Polk and Airball Win Big on Epic Stream at the Lodge

Doug Polk

6 minutes

Last Updated: March 20, 2024

Doug Polk promised us that The Lodge would start hosting regular high-stakes streams, and that promise has been kept so far. Another amazing game was played over the weekend down in Austin.

The game ran for approximately 17 hours in total over two sessions, with stakes ranging from $100/200 to $200/400, with antes.

Polk and the crew brought in a number of high-profile players for this one, including Nik Airball, Poker at the Lodge regulars Taras and Bulldog, and two relatively new faces in Tesla and Goofy.

Tesla made his second appearance at The Lodge, after playing in last month’s high stakes Texas Hold'em Poker sessions as well, and pretty much ran the action throughout both sessions, playing by far the highest VPIP of anyone at the table.

His loose playing style led to some incredible moments on both nights and made for a game well worth watching in full. If you don’t have the time to watch 17 hours of poker, however, here are the highlights of what happened on both days and who the big winners and losers were.

Big Pots See Tesla Dominate Day One

It was a crazy weekend over at The Lodge, as we saw one of the biggest games the venue has ever hosted and some of the biggest pots played on the live stream.

The lineup for both games was promising from the get-go, with Doug Polk, Nik Airball, Taras, and Tesla all known as very active players who love to give action.

Tesla in particular came out firing, as he was getting into the streets with all sorts of hands, calling 3-bets with off-suit junk and looking to bluff turns and rivers or make big hands throughout the show.

Tesla won a huge $250k pot against Bulldog early in the first session when he flopped two pair with his J4 against Bulldog’s nut flush draw, which did not get there.

Just under five hours into the day, Tesla made another huge hand with his 9h8c when he made the nut straight against Nik Airball and Stache, both whom made inferior straights on the river.

Stache was forced to pay off the $125k bet on the river, while Airball took to the tank and spent over 20 minutes in it, prompting Polk to enforce a clock to prevent the live stream catching up with the action.

Tesla came out of the first session as a $197k winner and was flying high, while Brown Balla, Goofy, and Polk also booked wins.


The Longest Tank of Nik Airball’s Life

The Saturday stream on Poker at the Lodge led to one of the longest-recorded hands of poker played between Tesla, Nik Airball, and Stache.

Everything started relatively innocently, with Nik Airball raising his 42 to $500, Tesla and Brown Balla making calls, and Stache bumping it up to $2,500 with 43 from the big blind, a fairly atypical play for the player in the bb to make.

Airball came along for the ride, and Tesla also stayed in the hand, holding 98 in the cutoff, having position against both his opponents.

The flop came K75, giving players no more than gutshots and backdoor draws. Everyone decided to check as well, and it seemed like it would be a small pot of little note.

The ultimate 6 turn changed everything, however, as both Stache and Tesla made straights, and Airball turned a flush draw and straight draw.

Stache fired out a delayed continuation bet with what he believed was the best hand, and Airball decided to semi-bluff his combo draw for $16,500.

Tesla was in a dream spot holding the nut straight in position but wanted to charge any draws out there, so he bumped it up to $31,625.

Neither played was going anywhere, as Stache certainly thought he was setting the trap, while Airball could lean on some favorable river cards.

The river card was anything but favorable, as the 3 rolled off and gave Airball the same low end of the straight that Stache already had.

Both players checked, and Tesla went for $125,000, following up on his previous aggression and using his image to his advantage.


Stache did not take too long to call with his straight, not that you can blame him, while Airball was now in a world of hurt with a straight and two opponents already in for $125k each.

Airball started tanking and talking about the hand out loud, even announcing what he had despite everyone having more money behind, as he was never going to raise in this spot.

The hand went on for over 20 minutes past this, with Tesla and his friend Goofy leaving the table to enjoy the lounge area of the studio while Nik made up his mind.

Doug Polk, who was acting as the show’s co-host at the time, was forced to come down to the floor and give Nik a time limit on his tank, as the live stream was close to catching up with the action.

Airball eventually found a fold with just a couple of seconds left on the clock, after spending an absurd amount of time trying to make the right decision.

He made the right call in the end, and once again proved that he is a changed man who no longer plays poker like a maniac and punts off stack after stack for no apparent reason, which he was often known to do earlier on in his career.

Polk Wins Both Days, Tesla Gives it Back

The second day of action at The Lodge was even more exciting, as the stakes were bumped up to $200/400, and the stacks were even deeper from the get-go.

A similar cast of characters was in the game, with Polk now joining from the start, and Tesla, Goofy, Airball, Bulldog, and Taras all coming back for more.

Nik Airball was able to turn his small loss in the first session into a big one in the second, as he turned a handsome $380k profit on Sunday, second only to Taras' $387k.

Taras was not doing so well until the very end of the session. He then picked up KK against Tesla’s KQ, and managed to put all the money in on the Q-high flop for a pot of over $600k.

They ran it once and Taras naturally held, sending Tesla to the rail a $600k loser for the day. Tesla’s overplays caught up to him this time, but we have no doubt he will be coming back to the stream soon.

Just moments later, Taras once again picked up pocket Kings, this time against Bulldog’s pocket Jacks, and was able to win another $300k pot to end the night.

This propelled Taras into the top spot on the daily leaderboard, while Doug, Goofy, and Ryan also joined him and Nik as winners for the day.  


Ryan Feldman Shows Off His Poker Skills

The most interesting cameo appearance of this weekend’s show at The Lodge was one of Ryan Feldman, the co-producer of the rival Hustler Casino Live show.

Feldman came into the ring for the Sunday session and bought in for $50k, which went up and down throughout the session until he eventually ended up booking a small win.

Ryan came out swinging and built it up to over $350k at one point, but then paid off a massive all-in of Nik Airball holding a straight against the nut flush, and losing the vast majority of his stack in that single unlucky hand.

Feldman was very unhappy with himself after the hand, but eventually managed to win back some of his losses and book a $12.5k win to end his appearance in the black.

While he was by no means the most dominant player at the table, Ryan’s appearance on a rival show demonstrated that the friendly competition between the two streams can be quite beneficial for both sides at the end of the day.

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