Wednesday, May 19, 2010

WSOP Flashback: The Lindgren Golf Bet (2007)

By Pauly
Las Vegas

July 2007.

John Caldwell told me about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 $340,000 prop bet. One of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 things that I loved about Las Vegas was when degenerate gamblers bet outrageous amounts of money on trivial things.

“Erick Lindgren has a single day to shoot four rounds of golf with each round under 100. No carts. He has to carry his bags and shoot from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pro tees,” Caldwell said.

Erick Lindgren’s prop bet was a variation of a Huck Seed bet from many years earlier, when Huck shot under 100 four times in one day (it took him five attempts) using only a five-iron, a sand wedge, and a putter.


The origins of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 deviant golf wager began shortly after Lindgren busted out of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event. During dinner with friends, he boasted that he could shoot four rounds of golf under 100 strokes while walking cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 entire course. He had to carry his own bag but got a caddy to help with distances, replacing divots, and green reads. Gavin Smith originally bet $50,000 that Lindgren couldn’t do it before he raised cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 total to $100,000. Two ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r friends of Lindgren, poker pros Peter ‘Nordberg’ Feldman and Chris Bell, bet anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r $40,000 against him. When Phil Ivey heard about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bet, he wanted in on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 action. Ivey wagered $200,000 that Lindgren couldn’t do it.

With $340,000 on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 table, Lindgren agreed to play four rounds of golf starting cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 next morning at Best Bear.

Lindgren prepared for his bet by drinking until 4 A.M. After less than ninety minutes of sleep, Lindgren arrived at Best Bear in Summerlin, a golf course designed by cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 legendary Jack Nicklaus, which replicated some of his favorite holes from ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r courses around cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 world. Best Bear was a work of beauty, nestled in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 foothills of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Red Rock mountains and several holes sloped down towards cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Strip. It was also one of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 toughest courses in Las Vegas with bent grass greens and played almost 7,200 yards from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 tips, or cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 white pro tees, where Lindgren agreed to shoot from. The front nine was not as challenging as cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back nine, which climbed into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 foothills, but it was still demanding for amateurs.

I arrived at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Rio a couple of hours after Lindgren teed off and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 media room buzzed about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 prop bet. Nobody had faith in Lindgren. Snake from Wicked Chops Poker bet me $20 that Lindgren would fail, and by cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time I left cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 media room, I booked a couple hundred more in bets. A friend of mine from Wall Street thought that Lindgren would never come close and offered to bet me $2,000. I didn’t shy away and when I tallied all my wagers, I had almost $2,700 riding on Lindgren, or cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 most I had wagered on a single event since March Madness.

Lindgren’s athletic prowess convinced me that he had cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 physical stamina to walk cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 entire course… four times. The son of a tire shop owner, Lindgren grew up in a small town in Norcá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365rn California. He excelled at sports from an early age and starred in baseball, football, and basketball. During high school, he won an MVP in basketball and was all-league in football. He enrolled in college and found a job in at a local Indian casino as a dealer. Lindgren claimed that he held only one regular day job in his life and that was dealing blackjack. During his off hours, Lindgren gravitated towards poker and spent more time at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 low-limit poker tables than hitting cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 books. He eventually dropped out of college and moved to Las Vegas. He won his first tournament at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Bellagio in 2002 and never looked back. In January of 2007, I watched him win $1 million (Australian Dollars) at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 $100,000 AUD buy-in High Rollers event at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Aussie Millions in Melbourne.

The thirty-year old Lindgren was cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 golden boy of poker. Just think about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 coolest guy in high school or college. That was Lindgren. He was good looking, intelligent, funny, and one hell of a poker player. Every guy wanted to be Erick Lindgren and every woman wanted to fuck him, which was anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r reason why every guy wanted to be him.

I headed to work and I couldn’t stop thinking about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bet. Every few minutes I asked Caldwell for updates or sent text messages to Chops, who also owned Raw Vegas TV and sent a camera crew to film cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 action.

