Jason Mercier has paved the way for a $100,000 no-alcohol prop bet by seeking for potential interest on Twitter. In an interview with PokerNews Sideline Reporter, Kristy Arnett, Mercier confirmed that he has of yet received no concrete interest.
“I have had a few enquiries from people who want to do a heads-up bet where both people don’t drink, but I’m not interested in that. I don’t care if other people drink. I just want to get money for not drinking myself.” Said Mercier in a break from his $100k PCA Super High Roller experience.
After trawling through numerous articles, social media networks and anything else I can find on the matter, it seems that the overriding opinion on this prop bet is it’s an easy one for Mercier to win.
Here are 5 reasons why I believe this bet won’t even get off the ground.
1. Measurement and Trust
This is one of the biggest issues when poker players make prop bets that relate to drinking, eating bread, eating meat or having sex. Unless you were to lock the person undertaking the goal in a Big Brother style house then how do you measure success or failure?
There is only one way and that’s trust.
So you have to trust a professional gambler that he will be truthful and tell you when he takes a sip of alcohol thereby paying out $100,000 to his challenger.
Pull the other one.
2. It’s All in the Why?
You cannot even entertain this bet unless you understand the full reasons behind why Mercier is actually wanting to do this. During his interview with Arnett, Mercier said, “I woke up feeling kind of terrible from having drank,” and yet this did not result in him adding a non-drinking goal to his list of 2014 goals.
People like Mercier do not like to lose – it’s what makes them so successful – and so it goes against the grain to set a goal that you don’t believe you will achieve. If Mercier thought he could stop drinking then he would have set it as a 2014 goal. Instead, it is the glaring omission from the goals he has outlined on his personal blog.
Mercier didn’t add this onto his list because he doesn’t feel confident that he can do it.
3. The Net is Not Wide Enough
You cannot accept a no-alcohol prop bet without a really deep understanding of how much a person drinks, why they choose to drink and a variety of other personal traits and values of the person choosing to abstain.
To do so would be the act of an imbecile.
I hazard a guess that the only people who know Mercier this well are his closest family and friends. People who don’t have $100,000 to bet, and even if they did he wouldn’t want to take it off them anyway.
4. Financial Motivation Isn’t The Key
Quitting alcohol is one of the most difficult challenges a person will face if they try to do this on willpower alone.
There are millions of people who fail to this everyday. People who will die if they do not change; people whose marriages will fall apart; people whose children will walk away.
These crucial relationships do not always prove to be strong enough catalysts to quit. So why would $100,000 be any different for Mercier?
It’s important to remember that we are all individuals, but when you read about professional poker players buying out of bets because they cannot stop themselves from eating bread or meat; then what hope does someone have when they choose to quit drinking?
5. It’s a Lifestyle Change
Quitting drinking on it’s own is a very difficult thing to do. There are reasons why people drink. A lot of them. And most people are too lazy, or uneducated enough, to understand this simple, but vital, premise.
If you want to stop drinking then you need to understand why you drink and change those issues. For longevity to set-in people generally need to change their whole lifestyle, and when people realize this a lot of them simply give up.
So there you have it. Five reasons why I believe Jason Mercier’s prop bet will never get off the ground.
For what it’s worth if I had $100,000, and believed that he drank to the level that I see in my everyday life. Levels that people deem to be ‘normal’. Then I would snap his hand off. If Jason Mercier drinks like a normal UK drinker then there is no way he will go a whole year without drinking alcohol unless he decides to quit for life.
If some barking mad lunatic with far too much money takes him up on his offer, then Mercier will have a profound experience. He will learn that to quit drinking is not simply about getting the poison out of your system. It is a highly complicated web of social choices that are ingrained so deeply into his everyday being, that he will be challenged each time he leaves the house and socializes with other people.
Perhaps he should do this just to improve his awareness of how problematic his drinking is, and not necessarily for financial gain.