A former high school and college basketball player turned American poker pro, Huck Seed is also an insane prop better.
Seed—born Huckleberry Seed in Santa Clara, California—was, incidentally, featured in the 2006 documentary Quantum Hoops that chronicled Cal Tech’s quest to end a 21-year losing streak. This makes sense since Seed is six-foot-six—or six-foot-seven depending on where you’re getting your information—tall.
He has been playing poker since 1989 and has done quite well. As a four-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, Seed’s best finish in 1996 when he won the Main Event and a cool $1 million. While he did, in fact, make the final table of the 1999 WSOP main event, Seed finished a respectable sixth. He also won the 2010 WSOP Tournament of Champions freeroll and a hefty $500,000.
Thus far, Seed’s total live tournament winnings—which include 40 cashes at the WSOP—total nearly $6 million.
There is more to this interesting 49-year-old guy. Much more. You see, Huck Seed has a propensity—some would say an addiction—to prop bets.
What is a prop bet?
A prop (proposition) bet—also known as a side or novelty bet—is a bet made during a game—usually gambling-related—that is neither related to the game itself nor affects the game’s final outcome. These types of bets are quite common in sports books and are unrelated to the more “normal” types of wagers.
Examples of sports-related prop bets include how many strikes or balls a pitcher will throw in a game, which team will score first, whether a particular player will score a certain number of points (usually put forth as an over/under wager), which cards will comprise a Hold ‘Em flop, and so forth.
Huck Seed: Prop bet Hall of Fame
As would be expected with high-stakes poker players who are constantly seeking “action,” prop bets are quite common, and Huck Seed is the reigning king. Take a look.
The infamous back flip
Perhaps one of Seed’s most well-known prop bets was the standing back flip one he made with Howard Lederer. As mentioned, Huck Seed stands six-foot-six, give or take an inch. Anyway, the fact remains that he is quite tall, and a standing back flip would be no easy feat for the lanky fellow. With $10,000 at stake, Seed had only two days to learn how to do one.
Well, unbeknownst to Lederer, Seed’s uncle was a former acrobat who taught his nephew by rigging a harness over a swimming pool. 48 hours later, Seed’s perfect back flip made him $10,000 richer. What makes this story even more fantastic is that Seed was allegedly intoxicated when he did it. Either way, I’m impressed.
Prior to the back flip bet, Seed claimed he could beat Lederer in a 50-yard dash. Oh yeah, and by hopping on one leg. After watching Lederer complete an impressive preliminary run, the athletic Seed bowed out and paid off the $5,000 bet.
Seed versus the sea
Another time, Huck Seed claimed that he could stand in any body of water—submerged to his shoulders—for 18 hours. Well, “Poker Brat” Phil Hellmuth took him up on it, and the two wagered $50,000. Seed—clad in a wetsuit—attempted to live up to his self-hype; however, after only three hours, Seed went ashore and paid Hellmuth off.
One time, Seed wagered that he could go an entire year without shaving. He almost made it until an unexpected death in the family and upcoming funeral forced him to shave.
Now, this one is pretty impressive. Seed wagered that he could break 100 on a Las Vegas golf course. This doesn’t sound too impossible, does it? Oh wait, he had to do it four times in one day with only three clubs—a putter, sand wedge, and five iron—in 120-degree heat, and without a golf cart. Impressively, he won the bet after six rounds.
In fact, soon thereafter, Erick Lindgren replicated this feat and won a total of $340,000 from Gavin Smith, Peter Feldman, Chris Bell, and Phil Ivey.
In another crazy prop bet, backgammon pro Mike Svobodny bet Huck Seed and Howard Lederer $50,000 each that they couldn’t “cross weights” by the next year. With Lederer over 300 pounds at the time and Seed under 200, needless to say Seed and Lederer both lost this bet.
Run Huckleberry run
Seed once bet Doyle Brunson that he could run a mile in under four-minutes, 40-seconds (Seed, not Brunson even though Brunson was a track star in his day.) To Seed’s credit, he managed to do it in four minutes, 47 seconds but lost the bet.
Razor? Pshaw: The sequel
Most recently, at the 2015 WSOP, Seed bet Eli Elezra—and others—$5,000 apiece that he would not get a haircut or shave until he wins another bracelet—either domestically or internationally. If he fails to win one within two years, he has to pay up.
Seed would also win the bet if he wins two World Poker Tour (WPT) events—something he has never done. And like every good contract, Seed managed to get an extension for several years and an addendum that if he wins his bracelet, those who took him up on the offer must pay back not only the initial bet but also the money he wins.
But wait, there’s more
Among Seed’s other, shall we say, interesting prop bets included that he could:
- Run a mile backward in under ten minutes
- Get down to a lean five percent body fat (similarly, Seed bet Bryn Kenney $10,000 that Kenney couldn’t get down to 15 percent body fat, which Kenney failed to do)
- Maintain 185 pounds for 36 months with $10,000 monthly weigh-ins
When asked about his “seemingly uncanny skills as a prop bettor,” Seed replied, “People think I win a lot more of these proposition bets than I really do.”
Do you know of any other of Seed’s prop bet antics? Or have you engaged in any Huck Seed worthy ones yourself? Please share below.
Until next time.
Read more from Upswing Poker:
- The Top 20 Female Poker Players of All Time
- Alex Jacob Journeys from Poker Champion to Jeopardy Champion
- Best Poker Tournaments in Las Vegas
Natalie Faulk is a Las Vegas-based freelance writer/blogger and the author of several books. She is an avid low-stakes (for now) poker player and huge Vegas Golden Knights fan.