The Return of the Richest Poker Game of All Time
By Daniel Magill
Purportedly the largest head-to-head poker game of all-time saw billionaire banker Andy Beal match $20 million against a rotating cast of the best poker players in the world, which included Phil Ivey, Jennifer Harman, Todd Brunson and Ted Forrest.

Last month, Beal played the world’s best poker players for stakes of $30,000/$60,000 and $50,000/$100,000 at Wynn Las Vegas. Average pot size per hand was over $300,000 with the largest pot weighing in at $1.9 million. To play in a game of such astronomical stakes, twenty of the world’s best poker players had to combine their bankrolls. They played three series of matches in February where each side started with at least $10 million on the table, with millions more in reserve. Wins and losses ran as high as $10 million in a single day, and one session featured two $8 million swings.

This game was the latest instalment of the “richest poker game of all time”, which started in 2001 when banker Beal, became interested in poker. Beal developed into a world-class high-stakes hold‘em player, who once won $12 million in one day.

The only person allowed to document this historic rematch “hand by hand” was Bluff poker columnist Michael Craig, author of The Professor, The Banker and The Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time (Warner Books, June 2005). Craig himself was influential in arranging the multimillion dollar rematch and at Beal’s insistence, agreed to sit at the table to document the 2006 games.

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