I've never been in a position to turn down $400,000, and I can't imagine a time in the future when I'll ever be in that situation. But high-stakes poker player and self-proclaimed “best bettor in the world” Sean Perry has done just that. Unfortunately, this decision left him behind.
It wasn't a merry Christmas for Perry as he opted out of the year $9.2 million “About Survivor” competition after being, shall we say, extremely confident that he would win.
In Circa's famous $1,000 buy-in contest, players select a winner of an NFL game each week. This team wins, the player moves on to the next week. This team loses and the player is eliminated from the competition.
The big catch is that players can only select a team once. Therefore, survival pools – whether Circa or not – require planning and risk, as you can't just pick the best team every week or play the worst team every week. Of course, that wouldn't work anyway, because while it's not unprecedented, it's extremely rare for a team to go undefeated or winless for an entire season.
As an additional special feature, Circa counted Thanksgiving/Black Friday and the Christmas games as separate weeks.
There were 9,267 entries to the Circa Survivor competition, making the prize pool $9,267,000, all of which went to the winner.
At the start of games last weekend, there were 13 players left and 12 of them agreed to a cut that would see everyone receive $400,000 and the eventual winner of the competition would receive the rest of the prize pool. Sean Perry was the only holdout.
He told that Las Vegas Review Journal that his response to the chop suggestion was: “I said, 'With all due respect, I'm the best bettor in the world. There's no way I can ever hack. I wish you all the best. See you at the finish line.”
“Why should I hack when I have an advantage?” he added. “If you give $400,000 each, the money I take out of the prize pool is money that I theoretically lose because I have an advantage. I believe that I still have the best team and am confident in my abilities. That's what I do. I'm a big time breaker. I've been the biggest winner in sports for a long time.
“To be honest, I took a big step away from the poker world and into the sport because I crushed and earned so much.”
Perry was one of ten remaining players to make it to last weekend's games. Six players, including Perry, chose the Broncos over the Patriots, which made sense since the Broncos are decent and the Patriots are one of the worst teams in the league. But the Patriots pulled out of the surprise thanks to a last-second field goal and suddenly Perry was gone and there were only four players left.
It went from a guaranteed $400,000 to zero.
With only three games on Christmas Day, the selection was tight, but fortunately the final four participants had all saved the Eagles, favoring them all over the Giants. Had they all lost, they would have even split the prize four ways, but the Eagles won, so it's on to next week.