8 of the Biggest Poker Pots in History

Poker is a popular game with an incredible history. The game can be traced back to the 10th century and contrary to popular belief, it has its roots set in the Chinese culture. According to the studies, a Chinese emperor first played it, although others have claimed the game is of Persian descent. During the long history of this game, there have been some standout moments of incredible wins.  If you have ever wanted to play poker online or maybe at a friend’s home game, then you must know about these classic hands. Here is a list of some of the biggest poker pots in the history of the renowned game.

  1. Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey

The play between Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey may not be ancient but it is a noteworthy one. These two are professional poker players so when they came together, all eyes were on them. The event happened in 2010, during the Million Dollar Cash Game in London in which both players participated. The stakes were incredibly high at the three-hand table, where Dwan bet $538,500 and Ivey wagered $1.1 million. The third person in attendance was Patrik Antonius who exited after playing for 20 hours.

The game started getting interesting when both the players had straight draws. Finally, Phil bet $35,000 and the total pot value became $49,500. Tom called it, got 5 of hearts in his turn, and pushed an inferior straight on Dawn. Phil then bet $90,000 and after calculating for several minutes, Tom raised Phil to $142,000 more. Phil went all-in, Tom made the call and won a $1.1 million pot. At the time, the game made poker history as one of the greatest pots to ever be televised.

  1. Tom Dwan and Antonio Esfandiari

The 35-years old Jersey-born Tom Dwan has become a name in the poker world that everyone praises. Despite his youthful age, his masterstrokes have earned him the limelight and he has become a player who frequently gets involved in huge pots. His opponent this time, Antonio Esfandiari, was no novice. The former magician has some moves as well. The two faced each other in August 2017 in PokerGO’s “Poker After Dark,” where the minimum buy-in was $10,000.

Once the cards were dealt, Antonio landed with two Kings of hearts and club, respectively. Negreanu had two Queens of diamonds and a club on the button. For the big blind, Tom Dawn had two Aces of spades and clubs. He then bet four and raised the ante to $14,000 and Antonio raised it to $41,000 in five-bet.

When Negreanu called the game, Tom announced that he was going all-in with $328,000. Antonio did not want to fold his Kings and called it. Even though all the opponents were dealt good hands, it was Tom Dwan who won the pot with a total sum of $697,100.

  1. Jamie Gold and Patrik Antonius

Jamie Gold and Patrik Antonius faced each other in a poker adventure with a huge pot that did not favor the former. Antonius was dealt an Ace of spade and a Jack of diamonds while Gold got two Kings of spade and diamonds. Antonius went on to raise the hand to $4000. Even though Gold speculated that Antonius was playing with Aces, he took the chance, raised it to $14,000, and was called by Antonius.

The flop gave 3 of spades, Queen of diamonds, and 10 of hearts. Gold bet $15,000 and Antonius made the call. Luckily, he got a King of hearts, making his hand a Broadway straight.

Antonius continued with a $45,000 bet and the pot rose to almost $106,000. Gold went all-in with $341,500. Antonius then called the $743,500 pot and won!

  1. Tom Dwan and Paul Phua

Tom Dwan is at it again but this time, luck was not on his preferred side. In the 2018 Triton Poker Super High Roller, where the buy-in was $1 million, Paul Phua and Tom Dwan faced each other in Jeju, South Korea. The game was played in Korean Won. Dominik Nitsche, who got a King of hearts and a Queen of clubs, opened the game by raising $30 million. Tom Dwan further raised it to 120 million with his Ace of spade and Queen of hearts.

Paul Phau got two Aces of hearts and diamonds. He raised the game to $320 million. The pot now stood at $431,000. Within just four minutes, Dawn went all in and received a call from Phua. The pot was almost $2.5 million. The flop gave a seven of heart, a King of club, a four of hearts with a three of hearts. The hand pushed Dwan to a losing end and Phua won the game.

Phau’s $2.5 million win against Dwan was the biggest televised cash game pot of all time!

  1. Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey, also known for his prowess in baccarat, defeated many brilliant poker players in one hand. In the High Stakes Poker, which was televised, gambling enthusiasts saw a game they would never forget. On the table were Gus Hansen, Eli Elezra, Jason Mercier, and Phil Ivey. Gus Hansen started the game with a Queen of clubs, and a six of diamonds. He raised the game to $4,200 with his hand. Many folded but Eli Elezra called him with a nine of clubs and a five of clubs. Phil Ivey, with two nines of spade and diamonds, called him as well. Jason Mercier, however, raised it to $22,100 as he was confident with his Ace of hearts and four of hearts.

It was Ivey who made the call and the pot was now $55,000 strong. After the flop, Ivey stood strong and after a few battles between him and Jason Mercier, he called the Mercier’s bluff and won the $425,400 pot.

  1. Patrik Antonius and Vikyor Bloom

Antonius and Bloom gave one of the most memorable online poker games ever. Being one of the biggest names in online poker, it does not come as a surprise that their game was incredible. Bloom has made a name for himself for playing multiple tables simultaneously against other poker giants.

In 2009, Antonius and Bloom played against each other in a high-stake poker game. They were playing Pot Limit Omaha and the stakes were $500 and $1,000. Though a lot of action had already happened before the flop, the game quickly changed. With a five of clubs, a four of spade, and a two of hearts, Antonius and Bloom quickly made the bets, raising the pot to whooping $1,356,946. After a few draws and flushes, Antonius made a quick call and got his hands on the monster pot. This, to this date, is the biggest online pot in history.

  1. Patrik Antonius and Vikyor Bloom: Round 2

A day after their epic battle, Patrik Antonius and Vikyor Bloom faced each other again but this time, Bloom was able to win some of his money back. Ivey started the game and raised Bloom to $3000. He raised his Swedish opponents as well, but this battle is more concentrated on Antonius and Bloom. Bloom called Ivey after his four-bet to $27,000. Both the players checked after the flop.

After a few rounds, Bloom hit a full house on the flop with a King of diamonds, a King of clubs, a Five of hearts, and a Four of diamonds, winning the $1,127,955 pot.

  1. Tom Dwan and Guy Laliberte

Once again, Tom Dwan was involved in poker’s biggest pots. In a No-Limit Hold’em cash poker game with $500/$1000 stakes, Tom Dwan defeated five other players. He was on a big blind with approximately $314,000 on the table. The other player, assumed to be French-Canadian entrepreneur Guy Laliberte, raised $3500. Dwan further raised it to $11,500.

After a few more draws, everyone folded except for Tom Dwan and Guy Laliberte. Dwan went all-in with $233,000 and Laliberte called the last $115,000. Dwan got the right cards and despite having a great opponent, won a $512,455 massive pot. With his record of accomplishment for poker playing, this certainly will not be the last huge pot for Dwan.

Poker is one game that requires skills. It is not just a game of chance and these players have proved it. With online poker, you can find worthy opponents as well. With the game shifting to the virtual world, its popularity has increased, and rightly so.

Clare Louise