Poker players, no matter how long they’ve played, experience Bad Beats. We often overshare these unlucky moments, even with those unfamiliar with the game. ‘I had a full house, but he caught a bigger one on the River!’ So to help put things in perspective, consider some memorable bad beats from major tournaments. Even top players can’t avoid bad luck.
Jack Straus’ Comeback
In 1982’s WSOP Main Event, Jack Straus believed he’d lost all his chips, only to find one hidden under a napkin. With that chip, he made a remarkable comeback to win the tournament. This birthed the poker saying, “A chip and a chair”, signifying hope as long as you have a chip.
Chris Moneymaker’s Bluff
During 2003’s WSOP Main Event, Chris Moneymaker bluffed all-in against pro Sammy Farha with just King-high. Farha, with a pair of Nines, eventually folded. This hand sparked what’s known as the “poker boom” in the early 2000s and cemented Moneymaker’s legendary bluff.
Everybody Loves a Bad Beat
In the 2008 World Series of Poker, Motoyuki Mabuchi’s AAAA was beaten by Justin Phillips’ royal flush in front of Ray Romano. This unexpected beat knocked Mabuchi out of the tournament.
Jonathan Duhamel and Matt Affleck
In the 2010 WSOP Main Event, Matt Affleck’s pocket Aces were bested by Jonathan Duhamel’s pocket Jacks after a Jack landed on the river. This hand left Affleck crushed, becoming another memorable bad beat in WSOP history.
The Curse of Aces
At the 2017 World Series of Poker, Vanessa Selbst held pocket aces, and a third ace appeared on the Flop. But Gaelle Baumann’s four 7s on the Turn eliminated Selbst on Day 1.
It’s not over until it’s over…
In a WSOP $565 buy-in event, Sang Liu celebrated prematurely after a Flop, only to lose to Roberly Felicio’s Turn card. Felicio won the $1M prize.
Connor Drinan and Cary Katz
In the 2014 Big One for One Drop, both Connor Drinan and Cary Katz were dealt pocket Aces. What seemed like a dream turned sour for Drinan when, after going all-in, a club on the river granted Katz a flush, knocking Drinan out.
The Ultimate Miracle Card
In the 2018 European Poker Tour Sochi leg, Arseniy Karmatsky’s pocket kings faced Mikhail Kovalyuk’s pocket aces. Despite odds against him, Karmatsky’s king appeared on the Flop, taking a huge pot and eliminating Kovalyuk.
Sammy Farha vs. Oliver Hudson
Oliver Hudson, actor and Kate Hudson’s brother, had an unexpected exit from 2005’s WSOP Main Event. On his first hand, Hudson’s pocket tens met Sammy Farha’s pocket aces. The flop revealed two tens, granting Hudson four-of-a-kind. However, the turn and river showed two aces, giving Farha a superior four-of-a-kind. Hudson was instantly eliminated, showcasing poker’s unpredictability.