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In the post-summer online poker doldrums, the upcoming high-stakes, heads-up challenge between Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk is giving poker fans something to look forward to at the end of the year. Slated to kick off on November 1, one of poker’s most high-profile feuds will finally battle it out on the felt, giving fans of both personalities something to get invested in as the action unfolds. Online poker betting site PokerShares knows that the interest in the match is extremely high and so they are giving fans a chance to get in on the action themselves. Of course, the Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald led book allows players to bet on who will win the challenge outright (Polk is the current favorite at roughly 4.5-1) but they have also decided to have some extra fun by offering more than 15 prop bets for fans who want to have a little extra rooting interest. So, here are some of the more interesting wagers onlookers can make while watching Polk and Negreanu play HU4Rollz. How Big Will The Biggest Pot In Session 1 Be? For many fans, this is the biggest reason to tune in. Just like “Rail Heaven” days on Full Tilt Poker when the best nosebleed players in the world routinely won and lost six-figure sums, the chat will be packed with those hoping to see poker players put it all on the line in sick spots. This challenge has the potential to have some of those swings. At $200/$400, 100 big blinds deep with stacks being topped off, it only takes a cooler or two before there could be a whole lotta of money on the table. PokerShares is setting the over/under on the biggest pot at $100,000 and with the first session assumed to be at least two hours long with two tables running the potential for fireworks is there from hand number one. Will One Player Rage-Quit Early Session 1? Rage-Quitting is real. It’s defined as "angrily abandoning an activity that has become frustrating", and in recent months and weeks, tempers from both Polk and Negreanu have flared up. It wasn’t that long ago that Negreanu was temporarily banned from Twitch after having a few choice words for a viewer who insulted his family. This took place only a few sessions after disconnect problems on WSOP.com, the same platform this challenge is being held on, saw him nearly toss his laptop across the room on stream. Polk on the other hand keeps it more controlled in his streams and videos. That’s not to say he can’t be riled up. When the entire challenge was threatened, he lashed out a few times on Twitter not only at Negreanu but also taking the time to reply to random Dan-fans about how he’s planning on “backing up the truck”. Although unlikely, those who think emotions will get the better of one of these two can get 4.8-1 on their money. Will Doug Polk Return To Being A Pro Poker Player? The odds are not in favor of Polk, win or lose, returning to the grind but there are some interesting things to consider here. Polk has stated that he only retired from poker once and the only reason he’s back is to take on Negreanu. He posted a “goodbye poker” video on his channel and for those who followed his YouTube journey, it was clear his love of the game had dried up some time ago. But...he is back. Remember, he challenged Negreanu, not the other way around. He was out of poker and on to bigger things like trying to recall the Mayor of Las Vegas. But Polk chose to return to the spotlight, no one called him out. Now he’s back in the lab, not only working on his game in theory but getting cash game sessions in against some tough opponents in preparation. Finally, while he claims that he’ll be off once he's done taking out "the ******* trash", he’s also indicated on Twitter that he might be open to playing other opponents. It might be a tough judgment call on whether Polk is ever a pro again (for instance what if he’s playing challenges but also returns to creating content where he makes a good deal of money), but if you want to take a shot on him the line is 7.6-1. The flip side of this is Will Daniel Cease To Be A Pro Player Because of This Challenge? Good luck with that one. Will There Be A Slowroll in Session 1? Both players have a firm understanding of the etiquette behind slow rolls and the deep disrespect that sometimes comes with them. That said, these guys clearly do not like each other, and in the layers-deep mind games that play out in heads up, would either of these guys pull a slow one? This bet comes with an important caveat that needs to be seen before putting down a few dollars. The person behind the website, Mike McDonald, is “the decider” in this case. While being a longtime trusted member of the community, and apparently a 90% free throw shooter, it might be a little problematic if the guy who knows where the bulk of the money sits is also responsible for determining the outcome. This is not a questioning of McDonald’s honor or intent, just a nod to how someone might feel if they place and bet and it’s ruled against what they think is an obvious slowroll. Same odds on both sides here. Where Will Doug Polk's Teeth Be At The End Of This Match? You read that right. PokerShares is confident that Polk will be keeping all his teeth right where they are. But if you think Negreanu might make Polk the same offer that got him banned on Twitch, you can take a flyer on this wild prop that jokes about what might be done to Polk's teeth and where they might be given back to him. These prop bets are made for fun with a majority of them having a per-player max limit less than the buy-in of a Sunday Major. This ensures that neither the player nor the book, can be hurt too bad. At least not nearly as bad as the pain Negreanu or Polk may feel when the challenge gets underway next month.
