Daniel Negreanu’s Triple Bracelet Bet


[SS] “I love Daniel Negreanu as much as anyone, but has he lost his mind?” Stan the Stat wondered.

[LL] “I take it you’re referring to his bet that he’d win three WSOP bracelets this summer?” Leroy the Lion suggested.

[SS] “Yes. What was he thinking???”

[RR] “I think he has so much money that it doesn’t mean anything to him anymore”, Roderick the Rock contributed.

[LL] “I agree. It’s purely a self-motivational ploy.”

[SS] “Still, he could have gotten so, so, so much better odds and still found plenty of takers.”

[LL] “Prop bets are supposed to be rigged in favor of the person offering the bet. Negreanu gave even money on what, a 10,000-to-1 longshot?”

[SS] “That’s what Vanessa Selbst said last year about Dzmitry Urbanovich’s chances of pulling off the feat. She got 200-to-1 on him and 180-to-1 on Jason Mercier, who actually came very close, winning two bracelets and final tabling two other events.”

[RR] “So, something around 100-to-1 might be around Negreanu’s real chance. Even money is ridiculous.”

[LL] “I don’t know how much action Negreanu took on the bet before he took it off the table,1 but I think it’ll work out fine for him. He just needs to cover his bets from increased winnings. He could still have gotten better odds, but that’s largely irrelevant when there’s such a slim chance of his succeeding.”

[SS] “His odds may be a bit better than you estimate though. If he’s truly motivated, he can play about 70 of the 74 events. He’d need just over a four percent chance of winning each event to have a good shot at winning three bracelets, which has been done six times:

WSOP Triple Bracelet Winners

Year Player Events
1973 Puggy Pearson $4,000 Seven-Card Stud; $1,000 No-Limit Hold ‘Em; $10,000 No-Limit Hold ‘Em Main Event
1993 Phil Hellmuth $2,500 No-Limit Hold ‘Em; $1,500 No-Limit Hold ‘Em; $5,000 Limit Hold ‘Em
1993 Ted Forrest $5,000 Seven-Card Stud; $1,500 Razz; $1,500 Limit Omaha 8 or Better
2002 Phil Ivey $1,500 Seven-Card Stud; $2,500 Seven-Card Stud 8 or Better; $2,000 S.H.O.E.
2009 Jeff Lisandro $1,500 Seven-Card Stud; $2,500 Razz; $10K Seven-Card Stud 8 or Better
2014 George Danzer $10,000 Razz; $10,000 Seven-Card Stud 8 or Better; $5,000 8-Game Mix (WSOP Europe)

Notes:

  • For the purposes of Negreanu’s bet, Danzer’s triple wouldn’t count, as his third bracelet was at WSOP Europe, not during the summer in Las Vegas.
  • A player has won at least two bracelets in a year 64 times (56 times in Las Vegas alone). Phil Hellmuth is the only player to do it three times (notably, once in each of three decades: 1993, 2003, and 2012). Gary Berland, Doyle Brunson, Chris Ferguson, Layne Flack, Ted Forrest, Phil Ivey, Men Nguyen, and Tom Schneider each did it twice (Berland, Brunson, and Flack all in back-to-back years).
  • Nani Dollison is the only woman to win two bracelets in a year, although one of her two titles in 2001 wasn’t an open event ($1,000 Ladies Limit Hold ‘Em & Seven Card Stud).
  • Erik Seidel has the most bracelets (8) without ever getting two in a year. Jay Heimowitz is second (6).
  • Negreanu’s own best year was 2013 when he won two bracelets, but neither was in Las Vegas.”

Footnotes:

  1. Ben Lamb was the initial bettor. Chance Kornuth joined in on the action immediately, but the window was closed just three hours later after an unknown number of other takers. { July 28, 2017 update: Negreanu lost his bet but did cash 11 times in about 40 events for $699,804 (~$386,000 in buyins not counting rebuys). }

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