In 2001, a self-made billionaire banker from Texas strolled into the high limit section of the Bellagio poker room in Las Vegas, Nevada. The man’s name is Andy Beal and his goal was very simple, beat the best. Author Michael Craig chronicles Beal’s story in his new book titled The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time.
Andy Beal was a born entrepreneur. By the time he was eleven years old, he was already making money buying broken TV’s from the Salvation Army for one dollar. He would fix them and resell them for as much as $40. Needless to say, he was destined to be a wealthy man. As he matured into manhood, he started a new business, Beal Banks. He parlayed this business into a multi billion-dollar corporation that he controlled. Always looking for new challenges to conquer, he took up poker and decided that he wanted to take on the best in the world. And not just beat them; he wanted to put them out of business.
Over the course of three years, Beal played a series of heads up (one on one) matches against the legends of the game. These players included but were not limited to: Doyle Brunson, Chip Reese, Howard Lederer, Jennifer Harman and Ted Forrest.
Beginning the scintillating contest that would shock the poker world, Beal and his opponent would each start with $1 million and play stakes of $10,000-$20,000 until one of them had it all. Although he was completely obliterated in these early matches, Beal was convinced that he had what it took to beat the pros.
As the games intensified over the coming months and Beal developed into a great player, he realized how he could take the pros out of their comfort zone…he raised the stakes. The games reached astronomical betting limits of $100,000-$200,000. Games at this level forced the pros to put everything they had on the line. With more than $20 million on the table, it became quite clear that even the best players in the world aren’t immune to nervousness.
As you start reading, you have to ask yourself why someone would want to take on the best in the world at their game, and risk a fortune in doing so. As you finish reading, the question becomes why these same pros are risking their lively hood by betting it all with an edge that they realized was almost non-existent.
As I’m sure you already know, you will have to read the book in order to find out the ending. But with emotions running on all cylinders, Michael Craig takes you on a roller coaster of high stakes gambling, The Professor the Banker and the Suicide King is a must read for any poker enthusiast.