Andy Beal is a businessman who has long been a poker enthusiast. In early 2006 and also 2004 he played against a number of individuals collectively known as ‘The Corporation.’ After early successes he was eventually run over by Phil Ivey, to the tune of $16 million. In the past few days, Andy Beal has returned once again to test himself against a top live pro.
Todd Brunson has this week sat down to play heads up limit Holdem with Beal at $50K/$100K blinds, in the famous poker room, Bobby’s Room. With bright pink stacks of $25K chips moving back and forth, they spent between 8 and 12 hours duelling with each other, Brunson seemingly having command of the match for long periods. Eventually, as Brunsons lead grew, the $5 million starting stacks for each player reached a point of $9 million to $1 million, and shortly afterwards Brunson had felted Beal. This epic heads up match could have slipped under the radar had it not been for poker pro Kyle Loman who was playing a game next door and had a clear view through the window into Bobby’s Room. He dutifully posted tweets of approximate chip counts throughout the match, to the delight of many poker players and followers on social media. With his father Doyle Brunson watching much of the match, Todd Brunson completed what was probably his greatest poker session to date, and he later tweeted to confirm the figure of $5 million won.
It remains unclear whether he was playing as part of a new ‘Corporation’ and whether there may be more heads up matches to come, but you would certainly expect him to at least have some financial backing in order to sit down and play at those stakes. That in itself sums up the unique nature of someone like Andy Beal coming to town. It often requires the pooling of finances for anyone to even sit down with him, and for high stakes live pros it is undoubtedly one of the few times that they can feel nervous about the outcome of a session. You can be assured that there will be curious eyes glancing toward Bobby’s Room over the next week, waiting for any possible second match to take place. Let’s hope this is the first of many games which will once again capture the imagination of the poker world as they did several years ago.