Kevin Hart’s high-stakes poker odyssey

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Showtime - Broward - - POKER - By Chad Hol­loway

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.

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