“The biggest hand in televised US poker history”
Everyone is talking about the No Gamble, No Future million-dollar cash game on PokerGO from Sunday. During the Day 3 stream of the epic “Cash of the Titans” series, poker pro Patrik Antonius went head-to-head with casino owner Eric Persson in a pot that ended up being the biggest hand in US televised poker history.
The pot hit $1,978,000 by the time Persson had moved all-in and Antonius called. Just over a million dollars of that was profit for Antonius, and $971,000 of that profit came out of Persson’s stack.
the sort of charismatically obnoxious player that makes him an ideal personality
Persson is undoubtedly attractive to programs like No Gamble, No Future because he is the sort of charismatically obnoxious player that makes him an ideal personality, in reality TV terms. He gives shorter attention spans something to look at and listen to when the cards run cold.
However, he is also attractive to showrunners for two other reasons: Persson is possessed of modest talent and deep pockets. This combination is the perfect chum to bring in the sharks like Daniel Negreanu’s heads-up coach MJ Gonzales and poker superstar Patrik Antonius – it is whale chum.
Persson’s rise to TV stardom
Eric Persson came to the poker world’s attention during his Phil Hellmuth-tilting performance in the first round of PokerGO’s PGT Poker Showdown in April 2022. The personality clash that took place saw Persson give as good as he got from the poker brat, then a bit extra. Most unforgivably of all in Hellmuth’s eyes, Persson went on to win the match.
Ever since his Poker Showdown debut, Persson has become a regular on the high stakes streaming circuit. But he has not always been the most profitable of players.
Outside of poker, Persson owns Maverick Gaming, a company that operates 27 casinos across three states. Some small percentage of his profits have disappeared across the table of poker live streams such as Live at the Bike, Hustler Casino Live, and the World Poker Tour. He’s also appeared on multiple PokerGO shows including High Stakes Poker, where his donations have also been considerable.
Along the way, Persson has left a history of crazy high stakes hands and bold plays that are best summed up in list form, with video clips where available.
Persson’s biggest hands
It all started with a pair of hands. His own. Flipping Hellmuth the bird.
In June 2022, Persson misread the board in a pot worth $459,600:
In December 2022, Persson lost a $600,000 stack on Live at the Bike trying to pull off a bluff with jack-four offsuit against a flopped set:
Not that it’s all bad. There was the time Phil Ivey tried to bluff him for $110,000 when he was holding a flush.
Then of course the $1.98m hand from this weekend:
After all that, it’s hard to know if Persson is the biggest whale in poker, but he’s certainly well worth watching more of just to find out.