Much like today’s most popular athletic sports, the game of poker has drawn quite a fan base. It’s not uncommon for a mass of railbirds to watch their favorite pros battle it out on the virtual felt. Those who attended the heads-up duel between America’s 10x WSOP bracelet winner Phil Ivey (aka “Polarizing”) and Russia’s 2008 Aussie Millions Champ Alexander Kostritsyn (aka “PostflopAction”) on Full Tilt last week were for in for a real treat as the two fashioned numerous 6-figure pots at the online poker room.
Three hands in particular are worthy of noting as they all made onto the list of Phil Ivey’s largest online poker hands under his Full Tilt moniker, “Polarizing”. They also happened to be played just one minute apart from each other. They took place at a mixed table of NL Hold’em and PL Omaha with stakes of $200/$400, drawing pot sizes of $146k, $256k and $162k respectively.
Ivey vs Kostritsyn Hand #1
The first hand was NL Hold’em. Ivey looked down at 9♦-A♦; Kostritsyn at 3♦-J♦. A series of back and forth raises brought the pot to $22,600 before the flop came down J♣-10♦-2♦. A check from Ivey enticed a $9,600 bet, to which the American re-raised with a $28,400 3-bet. Not to be deterred, Kostritsyn responded with an all-in shove of $125,445.90. Lacking the finances to cover, Ivey shoved his remaining $34,828 and it was game on. They ran the turn/river twice, bringing 3♠-Q♥ on the first run – Two Pairs (Jacks and 3s) for Kostritsyn – and 6♦-5♥ on the second – delivering the Ace-high flush to Ivey. The end result – a split pot.
Ivey vs. Kostritsyn Hand #2
The next hand played out one minute later as PL Omaha. PostflopAction held 8♦-J♣-9♥-8♣ to Polarizing’s J♥-K♦-8♥-9♦. Again, the two raised each other a few times to build a $10,400 pot before the flop came down 6♠-10♥-Q♣. Kostritsyn came out with a $5,200 bet and Ivey added$16k to the pot, getting the call from the Russian. A 7♣ on the turn was checked by Kostritsyn and raised $32k by Ivey. Alex shoved all-in for $108,791 and Phil wasted no time calling. Once more, they decided to run it twice, bringing river cards of A♦ and 2♦ respectively. However, both held identical 6-7-8-9-10 straights, so once more, it ended in a split pot.
Ivey vs. Kostritsyn Hand #3
On the third and final noteworthy hand of the day, this epic duel finally reached a climax. Reverting back to NL Hold’em, Kostritsyn raised on 7♣-4♣, only to be raised back by Ivey with the better K♣-Q♣. Alex called and the flop fell; 5♣-K♥-6♣. It was a beauty for everyone, giving Ivey top pair with a King-high flush draw, and Kostritsyn an open-ended straight flush draw. Needless to say, neither was backing down on this one.
Ivey led out with $4k, raised to $12k by Kostritsyn before the Q♥ turn fell. Ivey now had two top pair and a King-high flush draw, while Kostritsyn was praying for a club, 3 or 8. Phil checked, getting exactly what he hoped for – a big $22,200 bet from Alex. Ivey raised to $62,400 and, perhaps feeling too pot committed to give up now, Kostritsyn made the call. After the 6♥ on the river offered no help, the Russian chose to push another $4k into the pot when Ivey checked it down. Polarizing called, winning the massive $162k pot with ease.