You’ve heard the term “betting the company,” but have you ever known anyone who has actually done that? I mean literally. As in, they’re playing poker with shares of the company on the line. Because that’s exactly what Yammer founder David Sacks and Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis are doing at The World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
When Calacanis first tweeted about it, I thought it was a joke. He wrote, “Got a sick @WSOP Main Event Prop bet with @DavidSacks: 10,000 shares of Mahalo vs. 10,000 shares of @Yammer–whoever lasts longer #poker“. But I emailed Sacks to confirm, and sure enough, the bet is on. “Of course. Sucker born every minute,” Sacks wrote to us. He continued, “To be clear, these are personally-owned shares we’re betting.”
Of course, you have to assume they’re not betting the entire company. I asked Sacks exactly what percentage of Yammer 10,000 shares constitues. Not surprisingly, he declined to answer that. But you’d have to think it’s a relatively small share or the Boards of the two companies might have something to say about the deal. Can you imagine if Calacanis took a controlling stake of Yammer because he lasted longer in the World Series of Poker? That’d likely be worth a lot more than the grand prize if he won the entire tournament.
Obviously, this isn’t an official bet for WSOP, it’s a side bet the two men are making. This is a much more interesting way to trade shares than SecondMarket.
Some may recall that Yammer had a bad spell of downtime while Sacks was playing in the tournament last year. Calacanis has played before as well. Yes, it’s a little ridiculous.