Leon Tsoukernik And Matt Kirk Fight It Out On The Felt For $Millions

2 years ago
Leon Tsoukernik And Matt Kirk Fight It Out On The Felt For $Millions
01 May

It was a case of best friends at the poker table again for Kings Casino boss Leon Tsoukernik and Aussie poker pro Matt Kirk as they battled each other over 3 days in Montreal, with some other big names in the frame too on partypoker’s Big Game PLO.

Millionaire businessman and high-stakes rec Tsoukernik has been embroiled in a series of court battles with Kirk this past year or so, but the legal dramas were swapped for incredible poker dramas this week, with Tsoukernik emerging some $3.5million ahead.

English highstakes crusher Sam Trickett, Dusk Til Dawn owner Rob Yong, US highstakes amateur Lauren Roberts and Jean Claude 'The Wolf' Bitoun joined the duelling duo, and there were no signs of any leftover resentment at the $3million argument which PokerTube has reported on over the past year, instead series of massive pots and incredible plays taking centre stage…

Playing everything from $100/200/400 to $500/$1000/$2000/$4000 PLO, with some $2000/$4000/$8000 HU PLO thrown into the mix when players had been bloodied and bruised by the huge swings of Omaha, Tsoukernik suffered a massive cooler in a hand against Yong.

Flopping a straight and watching as your opponent happily bets into you is the stuff of dreams in No Limit Hold’em of course, but PLO is a different beast altogether as Leon found out to his cost on day 2 of the big game.

♦ ♥ ♣ ♠

Tsoukernik: A♣ 8♣ 8♥ 7♣

Yong: Q♠ J♥ 10♣ 4♥

Board: 10♥ 6♥ 9♦

…and despite Leon flopping the nut straight, with $80k in the middle and Yong betting into him, he found himself a 46% dog in the hand – “odds worse than roulette!”

Describing it later as “a dream hand to flop”, it would all become a nightmare for the Czech cardroom owner as Yong finally shoved all-in, Tsoukernik snap-calling… and $941,000 sitting in the middle.

The turn bricked making Leon the 68:32 favourite to scoop the lot…


…but the river appeared…


…to give Yong the flush and the biggest pot of the weekend.

♦ ♥ ♣ ♠

Although the court case involving Kirk and Tsoukernik may well remain a mystery - both men perhaps fed up with rising legal costs estimated at a combined $800,000 or just preferring to settle their differences on the felt as poker players - the final tally from the Playground Poker Club’s huge PLO action was in Leon’s favour at least…

Leon Tsoukernik
Rob Yong
The Wolf
Sam Trickett
Matt Kirk

…although for poor Matt Kirk the cards simply wouldn’t play ball…


...although he’ll bounce back soon enough and hopefully we’ll have seen the last of the lawyers!

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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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