UK businessman and high-stakes poker player Paul Newey walked away from his stack at the WSOP to compete in the high-stakes TV cash game playing out at the Aria Casino.
It's a good thing he did because he walked away from the cash game up roughly $300,000.
Newey has been seen playing high-stakes poker tournaments and cash games all over the world for the last few years but said this game's roster, stakes and the TV cameras all combined to make it one of the toughest he's ever played.
“The story is, I had just bought into the Little One for One Drop and I had just taken my seat and I got the call that I was in the game so I had to surrender my chips,” Newey told PokerListings.com.
“I think the rest of the table was happy to get some free chips.”
Newey made a bee-line for the Aria Casino and sat down at a table that included some of the best poker players on the planet including Patrik Antonius, Scott Seiver, Doug Polk and Sam Trickett.
“It was a really good game and when I say good, I don't mean easy,” said Newey. “It was probably the most difficult cash game I've every played in.”
One Flop, Two Queens of Clubs
Towards the end of the day something happened that no one wants to see happen at any poker table, let alone a table with millions of dollars in play. The dealer rolled out the flop and there were two of the same card.
Newey had just finished a TV interview and was waiting for his big blind when it went down.
“The flop came down A♠ Q♣ Q♣ and I think it was a two-way pot,” explained Newey. “None of the players spotted it but I think the TV crew saw it and stopped the action.
“I don't think the dealer spotted it either from what I could tell.”
Newey said they had returned from dinner roughly 10 hands before the incident, and that Aria staff told them that's when the new deck had been introduced.
The hand played out with Doug Polk winning the pot before the error was noticed, at which time the hand was declared dead and all chips were returned to everyone who put money into the pot.
“I don't think any of the players were aware that there were two queens of clubs so I don't think it actually made any overall difference.”
Newey said Polk was the most upset since he had to relinquish the pot, but that generally the table took it in stride.
“It was just one of those things though. These guys have played a lot of poker and they've probably seen it before. But it was kind of shame for Aria that it happened in a game like that.
Newey: “I Still Get a Rush Playing High Stakes”
Newey was a very successful venture capitalist and by all accounts he can afford to risk a few buy-ins, even at the astronomical stakes he was playing at the Aria cash game.
But Newey says the challenge of facing off against the best in the world, and doing it on TV, still gets his blood pumping in a big way.
“I still get a rush at the table playing against that calibre of player, high stakes, on TV as well,” said Newey.
“You don't want to do anything that makes you look like an idiot so it just puts the pressure on a little bit more I think.”
Newey says the best players play differently.
“I really enjoyed it because it was a challenging game and that's the kind of game I like. I came out a winner as well which was a bonus.
“I don't want to give my strategy away too much but it's definitely a higher level. Basically a lot more aggressive, more three and four-betting, people making more moves without made hands.