Perhaps the most interesting and captivating story of the 2016 World Series of Poker has been the prop bets between Vanessa Selbst and Jason Mercier. Thought impossible, Selbst bet Mercier that he could not win three bracelets in one WSOP. She stood to win just ~$10k if this happened, while Mercier would win ~$2m if he was able to accomplish the ridiculous feat. In an absolute surprise to everyone, Mercier has been able to lock up two bracelets (as well as one second place finish) with nearly half of the World Series remaining.
Selbst decided early on that she needed to start selling off some of her action in order to minimize her risk. When Mercier won his first bracelet, she needed to sell even more action, and she now claims that her total exposure is somewhat limited. Just how much she stands to lose should Mercier win a third bracelet is unknown, but it is safe to assume that she will lose at least $100,000, if not much more. The remainder of her losses will be taken by those who she sold her action to.
The aftermath of this bet, should Mercier come through and win, could be even more interesting than the bet itself. Since there are now so many different parties involved, Mercier and Selbst may have quite the time collecting all of the different payments that they are owed. Things can get very messy if a few people decide that they don’t want to pay up the $100k or $200k that they owe. Just about anyone on Selbst’s side in this wager likely figured there was a virtually 0% chance of Mercier winning the bet, but here we are, and he has a very possible chance to win this bet outright, though the odds are still against him.
Mercier Offering Bets to The Public
After he won his second bracelet in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event, Mercier began offering action to anyone who would take it. If you thought that he wouldn’t be able to win a third bracelet, he would give you 4-1 odds, provided you were willing to risk a minimum of $20,000 (to his $5,000). It is unclear how many people took this bet, but it is safe to say that he was able to get action from it.
If Jason Mercier is able to pull this off, it would certainly be one of the most amazing stories of all time from the World Series of Poker. Even without the prop bets in place, winning three bracelets in one series would be incredible, but to have predicted and wagered on his ability to do so is unheard of. We will find out whether he closes this bet out within a few weeks.