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Poker Pro Bryn Kenney Challenges Justin Bieber to $1-Million Fight

Bryn Kenney and Justin Bieber

Ever had $20 million burning a hole in your pocket?

That appears to be the issue that poker pro Bryn Kenney is having after finishing runner-up in the biggest buy-in tournament ever held for a hefty $20.5-million score over the weekend.

Last month Kenney challenged pop singer Justin Bieber to a fight in the Octagon. After coming second in the Triton Million on the weekend, he upped the ante by offering a $1-million freeroll to Bieber if the Canadian accepts the challenge and beats Kenney in the Octagon.

Kenney said that he’ll do the fight for free and Bieber wouldn’t need to put up any of his own money.

It’s likely that Kenney is making fun of Bieber issuing his own challenge to Tom Cruise back in June. There’s a good chance, however, that Kenney is legitimately offering $1 million to Justin Bieber. Kenney is renowned in the poker world for his willingness to gamble.

Long History of Prop Bet Fights in Poker

Boxing matches and MMA-style fights have long been a popular prop bet between poker pros both as a reason to gamble and as motivation for getting in shape.

It all started with Danish poker pros Gus Hansen and Theo Jorgensen facing off in a boxing match in 2009 with $60,000 on the line. Jorgensen managed to tame the Great Dane and earned $35,000 for his efforts.

There were plenty of high-profile prop bet fights from that point on with Lex Veldhuis vs Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier in 2011 and JC Alvarado and Olivier Busquet doing a full-on MMA-style fight for six figures in 2016.

There have also been plenty of MMA stars who have played the WSOP, including Randy Couture, Forrest Griffin, Chuck Liddell and Rampage Jackson.

Perhaps the most successful MMA crossover star, however, would be Rami Boukai. Boukai had a mediocre MMA career (he once fought Urijah Faber) but turned into an absolute beast at the poker table. The San Diego resident has over $1.2 million in lifetime live tournament earnings and two WSOP gold bracelets.

Kenney Looking for Huge Cash Game Action

If the fight with Bieber fails to materialize, which seems likely, Bryn Kenney says that he’s also looking for some extremely high-stakes cash game action.

Kenney has already told producers at poker-streaming service PokerGO that he wants to build a “huge” cash game this fall.

Some poker players would avoid cash game tables after acquiring $20.5 million but Kenney has proven time and time again that he’s willing to gamble.

Professional poker players almost always sell action for huge buy-in events like the Triton Million. The idea is that by selling some of their action (a percentage of the buy-in), pros are able to limit variance and avoid going broke.

For instance, if your bankroll for playing poker was $1 million, then it would be monumentally risky to put it all on one tournament like the Triton Million. The downside of selling action is that you don’t get the full payout at the end (you have to pay back your investors) but it’s a good tactic for most players’ long-term success.

Kenney is a bit of an exception to that rule, however, and is famous for having a large amount of his own action. While poker pros never disclose exactly how much they had of themselves, it stands to reason that he did take home a large portion of that record-setting $20.5-million payout at the Triton Million.

That huge payout could be part of the reason that he is offering $1-million freerolls to Justin Bieber in addition to looking for huge cash game action. The next few months could be very interesting for the poker world.