Americans are taking steps to prevent themselves from coming down with the coronavirus. Event cancellations are now the norm, and the NBA has suspended its season after Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus. But poker pro Matt Glantz is taking a different approach to COVID-19.
Glantz took to Twitter over the weekend to propose intentionally infecting himself with the coronavirus in exchange for $250,000.
Glantz Quickly Gets an Offer
The offer came with a few conditions designed to make it more palatable. Glantz promised to immediately quarantine himself, for instance, to ensure he had as little chance of infecting anyone else as possible.
Willing to contract the #coronavirus for $250k. Will immediately go into self quarantine as to not to spread or infect anyone else. Will document entire experience daily.
Always put my money (I guess body now) where my mouth is.
HMU to negotiate exact terms. Let's do it!
— Matt Glantz (@MattGlantz) March 7, 2020
“Will document entire experience daily,” Glantz wrote. “Always put my money (I guess body now) where my mouth is.”
As of late Wednesday night, the United States had reported just over 1,300 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with at least 32 deaths attributed to the disease. However, the relative lack of testing in the US means that the number of cases may be much higher.
Worldwide, more than 126,000 people have contracted the virus, with 4,630 deaths reported.
Glantz’s proposal provoked a range of responses on Twitter. While some saw the idea as reckless, others thought there was a method to his madness.
“If he gets it now and self-quarantines he’s more likely to be doing everyone a favor than if he just goes about his life and unknowingly gets infected as we approach peak infections,” Twitter user @petespetes wrote.
Within a few hours, Glantz got a taker in the form of @EmpireMaker2, who said he would get in touch with Glantz to figure out how to make the proposal happen.
100% going to pay you to do this let’s figure ok the best way https://t.co/RikgaZajhL
— EM2 (@EmpireMaker2) March 8, 2020
Others offered lower rates than Glantz, saying the coronavirus wasn’t going to scare them.
Would easily do this for like 100K, mass hysteria over nothing this is free money lmao
— Drax (@ImTheDrax) March 7, 2020
Colleges, Sports World React as COVID-19 Spreads
Glantz wouldn’t be taking any dramatic risks with his personal health by infecting himself with COVID-19. At 48 years of age, Glantz is unlikely to develop a serious illness if he contracts the coronavirus, with data from health officials in China suggesting that those under age 50 have well below a 1% mortality rate.
In the last few days, organizations have taken drastic steps to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Many college campuses have told students not to return from spring break, and now plan to conclude spring classes online. The NCAA announced that all championship events – including the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments – would be played in front of very limited audiences, while in Europe, Italy has cancelled all sporting events and public gatherings until at least April 3.
Matt Glantz has earned over $7.1 million in career live tournament winnings, according to the Hendon Mob database. His largest cash came in 2009 when he won £542,000 ($860,000) by taking first place in a £20,000 ($25,600) high roller event at EPT London.