Anyone who has spent a decent amount of time playing poker knows that bad beats happen – maybe your aces get cracked, or you lose some important coin-flip hands. Sometimes the deck just runs out in such a way that you’re forced to go broke with the second-best hand. It happens.
It rarely happens quite like this, though.
Aces vs. aces for a cool $1 million
What’s the biggest buy-in tournament you’ve ever played? Ever taken a shot at the $215 Weekly Sunday Guarantee on WSOP.com? (You can’t play PA online poker or at PA online casinos yet, but you may be be able to next year, if the legislature passes a law this fall.)
Well, imagine playing a tournament with a buy-in almost 5,000 times that. A hefty $1 million entry fee to the World Series of Poker’s Big One For One Drop made it the largest-ever WSOP event.
Playing in that tournament is really, really, really not a great time to offend the poker gods, which is what Conor Drinan must have done to have been on the receiving end of this extremely cruel bad beat.
Straight outta Hollywood
Often, poker movies get a lot of stick from fans of the game for their unrealistic showdowns – quads against full house against flush, more straight flushes than you can shake a stick at… it would just never happen in real life, would it?
Don’t tell that to Justin Phillips, who scooped a huge pot at the 2008 WSOP Main Event after rivering a royal flush against nothing less than four aces. To top off the Hollywood vibe of the hand, Ray Romano was there to witness this 1 in 2.7 billion event.
The moment poker went mainstream
It seems like poker has always been on TV, and that the game has always been a staple of online casinos.
Before 2003, poker was pretty niche – that all changed with the man bearing the aptronym to end all aptronyms, Chris Moneymaker. The amateur player made it all the way to the heads-up stage of the 2003 WSOP, playing for a first prize of $2.5 million.
Playing against Sam Farha, who looked every bit the poker professional with his sharp suits and cigars, Moneymaker proved a more than formidable opponent as this ballsy bluff shows.
Chris went on to win the whole tournament, and it’s him you have to thank for being able to play online at WSOP.com.
A million-dollar cold deck
In this super-high-stakes showdown, with blinds of $1,000/$2,000 and six-figure chip stacks, action was inevitable.
What no one expected was the largest pot ever televised, as Phil Ivey and Tom “durrrr” Dwan contested a hand worth $1,108,500 in real dollars. It took the world’s most fortuitous card to give both players a monster hand, and the fallout was immense.