Tom Dwan Wins Biggest Pot in Broadcast Poker History
Posted on: June 1, 2023, 03:24h.
Last updated on: June 1, 2023, 04:56h.
Tom Dwan won the largest poker pot ever seen in a televised or livestreamed game this week. The 36-year-old, who worked for McDonald’s prior to becoming a professional poker player, raked in $3.1 million during Hustler Casino Live’s Million Dollar Game early Wednesday morning.
Dwan scored the record pot with pocket queens against self-proclaimed cryptocurrency millionaire Wesley Fei, 31, who was bluffing.
The hand occurred in a No-Limit Texas Hold ’em cash game with a $1 million minimum buy-in, so the pot size wasn’t a shocker. But the record-breaking hand generated lots of head-scratching at the table.
Fei was sitting with $2.8 million when the hand began compared to Dwan’s $1.5 million. They were playing with $500 and $1,000 blinds plus an escalating big-blind ante that had grown to $3,000. Dwan also contributed a voluntary $2,000 third blind called a straddle. So $6,500 was in the pot before any of the eight players saw their hands.
I See You
Doug Polk, seated to Wei’s left, complicated matters. The three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner declared that he saw Fei’s cards. Fei was the last player to act preflop. A newcomer named LSG Hank raised ahead of Fei to $7,000, but when Fei looked down to see Ace-King offsuit, one of the strongest preflop hands in poker, he three-bet to $30K, despite Polk supposedly knowing his cards.
At this point, Polk folded. Dwan, whose pair of queens weren’t picked up by the card reader, re-raised to $100K, causing LSG Hank to fold. Fei then raised again to $275K, and Dwan called. With $562K in the middle, the pair saw a flop — the 3 of diamonds, 8 of spades, and 8 of diamonds — that helped no one.
Dwan checked, prompting Fei to bet $125K, escalating the pot to $812K and rendering the previously chatty table silent. Dwan called. The turn again helped neither player, and Dwan checked.
River Deep, Mountain of Chips High
“Wesley’s hands are shaking,” announcer David Tuchman said. “He is loading up for another bet.”
That bet was for $350K and Dwan, without much hesitation, called it. The river didn’t help either player and Dwan checked again, leading Fei to move all in.
This time, Dwan hesitated. He stood up, grabbed a bottle of water, and began going over the hand out loud as he faced a bet for his entire stack of $786K.
So Doug saw his hand,” he said. “This is a weird f***ing hand. Doug saw his hand, tried to talk him out of three-betting, he three-bet anyway,” Dwan said while staring at Polk. “I mean, I guessed he flopped an eight, but it seems very hard to fold.”
After nearly four minutes, Dwan threw a stack of chips in the pot to make the call that won him the biggest pot in broadcast poker history.
“Ohh,” Fei said as more than $1.5 million of his chips changed ownership. “Can’t bluff Tom.”
Game Not Over
The record-shattering hand was only one of several big pots in the game that started at 3 p.m. PT Tuesday and went until nearly 4 a.m. Wednesday. Eventually, Fei won a big chunk of his money back on what turned out to be the second-largest hand in broadcast poker history, good for $2.25 million, which he won by turning three-of-a-kind to beat LSG Hank’s pair of queens.
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