On last night's episode of Poker after Dark on NBC, Doyle Brunson and Phil Laak were talking about prop bets. Someone had bet Doyle that he couldn't eat a quail a day for a month; someone else had a bet that involved living in DesMoines for a month; and another person had to live in a restroom for a week. The late hour might have helped me in my association, for I saw parallels to a type of performance art that uses endurance as a strategy. A most recent example would be Marina Abramovic's "The Artist Is Present," at MOMA.
I want to write an essay that examines the allure of prop bets and motivation for endurance art. And this is where you, the reader, comes in. Although a lot of performance art has been documented via video and art criticism, prop bets are primarily passed on by word-of-mouth.
• If you are an artist reading this and know of endurance art that I would find of interest, please send me links to documentation. If the work has not been documented online or in print, and you know the artist(s) involved, I would appreciate an introduction.
• If you are a poker player or even a degenerate craps player, and know of some outrageous prop bets that test a bettor's endurance, please tell me about the nature of the bet. But more importantly, I will need verification of the bet, preferably hearing/reading an account directly from one of the participants. I can't stress this last point enough, as I intend this essay to be more than just a fluff piece.
Lastly, if you have an art or poker blog, please link this request.
Please send all correspondence to ptcpatrick AT gmail.com.
I am indebted.
Addendum: It occurs to me that some contributors of prop bets may require anonymity. No Problem.