Phil Ivey and Patrik Antonius are known as two of the most spectacular high-stakes online poker players in the world, and their head-to-head battle for hundreds of thousands of dollars last night proves just how serious they are about preserving their reputations.
During the first hand, Ivey and Antonius were all-in pre-flop following a number of raises. Ivey showed As-Ah and had a dominating lead over Antonius' Ks-Kh. The board didn't help the Finnish player and Phil Ivey collected the $145,194.50 pot.
Fifteen minutes later it was time for another big clash. Ivey raised to $1,800 pre-flop, Antonius re-raised to $5,400, and Ivey called. The flop came Jc-9d-8s. Antonius bet $10,200, and Ivey called again.
The turn came 2s. Antonius moved all-in for his last $48,899, and once again Ivey called. Antonius was in the lead with Kh-Kd against Ivey's Ad-Js. The Qs on the river didn't help Ivey, and Antonius won the $128,997.50 pot.
But the action wasn't over just yet. A few minutes after the second hand the biggest pot of the night was played.
Antonius raised to $1,800 pre-flop. Ivey responded with a re-raise to $5,400, and Antonius called. The flop came 6s-5s-6h, and the fireworks started in earnest.
Ivey bet $8,400, Antonius re-raised to $24,600, and Ivey re-raised to $65,400. Antonius pushed his last $91,797 into the pot to put Ivey all-in. Ivey called. The Qh came on the turn, and the 3s on the river. Phil Ivey won the $193,778.50 pot with pocket aces over pocket jacks.
In total, the heads-up battle between the poker giants lasted around 80 minutes. Though we'll never know how or when they came to be involved in such massive hands, or whether it is part of a larger rivalry or an ongoing feud, one thing is for certain: Ivey left the table with a $133k-plus win over Antonius.