Rich Alati on Hallucinating and Winning His Prop Bet

7 months ago
Rich Alati on Hallucinating and Winning His Prop Bet
10:30
23 Dec

Hallucinating that he could see shapes, windows and even a train at one point was just one of the big problems faced by poker pro Rich Alati during his recent $100k pitchdark bathroom prop bet – a challenge he won when his opponent Rory Youngbought out of the bet for $62,400 some 20 days in to the month-long bet.

Alati has been revealing some of the challenges he faced inside the sealed-off bathroom, and how he coped with the lack of light and human contact, in an interview with the Action Network’s Darren Rovell.



Fear… and bubble parties

Hallucinations were one of the most-expected occurrences according to those who had experienced such isolation previously, and sure enough it was only 3 days in before Alati’s mind began playing tricks on him.

“It started with shapes and colors,” he told Rovell. “Then I saw a train. And I just had to convince myself it wasn’t real”.

He also revealed one strange moment when “the room was filled with all these white bubbles”. Aware that is was just his imagination running riot, the Vegas poker pro decided:

“I’m going to go along with it and I had a fun bubble party".



Preparation and meditation

Very few people gave him any chance of completing the prop bet, but preparation and some previously learned meditation techniques were the key to him winning says Alati.

“I flew in two days prior from the Bahamas…” Alati explained in the interview. “I’m really good at memorization, so I then arranged the room and remembered where things were,” he said, with a place for clothes, another for food, etc.

What his opponent Young apparently didn’t know was that Alati wasn’t quite a newbie to silence and isolation, admitting he:

“Had gone to Bali to a silent retreat where you don’t speak. And when you don’t speak, it turns you inward. I knew how to act in that room when it went inward”.

While it seems that Alati has suffered no side-effects to his isolation efforts, his prop bet foe Young isn’t doing too badly either taking down over $70k at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic last week – just enough to pay off his losses to Alati!


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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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