Move over, Dwan and Ivey
For most of us, winning a $120 pot in a poker game would absolutely make our week. Heck, a $20 pot would put a smile on our faces. A $1.2m pot would make us question our own reality. But for Alan Keating, that was his reality Thursday night/Friday morning, as he scooped a $1,158,000 pot on Hustler Casino Live (HCL), the largest in US live streaming history.
HCL also says that it is the biggest pot in US poker broadcast history, which appears accurate. The previous record holder was a hand between Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan in 2010 on the Full Tilt Million Dollar Cash Game. The name of the show proved accurate, as both men hit opposite ends of a straight on the turn and got all their chips in. Dwan won the first-ever televised million-dollar pot, a total haul of $1,108,500.
There have been a handful of larger pots than those two, produced in events outside of the US. Official records are scattered, but it looks like the largest televised pot (or maybe we’ll say “one of the largest” to be safe) came from Triton Poker’s Jeju Cash Game in 2018. Tom Dwan was on the short end of it that time, all-in pre-flop with A-Q against Paul Phua’s pocket Aces for a total pot of $2,353,500.
Good bluff idea, wrong time
In last night’s hand, the game was $200/$400/$800/$1,600 No-Limit Hold’em. A player who goes simply by “Handz” raised pre-flop to $9,000 with As-7h. Ben Lee called with 8c-5c, as did Eric Persson with Ad-Jh, and Keating with Ks-2s.
On the flop of Ts-6s-5d, Handz bet $25,000 and only Keating elected to continue. Keating checked when a 4d was dealt on the turn, Handz bet $70,000, and Keating called without much thought.
after a little pondering and a count of Keating’s remaining chips, Handz decided to move all-in
The 7s fell on the river, giving Keating the second-nut flush and Handz only a single pair. Keating led out for $155,000, not wanting to risk a check-check and, after a little pondering and a count of Keating’s remaining chips, Handz decided to move all-in.
Though he had a fantastic hand, Keating tanked for a couple minutes, not sure if he should put his remaining $309,000 into the middle. He even said, “I should be happy,” essentially signaling that he had a high flush, but not sure if Handz had a better one (or a straight flush). He finally made the call and Handz immediately knew he was done for.
Keating classy in victory
As the chips were being counted, Keating did not celebrate. Obviously he was happy, but he might have been more relieved that he made the right call, impressed by the bold move by his opponent.
I loved his shove. I mean, with the Ace, pretty awesome move. Respect it.”
Sure enough, in an interview with HCL afterward, Keating praised Handz, saying, “I loved his shove. I mean, with the Ace, pretty awesome move. Respect it. Maybe if I had a smaller flush, I fold, but yeah, it was a good hand.”
Handz clearly made the exact play he needed to make to win the hand and got Keating nervous. Keating said that when he made his river bet, he thought to himself that it would be “interesting” if Handz went all-in, but added that with the King-high flush, it’s not like he had to dive into any deep, complex strategy.
Keating has been on the wrong end of plenty of huge cash game pots, admitting that he hasn’t had a particularly strong track record on HCL. As he tweeted later, “Sometimes you’re the bug – sometimes you’re the windshield.”