The PokerUpdate Most Memorable Televised Poker Hand Bracket has now reached the Category Finals phase, with only 8 videos remaining to decide an eventual winner.
Here is a recap of the “Sweet 16” round along with a look at what we can expect from the “Elite 8” Quarter Finals matchups.
Funny Televised Poker Hands
There’s something about Ernest Wiggins putting all-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth on tilt that has lived on in televised poker lore. The famous Run It Four Times hand from PokerStars’ The Big Game easily defeated Filippo Candio’s November Nine Suckgasm by a 3-to1 margin in the Sweet 16 round.
Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow star in the Hellmuth Shatters Myth video that edged out tough competition from Carter Gill’s epic bad beat moment during the WSOP Main Event. The final vote tally was 48 to 44, in favor of the Wisconsin native’s seven-deuce.
Funny Category Finals Matchup: It looks as if Ernest Wiggins “loose cannon” banter and subsequent quartering of Hellmuth will end up in the Final Four as the category’s champion. Wiggins already overcame seemingly insurmountable odds by taking three-quarters of a pot in which he was a huge underdog, so making it to the Final 4 of the “Most Memorable Televised Poker Hand” bracket should be a cakewalk.
Shocking Televised Poker Hands
Don’t you hate it when your Quad Aces show down against a Royal Flush? An unforgettable hand from the 2008 WSOP Main Event sent Motoyuki Mabuchi to the rail after his rivered Quads got Royally Screwed. The video won by a 54% to 46% vote against a Quads versus Quads showdown during the 2010 partypoker World Poker Open.
Jean-Robert Bellande‘s 2008 WSOP Main Event bad beat of losing Ace-Queen to Ten-Nine during an all in preflop scenario advances to the Shocking category finals after moving on against Phil Ivey and his rare mental error that happened a year later. Two factors likely determined the 58% to 42% victory — Bellande calling his shot beforehand and Phil Ivey making the 2009 November Nine in spite of his mistake.
Shocking Category Finals Matchup: This category’s finals matchup comes down to odds. That is, what are the odds of Quads and a Royal Flush being dealt in the same hand? The answer is indeed shocking: 1-in-2.7 billion. Look for that tidbit to influence the video’s emergence as a Final 4 bracket participant.
Impressive Televised Poker Hands
It was a close call for Tom Dwan and his High Stakes Poker bluff that saw him push his way to raking a pot that still had 8 players remaining when the flop was dealt, but his video won by 5 votes over Roberto Romanello’s correctly-mucked Full House on the River. The final vote count was 46-41.
This time, a video of Phil Ivey will make it to a category finals. Fittingly, Ivey makes his entry into the Elite 8 via the “Impressive” category from a clip of the 2005 Monte Carlo Millions in which he pushed an inferior player around during heads-up play. Henry van Tran’s WSOP Hero Call was also impressive, but lost out by a vote of 58% to 42%.
Impressive Category Finals Matchup: This category features a finals contest headlined by two established high stakes pros who have played frequently against one another. Who do you like more? Dwan’s cash game hand or Ivey’s tournament bullying? The winner will go on to the Final 4.
Exciting Televised Poker Hands
The Grinder Rollercoaster Hand in which Mike Mizrachi faced off against Matt Jarvis has it all: a gut-wrenching WSOP November Nine back-and-forth, a pumped live audience, huge emotion swings, multi-million dollar implications, and arguable the best career call of ESPN announcers Lon McEarchern and Norman Chad. In the end, even Chris Moneymaker couldn’t contend with the 2010 WSOP Main Event final table hand, which won by a 2-to-1 vote.
Phil Hellmuth would be proud. He is the showcase personality behind three of the final eight videos in contention for the Most Memorable Televised Poker Hand ever. The video clip of him defeating Johnny Chan for the 1989 WSOP Main Event bracelet is vintage, and earned a spot in the category finals easily by a 3-to-1 margin.
Exciting Category Finals Matchup: Sorry Phil, but this one is going to go to The Grinder. For the reasons explained above, Mike Mizrachi’s November Nine hand appears to be a shoe-in to make the Final 4 and beat out all other videos in the Exciting category.
Which Videos Deserve to Advance to the Final Four?
It’s time for you to decide which videos will win their respective categories and move on.