It’s still the biggest game ever played. Against a multi-billionaire named Andy Beal. He was only a billionaire then, so presumably the many millions he put up to play at least meant a little something to him.

For sure the money meant something to The Corporation, who at the time of pre-internet poker were the biggest poker players in the world yet still their bankrolls looked puny next to the swashbuckling Beal. So they pooled their money and took turns playing.

And thus was born one of the legends of Phil Ivey. Those games, well chronicled by Michael Craig in “The Professor, The Banker, and The Suicide King”, are still heart racing stories today against the backdrop of the 2010 nosebleed stakes and Macau poker action, and Michael Craig can tell those tales all day long.

Show 24 (January 7) with Antonio Esfandiari and Michael Craig is online now! Click the play button to listen:

[podcast]http://www.thepokershowlive.com/media/mp3/210.mp3[/podcast]

Prefer to download? Right click here and Save As.

Speaking of billionaires, recent WPT Champion Antonio Esfandiari chuckled when retelling one of his days on the upcoming new season for High Stakes Poker. “I had a billionaire on my left, and another billionaire on his left. I raised from the button and thought that’s the first time I’ve ever raised two billionaires in the same pot!”

Esfandiari is in flying form, his two WPT titles now neatly bookend a seven year gap that pretty much traces the evolution of televised poker in the US. And Esfandiari has gone from being a 24 year old with a million dollars behind the bar to a much wiser 32 year old thrilled to have made a life in poker who claims that “there might be like five people who had as much fun in their twenties as me!”

As 2010 rolls into 2011, big names and the biggest games will grab more headlines and all the column inches. And the man with the brand is Tony G. Tony put himself front and center in 2010 by destroying The Big Game on TV, and he’s kicking off 2011 with a bang by going up against the terror Swede formerly known as Isildur. Tony has heart and commitment in spades and I can’t wait to hear his views on how it all goes down against the guy that everybody else is scared sick of and can’t stop watching.

Show 24 (January 7) with Antonio Esfandiari and Michael Craig is online now! Click the play button to listen:

[podcast]http://www.thepokershowlive.com/media/mp3/210.mp3[/podcast]

Prefer to download? Right click here and Save As.

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