2018 Gambling Olympics: Can Peter Jennings Cover the +17.5 Spread in the $2,000 Pull-up Prop?

2018 Gambling Olympics: Can Peter Jennings Cover the +17.5 Spread in the $2,000 Pull-up Prop? article feature image

The Highlights

  • Before the official Gambling Olympics, some of the participants will compete against each other in preliminary events.
  • One of these events is pull-up contest between Jonathan Bales and Peter Jennings.
  • Bales is favored by 17.5 pull-ups. 

The 2018 Gambling Olympics is a two-day, 12-person contest taking place in Las Vegas on July 9-10. The buy-in is $2,500, and the winner gets $10,000.

Before, during and after the Gambling Olympics, we will provide extensive coverage via participant profiles, event breakdowns and live in-person analysis. Be sure to follow all the action in the Gambling Olympics section of the site.

Pull-up Bet: Bales vs. Jennings

Jonathan Bales and Peter Jennings (CSURAM88) are two of the best DFS players in the world as well as two-thirds of the Three Donkeys, so they're always looking to get down some degenerate side-bet action. This bet, though, is far from degenerate, as it involves health and fitness.

As the superior physical specimen (sorry, Pete), Bales enters the event with a -17.5 pull-up spread. Additionally, Bales will be limited to the disadvantageous wide grip while Jennings can use a neutral grip. They're also both expected to use a full range of motion and come to a dead hang at the bottom of each rep.

Bales and Jennings have both wagered $2,000 at even money.

Can CSURAM Cover the Pull-up Spread?

  • Jennings +17.5: -120
  • Bales -17.5: -120

To get a better idea of how the two participants feel about their chances, I sat down for a fireside chat with each one:


How many pull-ups are you expecting Peter to do?

"I think he's probably going to do around 15-17. He did like 11-12 with normal grip already, and I believe he lost weight so maybe closer to 17. He's also been training, and we have a workout prop bet with Levitan, so I know he's been working out a minimum of four times per week. If he hasn't improved then I have a chance. If he's improved to the point where he's approaching 20 then I am dead."

How many pull-ups do you think you're leaving on the table by using a wide instead of neutral grip?

"A lot. If I could use neutral I could do probably at least 6-7 more reps."

How are you feeling about your training?

"I did 25 in Orlando over a year ago, and I think Peter did around eight, and then he improved. I can do more pull-ups but I haven't improved as much as I thought I would, and winning by 18 seems tough. I will do more during the competition than in practice, but it's tough to gauge. Sometimes you get off to a bad start or get a little wobbly. There's sometimes a difference of 4-5-reps in what I can do."

How will you be preparing the morning of the bet? Pre-workout, cocaine, PCP?

"Haha, just lots of water, gonna try to sleep a bunch, and I will drink coffee beforehand."


How many pull-ups are you expecting Bales to get?

"Thirty-five from Bales. He's the hulk."

How much have you been training for the event?

"I've been training a good bit, just got done doing pull-ups right now. I just don't improve much (frowny face emoji)."

When I was confirming with Bales that you guys would be coming to a dead hang on each rep, he said he would be OK, but that your form has been "suspect" in the past. Thoughts?

"My form was suspect vs. Levitan on one pull-up. My form will be good this time."

If you were to bet on the spread yourself, who would you take?

"Bales. He's a -500 favorite."

This is going to be your second big side bet of the week. How do you plan on preparing? And Bales said he isn't going to do any illicit or performance-enhancing drugs, by the way.

"Neither am I. I plan on training until about July 3 and then taking time off to recover fully. That morning, I plan on having a good meal. I hope adrenaline helps me a lot."


Both competitors seem to think the other one will win easily. As Tim Thomas would say, "they're pumping each others tires up pretty good."

Objectively, they've put Bales at a massive disadvantage. It's hard to think he'll overcome it. A -17.5 spread and wide grip? He might as well wrap the bar in Owens Corning fiberglass insulation, tie 45-pound plates to each foot and get karate chopped in the groin after each rep.

Bales is strong, but let's do the math. If Jennings has improved enough to do 15, then Bales has to do 33 to win, which (by his own estimation) means that he would be in the ballpark of 40 neutral-grip pull-ups. FORTY. That's not impossible, but based on the interviews it seems unlikely. To win, Bales is going to have to hope for an underwhelming number from Jennings, maybe no more than 13.

The Pick: Jennings +17.5 (-120)

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