Andy Beal is a Dallas, Texas-based billionaire businessman who is known for his high-stakes poker play.
Born in 1952, in Lansing, Michigan, Beal had plans to become a businessman since he was a teenager. While in in high school, he earned money by fixing TVs, installing apartment security systems, and relocating dislodged houses. At age 18, he purchased Spartan and Jackson Speedway, one of only a very few business ventures that didn't work out well for him.
Beal enrolled at Michigan State University and then attended Baylor University in Texas. At age 19, he bought a house in Lansing and renting it out, which was one of this first profitable business ventures. He eventually became known for buying properties that no one else wanted. His strategy paid off, and in 1988, he opened his first bank in Dallas, later to be known as Beal Financial, which now includes various financial companies. Among the activities of Beal Bank were: buying over $1 billion in commercial loans from the Small Business Association, buying airline debt after September 11th, and a failed international expansion to markets such as Russia and Mexico.
In 1997, Beal started an aerospace company to build rockets that placed communications satellites in orbit. After more than 3 years of losses, Beal closed the company.
A blackjack player in his youth, in 2001, Beal began going to the Bellagio in Las Vegas to play in high-stakes poker games, almost exclusively heads-up Limit Texas hold 'em. During several visits between 2001 and 2004, Beal played a syndicate of professional poker players known as "The Corporation", which included Chip Reese, Doyle Brunson, Todd Brunson, Ted Forrest, Jennifer Harman, Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen, Barry Greenstein, Chau Giang, and a few others.
Beal wanted to play at such high stakes that these pros would play badly because they were worried about the financial risk. By 2004 they were playing $100,000/$200,000 Limit Texas hold 'em heads up with more than $20 million on the table. This story of Beal and "The Corporation" was profiled in Michael Craig's book, The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time.
The game ended in 2004, but Beal came to Las Vegas again in February 2006 to play The Corporation in a $50,000/100,000 Limit Hold 'Em match at the Wynn Casino. Opponents included Todd Brunson, Jennifer Harman, Ted Forrest, and others. After a few days, Beal was down $3.3 million but then returned to the Wynn a week later, and won approximately $13.6 million from the Corporation. Then, about a week later, with Phil Ivey representing the Corporation and playing at limits of $30,000/60,000 and $50,000/100,000, Beal lost $16.6 million to Ivey in 3 days.
Beal is recognized as the poker player who has won the most money in a poker game in a single day. On May 13, 2004, at the Bellagio, Beal won $11.7 million from Chip Reese, Hamid Dastmalchi, Gus Hansen, and Jennifer Harman.
HPG ADMIN on February 27, 2013