[caption width="639"] Mike 'Timex' McDonald is ready to let the world buy shares of poker players in tournament around the world. (PokerStars photo)[/caption] A few years ago Mike McDonald felt that some players were getting out of hand with how they priced themselves when selling pieces. As a bit of a lark he launched a Twitter account under the name @BankofTimex and started offering his own pricing on some players in high profile events. He never meant for it to be a real thing. “Originally it wasn’t so much looking at betting on it, it was more just looking to just troll people who had too high markups and things like that. It was not a very well thought out thing,” said McDonald. “After a couple of days when there were a bunch of people responding and some messages going back and forth, somebody was just like ‘Hey Mike, what you’re doing is basically just bookmaking in the public eye’.” And with that the Bank of Timex was shut down. Fast forward three-and-a-half years and McDonald has brought the concept back, but this time he’s jumped through all the necessary hoops to make it real and earlier this month launched PokerShares.com. “What’s changed is that we’ve found a way to get it fully licensed,” said McDonald. “We wanted to be as cautious as possible and what we’re doing, obviously there’s no gambling key slot to support what poker betting would be like, but we figured it would be treated similarly enough to sports betting that we should have proper licenses if we’re actually going to do it.” The company has a Curacao gaming license and is accepting action now - just not from America. The idea was reborn after Veron Lammers, a high stakes poker player that McDonald had hired to do some coaching a few years ago, asked about the Bank of Timex. “I was talking to a friend of mine and he was asking me why I never really pursued turning it into something more and I was like ‘well, it’s a lot of work and I’m kinda lazy and I’m always traveling around for poker tournaments and I don’t know if I really have the time to set up a proper company’,” said McDonald. Lammers offered McDonald a deal. If McDonald would be the face of the company and do most of the promotional and marketing work, as well as set the prices on players, Lammers was more than happy to do the other stuff. Lammers is in charge of day-to-day business operations and set up the LLC and pursued the gaming license. “In my mind this is the stuff I find fun, so it feels like I’m doing that much work. He enjoys that stuff, where he doesn’t feel like he’s that much work and it worked out well for both of us,” said McDonald. Unlike sites like StakeKings or YouStake that allow poker fans and players to buy shares that players have decided to sell, PokerShares is selling action in players and assuming all of the risk. The site began selling action in players at the PokerStars Championship Bahamas as well as the much-hyped heads-up match between Cate Hall and Mike Dentale. “What we do is we create a share, you purchase it through us and we don’t even own the share, we just give you what that share would have paid out,” said McDonald, who knows that lending his credibility in the poker world is a big part of his role. “A lot of people wouldn’t want to make a bet just hoping that someone is going to pay them out $100,000 or $1 million when they win, but I think I’m one of the few people where in the early stages of the company my reputation is strong enough that very few people are actually questioning that.” While the ‘Bank of Timex’ was originally intended to point out some of the bad pricing McDonald saw in the marketplace at the time, PokerShares could end up acting as a market correction tool and change the price players are able to charge. “People who charge too high of a mark up will probably have less opportunity to sell, but I still think plenty of people will sell out from prices higher than we’re charging,” said McDonald. “The product or experience that you’re getting from PokerShares is different from buying form your friend. If you’re buying from your friend, whether or not you buy might be the difference between him getting to play the tournament or not. And it just feels better to be winning with your best friend than it does to be winning off of some company.” McDonald is also savvy enough to know that pricing certain players a certain way could end up generating buzz, particularly on social media. “It is one of those things where it’s kind of interesting, separating emotions from the success of the business. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes,” said McDonald. “I don’t want to get it into any ego battles or anything like, but getting into those ego battles is good for the company. It’s not a bad idea to price some people down, specifically guys you know will get offended, if that gets the word out there.”
[caption width="658"] Scott Blumstein starts the Main Event final table as the betting favorite, according to PokerShares.com.[/caption] The World Series of Poker Main Event final table starts Thursday evening and PokerShares.com has all the odds leading up to poker’s richest three days. Chip leader Scott Blumstein is the current betting favorite to win the tournament at +225. John Hesp, second in chips, pays nearly twice that at +520 to ship. Most of the field is bunched together after Hesp and Blumstein with Jack Sinclair the currently long shot at +1530. Short stack Ben Lamb and former November Niner Antoine Saout are listed at +1320 and +1250, respectively. Along with the odds to win, PokerShares is also offering the following markets: To NOT Win To Make Day 10 To NOT Make Day 10 To Make Day 9 To NOT Make Day 9 Right behind Blumstein and Hesp in the pecking order are Bryan Piccioli and Benjamin Pollack. Piccioli comes in at +760 to win and is an intriguing option at +195 to make it to the third day of final table play, which guarantees at least a third place finish. Pollack’s odds are listed as +730 to finish first and +285 to lock up a place on the podium. Despite being the two shortest stacks at the final table, Lamb (+390) and Sinclair (+420) have reasonable odds to make it to at least third place. Saout finished third in 2009 and has odds of +355 to make it at least that far this time around. Dan Ott (+1290) and Damian Salas (+1350) round out the list of final table candidates. All players have a manageable chance, according to PokerShares.com, of making the second day (Day 9) of the final table. To make it to Friday’s six-handed action, Blumstein is a huge favorite at -2500 while Lamb is the “longshot” at -111 with all other players falling somewhere in the middle. On the other end of the spectrum, Blumstein is listed as +890 to finish outside the top-six and be one of the first three players eliminated. Hesp comes in at +450 for the same bet with the other seven ranging between the -111 of Jack Sinclair and +270 of Benjamin Pollak. PokerShares.com is the one-stop shop for all items related to Main Event wagering for customers outside of the United States. Be sure to keep track of the final table odds as play moves toward the last day of play on Saturday.
