We’ve always said that sometimes, no matter how good you think your hand is, you may still get beat. That’s what happened to Motoyuki Mabuchi when he hit quad aces on the river and shoved all in. Mabuchi knew his hand was the nuts, but then Justin Phillips snap-called him and everyone in the room gasped as Phillips showed a royal flush that sent Mabuchi to the rails shaking his head.
Bad beats happen all the time but they are seldom as impressive as the beat that Phillips exercised over Mabuchi. This past year at the “Big One for One Drop” we witnessed another huge bad beat. This time it was for a million dollars. Cary Katz, under the gun, bets $225,000 with pocket aces. The table folded around to Connor Drinan who re-raised to $580,000, then Katz four-bet to $2,000,000. Katsz tries to give some friendly advice. He says “Save your money kid, you can’t win every pot.” Drinan smirks and shoves all in to $4, 970,000, Katz snap-calls and both players show pocket bullets. Drinan held the ace of diamonds and ace of clubs while Katz held the ace of hearts and the ace of spades. Everyone assumed they would split the pot; in fact, it was a 96 percent chance they would. But then a heart came up on the flop. And another on the turn and the kill was another heart on the river giving Katz the flush and the win. Possibly the worst beat in the history of poker at a $1 million buy-in World Series of Poker tournament.
With a name like “Pocket Bullets” Paris, I especially felt Drinan’s pain as he stepped back from the poker table. Damn! Watch the video below and you too could share in Drinan’s pain.
I was kicking back with a few friends after getting knocked out of our friendly local tourney, enjoying a cold draft and laughing at the BS being bantered around. Someone asked, “What’s the craziest bad beat y’all have seen in a tourney?” One of the guys said he watched a video of this year’s Big One for One Drop at the WSOP. This was when Connor Drinan and Cary Katz, both of whom had paid one million dollars to play, and both of whom picked up pocket aces. Drinan with ace of diamonds and ace of clubs vs Katz’s ace of spades and ace of hearts. After raising and re-raising each other a few times Drinan splashes his poker chips all in and Katz snap calls him.
The flop came down with 2d – Kh – 5h, the turn and the river were both hearts giving Katz a flush and knocking Drinan out in 18th place and out of the money. That definitely qualifies as a bad beat, and certainly many will say it’s the worst ever because of the million dollar buy in.
However, in my mind, the worst beat ever is still the battle between Justin Phillips and Moriyuki Mabuchi at the 2009 WSOP. Mabuchi bet after the river – Phillips raised – Mabuchi splashed his chips all in and Phillips called. The board showed A of hearts, 9 of clubs, Queen-Ten-A of diamonds. Phillips turned over a J-K of diamonds for a Royal Flush and Mabushi turned over the Ace of spades and the Ace of clubs for Quad Aces. Insane beat … Quad Aces destroyed by a Royal Flush. The chance of a royal flush and quad aces happening in the same hand is 1 in 2.7 billion! To me that qualifies it as the worst bad beat ever, despite the money.
Some days you can win with an ace high and other times you can’t win with quad aces has been how we sign off our newsletters for the last couple of years. We’ve had several people comment on that from time to time but recently we had someone who shall remain nameless who refused to believe that could ever really happen. We told this individual that we had actually blogged about a game between Justin Phillips and Moriyuki Mabuchi at the 2009 WSOP. Moriyuki splashed all in with Quad Aces and Justin snap called him with a Royal Flush. All you could hear on the floor were gasps of air being taken in mixed with a few OMGs and WOWs and Uhhhhs. Not a good way to be sent to the rail. Most people would agree that that is a statistical improbability and they would be right. In fact, the odds of a royal flush and quad aces happening in the same hand are, according to the announcer on the video, 1 in 2.7 billion hands played!
Here’s the video for your viewing pleasure . . . and to prove to our Doubting Thomas friend that, although highly unlikely, this could happen. You can be assured that if I was holding Quad Aces after the river card was turned, all my clay poker chips would be splashed in just like Moriyui’s.