Thursday, January 29, 2015

Big Big Bets Between Beal and Brunson in Bobby’s Room

Had a non-poker playing (or following) friend ask me yesterday “What’s going on in poker these days?”

He asks me the same question every six weeks or so, and more often than not I’m answering by telling him wherever it is I might have recently gone for a tournament. He then almost always follows up with a question about who won the most or what was the biggest game-slash-tourney I’ve seen or heard about.

More than once I’ve concluded my response to the latter question with some version of the statement that “it’s the same guys trading it back and forth” -- usually referring to those “super high roller” events which do often feature the same small population of players.

However yesterday I had a different response, referring instead to that Andy Beal-Todd Brunson heads-up session of fixed limit hold’em in Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio that happened last weekend, the one in which each player brought $5 million to the game and Brunson ultimately won it all.

Tweets by poker pro Kyle Loman about the match (who snapped the photo above of Beal and Brunson, with Tex Dolly also there to the right) started Friday night and lasted into Saturday morning, covering about five-and-a-half hours altogether. Loman noted how they were using pink $25,000 chips and the limits were $50K/$100K, making a loss of $5 million equal just 50 big bets. Or should I say BIG bets

Loman did a great job with his updates, providing about 25 tweets altogether noting the changing stack sizes as Brunson gradually whittled away at Beal’s stack before taking the last of his chips.

The game, of course, represents a belated reprise of the famous games between the banker and investor and the team of pros dubbed the “Corporation” that first took place over a decade back. The 2001-2004 games were chronicled in Michael Craig’s The Professor, The Banker, and the Suicide King (2005), then there was another round in 2006, the last before Beal’s surprise return to the tables a few days ago.

My friend was impressed to hear that amount, although truth be told it wasn’t all that different to him (or me) than to hear of a player winning $200K in a tourney. Meanwhile, to look at a $5 million loss from Beal’s point of view -- he’s worth something like $11 billion, apparently, which would make a $5 million loss the equivalent something like $25 for the average wage-earner in the U.S. today.

I don’t know the details, but surely Brunson wasn’t just playing with his own money. In any event, the story made it impossible with my friend to end with the usual sign-off about the same guys trading money back and forth.

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Blogger pkessler1 said...

Beal's net worth of $11 billion does put a $5 million loss in perspective to the average joe. That amount of money truly is a drop in the bucket for Beal.

1/30/2015 1:57 PM  

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