With $1.86 million on the line, a premium pair in his hand and all the chips committed, Phil Nagy turned over his cards, knowing that he was probably behind. What he probably didn’t count on was seeing that he couldn’t even draw to one of his queens when the pre-flop raising war ended with the cards on their backs.

Nosebleed Blinds and All-Out War

Premium hands can cost you a fortune in poker. Ask the late, great Doyle Brunson. ‘Texas Dolly’ told anyone who asked him that ace-queen was the hand that cost him the most money over the course of his career. For Phil Nagy, that had may well be pocket queens for the rest of his career as he lost $800,000 in just one hand with ‘the ladies’.

Before the hand in question, it’s worth knowing exactly who Phil Nagy is. If you’re behind the curve, Nagy is the CEO of Americas Cardroom and therefore an extremely popular guy. The other half of popular female poker player and aspiration inspiration Ebony Kenney, Nagy showed his true self in this funny video where the ACR team shot some rapid-fire questions at the big man:

Most of the betting action took place pre-flop in this hand. Nagy, holding two red queens, made it $6,000 from under the gun from blinds of $1,000/$2,000 and a $4,000 ante. A standard ‘three x’ raise, then. Callers included Triton legend Paul Phua, old-school poker hero Tony G and Mr. Long. Santhosh Suvarna, however, did way more than call. Looking down at pocket kings, he three-bet to $36,000 from the small blind. Rob Yong was in the big blind… and he had two black queens in his hand.

Four-betting to $85,000, Yong watched as Nagy raised to a five-bet value of $250,000. Suvarna and Yong both called and there was close to a million in the middle as the flop landed.

Yong Dodges a Bullet, Shoots the Needle

“That’s not what Nagy wants to hear, he knows he’s drawing dead.”

The flop was one that in other circumstances, might have provided more drama in terms of betting if there were more players involved. The hands had dictated that wouldn’t happen; how often do three players have two of the best hands in the game? Suvarna checked his cowboys on the 7-5-4 flop with two hearts and so too did Yong check his queens, a move which ended up saving him six figures.

Nagy had position, so made the strong play, betting just under a third of the pot – $300,000. Suvarna wasn’t put off, though. Betting $545,000 all-in, the Indian player managed to put off Rob Yong, who lost the least he could with his premium hand.

Nagy was never going to fold getting 6 to 1 on his money. He made the call and after agreeing to run the turn and river twice, got the bad news that he wasn’t drawing to two outs of queens.

Survana ahead, but as James Dempsey said on commentary both his opponents were drawing dead, Rob Yong’s fold also elicited a statement from the British player to Survana that broke Nagy’s heart.

“You’re winning; I had queens.”

“That’s not what Nagy wants to hear, he knows he’s drawing dead.”

As the first play-out saw an eight on the turn, Nagy wasn’t actually drawing dead to a split pot, as one of the four sixes in the deck would have completed a straight. Another four on the river meant that didn’t happen and the second run-out came ten and king, giving Survana top set to boot.

Was Survana’s Pot the Biggest Cash Game Win?

Not even close. There have already been bigger pots won on live streams this year alone. In February of 2023, Finnish poker player Patrik Antonius won an incredible $1.97 million when he ended up on the right side of a crazy pot against Eric Persson. ‘Maverick’ would go on to lose another $300,000 just last week as we reported in our weekly round-up in Tight Poker News.

That pot won by Antonius was not the biggest by any margin. Back in 2018, Tom Dwan broke the record for a televised pot, taking home $2.35 million. That paled into the win for Dwan earlier this year, however, as he won an amazing $3.1 million with a hero call on Hustler Casino Live.

The next biggest-ever televised cash game pot can’t be far away, the only question is where it will be won. One Hustler Casino Live, or on the Triton Poker tour? For now, it seems like a coinflip between the two biggest players in the game as to who will hold that record until the next time two premium hands go head-to-head.

Watch the full hand in action here:

Did this article deal you a winning hand?

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Paul seaton

Paul Seaton, a poker luminary with over a decade of experience, has reported live from iconic poker events, including the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, and World Poker Tour. He's not just a spectator; he's been the Editor of BLUFF Europe Magazine and Head of Media for partypoker. Paul's poker insights have graced publications like PokerNews, 888poker, and PokerStake, where he's interviewed poker legends such as Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, and The Hendon Mob’s, entire lineup. His exceptional work even earned him a Global Poker Award nomination for Best Written Content. In the poker world, Paul Seaton's expertise is a force to be reckoned with, captivating enthusiasts worldwide.