Tom Dwan is well-acquainted with participating in high-stakes games, often involving seven-figure pots. However, the details of these games were typically shared through second-hand accounts due to their secretive nature, such as the private games in Macau where the players preferred anonymity.
But on a Tuesday night, the renowned high-stakes player found himself immersed in a historic moment at the Hustler Casino Live game in Los Angeles. A staggering pot worth $3.1 million was set, breaking records.
The intense action commenced with blinds set at $500-$1,000, along with a $3,000 big blind ante and a $2,000 straddle. LSG Hank, one of the players, kicked things off by raising to $7,000, prompting Wesley Fei, a regular at Hustler Casino, to three-bet from the button, making it $30,000.
In a fortunate turn of events, Dwan found himself with pocket queens while occupying the straddle position. Responding to the action, he opted for a four-bet, raising the stakes to $100,000. Hank folded, allowing Fei to respond with a bold five-bet of $275,000.
Dwan, after contemplating for about a minute, made the decision to call, leading to a flop revealing the 3Diamond Suit, 8Spade Suit, and 8Diamond Suit. Dwan checked, and Fei followed up with a bet of $125,000. Dwan chose to call, and the turn unveiled the 5Heart Suit.
Once again, Dwan checked, and Fei seized the opportunity to bet $350,000. Dwan took approximately 90 seconds before deciding to make the call, leaving himself with roughly $790,000 behind.
The river presented the 6Club Suit, and Dwan checked for the final time. Without hesitation, Fei pushed all of his chips into the middle, posing a significant challenge for Dwan.
Dwan, seeking clarification, inquired about the all-in bet and confirmed it once more. He then rose from the table briefly to grab a drink. Meanwhile, Fei buried his head in his arms, unwilling to provide any hints regarding his hand. The situation became even more complex when fellow high-stakes professional Doug Polk had already seen Fei’s cards before the flop, leaving Dwan uncertain about the strength of Fei’s holdings.
Dwan entered a deep contemplation, ruminating for almost four minutes before ultimately finding the courage to call. As a result, the pot soared to a record-breaking $3,081,000. A stunned Fei revealed his cards, showing ADiamond Suit KHeart Suit, which amounted to nothing more than an ace-high hand. Dwan’s queens proved superior.
“Tom Dwan has just claimed the largest pot in televised poker history!” exclaimed commentator David Tuchman.
The previous record for the biggest televised poker pot belonged to Kane Kalas, who won a hand worth $2.18 million against Jason Koon during the 2018 Triton cash game series in Montenegro. Subsequently, in February of the present year, Patrik Antonius set the U.S. record of $1,978,000 against Eric Persson on PokerGO’s ‘No Gamble, No Future’ show.
Nikhil ‘Airball’ Arcot expressed admiration, telling Fei, “You have more heart than anyone here,” before checking on Fei’s well-being.
Fei may have been motivated to make the bluff following a day of social media criticism, where he was berated for playing conservatively despite entering the game with a $3 million buy-in.
Fortunately for Fei, he managed to win the second-largest pot of the night