The 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event begins this weekend and many of the former #1-ranked PocketFivers will be taking their place in the field and hoping to earn their place in poker history, the bracelet and of course a hefty paycheck. Mike 'Timex' McDonald announced PokerShares six months ago. The revolutionary poker investment and betting platform gives people the opportunity to bet on players to Cash, Final Table and Win the WSOP Main Event, as well as giving you the chance to buy a virtual piece of them. With former #1 Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz sitting out of the Main Event, the rest of the field know they are no longer just competing for second place. We take a look at the odds of some of the other former #1-ranked players and McDonald shares his views on their chances. Chris 'moorman1' Moorman Odds to to Cash 3.90, to Final Table 150.00, to Win 1250.00 Best WSOP Main Event result: 358th in 2012 Two former #1s have led the way at the WSOP this year by winning their first bracelet. Chris Moorman took down the $3k Six Max event for $498,682 and has cashed in eight events in total. The victory was well deserved in the view of Mike McDonald: “As the winningest online tournament player in history it's only fitting that Moorman added a bracelet to his long list of accomplishments. He's already finished 2nd in the WSOPE Main and surely aims to do one better in this one.” Chris 'NigDawG' Brammer Odds to to Cash 3.90, to Final Table 150.00, to Win 1100.00 Best result: 365th in 2011 Fellow Brit Chris Brammer was the second former #1 to win a bracelet in 2017, taking down the $5k Turbo for $527,555. Brammer is one of the most well liked and respected British pros and has been competing successfully at the highest level for many years both live and online. Although he perhaps isn't as well known as some of his peers due to not having a huge breakout live score before now – he has cashed in the Main Event three times and had a string of live cashes and near misses before this summer. Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson Odds to Cash 3.60, to Final Table 120.00, to Win 800.00 Best result: n/a Calvin Anderson has had a quiet series after deciding to play a smaller schedule this year following a hectic SCOOP. Surprisingly the one-time bracelet winner has never cashed in the Main Event but McDonald considers him a huge threat: “'Cal42688' is among the best in the world against such soft opposition. His ability to exploit weak opponents and his consistent success for weeks on end each SCOOP/WCOOP cater perfectly for a marathon like the WSOP main event.” Cliff 'JohnnyBax' Josephy Odds to to Cash 3.90, to Final Table 150.00, to Win 1250. Best result: 3rd in 2016 Two former #1s made the November Nine last year. After beginning as Final Table chipleader, Cliff Josephy ultimately finished third for $3,453,035. The two time bracelet winner and will be hoping to emulate Mark Newhouse and Dan Harrington by going back to back. McDonald's view: "While I was coming through the ranks JohnnyBax was the undisputed god of online poker. After final tabling this event along with Griffin last summer, he seems to have comfortably transitioned to being the god of live poker too" Griffin 'Flush_Entity' Benger Odds to to Cash 3.90, to Final Table 150.00, to Win 1100.00 Best result: 7th in 2016 After finishing in seventh place last year for $1,250,190, Griffin Benger will also seek to go back to back. Benger's confrontation with and eventual bust out of Will Kassouf made the headlines but he continued his hot form by winning the Irish Open in April to show there's more to his game than 'that hand'. Paul 'paulgees81' Volpe Odds to Cash 3.70, to Final Table 130.00, to Win 900.00 Best result: 20th in 2012 Paul Volpe has two agonisingly close top 30 finishes in the Main Event and four cashes so far in the 2017 WSOP including 5th place in the $50K Players Championship. McDonald's view: “Fresh off of a 50k final table Volpe knows these American fields better than almost all online beasts.” Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen Odds to to Cash 3.80, to Final Table 140.00, to Win 1000.00 Best result: 114th in 2016 And impressive series so far has seen Chris Hunichen finish second in the $5k Six Max and lock up six cashes so far. With a runner up finish in one of the toughest bracelet events of the summer under his belt, he looks primed to make a run at the Main Event. McDonald's view: "Another player who is excels in destroying weak opposition. It's no surprise that Huni has a laundry list of deep runs in massive field WSOP events. He's just looking for that elusive bracelet" Sorel 'Imper1um' Mizzi Odds to Cash 3.70, to Final Table 130.00, to Win 900.00 Best result: 95th in 2011 Despite having not yet won a bracelet, Sorel Mizzi has a remarkably consistent record of five cashes in the last ten Main Events. Having finished in third place in the $10k Limit Holdem and with four cashes this year in all, he'll be looking to continue to build his enviable Main Event record. Many more former #1s in the field Other former #1s in the field and listed on PokerShares include Patrick 'pleno1' Leonard, Shaun 'shaundeeb' Deeb and Taylor 'taypaur' Paur (all 900.00 to win). Dan 'djk123' Kelly, David 'Doc Sands' Sands, 'C.Darwin2' and Fabrizio 'SixthSense19' Gonzalez (all 1000.00 to win). --------- You'll find all the prices of players listed above on pokershares.com. If your favorite player isn't listed, you can contact the site and request a price for them.