Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Worst Bad Beat Story I Have Ever Heard

Poker culture revolves around bad beat stories. I tell my fair share of them (especially on here), and I also listen to a good number of them. Listening to live players who don't have a clue what they're doing tell bad beat stories is really irritating. Even good players, myself included, often fall into the trap of bemoaning their losses more than they should. But that's just the way it is. If you play poker, people take bad beats, and if you have ears, they'll tell you about it.

Many people know that the worst beat you can take in limit hold 'em (starting from after the flop...it should be pointed out that all "bad beats" need a relative starting point. Pocket aces can bad beat 32o, if you start the action after a flop of 332) is basically about a 1000 : 1 shot (actually 989 : 1), where in your opponent has 2 cards to improve in the entire deck and needs to hit both of them. Bravos took this beat once (although not technically, because I believe in his hand the opponent had a back door gut gut straight draw). It is rare and brutal, but it happens and when it does you really just lose about a rack of chips that should have been yours. WTK sorta did this to me once, making quads 3s on a flop of A52 or something when I had AA. To this day if you talk to the man about that hand he'll have a conniption over how few bets I gave him on the river. He swears he's the one who took the bad beat! That's the other thing about bad beats; they are relative. A $500 bad beat in a 20/40 game is pretty bad. A $500,000 bad beat on high stakes poker is another matter entirely. Yesterday at Commerce I was told the worst bad beat story I have ever heard, which was confirmed by several sources.

At the Commerce Casino there is a bad beat jackpot, which basically means if you have the "misfortune" of losing with a big enough hand, your table wins a bunch of money. The losing hand keeps 60%, the winning hand gets 20%, and the rest of the table split the remaining 20% in what is known as a table share. There are two forms of jackpot. I don't know their actual names, but let's call them grande and regular. The regular jackpot requires that aces full of tens lose to four of a kind or better. The most common way for this to happen is for AK to run into something like QQ and for three aces to show up on the board. In fact anytime two aces show up on the board the whole table starts murmuring "one more ace" and "one time" and the like. The regular jackpot starts at $20,000 and goes up from their like a progressive slot machine, which means that the "losing" hand gets at $12,000, which is nothing to sneeze at. The grande jackpot works the same way, except it requires that four of kind lose the hand, and the payout is always $100,000. That's $60K to the loser. That's a down payment, or an entire college fund. That's life changing money for most of the people in the casino. The catch for the jackpot is that both hole cards from both players hands must be used to make the qualifying hands. In the regular jackpot example above, if the board ran out AAA98 and someone held TT and the other player A5 there would be no jackpot. The A5 hand is only playing one card. So, on to our story, which is pretty short since I don't know the action. The game is live 8/16, and the players in question hold the following hands:

A5 of diamonds

The flop is:


That's right. 3s full of 2s, quad deuces, and a gut shot draw at the steel wheel (a five high straight flush). Some betting probably happens, although it's possibly that only the flush draw was willing to put in any action, with the other two players making expert slow plays.


They hit the jackpot! Poor pocket 3s is going to get eviscerated and only a table share for his efforts, but he's really only going to lose like $200 and $20K/7 players is obviously a lot more than that, so it's OK. The quad deuces stands to win $60K. A jackpot already hit on the turn is almost unheard of. But wait for it.....


Catastrophe strikes! The A5 of diamonds still has a straight flush, but the Ace in his hand no longer plays! He has "improved" to a 6-high straight flush, but lost the jackpot. In an 8/16 game the guy with pocket 2s was fading two cards (the fourth 3 would have relegated him to table share, which still would have been almost $3K which would be a fair consolation prize) to win $60K. And he couldn't do it. All he got for his efforts was a grade A, almost untoppable, bad beat story.


Anonymous said...

I took the ~1000:1 beat once w/ KK vs. K3 on a flop of K3x and then running threes.

Just recently started reading your blog. It's good stuff.

bravos1 said...

Thanks for reminding me of my beat..LOL

There was one (I think a few weeks ago) posted on 2p2 where in a baby NL game the jackpot was hit quad Ks over quad Qs?? The girl with the quad Kings was underage thus did not get her "winner's" share (which was $100K+) but they did pay the bigger share to the loser as well as the table share. It was posted on 2p2 and the under aged girl involved is actually a 2p2er and posted in the thread which was started by someone else.

Phil said...

Maybe a worse bad beat story?

Guy is berating a woman player at a midstakes game constantly the whole night. On and on.

They get into a HU hand where it becomes obvious the bad beat jackpot is going to be hit. On the last bet the woman shows her cards to the man and says, "You need this more than I do," and mucks the winning hand of the bad beat jackpot.

Patrick said...

More like urban legend Phil...

And your example of AA beating 32 on a 332 flop is hardly 1000:1, you only need 1 ace to be ahead. And you do this for a living?

Jason said...

Suffered my worst bad beat ever last night. Will never forget this.

Buy in £200 - £2/5 blinds.

After 1 hour of play I am on £600

And now comes the story:

Cards are dealt and I get Ace and 8 of hearts.

- I check
- Guy raises £40 pre-flop
- I call

Flop = 9H, 4C, 3H

- I check
- Guy raises £75
- I call

Turn Card = QH

I make the nut flush!!!

- I check
- Guy raises £150
- I play dumb for 2mins & go all in
- Guy calls

Pot Total = £1300ish

I show him my nut flush.He shows me his King high flush with a Jack and gets up to walk away.

River Card = 10H

Guy makes his straight flush.

My heart just broke into a million pieces.

luky begum said...

I have enjoyed reading your post. It is well written. It looks like you spend a large amount of time and effort on your blog. I appreciate your effort. Please check out my site.
bad beat

Buck said...

While playing online recently, I was dealt A-J ...

I placed a small raise, and had two callers.

Flop is J-J-J ... and I quickly decide to slow play and hope my opponents catch something really good.

Turn is King of spades, river is 9 of spades.

I go all in, and guess what??? One of the players make his straight flush on the river. Now I've played many years - and have never seen any bad beat that came close to mine. Would love to know that odds against making that hand??