Eight Hold’em Bad Beats that Prove Life Sucks
When sitting at the poker table, knowing you have the absolute best hand (“the nuts“) possible at the time is completely enthralling. You are the king of the castle and everyone else are simply baby piglets, who are soon to be so envious of your massive chip stack that they’ll simply want to suck on your teat all day. But sometimes no matter how well you play a hand, no matter how well you lure the clueless sap into his impending doom, it just doesn’t work out. Why? Because sometimes life wants to remind you that it sucks, welcome to our collection of stupendous bad beats…
We begin lightly with Marc Podell facing off against Tiffany Michelle during the World Series of Poker Main Event 2008.
What we really love about this is how Podell rises and falls through the emotion as he goes from winning, to losing, to dominating, to being crushed, until he finally settles in a fetal position on the floor. What does Michelle do during the intense hundred thousand dollar hand? Giggle away.
So it’s the first hand of a tournament and you rub your hands together gleefully predicting an enjoyable day of poker with some light, witty banter. On the first hand you look down and…
…go home. Yes that’s right, all you wanted to do was to get away from the wailing kids, the snot infested wife and the evil monkey in your closet for a few hours. There is always talk about people folding their first hand regardless, mainly because they don’t want to be making the walk after thirty seconds. However, this is one hand that actor Oliver Hudson could not get away from, especially having the opportunity to take down professional poker player Sam Farha.
It could be suggested that this next example is not quite a bad beat, as the odds when the hand is called are not too greatly swayed against Danny. But just take a look at the odds of the hand once the flop has come down…
Less than half percent, he only has one method he can win by seeing two sevens come down. Despite it not being Danny’s fault that he hit the running sevens I would imagine it would be hard for sheer anger not to swell up in Shandor. To Danny’s own credit at least he doesn’t rub it in Shandor’s face and celebrate vigorously by bathing himself in the chips.
Phil Hellmuth is a world renowned poker player. He also has a reputation for throwing incredibly loud tantrums. So when Chris Ferguson raises you to $28,000 with a complete lack-lustre hand you know Hellmuth is only seconds away from needing his diaper changed.
Ferguson sees his bluffing hand turn into one sexy muffin on the flop. The muffin is so tasty that he must be choking on it when he sees Hellmuth call his $40,000 bet. You really do have to shed a tear for poor Hellmuth as he hits the deck after a stupendous river.
To win the most prestigious poker event in the World is a hard feat. Many of the top pros barely make it far anymore, citing that there are so many players participating ranging from your highly skilled world beater to your clueless card fumbler, that luck begins to factor a lot more in.
The reaction to this hand is huge, and by the river Eastgate only stands a 2% chance of winning the hand. A previous folder also reassures Montgomery that he had already folded an ace. Eastgate went on to win the tournament, bagging himself a cool multimillion dollar pot
As all the gloating poker players smoke their cigars rolled with hundred dollar notes a hand begins to develop between Daniel Negreanu and Jennifer Harman. Not even Negreanu, a man who is considered one of the biggest readers in the business can work out what Harman is sitting on. He calls her all in, they agree to run it twice…
Negreanu somehow manages to win the first run, giving him enough money to buy that golden toilet he always wanted. But even though he now has even fewer ways he can win the second one, he still manages it meaning he will never have to go back to one-ply ever again.
Ask any of the current professionals in the game to name the best players in the world and the majority of the lists will hold one name, Phil Ivey. Revered in the game, players who are in hands against Ivey will fold a lot quicker than Usain Bolt takes to take a dump. Moneymaker, a name that is actually his family name and not something he invented on an all-night teenage drinking binge at Richie Rich’s house, wasn’t going to be one of those to drop his cards and run.
Neither player could beat themselves up for calling the hand, and even with one card still to come down, Ivey, completely dominating the hand stays completely calm, because he knows that poker can be a cruel mistress, the kind that loves to put your balls in a vice and taunt them with hammers. Moneymaker went on to win the entire event, and I assume occasionally catch the eye of the odd cop, thinking he has come across an extraordinary arrogant counterfeiter.
The hands above you can forgive for the foolish calls, the lucky flops, the ridiculous raises. But when you sit back on your chair with quad aces, knowing that the only hand that can beat you is a straight flush/royal flush you have to think you are ahead, especially when the odds of one man hitting quad aces versus an royal flush is a dick-stomping 2.7 billion to 1.
The loss is even worse when put into context. This is on the first day of the World Series of Poker Main Event 2008, yes the first fucking day. That means Mabuchi had eagerly qualified, bragged to a few friends about his impending opportunity and then lost before he could even make a bum imprint on the chair.
Before you all head off to the felt I hope you have learned a valuable lesson from all this, aces are overrated.