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Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan Drags Record $3.1 Million Pot In High-Stakes Cash Game

by Julio Rodriguez |  Published: Jul 12, 2023


Tom Dwan is no stranger to playing seven-figure pots, but until now, we’ve had to settle for second-hand stories from closely guarded private games in Macau, playing with characters who would prefer to stay off camera.

In early June, however, the high-stakes legend found himself involved in a record-setting $3.1 million pot while playing in the Hustler Casino Live game in Los Angeles.

The action began with blinds of $500-$1,000 with a $3,000 big blind ante and a $2,000 straddle. A player by the name of LSG Hank raised to $7,000, and Hustler regular Wesley Fei three-bet to $30,000 from the button.

Dwan, who flew in for the game from Monaco, then looked down at pocket queens in the straddle, and four-bet to $100,000. Hank got out of the way, and Fei opted to five-bet to $275,000.

Dwan called after a minute of thought, and the two players took a flop of 3Diamond Suit 8Spade Suit 8Diamond Suit. Dwan checked, and Fei bet $125,000. Dwan called, and the turn was the 5Heart Suit.

Once again Dwan checked, and this time Fei fired in a bet of $350,000. Dwan took about 90 seconds to call, leaving himself with about $790,000 behind.

The river was the 6Club Suit and Dwan checked for a final time. Fei wasted little time before moving all in, putting Dwan to the test.

“He said all-in?” Dwan asked, getting the confirmation. “You sure?” he asked again, before getting up from the table to grab a drink.

Fei responded by burying his head into his arms on the table, not willing to give his opponent any information to work with. Any more information, that is. Making the decision even more interesting for Dwan was the fact that Fei had shown his cards to fellow high-stakes pro Doug Polk, confusing him about the strength of his possible holdings.

Dwan went into the tank for nearly four minutes before finding a call, bringing the pot to a record-setting $3,081,000. A shell-shocked Fei turned over ADiamond Suit KHeart Suit for nothing but ace-high, and Dwan’s queens were good.

“Tom Dwan has just won the biggest pot in the history of televised poker!” said commentator David Tuchman.

You can watch the full hand on Hustler Casino Live’s YouTube page.

The previous record for largest pot in televised poker history belonged to Kane Kalas, who won a hand worth $2.18 million against Jason Koon at the 2018 _Triton_ cash game series in Montenegro. Then in February of this year, Patrik Antonius set the U.S. record with a $1,978,000 scoop against Eric Persson on PokerGO’s No Gamble, No Future show.

Dwan has put his name on plenty of memorable televised hands over the years on shows such as Triton’s cash game series and PokerGO’s High Stakes Poker. He played a memorable $1.1 million pot, picking off a bluff by Phil Ivey in London back in 2010, which was the record at the time. The New Jersey native also had more than his fair share of six-figure online pots over the years. But even he couldn’t help but comment on the magnitude of the hand.

“It’s obviously not standard. I called off 1,500 big blinds with one pair,” said Dwan afterward in an interview with Veronica Brill. “It’s nowhere near standard.”

Fei, for his part, took the loss about as well as anyone could, staying in the game.
“You have more heart than anyone here,” said Nikhil ‘Airball’ Arcot, before asking Fei if he was okay.

Fei was perhaps motivated to make the bluff following a day of criticism on social media, where he was blasted for playing conservative despite buying into the game for $3 million. He also admitted that showing Polk his cards was a mistake that may have cost him.

“I think it may have affected his decision,” Fei later said. “Maybe if I didn’t expose my hand [to Polk], I could have bluffed him off.”

Fortunately for Fei, he was able to win the second biggest pot of the night and put a big dent into his losses when a nearly-identical situation played out against Hank, only this time Fei had the goods for a pot worth $2.2 million. The two would exchange heated words when Fei quit the game later that evening, rebounding for a hefty, but not disastrous $753,000 loss.

Polk and Dwan may have been the only two full-time pros at the table, but they didn’t stay out of each other’s way, with Polk bluffing off over half a million dollars with a busted straight draw when Dwan held a full house.

Polk had a chance to get it all back plus more a short while later when Hank put his pocket aces to the test on a scary board. Hank was making a courageous bluff with a busted flush draw, and had Polk called he would have pulled in a pot worth more than $2 million.

Instead, Polk folded his aces, and Hank excitedly turned over his bluff to rub salt in his wounds. Polk would finish the session down $928,000.

It was actually the second million-dollar bluff of the four-day live stream series. On day 3, popular YouTube poker vlogger Ethan ‘Rampage’ Yau was able to get a player known as Handz to fold top set to him with just ace high.

The game was part of the ‘Million Dollar Cash Game.’ Although it got off to a slow start and was criticized when players bought in for just $500,000 on the second day, the action picked up considerably for the final two days of play with Dwan and Polk acting as catalysts for bigger pots.

Dwan would ultimately lose some back from his high point but quit the game with a profit of $1,600,000. The biggest winner overall, however, was Australian Hasan ‘Huss’ Onay, who played the first two days of the stream and finished up $1,751,000.

Other top winners included casino owner Rob Yong ($820,000), the aforementioned Ethan Yau ($588,000), and poker player and politician Tony G ($424,000).

While Polk and Fei were the second and third biggest losers of the week, the biggest loss came from Door Dash founder Stanley Tang, who finished down $958,000 overall.

The games also featured high-stakes players such as Jean-Robert Bellande, Brandon Steven, Alan Keating, Matt Kirk, and sports bettor Haralabos Voulgaris. ♠