Kevin Hart’s high-stakes poker odyssey
At the end of May, the poker tournament with the largest buy-in of the year took place at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The third annual Super High Roller Bowl saw 56 players put up $300,000 each. Among those players was well-known actor and comedian Kevin Hart.
Hart was competing against some of the world’s best players for a $6 million first-place prize, and he proved himself a serious contender by eliminating the most decorated player in World Series of Poker history, 14-time gold bracelet winner and 1989 WSOP Main Event champ Phil Hellmuth. Kevin Hart’s hand:
The showdown between Hart and Hellmuth was live-streamed across the world and will be on television later this year. It took place in Level 5 (1,000-2,000 blinds with an ante of 2,000), when Hellmuth limped from the hijack seat, and Hart raised to 7,000 from the button.
Poker pro Byron Kaverman called out of the big blind, Hellmuth put in the extra 5,000, and three play- Flop: ers saw a flop of Qc 8d 3s, which they all checked.
After the dealer burned and turned the 10h, Kaverman checked again, and Hellmuth bet 10,000. Hart called, Kaverman checkraised to 32,000, and Hellmuth moved all in for 70,000 total. Hart responded by moving all in over the top for 259,000, and that was Kaverman’s signal to fold.
Hellmuth tabled 3h 3c for Turn: a flopped set of threes, but it was no good, as Hart had flopped top set with Qh Qd. Hellmuth needed the only remaining trey in the deck to stay alive, but he only had a 2.3 percent chance of catching it.
The dealer burned for a final time and put out the 10s on the river giving both players a full house. Hart’s queens full of tens bested Hellmuth’s threes full of tens. River:
“I bust Phil!” Hart shouted to the crowd. “Everybody, I bust Phil out. It was me, I did the damage.”
Eliminating a Poker Hall of Famer in such a prestigious tournament was certainly a notch in Hart’s belt, but in the end, it didn’t amount to much: Hart experienced his own bust-out short of making the money.
Hart fell at the end of Day 2, when he got his last 97,000 all in preflop holding Ac Js against inaugural Super High Roller Bowl champion Brian Rast, who held Kd Kc. Hart had a 28.9 percent chance of coming from behind to win the hand, but that dropped to 16.5 percent after the 6c 8c 8d flop failed to deliver help.
The 9s turn left Hart looking for an ace on the river to stay alive, and he had a 6.8 percent chance of hitting it. But it wasn’t in the cards as the Qh ended his poker adventure against poker’s finest players.