Paul Phua and Tom Dwan Play $2.3M Pot at Triton SHR Jeju 2018 Cash Game

Paul Phua (left) and Tom Dwan (right)

What's the biggest pot you ever won or lost? Check out this one.

Another fascinating episode of high-stakes poker from the Triton Poker Super High Roller Jeju 2018 Cash Game arrived this week, highlighted by a huge hand between Paul Phua and Tom Dwan.

The currency used in game was the South Korean won, with $1 USD currently the equivalent of about ₩1,115. The stakes of the game were ₩3M/₩6M with a ₩6M big blind ante, and they were using a ₩12M straddle as well, which meant there was ₩27M in the middle before the cards were dealt — i.e., about $24,300.

As the straddle, Phua looked down to see {a-Hearts}{a-Clubs}, then saw Dominik Nitsche open from the cutoff with a raise to ₩30M ($27,000). It folded to Dwan in the big blind who had been dealt {a-Spades}{q-Hearts}, and he chose to reraise to ₩120M ($102,600).

At this point commentator Lex Veldhuis makes a good observation regarding how the straddle most certainly affected preflop decision-making in this hand.

"The straddle makes everybody play looser," explains Veldhuis, noting how the straddle essentially functions as an "extra blind."

"It's a bet made before people have seen their hands, so there's extra dead money out there. That's why people play more aggressive," notes Veldhuis.

Phua considered for a moment, then put in another reraise to ₩320M, pushing the total pot to the equivalent of $431,100. That was enough to chase Nitsche (who had king-queen offsuit), and the action moved back to Dwan.

"This is one of those moments where Tom Dwan's image works against him," comments Veldhuis, alluding to Dwan's frequent aggression and how it can often elicit other players' playing aggressively against him with a wider range.

Alas for Dwan, in this instance Phua's hand was at the tippy-top of everyone's preflop range.

Dwan started the hand with just under ₩1.3B or about $1.15 million USD, and after spending a lengthy time in the tank he chose to put all of that in the middle, then expressed disgust when Phua snap-called to reveal his aces.

The total pot? $2,353,500!

Take a look (the hand starts at the 6-minute mark):

  • Check out the $2.3M pot played between Paul Phua and Tom Dwan in the Triton SHR Cash Game in Jeju.

  • Pocket aces in the straddle! Paul Phua and Tom Dwan get $2.3M in the middle preflop at Triton Jeju.

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