Poker Playing Billionaire To Advise Donald Trump On Economics

Posted on August 11, 2016

[toc]Andy Beal, the billionaire who famously played some of the highest-stakes poker matches in history against the game’s top pros, has been named as one of Donald Trump’s economic advisors.

Beal, who has a net worth of over $7.6 billion, is also a donor to the Trump campaign. Beal accumulated his wealth in real estate and banking, as well as being an amateur mathematician famous for the Beal conjecture in mathematical circles.

While this will be the first time that many have heard of the billionaire, poker players and poker fans will know him from a series of historic high-stakes matches in which Beal took on the best poker players in the world and came close to bankrupting them with his own poker skills.

Andy Beal versus the poker elite

In the poker world, Beal is known as “The Banker.”

He is the eponymous star of Michael Craig’s documentary book The Professor, The Banker and the Suicide King which tells of Beal’s high-stakes poker matches in Las Vegas in the early 2000s.

Beal became an expert in Limit Hold’em heads-up poker through his interest in mathematics and began to play in Nevada. He wanted to defeat the best in the world and raised the stakes in order to do so, forcing a group of poker pros (known as The Corporation) to pool their money and take turns playing Beal one-on-one.

These games rose as high as $100,000/$200,000 Limit Hold’em and included pots as large as $11.7 million; this is one of the highest-stakes games ever played and one of the richest poker games of all time.

Beal won $13 million from the world’s best poker players before being defeated at the hands of Phil Ivey, a 10-time World Series of Poker champion, in a marathon heads-up match that saw the billionaire lose over $16 million.

Trump’s economic advisory team

Beal is one of 13 advisors named to Trump’s team in the run-up to November’s presidential elections. He is in rich company, as the group boasts multiple billionaires and industry leaders.

Alongside Beal are oil magnate Harold Hamm, hedge fund manager and fellow billionaire John Paulson and big Wall Street name Steven Feinberg.

The inclusion of industry leaders and billionaires comes in the wake of Trump often claiming he wants to renegotiate trade deals and return overseas manufacturing jobs to the US.

About Andy Beal

Beal became a real estate investor at the age of just 19, buying a house in his hometown of Lansing, Michigan and renting it out for $119 per month. He began a career of buying, renting, renovating and selling properties.

In 1988, he expanded his career by opening Beal Bank in Dallas. Now the bank has a total of 37 branch locations and reports total assets of nearly $10 billion as of 2012. Beal also had a brief spell in the aerospace market until 2000.

Beal is a self-taught mathematician and numbers theorist. He is currently offering a $1 million prize to anyone who can prove or disprove his Beal conjecture, which has so far gone unchallenged.

Like many of his peers, Beal is an avid philanthropist and has funded millions of prizes in science and engineering fairs as well as donating to numerous Texas schools.

Image credit: GrAl /

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Matt Perry

A veteran of the online gambling industry, Matt Perry has worn a number of hats since he first began working in online poker and iGaming in 2007. He currently writes for a variety of publications focused on legal online gambling, and in the past has served as an editor, copywriter, content manager and reporter.

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