Rich Alati

Rich Alati Leaves Isolation Room Early, Still Wins Prop Bet

The solitary confinement prop bet between Rich Alati and Rory Young has had the poker world talking during the last couple weeks. Would Alati stay in his isolation room for 30 straight days? As it turns out, the answer is no. On Monday, the infamous $100,000 prop bet came to end as Rich Alati re-entered society. But Alati was not the loser.

After 20 days, it was actually Rory Young, who was free to live his life as normal, complete with both natural and artificial light, who asked for the bet to end. According to Darren Rovell of The Action Network, when Young went to deliver Alati food on Monday, he saw Alati “was still in good spirits” and, likely figuring Alati was going to make it the full 30 days, asked for a buy-out.

Young Saw the Writing on the Wall

For those not hip on all forms of gambling lingo, a “buy out” is when one party agrees to pay the other part of the dollar amount agreed upon in exchange for ending the bet early. It’s basically crying “uncle” while saving a little money. The winner of the bet doesn’t win as much as he might have, but he also doesn’t have to continue with whatever ridiculous challenge is in play.

In the case of the isolation bet, Young decided that he would rather give up a large chunk of change two-thirds of the way through the bet than risk giving up more a week and a half later. Young told Rovell that he offered Alati $25,000 to end the bet, but Alati pressed for more, so the two finally agree on $62,400 in exchange for Alati walking out of his “chamber,” as they called it.

“At the last food drop, he was stronger than ever,” Young. “I underestimated his mindset, his resolve. I’m not disappointed I made the bet, I thought I had the better side, but he has exceeded all my expectations.”

Alati is a Sicko

Prop bets are a common thing in the poker world, but this one was one of the more controversial and potentially dangerous. Alati was required to remain in a pitch-black room by himself with no contact with the outside world for 30 days. That’s all alone, so ability to see, alone with his thoughts for a month. If he did it, he would win $100,000 from Young. If he gave up, he owed Young $100,000.

According to Rovell, Alati and Young signed an 11-page contract. Rovell revealed several details, as follows:

• The document has a waiver that absolves Young from responsibility for anything that Alati endures including “death, disability, blindness, diminished vision, loss of any eye function” as well as mental and emotional trauma.
• The room where Alati is staying, referred to as the chamber, features a mattress, shower, bath, laundry and trash basket, and a fridge with the lights removed.
• Alati is not allowed to use drugs, any communication/light-emitting devices and must not have any object that conveys time or date.
• Alati submitted to a blood or urine test before entering room and Young may take a sample from him every time there is a delivery. Tests are allowed to show Alati’s pre-workout supplement and amino acids, but nothing else that’s not in proportion.
• Alati will get food delivered in between three- and six-day intervals. It has been randomized so Alati can’t figure out how long he’s been in the room.
• Alati can request certain foods, but Young may decline those requests.
• The loser of the bet pays the expenses for the wager — upwards of $7,000.

There were two aspects of the mechanics of the bet that I wondered about. First, how did the food delivery work? Young (or whoever delivered it) couldn’t just open the chamber door and give Alati the food, as that would involve human contact plus light entering the room. My guess is there was an antechamber serving as a buffer between Alati’s room and the outside world. Perhaps the deliverer would put open an exterior door, put the food in the antechamber, knock on Alati’s door, then exit the antechamber, closing the exterior door to seal out the light. After waiting perhaps a minute or two, Alati would open his door, take the food – still in pitch darkness – and then retreat back inside.

Second, unless they soundproofed the chamber, I would assume Alati would be able to hear at least a little something from the outside world. If the chamber was in a hotel room (which I don’t think it was), he would probably be able to hear vacuuming, people in neighboring rooms, or people in the hallway. If it was in a house or office building, there still might be sounds from the outside leaking in.

And sure enough, to that second point, The Action Network said that a “faint sound of landscaping” gave Alati the ability to determine day and night cycles, giving him a very good idea of how long he had been isolated.


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