Poker Moments: Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan and the Million-Dollar Pot

Nine years ago, summer was dying out, but in the Full Tilt Poker Million Dollar Cash Game, the action was about to hit melting point. Three players remained at the table as the midnight hour approached. Phil IveyTom Dwan and Patrik Antonius. What happened next would be remembered by poker fans forever.

It was described at the time by legendary poker commentator David Tuchman, who looks back on the experience fondly.

“IT BECAME THE PATRIK ANTONIUS, TOM DWAN AND PHIL IVEY SHOW. IT WAS KIND OF INSANE; THREE-HANDED LIVE POKER WITH THOSE PLAYERS. HOW LUCKY AM I TO HAVE DONE THAT?”

“We covered the Million Dollar Cash Game for three and a half years, and it taught me a lot about poker and broadcasting. I got to work with a great director called Martin Turner, who didn’t know poker at all; he was doing rugby for Sky Sports. He was a super guy, helped me come over to London and eventually took over Formula 1.

“But it was funny because he didn’t know poker. There was a hand the first year where Ivey beat Antonius in a big hand, trip aces versus a full house, Ivey couldn’t get away from it, and we’d brought in extras to make it look like people were watching the game. Turner had all the extras clap like it was a sporting event. It was like after a great point in a tennis match; you’d keep quiet during the point then once it was over, you’d cheer. That was what he was going for, but it was so cringeworthy. I love him, though; he’s a brilliant director who taught me so much about TV and broadcasting.”

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