Poker was on people's minds at the Main Event of the LA Poker Classic, but one topic was on everyone's lips - Andy Beal versus 'the Corporation.'
A week of wild speculation, false retirements, and BIG bets concluded at Wynn Las Vegas this past weekend, with Andy Beal reportedly taking the Corporation down in their second heads up match in as many weeks.
Players in the Commerce Casino ballroom were talking about how Beal, who reportedly left the first match down about three million dollars, came back to win the Corporations stake of $10 million dollars.
The Corporation, according to our sources, is an ever-evolving collection of about 15 people who pooled their money, and put the pros into the heads up match with Beal, the famed Texas banker. The three players who did most of the playing
against Beal were Jennifer Harman, Ted Forrest, and Todd Brunson.
Beal is a fascinating tale. His life story evokes visions of a modern day Howard Hughes - with the notable exception that Beal is self-made. Beal has owned a company that designed rocket boosters, and built a billion dollar banking empire by buying loans no one else would touch in the S&L crisis of the late 1980's. In addition, Beal is a very sophisticated mathematician who has published 'The Beal Conjecture', a revision of Fermat's Last Theorem, a mathematical theory whose conclusion was apparently largely accepted for about 350 years....until Beal published his work in 1993.
Beal reportedly set most of the conditions for these matches, and apparently his selectivity paid off.
The second match capped about ten days of frenzied chatter, where the poker world was fascinated with the mystery, and intrigue of these people playing for some of the highest stakes ever recorded. Much of the information released by media outlets was gathered second hand, by talking to people involved in the game on breaks in hallways. After being fairly free with information for the first day or so of the first "session", the people involved in the game made a concerted effort to tighten up the flow of information about what was actually happening at the table. Information became unreliable, and for a time there were rumors of the people near those involved in the game purposefully circulating misinformation about what was happening at table two of the Wynn card room. After all, this was a private game.
There is no question that this match fascinated the poker world. Equally, there is no question that it was a private game. To be fair, if the people involved truly wanted this to be a private game, they could have played in a private home, or hotel suite. But, the decision was made to play this in a card room, albeit in the private section of the card room.
At the end of the day, the vast majority of speculation suggests the following. Beal did win the Corporation's stake of $10 million from them this past weekend in Las Vegas. Those numbers do not take into account the first set of matches, which reportedly ended with the Corp up about $3 to $3.5 million. The point is, that the only people who know the exact numbers are the ones involved in the match.
Things like this Beal/Corporation match are good for poker, and while the people involved in this match certainly have a right to hold a private game, poker is a very public affair these days. Anyone attempting something that holds this much appeal should be prepared for the accompanying interest of the poker world.
NOTE - Linda Geenan, who has her blog 'Table Tango' on our sister site, Poker Works has some interesting thoughts on Beal, given her history with him, and her being one of the more accomplished dealers in Vegas. We recommend you check it out. The picture attached to this story is Linda, Andy Beal, and Andy's friend, and employee Craig Singer.