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Phil Ivey, the Corporation, Andy Beal & $50,000/$100,000 Cash Games

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About Phil Ivey & the Corporation

Phil Ivey’s poker cv has been blessed with some pretty fine moments.  5 WSOP bracelets and a throng of EPT/WPT final table finishes  speaks for itself really. Ivey’s also a regular player in the Big Game – a scene in Bobby’s room for some of the highest live stakes poker games available, with tables regularly set at $4/$8k blinds.  Joined by fellow professional poker players Doyle, Jen, Barry, Johnny and Sammy; all these players compete on a regularly basis, with the room well known to feature upswings and variance of $2 million plus.  The Big Game’s nose bleed stakes make it awed by most people in the poker circuit.

However only a few years ago, Phil Ivey, among a select group of the world’s greatest ever poker players, sat down and played $50k/$100k stakes in what was known as the “the corporation” – a collection of the largest ever played out live cash games in history.

What Is the Corporation in Poker?

The corporation was series of the highest cash game stakes ever, between Texas oil billionaire Andy Beal and a number of world’s best professional poker players.  Involving fifteen of the highest paid professionals in the circuit (including Phil Ivey himself, Doyle and Todd Brunson, Ted Forrest, Johnny Chan, Jennifer Harman, Chau Giang, and Minh Ly) the Corporation hit the news big time in 2006 when it was announced Phil Ivey had made $16.6 million profit from Andy Beal in a matter of days. 

 – When Did the Corporation in Poker Start

Beal and The Corporation started up in an series of on-again, off-again high stakes games in 2001.  Beal had stirred up some decent attention back then by issuing a challenge (not unlike Durrr’s recent Million Dollar Challenge) to play some of the world’s best poker players such as Ivey and compete in a series of private Limit Texas Holdem games hosted at the Bellagio. With massive cash games at stake, the Corporation palpably attracted attention from the elite poker world and professionals who could to afford to play them.

Was Andy Beal a Fool Playing the World’s Best Poker Players?

With respect to Andy Beal, he wasn’t just a rich oil tycoon looking for more ‘recherche’ ways to lose his money.  Arguably a mathematical genius, poker commentators claimed Beal had developed a perfect method for playing Limit Holdem without giving away any poker tells.  Indeed, his skill at poker was frighteningly evident in February 2006 when he caught the fifteen best poker players in the world out of $13.6 million inside four days. 

Ivey Makes $16 million From Beal inside 3 Days in Poker – 2006

After generating $13.6 million from the best poker had to offer, it was Phil Ivey’s turn to step up to the mark in Beal’s outrageous nosebleed poker games – and he didn’t disappoint. Starting the game at blinds of $30,000/$60,000, the antes were quickly raised to a whopping $50,000/$100,000 – over ten times the largest cash game stakes current played in the Big Game at the Bellagio. 

To the shock of Beal however, and leaving the rest of the poker world agog, Ivey had beat Beal out of $16.6 million over a three day period.  The highest ever pay day for anyone involved in poker, Ivey had completely taken the world by storm, and made his previous tournament victories – such as the $635k he took down for winning the 2005 WSOP $5000 Pot Limit Holdem Event -look like small fry.  Recuperating and usurping the Company’s previous losses to Beal, Ivey had truly showed Beal where his place was in poker.  Following this sequence of events, Andy Beal vowed he’s never play poker again – or at least not to Ivey!


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