Lindgren teed off at 5:45 A.M. During cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 morning and afternoon, a small crowd gacá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365red and watched Lindgren’s display of utter foolishness. His buddies Gavin Smith and Chris Bell followed behind, and even Ivey stopped by to check on Lindgren’s progress. The first two rounds were a breeze. Lindgren shot an 86, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n an 84. He struggled with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 third round and shot a 92.

“We knew he could do cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 first two easy,” said Gavin. “In cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 third round, it really looked like he might not make it. But he ended up making a big par and got cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re.”

In cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 middle of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 third round, a big problem arose. What happened if he shot 100 exactly? Ivey and Lindgren decided to flip a coin to decide cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 outcome should cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y have that issue, and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir $340,000 bet would be settled by Heads or Tails.

By cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 end of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 third round, Lindgren’s friends thought that he was on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 brink of cracking. He endured temperatures that peaked out at 106 degrees and showed obvious signs of fatigue, dehydration, and sunstroke. After 54 straight holes of golf, he lost almost ten pounds.

“I don’t have a will, but if I die today, I’ll leave everything to Gavin Smith,” joked Lindgren.

“And in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 fourth round, he looked dead,” said Gavin. “I was sure he wasn’t going to do it. Then he dug deep and found something that nobody knew he had.”

Lindgren finished off cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 front nine with a 49. He had to shoot cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back nine in under 50 to seal cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bet. That was cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 toughest part of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 course and he struggled on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back nine during cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 first three rounds. However, Lindgren caught a much-needed break. The swirling winds died down and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 temperatures dropped below 100. With Mocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r Nature cooperating, it came down to one thing… heart.

Did Lindgren have enough heart to finish out strong?

“I was in so much pain,” Lindgren said. “I had to make sure cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re was a medic on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 scene. I thought I was going to pass out on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back nine.”

By cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 13th hole, when it was evident that Lindgren was going to pull through, Gavin Smith arranged a buyout. Instead of being on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hook for $100,000, Lindgren accepted $60,000 from Gavin. Chris Bell offered a buy out as well, but Ivey made Lindgren play on. Lindgren rallied and around 8 P.M., he finished out cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 final round with a total score of 96.

“He deserved to win,” Gavin said. “He focused on what he knew he had to do. There were cameras and lots of people cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re and he did it.”

“Erick is an athlete and a gritty determined fellow. It didn’t surprise me at all,” Caldwell said.

“What I witnessed was cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 most amazing thing I have ever seen of its kind,” said super agent Brian Balsbaugh, who previously represented pro golfers on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 PGA. “I didn’t think he was going to make it. At one point I saw him lying on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ground. He told me that he couldn’t hear, he couldn’t speak, and he couldn’t see straight with seven holes to go.”

“We just watched Erick Lindgren do something I didn’t think he had a chance in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 world to do,” added Chris Bell. “A lot of poker players might think cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y can do it, and I’ll take cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bet against those guys too.”

“Me? I would totally do that bet,” Daniel Negreanu said. “Sounds like sick fun. I know you could potentially die from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 heat.”

I quickly collected all of my winnings from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 donkeys in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 media room. They were astonished that Lindgren did cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 impossible. Of course, winning cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bet did not come at a cheap price. Lindgren’s body took a beating. He lost over seventeen pounds and suffered serious sunstroke. Although he returned to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Rio to play poker cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 next day, he looked awful.

“I could have slept for 20 hours today,” said Lindgren in an interview with Raw Vegas cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 day after his epic feat. “I will try to sleep tomorrow. I’m hurting but I won cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bet and that’s all that matters. I have some pretty heavy regrets. Combine cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 incredible stress and pressure of a big bet, with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 physical nature of it from walking cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 course from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pro tees in those elements with 106 degree temperatures and 25 mph winds. It was unbelievable. I played 14 hours of golf with a bag on my back and walked over twenty miles. I was able to win cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bet, and I regret it. I was really hurting. This may have taken a year or two off my life. I’ll never know. My body is aching. My head is fuzzy. It’s going to take a while until I’m healthy.”

Erick Lindgren didn't die, and I won $2,700.

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