Worst Bad Beats In The History Of Poker & How Players Dealt With Them

Worst Bad Beats In The History Of Poker & How Players Dealt With Them

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As unlikely as it might sound, bad beats are actually quite common in the poker world. While good beat stories are seldom remembered, it’s the worst bad beat stories that usually get registered in the collective consciousness of the poker fans throughout the world. In this article, we have detailed the meaning of a bad beat and the top 3 worst bad beats in the history of poker.

What does a bad beat mean in poker?

The “worst bad beat” is a poker term that is often used to refer to a hand in which a player with very strong cards ends up losing to an opponent who is statistically unlikely to win. Such a situation generally happens when a player hits a lucky card or two and thereafter goes on to win the pot against the stronger player. The losing player is then said to have suffered the “worst bad beat”.

Top 3 worst bad beats in the poker world

Moving on, let us talk about the top 3 worst bad beats ever witnessed in the history of poker.

Matt Affleck vs Jonathan Duhamel

The worst bad beat in the poker world likely took place between Matt Affleck and Jonathan Duhamel during the 2010 World Series of Poker main event. During this worst bad beat, both Affleck and Duhamel were involved in a pot that amounted to close to 42 million tournament chips. Herein Matt Affleck, 23, started the hand with a pair of pocket aces (a hand consisting of two aces) while Jonathan Duhamel, 22 started the hand with pocket Jacks (a hand consisting of two jacks). Here it is important to remember that Affleck had a 79% chance of winning the hand and if he had won the hand then he would have been the chip leader with just 15 players to compete in the tournament. But, Alas! The day didn’t turn out for Affleck as he had expected.

As the game progressed, both Affleck and Duhamel saw a flop consisting of 10 of diamonds, 9 of clubs and 7 of hearts. With the turn showing a Queen of diamonds, Affleck found his chips in the middle of the table. Duhamel took a good 5 minutes but thereafter in a shocking move decided to call the bet. Affleck as you can see here was leading in the game till this moment. But Duhamel’s move made the collective hearts of the viewers sink to the size of a peanut as just any king, jack or 8 and Duhamel was close to eliminating Affleck from the tournament. As unlikely as it might sound, the lady luck smiled on Duhamel and he hit an 8 of diamonds on the river. As Duhamel won the round, Affleck was reduced to tears and the poker world gasped and roared as the worst bad beat was registered in the history of poker.

Bryce Yockey vs Josh Arieh

The final table of the 2019 world series of poker produced quite possibly one of the worst bad beats ever witnessed in the history of poker. It was this tournament wherein the world saw Bryce Yockey who held a hand with a winning probability of 99.843%, lose to Josh Arieh during the final draw on the 2-7 triple draw. Now, before moving forward to this bad beat, let us first understand what does a 2-7 triple draw mean?

The basic aim behind playing “2-7 triple draw” is to make the worst possible five-card hand without a flush or even a straight flush. Vital to this, a hand consisting of 7-5-4-3-2 is usually considered the best hand in this game with 7-6-4-3-2 holding the position of the second-best hand. During a game of standard “2-7 triple draw” there are usually three draws wherein players have the option of asking for as many new cards as they want.

In this game, Yockey was actually dealt the second-best hand consisting of 7-6-4-3-2 while Arieh was dealt a hand consisting of Aces-Queen-6-5-3. Now, to beat Yockey, Arieh basically needed three draws and was the only possible hand combination that would beat Yockey’s hand. Oh! A crazy detail about this hand is that to make a winning hand, Arieh was actually required to make a straight first before he could draw to the perfect 7-5 low. On the first draw Arieh got a 2 and his hand combination came down to Queen-6-5-3-2. Thereafter, he drew again and on the second draw he got a 4, with the hand combination now coming down to 6-5-4-3-2. As the game turned intense, Yockey called all in and to Arieh’s surprise he got a 7 on the final draw. With Arieh’s hand combination now 7-6-4-3-2, he finally announced to his opponent “I made a wheel” and with this move Josh Arieh probably registered one of the worst bad beats on Bryce Yockey ever witnessed in the poker world.

Vanessa Selbst vs Gaelle Baumann

It was early on Day 1 of the 2017 main poker event. Two of the best players in the poker world namely Vanessa Selbst and Gaelle Baumann were all set to battle it out at the televised featured table. The game began and Selbst was dealt Aces of spades and Aces of diamonds, relatively pretty starting hands isn’t it? So did Selbst think as she placed the bet and immediately got a couple of callers. The flop round came and 3 cards – Ace of clubs, 7 of clubs and 5 of clubs were opened. It was actually looking good for Selbst especially because Baumann held a 7 of diamonds and a 7 of hearts.

But, right after the flop round came to an end, disaster struck for Selbst. The turn round started and a 7 of spades was opened. Now, despite having made an Aces-full-of-seven (Aces-Aces-7-7-7) Selbst went in distress because she sensed she was in trouble. As the river round started, the last community card, a 4 of diamonds, was opened after which Baumann raised an all-in bet. Selbst spiralled into her thoughts for a few minutes and thereafter asked Baumann in a feeble voice if she’s holding quads otherwise known as four-of-a-kind. All hell broke loose as Selbst realised she was correct. Just 1 hour into the main event and Selbst was forced to make an exit perhaps due to the worst bad beat of her career.

“I wanted to fold, I really did” was all Vanessa Selbst could utter after experiencing one of the worst bad beats of her entire poker career.

Unfortunately speaking, there’s no one way to avoid the worst bad beat in the poker world. The least you can do is play as many poker tournaments as possible and learn from the experiences of poker pros such as Matt Affleck or Vanessa Selbst.

Now, what are you waiting for? Just register on the GetMega Poker app and get set practising at the earliest.

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About The  

Kanchan Sharma
Kanchan Sharma

Kanchan Sharma started her career as a learning designer at an MNC while pursuing poker as a hobby. However, she soon pivoted to becoming a professional MTT (Multi Table Tournaments) player. She is currently a leading player, who has taken the male dominated poker world by storm. During her stint as a poker player, she has bagged many titles including India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) for Rs. 17,98,906, Winter Celebration Series for Rs. 6,62,500 and has final tabled multiple tournaments. She continually seeks to improve her poker game and work on her mindset to win the WSOP title soon. Her journey from being a recreational player to a poker pro is inspiring for many people out there.

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