WPT will actually change their release form in the near future based on the recent player lawsuit.
All was well until Huck Seed showed up. Huckleberry was clearly on the prowl for some side bet action and where better to go than to the Phil & Mike Prop Bet Emporium, after all the betting window was wide open. One minor hitch though, Mike and Phil were playing the noon PLHE event (#32) and Huck was just about to start the 2 PM Razz event (#33).
Would the two hour advantage actually be an advantage? Both Phil and Mike had stacks, so they were willing. But Huck would have less starting chips but a slower structure in Razz. More fish in the Razz event as many or most had already been eaten up in the nearly two hour old PLHE. The decision was to dismiss these inequities, although only after some detailed and loud consideration and to make the bets straight up with no adjustment for time or staggered breaks. Hands were shaken and the games continued.
Moments later Huck came back and added:
"The Razz is a two day event and you are playing a three day Hold'em tournament. I could win the Razz and lose the last longer."
Mike was quick to reply:
"You win the Razz, you can't lose the bet. If we both go deep, we can adjust later."
Ah yes, the famous arbitration clause in the world of prop bets. Should the current wager need adjudication the players can call on the Senior Justice of the Prop Bet Court - Phil Gordon - but he will need odds to make the decision.
Ed Note: No prop bets, but lots of action always at Pacific Poker