Sometimes the high stakes just aren’t high enough.
As a pair of major online tournament series gets ready to kick off, four of online poker’s very best players have made public a six-figure side bet to run alongside the massive schedules of partypoker’s POWERFEST and PokerStars’ Spring Championship of Online Poker.
I’m partnering up with @raiseyouredge boss Bencb789 to take on the undisputed #1 C. Darwin and his sidekick Lena900 in a $100k+ Powerfest/SCOOP bet. Stay tuned for some @bitBstaking & @raiseyouredge freeroll if we manage to cause an upset! pic.twitter.com/hMpMQWCMc6
— Patrick Leonard (@plenopads) May 2, 2018
The high profile bet pairs the partypoker ambassador and online high-stakes regular Patrick ‘pleno1’ Leonard and ‘bencb789’ against the Swedish super duo of ‘lena900’, currently the #3-ranked player in the PocketFives Worldwide Rankings, and the only player to be ranked as the best online player in the world in 2018, ‘C Darwin2’.
The details of the high stakes heavyweight bout were laid out on social media on Wednesday. Each pair tallies their combined cashes in tournaments with buy-ins of $109 or greater and a minimum $100,000 prize pool. All tournaments that fall under this category in both POWERFEST and SCOOP count as do any agreed upon tournaments that may occur during the May 6-21 timespan. According to Leonard, all of the tournaments in the scope of the bet have already been agreed upon by both teams. Players must play the selected events and can only opt out of playing an event (making it not count) if their team is behind in the challenge.
As if the guarantees of both SCOOP and POWERFEST weren’t enough, there’s a combined $150 million in guarantees between them, the bet is for an undisclosed figure north of $100,000.
One may wonder with so much on the line why would these four online superstars risk even more of their bankroll. Perhaps it’s to feel properly motivated or a brewing rivalry?
“It’s just for fun.,” said Leonard. “They [‘C Darwin2’ and ‘lena900’] are seen as the best MTT players in the world and we are very confident in ourselves too. I don’t think either side has a huge edge but it’s fun to gamble like this and it’s good for the community to follow along. When you play by yourself in a series and when things go bad it’s easy to start punting. When you’re part of a team, and Ben will be counting on me playing my A-game, then it means I’ll play as focused as possible so my overall EV from the series increases.”
The combined series will literally have hundreds of tournaments, many of which fall under the guidelines of the side bet. With a heavy playing schedule and the additional motivation of a public prop bet Leonard explains that he’ll be on a tight regimen.
“I will wake up at 3 pm CET every day. I do 30-minute exercise with bitB players online and then I have a cold shower and meditate. My food delivery comes just after then, I eat, very short second meditation and then start playing around 4:30 pm CET,” Leonard said. “I register until around 10 pm and usually the session finishes around 4 am. Every day we will play dozens of tournaments, there are huge tournaments this year, lots of 5Ks, 10Ks, and 25Ks.”
As if the grind weren’t difficult enough, Leonard and his partner ‘bencb789’, who is generally considered one of the best tournament players in the world as well, have decided to poke the elk (the official animal of Sweden).
The opposition is two of the most consistent, winningest online players of the past year. Both ‘C Darwin2’ and ‘Lena900’ have the utmost respect of their peers based on their stellar results and the pair have a seemingly unquenchable thirst for online poker. Combined, the pair have accumulated nearly $19 million in lifetime earnings.
“I think they are both amazing players, but more importantly very good guys,” Leonard says of those he’s up against in the bet. “I enjoy betting against them and when they win and cost me money I’m genuinely happy for their success. They’ve always been really good losers in the past too. Their results speak for themselves and I couldn’t have any more respect or admiration for them, even if Niklas [‘Lena900’] won’t give us the odds we deserve.”
The bet generated instant interest from fans as well as the oddsmakers at PokerShares who worked quickly to set lines for which of the dynamic duos would out-cash the other.
Clearly, for Leonard, this is one of his favorite times of the year. While some make World Series of Poker bracelet bets to add action to summer, Leonard, one of bitB Staking’s head coach, puts it all on the line in the biggest online series of the year. A former #1-ranked online player in his own right, Leonard has a new dedication to the online game to go along with his latest prop bet.
“I don’t really care about live poker anymore. I’ve retired from it to make sure I’m the best online MTT player in the world. I skipped Barcelona, Monaco, and Montreal to work ten hours every day for the last few months,” Leonard said.
“I couldn’t be more prepared and this is what I live for. I absolutely love online tournament series, it’s my drug.”
Leonard said on his Twitter that he will be posting results as they happen during the course of the two series. Both partypoker’s POWERFEST and PokerStars SCOOP online series get underway on May 6.