Monday, June 04, 2012

Worst bad-beat stories

My friend Memphis MOJO writes about having recently been told of one of those incredibly rare bad beats that was not just runner-runner, but "perfect-perfect"; i.e., the player behind on the flop had to catch two exact cards on the turn and river in order to win. Mojo ends his post asking whether there are worse bad-beat stories than that.

Well, it kind of depends on how you classify degrees of badness. But for my money, I would nominate two.

First is the one that I related having heard about here (under the second bold sub-heading). See also the comments for a bit of possible further confirmation that the story is a true one.

Second is a story told many times by T.J. Cloutier. The only place I've seen it in print is in a really interesting but relatively little-known book, The Best Hand I Ever Played: 52 Winning Poker Lessons from the World's Greatest Players, by Steve Rosenbloom, published in 2005. Here's the story, from page 30:
It was against Al Krux, a cash game at the Bicycle Club about ten years ago. No Limit Hold'em. He hadn't won a pot all day. He had, like, $445 left or something and he moved all in. The guy two to his left was getting a massage. He lifted his head up and looked at it and decided not to call and threw it away. The massage girl saw the hand too.

It got around to me on the button. I had two 10's and I said, hell, I'll call him because this is his last money and he might not have too much. So I call. Now, the dealer didn't see that I made the call and she dropped the deck on the muck. That means she had to reshuffle all the cards.

The flop came K-10-4. I had two 10's. I flopped three 10's. He had two kings, so he had flopped three kings. The fourth card was a 10, so I had four 10's and I beat him in this pot.

But that's not the kicker. The kicker is, you remember the guy who was looking at his hand and getting a massage? He had the other two 10's and had thrown them away. He told us he had thrown two 10's away, and the massage girl said, "This guy threw away two 10's." So that meant the dealer had to make a mistake and drop the deck and reshuffle those 10's back in for Al to lose this hand to me. It's the worst beat in the history of poker.

Needless to say, I never won another hand that night, but I beat him out of his last $445. Story of a lifetime.
This one isn't technically a bad beat, I suppose, because both hands had pretty good equity when all the chips went in pre-flop. But Daniel Negreanu after the flop calling for two running perfect cards to make a straight flush, and getting both of them, is pretty damn unbelievable. This was in the first year of the NBC Heads-Up Championship:

As for my personal experience, I think that this hand was, in mathematical terms, the worst beat I've ever taken. The worst I can remember ever inflicting on an opponent was this hand, in which I put all my chips in on the flop as a 62:1 underdog, and caught a miraculous runner-runner combination to win. Almost as bad was when I went runner-runner full house to beat two opponents, both of whom had flopped flushes.

I have hit a one-outer on the river exactly one time, and sort of expect that it will never happen again. See story here.

I have been on the bad side of quads over quads one time, as told here.

In one remarkable session at the Sahara I folded what would have been quads for one high-hand jackpot, and would have made a straight flush for a second jackpot if my opponent had not folded. See story here.

Those are the best I can come up with, Mojo. What do you think?


Halbonzo said...

I was told this story by a dealer at the Grand Coushatta Casino in Kinder La. He was playing in a cash game at another casino when this happened. He was playing 2-5 nl . The "bad beat jackpot" was over 150,000 dollars. A man errupts with joy declaring he and another man had done it ! He throws his cards on to the table so hard , both hit and fall to the floor. Dead Hand. ...You do the math. Every player at the table lost. I cant recall the cards or even if the man had won or lost the actual hand at play, just that he killed what would have been a winning " bad beat jackpot" for himself and everyone else at the table. Most people in the poker room that night had heard the story.

Halbonzo said...

The dealer who told this story did not claim to be involved in the hand. He was playing at a differnt table when it happened. just thought I should make that clear.

Giant Robot said...

2-5 game, 900 deep. Bad beat Jackpot at 190k, quad 8s have to lose. I raise to 15 with JhJc. 2 callers, both deeper than me. Flop comes out Jd3s10d. I bet 40, both call. Turn is 9d. Checks all the way around. River is the case J. I bet 200. If a straight flush beats me I'll win the bad beat jackpot. Or so I think. Raise, raise... Everyone gets it all in. I'm counting my money either way. I come in third with 2 straight flushes beating me. I get zilch, table share of bad beat. Everyone else was very happy, but threw up a little in my mouth.

Memphis MOJO said...

The story in which the two 10s were dealt back in has to be the best [Worst] bad beat.

LOLfolding said...

1/3 NL - Had a guy get $800 into a preflop limped pot on the flop with JT on a T96 board to my 78. Runs out J, T. $1640 pot gets shipped to the other side of the table and I felt ill.

Rob said...

Agreed, the story with the 2 10's redealt has to be the worst for sure, because it was only because of a dealer error could it have happened. What I always want to hear is how the loser reacted, I dunno how I could have been calm after that, especially when hearing about how the dealer error cost me the pot. What did the dealer say? "oops" doesn't quite cut it.

My favorite reaction to a bad beating that I personally witness (although the money was small in camparison) has been written about here (hope the self indulgence is ok):

Rick Carroll said...

Last summer at Turning Stone Casino in New York State, I was playing a 1-2 NL game. I had A-Q unsuited. I made it $10 pre-flop. I had 3 callers. Flop was A-A-Q for a boat. I bet $35 and all folded except 1 guy. He raised! I made a big re-raised and he instantly went all in. He assumed that I had nothing. I called and he flipped over 88. The rest is history, the turn and flop came 8 and 8. He smuggly said that he had me beat pre-flop and that the best hand won. He is correct, I guess I overplayed aces full!

Anonymous said...

I was playing 1-2 NL at Foxwoods a few months ago. I am under the gun and pretty bored, so I call $2 with 7-10 suited. Three players in. Flop comes: 10, 10, 7. I flop the nuts...Full House. I slow play. 3 comes on the turn, 9 on the river. I go all in. Button calls. He beats me, holding 10, 10, 9.

Buck said...

In an online holdem game recently, I raised preflop with A-J. Flop comes: J-J-J 😋

I OBVIOUSLY slow play, giving my to competitors every opportunity to improve their hands as I feel my quads on the flop are unbeatable ...

I place a small bet on the turn, both players call.

River comes - I again place a small bet, and get raised by one of the players. Seems he made his straight flush 🤣

What are the odds of flopping quads and losing the hand??? If it hadn't happened TO ME I never would have believed it ...

Pokerplayer23 said...

I lost a hand last night that Bc of how if played out I am yet to sleep. I'm usually not a person who tilts but this one put me on "life tilt". I had QQ in a 2/5 game here in Vegas. The game was just about to break Bc we had dropped to 4 handed. My stack was just over 1k. Button raised to 15. I made it 65. BB called, button called. Flop Q53 rainbow. I lead out for 85 BB makes it 200 I come over the top All In. BB snap calls Button tanks then angerly folds. I flip my hand up BB angerly tables his 55. Turn 10 river 5! He screams in celebration (very classy) and I lose my entire stack as a 97.9% favorite. I've been sick ever since. I make my living at poker but that hand just sent me on a vacation Bc I don't think I can play my best with that hand in my head.