Andy Beal versus ‘The Corporation’

This article is more of a guilty pleasure than an article on poker strategy, so could be of interest to many, including those more used to working with Scratch Cards than playing poker.

It is about the billionaire Andy Beal and his attempt in 2004 to beat the best poker players in the world in the largest cash games ever witnessed. It’s worth a read, trust me.

The Corporation consisted of 16 professional poker players, including Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, Jennifer Harman, Barry Greenstein and Gus Hansen. The group, which was put together by Brunson, was chock full of talent. Each player put in at least $500,000 with profits and losses shared out in equal measure.

Beal had played pros before 2004, but this time was different. The blinds were set at $100,000 – $200,000 with each player sitting at the table with at least $10,000,000. Beal thought that these astronomical stakes would knock the pros off their game and he was confident that he could bully them. On May 12 2004 at 3.40pm, Andy Beal and Todd Brunson began the richest poker game of all time. At one point, Beal was ahead by $7,000,000 but Brunson managed to win it back, ending the session up $1,100,000, a small victory in the eyes of the pros!

Chip Reese was the next pro to sit in the hot seat. He lost $8,000,000 to Beal. It was the biggest winning session in the history of poker against one of the greatest players of all time. No mean feat. It was the turn of Gus Hansen next. He lost $2,000,000. Jennifer Harman was seriously ill at the time, but she was adamant she could play. She sat down with Beal an hour before he was due to leave Vegas. She started brilliantly, making $5,000,000 quickly. But yet again Beal had the last laugh and out-played her, ending the session up $1,500,000. He had won $11,700,000 that day.

If you want to find out more about this incredible story, get a copy of Michael Craig’s fantastic book, ‘The Professor, The Banker and the Suicide King.’

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