Monday, March 28, 2005

The Banker vs. The Corporation: Let's Get Ready to Rumble

Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker!

The obligatory:

A reminder to everyone that the next official No-Limit WPBT tournament on Poker Stars, open to all, is in TWO days.

Details: This Wednesday, March 30th
$20 + $2 - No-Limit
Poker Stars - Private tournament tab
Password: thehammer

But here's the big poker news. From Barry Shulman at CardPlayer:


Beal and Brunson close to an $80 million poker game

Last fall I was at the center of, and tried to help facilitate, the biggest poker game in the world between Andy Beal, a wealthy Dallas amateur and a group of the best pros ever assembled, including Doyle Brunson.

For six weeks we went back and forth because both sides were hoping to skew things in their favor. All parties were disappointed that it just couldn't seem to come together.

Andy Beal just phoned me and said he is ready to play on their terms. We are talking a match here where both sides put up $40,000,000 and play until one goes broke.

Full details will be available next week in Card Player and at CardPlayer.com.


Damn, this is both crazy and fascinating.

You can read Doyle's open letter to Andy in this post from last October.
Doyle Brunson responds

For those of you not-in-the-know, THE BIG GAME is a very rich man named Andy Beal taking turns playing The Corporation in the highest limit poker game on the planet. Linda over at Poker Works had some fantastic posts about The Big Game but they have since been removed.

Here's some background info about this incredible game:


See, Andy Beal is a brilliant man. He doesn't have a college degree, but he is the founder of a very large bank in Texas, the Beal Bank, that has well over $1 billion in assets. He owns ninety-nine percent of the bank. He isn't an engineer or an astrophysicist, but that didn't stop him from devising a plan to build his own rocket ship. He's not a mathematician, but using his bank's computers he discovered a mathematical problem that has become known as Beal's conjecture. Finding a proof or a counterexample to the conjecture has perplexed the great minds of applied mathematics for the past six years, even though Beal has offered a $100,000 prize to anyone who can solve the problem. He's kind of like Fermat, Einstein and Scrooge Mc. Duck all rolled into one slightly neurotic-looking headphone-wearing poker player. Like many brilliant men he has clearly decided that mastering Texas hold 'em presents the ultimate challenge.

Andy wanted to play ultra high limit poker to challenge himself against the best players in the world, my assumption being that he assumed the high limits would draw out the best players and also their best games. The only problem with this is that nobody has the kind of bankroll to risk in this kind of game. I am sure many of them have multi million dollar bankrolls but the swing in this game can easily be 5-10 million, a swing that could easily break the most successful of poker players. So a number of big and not so big names in poker got together a syndicate to form a bankroll to play with against Andy, sharing the risk and profits if any. The have been nicknamed the corporation. The players who bankroll the corporation also play against Andy, taking turns. Andy comes and goes, the big game is not regular. For example I understand that he played a few days last week and won 5 million. He will be back and it is likely that it could swing as much as ten million or more to one side or the other.

From what I have read it is hard to determine how much backing the corporation can come up with and how much money Andy is worth. For Andy I have seen numbers that vary from a couple hundred million to billions, so who knows, as for the corporation it is anybody’s guess. But I would speculate that the corporation has limits both in the amount of bankroll they can put together at anytime and the amount of risk they are willing to take that Andy can surpass or in other words Andy would play higher I think if they would. For me the most interesting part of all of this is the corporation. They have an edge on Andy to be sure, however, while I do not think anyone that is part of this will invest everything, there is a good chance that Andy could win enough from the corporation to make them insolvable. In other words, Andy with just luck could win enough from them where they get to the stop ruin point where it would be to high a risk to take Andy on at those limits compared to what they had left to invest. Andy will never be anything but even money with the players in the corporation. The closer he gets to being an even money player with them the more likely it becomes that with his virtually bottomless bankroll he could bust the corporation. It is high stakes drama at it's very best.


Warren Karp is reporting that Andy is up eight million against the corporation, as of last evening.

So why does Ted Forrest waste his time with these silly WSOP tournaments that pay only $300K ? That's only one reraise in the 100K/200K game.

Doyle, Jennifer, Chip, Ted, and usually one other are the pro's that make up the corporation. I think Todd Brunson and Howard Lederer, too.

Here is the PokerClan forum with some threads about the big game for those of you wanting to do some more reading. Damn, I wish Linda still had her posts up.
The Big Game

But her last post has some interesting stuff (per always) about dealing to the infamous Sam Grizzle.

And last, but certainly not least, I found this humorous open letter to Andy and the Corporation.


Subject: An open letter to Andy Beal and Doyle Brunson, Chip Reese, et al.

Dear Sirs,

With all due respect to Mr. Shulman, I would propose to you that I might facilitate your poker competition much better. It is with this in mind that I propose the following: that you hold the game in the garage-converted-to-den of my home in Conway, Arkansas. The game will be played on a foldout table top (casino style, not octogonal), placed on a folding table made right here in Conway by Virco Mfg. Co. The chairs are a comfortable, 1-inch padded set, complete with rolling casters for ease of movement (I acquired them rather handily from a state surplus auction, so they are of a quality consistent with the standards of the State Government of Arkansas).

You will compete with vinyl gaming chips (I do not know how many grams of weight they are), in 5 colors, which, for our purposes, will represent denominations of $10,000, $50,000, $100,000, $500,000, and $1 million. I will acquire 3 or 4 double-sets of Kem or Copag playing cards, although I must insist that I be reimbursed immediately for these upon the start of the competition.

I will ask Gary Phillips to deal for you, simply because he’s a good guy and I like him, and he’s not that far away (Tunica, Mississippi).

I will arrange accomodations at the Best Western hotel, located approximately 2 miles from my home (please designate smoking or non, when you respond), and will pick you up at the Little Rock, Arkansas airport in my ’98 Ford Explorer (with respect to Mr. Brunson’s age and condition, I’ll reserve "shotgun" for him).

For these services and amenities, I will extract a rake from each pot played of only 1/2 percent of the pot, capped at $2500; and, of course, all rights to play-by-play reporting, video recording, gallery admission fees, etc.

Please notify me as to whether or not you will bring cash money for the game (so that I may arrange security), or should I arrange a wire transfer to a holding account at my bank.

Please respond directly to my email, and not openly within this forum; as gambling is illegal in the state of Arkansas, and I would not want local authorities to be privvy to the proceedings.

Thank you,
Ken Roebuck

P.S.: If you find this arrangement unsuitable, and decide to hold your game in Las Vegas instead, then I must insist that you begin on May 28, 2005; as I will be in town that week, and the biggest poker game in history CANNOT take place with my witnessing it.

And some jackass had to immediately flame him, to which he took the wonderful high road response. Well done.


get a life you broke ass loser. douche bag. do you think you are funny?


After much deliberation, I have decided that you are not invited to the game.


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