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The Story of Andy Beal vs The Corporation :-

Well I have been working on this a while and have finally got it together. This is the the story of Andy Beal vs The Corporation, a story which culminated in Phil Ivey taking $16.6million off of Andy Beal in the final session of the saga.

In 2001 Billionaire maths nut and successful banker Andy Beal first got interested in poker. As he learnt the game he quickly craved higher and higher stakes. Playing for a few hundred bucks a hand just wasnt appealing enough for him. He wanted to play for big bucks.....real big bucks. He went searching for some Poker Whales, and he eventually found some.

Even though many of the top poker players were multimillionaires, none of them could afford to take on Beal without risking their entire bankroll, and they certainly didnt want to do that. Neither did they want to miss out on a potential sucker. So they formed the Corporation. They pooled their money (and money from investors) to take on a man probably seen as the biggest gravy train ever to come to Vegas.

The Corporation consisted of 16 players each initially putting up $500,000 each:-

1) Doyle Brunson (leader of the Corporation)
2) Phil Ivey
3) Chip Reese
4) Jennifer Harman
5) Howard Lederer
6) Gus Hansen
7) Chau Giang
8) Barry Greenstein
9) Ted Forrest
10) John Hennigan
11) Todd Brunson
12) Hamid Dastmalchi
13) David Grey
14) Ming La
15) Lyle Berman
16) Lee Salem

Johnny Chan also got involved at various points

Over the years 2001 to 2004 Andy Beal took on The Corporation in many sessions. It is widely reported about Andy Beal making big losses over this time, it was however much closer then many may think. Beal did in fact get the better of many opponents. Chip Reese for one lost $8m in a session, and some other players were just a little too conservative (due to the high stakes) and also lost money.

Out of everyone the main people who steamrolled Beal regularly were Todd Brunson and Howard Lederer. Lederer in particular was a major thorn in Beals side, repeatedly taking him for millions (eg $6.3 in one session, $9.3million another).

In September 2004 Beal started to go about arranging a game which would perhaps stop all the exaggerated talk of losses, a game which could be more probably documented.

It took from Sept 2004 to Feb 2006 to agree on a format :-

In Sept 2004 Beal suggested one final "session" in Dallas. It would be Andy Beal versus "The Corporation". The buy-in: $40 million. But Brunson and his team turned it down.

In an open letter published in a poker magazine (Cardplayer Magazine), Beal basically called them chickens in a round about way.

Brunson replied with his own open letter, saying that Beal was offering up a poor deal. The corporation were unhappy with the format and location of the game. Beal wanted to handpick his opponents (from a group of six chosen by the consortium), play $100K/$200K blinds, and play the game in Texas, either at his bank or a neutral location agreed upon by both parties.

Brunson wanted a $40m freezeout to be played in a licensed casino, a lower blind structure (30K/60k not 100k/200k), and to be able to freely choose who played. The blind level was a particular issue as Doyle didnt want to be under-rolled for the game's very high blind structure. He conceeded that the corporation were open to coming to Dallas if necessary.

It looked like a stalemate but then Beal made a counter offer by agreeing to let the consortium pick who played and when from the group, but demanding that all six players must play at some point until they win or lose $8m.

Various forms of mediation took place, a major one of which by Shulman is detailed below :-

Terms Beal's Proposal Brunson's Proposal Shulman's Compromise
The Game Heads-up limit hold'em Heads-up limit hold'em Heads-up limit hold'em
Stakes $100,000 - $200,000 Start at $15,000 - $30,000 $50,000 - $100, 000
Limit Until broke or "cry uncle" $80 million freezeout $80 million freezeout
Who Plays Doyle puts up 6 names; Andy picks one Doyle picks one Doyle picks 8 players,
from which Andy picks 4
Time Frame 4 hours daily - 4 hours daily - no substitutions
Where Dallas Las Vegas Las Vegas

Eventually in Feb 2006 the game finally happened, and at one point Beal actually got $10.3 million ahead, however up step Phil Ivey. Ivey set about his man in true super focuesed Ivey style and eventually took the man down for $16.6million dollars. This put the consortium at a $6.3million profit for the series, and Andy Beal was gone back to Texas, beaten by the combined might of The Corporation.

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