Billionaire vs. Brunson: Polk Breaks it Down

3 years ago
Billionaire vs. Brunson
19 Jan


A recent video of "Poker Hands with Doug Polk" took us back to the days of "High Stakes Poker" and a whopping $818,100 pot.

At the time it was the largest pot in the history of High Stakes Poker and likely had viewers at home wanting to invite Guy Laliberte and his billion-dollar bankroll to their poker table. Not that Laliberte played the hand particularly poorly, as Polk points out, but more so because he is flush with disposable cash and has been known to frequently share some of that wealth with poker players who possess a bit more skill than he.

The Cirque du Soleil and Big One for One Drop founder went to war against Poker Hall of Famer Doyle Brunson after the flop knocked out Sammy Farha, Jamie Gold and David Benyamine, who were put off by Texas Dolly's $40k bet into a pot of $57,100. A call by Laliberte increased the pot to slightly more than $137k, leading up to even bigger action on 4th street.

When the turn hit the board it increased Brunson's probability of winning from 68% to 75% thanks to a nut flush draw to go with his top pair, top kicker. Acting first, Laliberte checked his top pair, crappy kicker, and gutshot straight draw, causing Brunson to bet $110,000.

Fold? No Way

Commentator Gabe Kaplan assumed that Brunson's bet was big enough to scare off the Canadian, but as one might suspect, a billionaire sitting on top pair won't even flinch at a bet over one hundred grand. Laliberte check-raised $200k more.

"I actually don't mind this play, " Polk insisted, explaining that "if you are going to get into these big post-flop spots, you have to occasionally mix up and throw in some raises and this is maybe the most reasonable one that he could use."

Texas Dolly re-raised, going all-in with his last $30,500, and Laliberte's call put the pot at $818,100. Take a look at the accompanying video to see how the hand played out and whether or not you agree with WCGRider's analysis.

One thing's for sure, the almost $400k lost in that pot by Laliberte didn't cause him any lost sleep. He sold a majority stake of his Cirque du Soleil for a reported $1.5 billion in 2015.

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Charles is a Chicago native and long time poker player who dusted off his journalism degree and began writing about poker following the events of Black Friday in 2011. He has written for a number of leading poker websites, offering his insights and expertise on subjects ranging from online poker leg...Read more


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