Poker Coverage:

High-Stakes Poker Pro Mike McDonald Wins $250K On Free Throw Prop Bet

Mike McDonald Shot 90% From The Free Throw Line Over A 100-Shot Sample To Earn The Payout From Several Other High-Stakes Gamblers


During the prop bet frenzy in early April where poker players were betting on how many chicken nuggets they could eat in an hour, a high-stakes basketball free throw bet was born.

High-stakes poker pro Mike McDonald, who has $13.3 million in career tournament earnings, posted a video on Twitter shooting free throws to pass the time while there was no poker to be played, no sports to bet on, and just overall nothing else to do.

His form was… let’s call it suspect. It was clear that the world-class Canadian poker pro didn’t spend his childhood playing basketball. But gamblers are going to gamble and before long a prop bet was in the works.

McDonald agreed to terms on bets that required him to sink 90 out of 100 shots from the free throw line. He would be allowed unlimited restarts, so if he missed the first 11 shots, his 12th shot could start a new set of 100. He had until the end of the year to complete the task and could take as many tries as needed.

He accepted action from several other high-stakes gamblers at varying prices and for various amounts. Nick Schulman, Christian Harder, Jake Abdalla, and Will Jaffe were among the poker pros who made it public that they bet against the man known who goes by “Timex” in online poker tournaments.

In less than five months after the bets were booked, McDonald completed the bet. McDonald tweeted Wednesday that he completed the challenge and uploaded video proof of the act Thursday.

The video was 24 minutes long and netted him $250,000. In a subsequent Wednesday tweet, McDonald responded to a comment asking about how much he won.

“I took on 235k in bets to win 280k,” tweeted McDonald. “Gave my boss @VernonLammers 25k of action at avg price since I wouldn’t be working much so risked 210 to win 250.”

The win didn’t come without slight controversy. McDonald tweeted that he completed the bet Tuesday, but was forced off the public court he was using and had to take a 30-minute break before completing the challenge.

Schulman was one of the parties involved that thought based on the actions, the bet shouldn’t stand. He tweeted a video response Wednesday where he said he would concede the $15,000 wagered against McDonald, but that he would like a second $1,000 bet at 20:1 odds to stand. He also had some incorrect information that McDonald took an entire night off in between starting and finishing the first attempt.

McDonald went back to the gym the very next day and less than 24 hours later, sank 90 out of 100 and uploaded the video evidence to prove it. Schulman tweeted another video where he apologized for questioning the feat in the first place.

Jaffe also posted a video “with some thoughts on the Timex bet.” Jaffe said he underestimated how beneficial unlimited restarts would be for McDonald.

None of the bettors had a worse track record this year than Harder, who in a tweet directed to Schulman, said that he also had to pay McDonald for laying 20:1 that there would be a live World Series of Poker during the summer of 2020.