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In case you missed it, Jaime and Matt Staples have taken on an insane 50 to 1 prop bet with Bill Perkins. It is a hybrid weight loss/bulk up bet where the brothers must be within one pound in body weight of each other. The Staples brothers put up $3,000 and will win $150,000 if they can pull it off.

The catch is that Jaime weighs in at about 315 lbs while Matt is about 135. This will require a massive amount of weight loss by Jaime in order to win the bet. Some of you may remember the crazy weight loss bet between Ted Forrest and Mike Matusow in 2010 that saw Forrest risk his life to win $2 million.

While Jaime’s weight loss journey isn’t viewed as potentially fatal like the Forrest bet, it does come with risks. Many look exclusively at the potential upside to weight loss bets while overlooking the dangers. Today we look at some of the potential dangers behind weight loss prop bets to help those considering such bets to balance the risks with the rewards.

What is Rapid Weight Loss?

The term “rapid weight loss” is a bit ambiguous for those that aren’t actively trying to lose weight. A healthy amount of weight to lose per week is between 1 and 2 pounds. That’s roughly 4 to 8 pounds in a month or 52 to 104 pounds in a 52-week year. Anything over that 1 to 2 pound threshold is normally considered rapid weight loss.

Some poker prop bets regarding weight usually require that a person go through some type of rapid weight loss based on these guidelines. In the case of the Staples bet, Jaime will realistically have to lose 135 pounds in a year to get there. That’s assuming Matt bulks up to 180.

Looking at health guidelines, that’s a little over 2.5 pounds a week. That’s doesn’t seem very dangerous and it probably wouldn’t be if humans were able to consistently lose a set amount of weight per week.

The problem is that we cannot always hit the same weight loss targets week after week. Our bodies adjust based on various factors. For example, a heavier person will likely lose weight somewhat rapidly provided he or she diets and exercises properly.

This is because caloric intake his or her body needs is currently higher than someone of Matt Staples’ size. As one loses weight, this will change and he or she will need to modify their diet and activity in order to continue losing weight.

This wouldn’t be a concern if people didn’t do anything drastic and stuck to a sensible weight loss plan to try to meet their goal. Unfortunately, many will go all-in on their weight loss bet and drastically undertake a risky diet and exercise routines in order to win the bet.

Looking back at the Ted Forrest weight loss bet, he was working out six hours a day at the gym, walking 16 miles a day and ate next to nothing in the final 10 days of that bet. After the bet was over, Mike Matusow believed that Forrest was 50-50 to die, and we may never know how close to the truth that was.

The Risks of Weight Loss

Whenever one of these weight loss bets is mentioned, seldom do we see serious attention given to the potential dangers of the weight loss. Depending on the amount of weight lost, the speed of loss and the method used, a person may suffer some serious health problems.

Rapid weight loss can bring about a myriad of potential health risks. One of the most common is the formation of gallstones. These stones can get stuck in bile ducts and cause gall bladder attacks or even ruptures. That’s why some that undergo weight loss surgery wind up having to have their gall bladders removed at some point thereafter.

Other health issues come about due to the change in lifestyle or the methods used to lose weight. Improper “diets” often lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which can lead to various health problems.

Those that go overboard with dieting and exercising in the attempt to win a prop bet can risk health problems related to malnutrition and dehydration. That’s why it is important to have a balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids when exercising and losing weight.

Some may not realize this, but crazy weight loss plans can put a serious strain on your heart. Taking part of a crash diet for the sake of winning a prop bet could lead to high or low blood pressure, heart arrhythmias and irregular heartbeat. You could even risk a heart attack by a crazy crash diet.

Finally, it’s been proven repeatedly that the majority of people that undergo rapid weight loss will usually gain back the lost weight and more. Part of this is because many that lose large amounts of weight fail to pack on muscle to help burn calories. Other reasons include a person going back to their previously unhealthy lifestyles.

Will You Even Be Paid?

Something else one needs to give serious consideration to is whether the loser will actually pay the prop bet. In the case of the Staples bet, Bill Perkins will surely pay the bet if he loses.

However, Ted Forrest was not as fortunate. According to Forrest, Mike Matusow has only paid $70,500 of the $1.8 million owed. Forrest risked his life to win money he’ll likely never see.

Let’s say you are considering a prop bet on the same lines of Jaime and Matt Staples where you can win 50 to 1 on your money. While that’s an insane ROI, are you guaranteed to get that money if you win? Will you risk your health and even your life to “win” a prop bet that may never pay out?

Balance the Benefits with the Risks

The purpose of this article isn’t to try to persuade you to never consider a weight loss prop bet but rather to present you with information to help you balance the risks of the bet with the benefits.

Weight loss, when done at a healthy rate, has a lifetime of benefits. It helps reduce the risks of developing heart disease, diabetes and a myriad of other health problems.

Losing weight has other benefits including increased energy and stamina, less pain partaking in daily activities, better sleep and even better sex. It will even help you improve your poker game as your improved health will help you last longer at the tables and make better decisions.

Anyone thinking of undertaking such a prop bet in the future would be wise to consult their physician and even take part in a supervised weight loss program. Such programs will help you stay on track and can help reduce the risks of developing health problems associated with losing large amount of weight or rapid weight loss.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.