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In the third season of GSN's High Stakes Poker, Canadian high-stakes phenom “Yukon” Brad Booth pulled off one of the most iconic bluffs in televised poker history against poker legend Phil Ivey. Now, almost six years later, Booth tells us what it was like bluffing hundreds of thousands of dollars against the best poker player in the world. In the first installment of PokerListings.com's new poker video series Best Poker Moments, Brad Booth tells the story of traveling to Las Vegas, picking up $1 million in cash and how Phil Ivey reacted when Booth told him what he had after the hand was over and the TV cameras were turned off. Check out the story behind one of the greatest poker hands in history directly from the person who played it and keep an eye out for more Best Poker Moments short documentaries on PokerListings.com.
I had sold some pieces to myself to get into the game and I was up in Vancouver at the time and I remember getting the okay that I had some financial backing and headed to the airport with my assistant and came down to Las Vegas and had all the money wired transfers and stuff going in. Had a bodyguard that day because it was a million dollars of cash I had. It was just one of the most unique experiences in my life and I will never forget it.
I believe that David Williams had raised I think 5800, no I think he actually raised 2200 or something and I made it 5800. And then Ivey came at the top of me. I think he raised at 14,200. It's like six or seven years ago, so I might be off by a bit.
Anyways it got folded around to myself and I had the deuce four of spades so it was pretty important for me to have them fly at odds that if I had hit, I was going to get paid. I was pretty sure Ivey had had kings at this time, I really dialed in and put him on kings and so I had asked him how much he had had I think he had about 230 or 250, 250,000.
So I decided to look him up for 10,000 more. I think the raised to 14,000 or something. On the flop came down 367 I think it was two diamonds on board, there was two diamonds on board and I checked him and he bet 23,000 something, I believe.
I decided to make a quick check-raise and put them all in, knowing that he had kings I know he was going to have to fold in that spot. Even if he thinks he has the best hand at that point, he is probably just going to lay it down and I was sure he was going to lay it down.
It was a pretty unique experience for myself on the inside because I had David Benyamine sort of putting a bit of a wall for me after I had put in the three stacks of high society. Watching that video myself now, I can see the nerves on myself. I had rubbed my mouth, and I had continuously clicked my chips.
Ivey's got that pretty wicked stare, glare whatever you want to call it and when Benyamin had sat back men I really was a deer in headlights and I just kept in my head saying throw those kings away, throw those queens away if you have those.
With Ivey being known as the best player in the world at that time, still is, now that it's 2014. I just put it into perspective as if it was just a cash game, but I also added in the fact that I'm going to really be able to get the implied odds in my own personal life in live cash games. And it wasn't so much for making a name for myself at that point. It was really just about me winning that pot and picking up a free 45,000 but also knowing that I had implied odds for the rest of my life in cash games. I still do to this day. I can value bet top pair. If there is 3,000 in a pot, I can bet 5500 and get paid by top pair no kicker or even worse.
So anyway, he ended up folding and I was about to show but there was still quite a bit of filming left and I didn't quite want to reveal how loose I was playing in that game. I wanted to leave everybody to have to just think maybe not get in the hand with Brad because he will might just check-raise me all in.
But anyway so after the hand and I had picked up the 45,000 or so, we went straight to a break. They had to change the tapes in the cameras. We had like this little buffet or whatever it was for food and so I went over to grab myself a little something to eat and Ivey came over to me.
He's like, "Brad what did you have"? And I said, "If I tell you will you tell me?" He's like, "Yeah, I'll tell you." And I'm like, "All right, you go first." And he is like he goes, "I had pocket kings with the king of diamonds." And I was like, "Wow! That's pretty strong," even though I was already 100% sure that he'd had that.
He goes, "Okay, what did you have?" And I said, "I had the deuce four of spades." He was like, "What do you mean you had the deuce four of spades? The flop was 367 with 2 diamonds." And I said, "Yeah, I had the deuce four of spades." He just looked at me and said, "You're a sick fuck." And then I don't think he decided to get anything to eat after that. I think he was a little bit sick to the stomach. He just thought it was messed up that somebody would do that.
And I'm not even sure if he actually believed me. I think he kind of like, "Are you serious that you had that?" And I was like, "Yeah, I really had the deuce four of spades." So anyhow, that was that for that hand. That was my second showing of a high-stakes poker. I think, overall, I made about 350,000 or so on GSM [SP].