When he was a 22-year-old internet poker sensation, Tom Dwan won the largest pot in televised poker history. In Season 5 of High Stakes Poker (filmed in late 2008, aired in 2009), he turned trip Queens to beat Barry Greenstein’s pocket Aces and win a $919,600 pot. Last night, Queens were his friend again as he snatched back the television poker record, winning an astonishing $3.1 million pot on Hustler Casino Live.
And yes, we are categorizing a live stream as “television,” as the moving images are transmitted into people’s homes to watch on a screen. The technology is a bit different, but the result is the same.
The blinds in the “Million Dollar Game” were $500/$1,000, with a $3,000 big blind ante. Dwan limped pre-flop with Q♠-Q♣ and it folded around to LSG Hank, who raised to $7,000 with A♥-8♣. Wesley Fei, a young crypto millionaire who has only been playing poker for a year and a half, three-bet from the dealer’s position with A♦-K♥. Dwan four-bet to $100,000, Hank folded, and then Fei five-bet to $275,000. Dwan thought about it for a bit and made the call to bring the pot to over half a million dollars before the flop.
The flop was 8♠-8♦-3♦ and Dwan checked. At this point, keep in mind that for some reason, the stream didn’t capture Dwan’s hole cards, so nobody watching, including the announcers, knew what he had.
Fei bet $125,000 and Dwan made the call to bring around the turn of 5♥. Dwan checked again and Fei bet $350,000. Dwan tanked, finally making the call. With $1.5 million in the pot, the river 6♣ was dealt. Dwan checked once again and this time, Fei announced he was all-in for $786,000 the rest of Dwan’s stack.
At that, Fei buried his head in his arms so as not to give away anything. Dwan grabbed a bottle of water and thought for a long, long time. He was scared Fei had flopped trips, but finally convinced himself – by which time we now knew what he had – to make the call.
Fei picked his head up when he heard the call and flipped over his cards first. Dwan then showed his Queens to the amazement of the rest of the table. Fei was a good sport about it, saying that he just can’t bluff Tom Dwan, and his tablemates also gave him a lot of credit for having the guts to be so aggressive.
In the end, the record-breaking pot amounted to $3,081,000. In earlier times, we might have said it will never be broken, but with the spectacle of nose-bleed stakes cash game live streams, it will probably be broken next week.