Kane Kalas and Shaun Deeb Make WSOP Main Event Bet

Professional poker player Kane Kalas

Kane Kalas recently made a bet with Shaun Deeb over Phil Hellmuth’s results in the upcoming 2019 WSOP Main Event. After the two made the original wager, Kalas made a bet with Doyle Brunson on Hellmuth WSOP results. The two bets are much different, but interesting in their own ways.

Kalas, a one-time online poker crusher who’s turned to live events, expressed confidence. The runner-up of 2014 WPT Borgata Open said of the bet, “I’m pretty happy about it.”

Shaun Deeb discussed the wager in an interview with Joey Ingram (at around 29:30 of the clip). Shaun Deeb described how the bet happened: “Last night at dinner, I made a bet where I booked 2.5% of Kane Kalas and Joe McKeehen versus 5% of Phil Hellmuth.”

Deeb, who won the 2018 WSOP Player of the Year Award, also gave his opinion on Phil Hellmuth. He and Ingram both consider Hellmuth underrated, despite his purported struggles in $100,000 events. It’s hard to describe one of poker’s biggest names underrated, but both said Hellmuth deserves the fame.

The 33-year-old poker pro said Phil Hellmuth is a force in live No-Limit Hold’em events. Deeb added, “I love you Phil. I’ve got your back, and I’m betting on it. I’m risking whatever, but I think Phil’s ROI and the way he plays [when] he’s motivated — which he always is for the Main Event. He tries so [expletive] hard [in the WSOP Main Event].”

Kalas Bet vs. Doyle Brunson

Kane Kalas’s prop bet against Doyle Brunson is a bit more complicated. If Phil Hellmuth finishes in the top 1% of the WSOP Main Event field, then Kane Kalas owes Doyle Brunson $50,000. The rest of the bet is a bit more complex.

Against Phil Hellmuth’s success, Kalas pick ten top poker players in the WSOP Main Event. Each of those players are worth $5000 apiece from Doyle Brunson’s pocket, if they finish in the top 1% of the field.

Kalas described how the wager with Doyle Brunson came about in a subsequent interview. Kalas said, “After that bet when we were talking about it on stream, Doyle [Brunson] spoke up and said that he also liked Hellmuth’s chances, so Doyle and I made a separate bet.”

Why Kane Kalas Bet against Phil Hellmuth

Kane Kalas, who describes himself as a “Investor, Poker Player, Broadcaster, Baritone, World Traveler”, added his list of ten players on May 10. He said that Phil Hellmuth dominates amateurs, but the Poker Brat’s habits in the WSOP Main Event limits that advantage.

Because Hellmuth takes most of the first day off, it means he avoids many of the lesser players he could build a chip stack playing. By the time Phil Hellmuth makes his belated appearance, the solid pros have knocked out many amateurs. Kalas added, “I think you’ll see Hellmuth’s edge go down compared to a Joe McKeehen for example, or some of the people on my list, Jake Schindler or Justin Bonomo, for example.”

Who Is Kane Kalas?

People might wonder why Kane Kalas has the standing to criticize Hellmuth, but he’s got skins on the wall. Kane Kalas has $1.25 million in live poker tournament winnings. He has several times that amount in online poker earnings. Kane Kalas’s success reached a level he eventually moved to Puerto Rico to enjoy that US Territory’s Act 22 tax exemption.

In Puerto Rico, he plays the crypto-currency markets. Kalas said of crypto-currencies: “Many hedge fund managers such as Henry Paulson and Peter Schiff have relocated to Puerto Rico. Cryptocurrency is a highly volatile investment, and it is difficult to predict.”

As a point of trivia, Kane Kalas is the son of former Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas. Fans also might remember Harry Kalas for his famous voice-over narration for NFL Films.

Joe McKeehan’s Role in Deeb/Brunson Bets

When asked about Phil Hellmuth’s role in the wager, Kalas said, “Hellmuth’s obviously had tremendous success at the World Series, but he misses most of Day 1, where there’s a decent amount of value because he often likes to register near the end of the Day.”

Kalas showed confidence in his own talents, as well as poker pro Joe McKeehen. He added,  “McKeehen is on that list and I threw in myself, too. I feel good about both bets.”

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for more than a decade. He worked for Small World Marketing for years, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. He's covered US and international gambling news on BestOnlineCasinos.com, USPokerSites.com, and LegalUSPokerSites.com since 2014.


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