The wagers add to the game’s overall betting total, which hit $87.4 million this year.
During Super Bowl week, Nevada sports books post hundreds of proposition bets on the professional football championship.
There is only so much you can do, however, with the world’s most famous poker game.
Nevada gaming regulators are allowing sports books to accept five additional wagers on the World Series of Poker’s Main Event in November, beyond who gamblers think will win the game’s most prestigious title.
The request to the Gaming Control Board was made by Caesars Entertainment Corp., which owns the World Series of Poker. The approved proposition wagers involve the $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em World Championship, which is now down to its final table of nine players.
The wagers include:
Who will be the first player to bust out when the field of nine reconvenes?
Will the current chip leader win the Main Event?
What poker hand will determine the champion?
What will be the total number of hands dealt at the final table?
Will there will be more red cards or black cards on the final table’s first flop?
Caesars posted odds on the proposition wagers, along with odds on the nine remaining players, last week at all of the company’s sports books, including the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, home to the World Series of Poker.
Caesars Regional Vice President of Specialty Gaming Howard Greenbaum said the idea was to give the wagering public “action all the way through the final table.”
Greenbaum, who ran sports books for Caesars’ predecessor, Harrah’s Entertainment, was matter-of-fact when asked if he ever thought he would be listing odds on the World Series of Poker.
“Ten years ago, no,” Greenbaum said. “But I also didn’t imagine the thousands of fans seeking autographs from players or the live television. This shows you how popular the World Series of Poker has become. Our objective was to give people something to bet on.”
Wagering on the makeup of the first flop — the first three community cards in a game of hold’em — is akin to wagering on the Super Bowl’s coin toss, Greenbaum said.
Caesars officials and World Series of Poker representatives had other wagering ideas for the event, which they may ask gaming regulators to approve next year.
The final table of the Main Event is scheduled for Nov. 5 and Nov. 7 in the Rio’s Penn & Teller theater. But the dates may be moved to Nov. 6 and Nov. 8 to accommodate television plans, which would include the first-ever live coverage of a poker tournament’s conclusion.
Current chip leader Martin Staszko of the Czech Republic is listed by Caesars as the favorite to win the Main Event at 5-to-2 odds. Sam Holden of Sussex, Great Britain, who enters the final table in ninth place, is a 15-to-1 long shot to win the Main Event, and is listed at even money to be the first player eliminated.
The final table of nine was set in July at the Rio. The original field was 6,865 participants, the third largest in World Series of Poker history. The winner of the Main Event will take home $8.71 million.
Maybe that should have been a proposition wager: What will be the higher figure, the winner’s prize or the amount wagered on the World Series of Poker?
“The propositions will drum up some conversation, but I don’t think we’ll see much action,” Las Vegas Hilton Race and Sports Book Director Jay Kornegay said. “We’ll put up the odds as it gets closer to the event. There is a fan base that’s growing, but people aren’t really used to the idea of betting on poker.”
Lucky’s Race and Sports Books Chief Executive Officer Joe Asher said his company will list the World Series of Poker odds at the company’s 17 Nevada locations, but he also doesn’t expect a large betting handle.