Exclusive Bathtub Bet Update: The Official Rules and More

A few weeks after we spoke to professional poker player Nick DiVella about his daring prop bet he reached out to us with the official rules. DiVella send us a Word document and that brought up some new questions and room for conversation.

DiVella agreed to answer our questions, and we are also happy to announce that he will use a few minutes of his cell phone time in the bathtub to call yours truly, who’s going to provide a daily update about his situation during the bet. 

In short DiVella will spend six days in a Las Vegas hotel room’s bathtub, in order to win $22,500 risking $4,000. DiVella is betting against a friend of his, a wealthy Texas businessman.

We had a chance to ask DiVella some more questions about this bet and he gave some interesting answers. The actual bet is likely to be postponed until late September, early October, because the bettor is out on a business trip.

The reactions to DiVella’s prop bet have been all over the place and the poker world certainly got a hold of it. “Since I first tweeted the preliminary rules many people want to know the specifics about the bet, and how I am going to deal with the monotony and struggles of going to the bathroom. It is always the topic of discussion when I sit down for a session. My girlfriend deals poker and hears people talking about it at the table too,” DiVella said.

The people in the poker community have a sense of betting action themselves, but of course for most parents and friends outside of poker something like this has to be a lot harder to understand.

“My family thinks I’m crazy, especially my parents who are against it and trying to talk me out of it. My friends think I’m just a little crazy, but they would do it for less money so I guess that’s fair because there is a lot of money at stake. Some people I talk to wouldn’t even attempt it for a $50,000 freeroll, so I think we all know who the crazies are. Opinions are all over the map, some think it’s a cakewalk and some think it’s not possible,” DiVella said.

Which hotel do you think has the most favorable bathtub?

With all this in mind it’s good to take a look at the rules now and this way you, the reader, can make up your own mind about this wager.

Nick DiVella Six Days in a Bathtub Prop Bet Rules

  • Live six days in a hotel bathtub
  • Web cam surveillance, but the camera can be turned away to do private things
  • A pair of the following: jeans, sweatshirt, shirt, shoes, socks, underwear
  • One regular sized pillow, no blanket
  • No soap, no towels, no electronics, no toothbrush, if you have to ask its probably not allowed
  • No visitation hours besides dropping food off
  • 5 Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches per day and plenty of cases of water to drink
  • Multi-vitamins and Advil allowed
  • I can use my phone between 12pm-1:30pm
  • Books are allowed
  • Clock in room to let me know the time of day
  • 20 sheets of writing paper, one marker
  • One plastic zip lock baggie
  • Can set temperature setting only once
  • Lights always on, sleeping blinders allowed
  • People allowed in hotel room, but no interference to make me quit or get out of the tub, for instance: turn lights off and leave
  • If fire alarm goes off I can continue the bet after allowed back into hotel
  • Doctor checkups if requested
  • Blood clot is a concern so I will sign a waiver
  • Andy’s $22,500 to my $4000

“For the most part the rules have stayed the same. We did limit the amount of clothes I can wear, and upped the bet to $22,500 but took away my visitation hours. For my sandwiches somebody will just drop them off and quickly leave,” DiVella said about the official rules in comparison to the first Tweet he made weeks ago.

“The bet was scheduled for middle of September, however Andy texted me this week saying he has to be out on business so we may have to postpone it till he comes back to Vegas. This could be the end of September or early October. Either way, people will be given plenty of time to be notified when the bet is going down,” DiVella said.

One of the things that stands out is that there will be a clock present in the room. Long distance swimmer Diana Nyad recently completed an epic journey from Cuba to Key West and during the 110-mile challenge she at no point wanted to know what the time was. Nor did she wanted to know how many more miles there were to be done, but DiVella thinks he would go crazy without knowing what time it is.

“I am the one who asked for the clock. I would hate to think it’s 7:00 AM, and expect my sandwiches to be dropped off at 8am when it was really 11:00 PM the night before. The not knowing would drive me insane. The clock will help me plan out my routines as well,” DiVella said.

Besides the clock being present the light will also be on at all times. Sleeping in the bathtub will be hard, but with the bright lights present at all time this could even be a lot harder, even though he is allowed to use a sleeping mask.

“Having the lights on sure does beat the hell out of the alternative. We agreed on sleeping blinders, so I think the lights on will be a non-factor. Setting the temperature correctly pre tub is way more important. I attempted sleeping in a bathtub and it was awful. I’ll be lucky to get even a few broken hours here and there,” DiVella said about the comfort he will clearly not have during this six-day challenge.

On the list of rules it clearly states that he will sign a waiver because there is a chance of blood clots. Besides stretches DiVella has one more solution for this problem that could become serious.

“I ordered a pair of compression socks to help with blood circulation, and I attended one hot yoga class where the room is over 100 degrees. Damn are those people athletic. I have lots of respect for those who can throw their head up and over their face. Either that, or I am just really inflexible but it did teach me some new stretches,” DiVella said.

The size and shape of the bathtub can be a big factor to DiVella’s comfort

The health concerns are clearly there, but it will be up to DiVella to keep stretching and repositioning himself. Something, which is probably the number one thing on his mind, is the boredom that will ensue from spending six days alone in a bathtub. In the rules it clearly states that he can bring books, and that will probably be one of the few things that keeps him going.

“I’ve started gathering the books I’ll be reading, things like, “Freakonomics” and “The Tipping Point”. I am also figuring out how I can best occupy my time with 20 sheets of writing paper and a marker. I figure I can keep a diary and use a few sheets to rip up and make into a deck of cards to play solitaire with myself. Origami is tough, but I’m looking for more suggestions,” DiVella said who can be reached on his Twitter page with questions and suggestions.

For now DiVella will be focused on his bread and butter, which are the cash games in the Aria, “The games are a bit slow the month following the WSOP, but poker is still good for me, I’m sticking to my usual $5/$10.”

Keep checking in on iGaming.org as we bring you all the exclusive updates surrounding this amazing prop bet. 

Remko Rinkema

Remko Rinkema has covered the biggest poker tournaments in the world since 2008, including many WSOP, EPT, Aussie Millions, APPT, MCOP and Unibet Open events. As an in-depth interview and story enthusiast he tries to do things a little differently. Besides the usual writings Rinkema grabs every chance to appear on podcasts, live streams and in the occasional video.

Recent Posts

Jason Somerville – Reinventing Live Poker with Run it UP Live

In the fourth and final part of this series Jason Somerville speaks passionately about how he views the landscape of…

7 years ago

Jason Somerville – Big Swings and Shots on the High Stakes

This is the third of four parts in which Jason Somerville tells us his life story. In the previous parts…

7 years ago

Jason Somerville – Battling Illness, Teaching Karate and Discovering Poker

Front page photo: Jason with one of his best friends in poker, Vivek Rajkumar. More about him later in Part…

7 years ago

Jason Somerville – Brings Back the Fun in Poker

Having a conversation with Jason Somerville is about as far removed from what most people consider ‘normal’. Words come flying…

7 years ago

Pratyush Buddiga: Spelling Bee Champ Rips US Education System

In the first part of the interview with Pratyush Buddiga you were able to read about his impressive testing scores…

7 years ago

Pratyush Buddiga: Spelling Bee Champ with a Brilliant Poker Mind

Cover photo: With President George W. Bush after winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee   There are smart people that…

7 years ago