The world’s biggest private poker game is soon to be played in either Las Vegas or Dallas.
Texas billionaire Andy Beal has issued a challenge to the regulars in the Bellagio’s regular $20,000 buy-in Dealer’s Choice game, in which he sometimes plays, winning or losing as much as a million dollars.
Typical antes are $1,000/$2,000 or $1,500/$3,000. Pots regularly top $50,000. When the World Series of Poker is in town the blinds increase to $4,000/$8,000.
“On any given night, we always have the biggest game in town,” says Doug Dalton, the Bellagio’s director of poker operations. “The table is always full, with a waiting list.”
The biggest of the biggest. so far, played May 12 and May 13, 2004, was $100,000-$200,000 limit hold’em.
Now, nettled by stories that he says exaggerate his losses, Beal has written an open letter to regulars Doyle Brunson, Todd Brunson (Doyle’s son), Gus Hansen, Chip Reese Jennifer Harman, Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, Johnny Chan, Chau Giang, Barry Greenstein, Ted Forrest, Lee Salem, John Hennigan, Ming La, Lyle Berman and Hamid Dastmalchi.
The letter says: “I recently read a story in the New York Daily News that is an unfair mischaracterization of my recent poker experience in the ‘Big Game’ played at Bellagio.
“No mention was made that I won more than $10 million in the largest game ever played, $100,000-$200,000 limit hold’em, on May 12 and 13, 2004. No mention was made of the fact that most of the above-mentioned professional players have substantial overall individual net losses after having played many hours against me. I concede that I am a net overall loser in the Bellagio games, although the extent of my losses is often exaggerated and mischaracterized.
“I believe that I am the …