What’s the most you’ve ever won in a single hand of poker with some friends? Maybe $50? $60? Perhaps you got really lucky at a casino and walked away with a few hundred. A pleasant evening, but that’s nothing compared to what one player won last night during a livestreamed poker tournament. When all was said and done, they raked in over $3 million from just a single hand.
Heads up: We are going to be talking about the hand, how it went down, and importantly, who won and who lost during the big event. So, if you don’t want to be spoiled or something, here’s your warning!
Late in the night on May 30, during the Hustler Casino Live Million Dollar Game, two players—Tom Dwan and Wesley “Wes Side” Fei—faced off in what would end up being the largest recorded pot in televised poker history, with the final tally reaching $3,081,000. And one of the players was bluffing, with just a high card and desperate hope of walking away with all that money.
As reported by WorldPokerTour.com, the historic Texas Hold ‘Em hand started with “LSG Hank” opening with a $7,000 bet. Fei, who was sitting on an unsuited Ace and King, raised the bet to $30,000 before the flop. A moment later, another player at the table, Doug Polk, told everyone that he had seen Fei’s hand and, after looking at his own cards, folded. It was then Dwan’s turn to play, and he raised the bet to $100,000 while folks at home, including the announcers, were left in the dark as to what cards he had due to the card reader built into the table not picking them up. “LSG Hank,” who started the hand, folded, and Fei then raised Dwan $275,000. After thinking about it, Dwan called.
The pot was now at a reported $562,000.
The flop came and it didn’t help Fei at all. At this point, he didn’t have crap beyond his ace. However, he bluffed and bet $125,000. After double-checking with the dealer and re-checking his cards, Dwan called. The turn card, aka the fourth card dealt by the dealer, also didn’t help Fei, but they didn’t stop there. The pot was at over $800,000 now, and one announcer mentioned that Fei’s hands were “shaking” as he stacked chips and deliberated on what to do next. Fei bet again, this time sliding $350,000 worth of chips into the pot. Dwan, whose cards were still unknown to everyone, called again.
The pot was now at $1.5 million.
At this point, the fifth and final card, aka the river, was dealt by the dealer, and it too was not helpful for Fei. He now only had ace high, not a particularly great hand at any time, and especially not a great hand to have in a situation like this.
And yet, hands shaking, Fei declared he was “all in.” Dwan was confused, and even asked if he was sure. Fei was sure. Dwan at this point took a few minutes to count his chips, drink some water, and try to work out just what hand Fei held, and if he was bluffing. Meanwhile, Fei laid his head down on the table and barely moved for the next three and a half minutes.
“What the fuck…?” Dwan asked himself. “Doug saw his hand…this is a weird fucking hand. Doug saw his hand, and tried to talk him out of [raising before the flop.] He [raised] anyway…”
It was shortly after this point in the hand, as other players quietly watched, when the in-table card reader picked up Dwan’s hand: a pair of pocket queens. He had the winning hand. The question was: Would Fei’s bluff win the day, or would Dwan call his all-in bet and win the biggest poker pot in television history?
Dwan gathered up his chips and matched Fei’s bet, calling his bluff in the process, and when the cards flipped over, Dwan was the winner. His two queens had just won him a cool $3 million, making history in the process.
After the 13-hour Huster Live poker match, Dwan would ultimately walk away with $2.6 million in winnings. After losing, Fei tweeted thanks to everyone who watched him play and that he still felt “really good” even after losing over $750k. He also mentioned his pro poker career is only a year and a half old. It’s impressive, as such a new player, to already be involved in one of the biggest hands in history, even if he lost it in the end.