Here’s a riddle: if two billionaires meet in a Hollywood home game and nobody sees either of them win a $100 million pot, is that considered money laundering? And could the IRS nail them to the cross if they ever figure out who it is? The answers are probably “yes” and “yes.”
Mind you, nobody has named said billionaires, when said game took place, or where it took place. But somehow, we’re supposed to believe The Hollywood Reporter (THR) recent suggestion that such a game occurred, without a single verifiable fact.
The story appeared this weekend in the entertainment trade site, a site that presumably has access to many a LaLa Land insider. Still, without anything that can be corroborated, what are we to make of this “story”?
According to magazine’s saga, during which TV producer David Milch’s $100 million gambling antics were reviewed, an anecdote involving the mammoth pot was brought to light.
Partaking in the game were reportedly an LA-based investor and another local billionaire of unspecified means, and, if the story is true, the jaw-dropping pot could be one of the largest in poker history.
Of course, when tales of high stakes bets between a group of unknown players come to light, there’s always a dubiousness around it all, and Hamilton Nolan of Manhattan gossip blog The Gawker, was the first to question THR‘s editor, Peter Flax.
When asked if he was able to clarify exactly how the pot went down, Flax admitted that he couldn’t divulge too much information, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t true.
“I feel confident about that anecdote and the source who relayed it to us. I wouldn’t classify it as gossip,” explained Flax.
Of course, without proof, we’re still skeptical, but if it is true, then we’d all love to know more.
Compared to some of the largest poker pots of all time, $100 million is a significant chunk of change by any standard. In fact, when rumors of a $13.8 million pot in Macau surfaced in 2011, the poker community went into a state of mild frenzy.
According to Tom Hall, who is a high stakes player himself and was the owner of the Asian Poker Tour at the time (APT), the pot involved two Asian businessmen.
Recounting the story on 2+2, Hall explained that the player who won the hand was down by more than $12 million, but managed to scoop the $13.8 million pot after his opponent put in a $3.6 million bluff on the river with a busted straight draw.
After making the easy call with top set, the businessman recouped his losses and walked away with a not too disappointing profit of more than $1 million.
However, even that story wouldn’t be enough to match the excitement of a pot worth a staggering nine figures. Will it ever get more credibility than an editor’s reassurances with virtually no facts to back it up? We’re going all in with a likely “no” on that one.