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Poker Player Lost $1 Million with History's Unluckiest Flop, Turn, and River

By Dustin Rowles | Videos | July 30, 2014 | Comments ()


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When I lived in Ithaca, NY for three years, and had little else to do with my life except wait for my wife to finish law school so I could return to civilization, I was in a regular poker group. I love poker, but mostly, I love playing poker because it’s an opportunity to hang out and shoot the shit with a group of folks. What I never really liked that much was getting together to play poker and talking about poker, and some of the more serious players could spend hours talking about bad beats they’d had, which is kind of like talking about fantasy football with someone who is not in your league. No one cares.

At any rate, no story of theirs could or would or will ever top what has to be the worst bad beat in poker history. I watched this last night, and twice more this morning, and every time I do, my heart jumps into my throat.

Two players in a poker tournament with a $1 million buy-in are dealt pocket aces. Ninety-six percent of the time, that’s a split pot. Basically, the only way to win is if one of the players is dealt a flush, and that’s exactly what happens here. Even the guy who gets the flush and wins the hand, knocking the other guy out of the tournament, looks like he feels bad about it. I don’t know what the odds of that actually are, but there was still only a 5 percent chance after the flop, so the odds must have been astronomical pre-flop.

That’s not poker skills. That is sh*t luck.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • E Robb

    That hurt me to watch.

  • LwoodPDowd

    Katz ended up finishing 8th (the last place that paid). 1.3 million payout. 300K profit.

  • e jerry powell

    See, this is one of the more spectacular beats I put on anyone, even though it came down to the river.

    I used to love playing poker online, but Black Friday messed that up.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    This is why I only play poker with M&Ms or clothing as currency, it's much less soul-crushing when you lose.

  • Loanhighknight

    I don't follow it closely at all because, frankly, it's never this dramatic, but I will say the real beauty of poker comes out when really really terrible luck looks AAAALMOST exactly like really really amazing luck--right up until the last moment. It stirs the pot and reminds the strongest players that it's still ultimately a game of chance.

    For bad players like me, the delicious, delicious schadenfreude from astronomically unlikely moments like this are the only things that make me tell my wallet to shut up and take it like a man....

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I delight far too much in playing Texas Hold 'Em with my brothers, indignant that I win a hand were I start (and stay in) with an asinine hand like a 5, J. But then eventually they remember that I hate folding and bring me down. It's not a sophisticated way to play, I realize.

  • What's worse: losing on a bad poker beat, or dropping a fantasy football game when your opponent's player gets a garbage-time four-yard reception late in a MNF blowout?

  • lowercase_ryan

    The fantasy football loss. By a mile

  • e jerry powell

    There's a $1mm Fantasy Football league out there?

  • JJ

    It's a trick question. Worse is losing a game because game-ending kneel downs count as negative rushing yards playing in a league that uses fractions of points instead of rounding.

  • Losing 5 points when your kicker misses a desperate 67-yard FG to end the half is also a soul crusher.

  • pajiba

    I want to answer this questions so, so badly, but I'm afraid of what it would reveal about me.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I haven't added anything to your dossier in weeks. Go ahead.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Why are the posts and comments in Greek today?

  • idiosynchronic

    That's 'geek', love, not 'Greek'. Verbally abuse your spellchecker.

  • Keep it up. My 10,000-word, 421-GIF fantasy football preview comparing each player to a major TV character is coming soon. All I need to finish is the entire thing.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    Thank you for reminding me that I have to find an additional league.

    I'm NEVER satisfied!

  • JJ

    ::crosses fingers for Yo Gabba Gabba/Joseph Fauria comparison::
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HHgN...

  • Sara_Tonin00

    ah, Disco. The endzone dance of the White Man.

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