This is the moment we’ve been building to for a month; the championship round in our quest to crown the most memorable television poker hand in history. In the end, we have one of the most recognizable faces in televised poker facing off against a classic moment that gave one man his 15 minutes of fame.
Now it is time for you to decide which moment is the greatest TV moment ever. Will it be Phil Hellmuth and the King of Suckouts or Justin Phillips’ shocking beat of Motoyuki Mabuchi during the 2008 WSOP Main Event? Vote now to crown the champion!
The Final Showdown – Hellmuth vs. Phillips
When the Final Four kicked off a week ago, some assumed that Michael Mizrachi was a lock to make the finals and take it all. However, in a stunning twist of fate, it was Mizrachi who got crushed and Justin Phillips gets a chance to extend his 15 minutes of fame. Meanwhile, Tom Dwan made a valiant run at the finals but in the end, Phil Hellmuth and the King of Suckouts proved to be too much.
The first of our two championship hands is Phil Hellmuth facing off against Earnest Wiggins, the man we dubbed the “King of Suckouts.” This classic hand from the PokerStars Big Game has everything you would expect in a championship hand. It has big name pros, one big underdog that defied the odds and a Phil Hellmuth meltdown. In the end, this proved the perfect mixture to make the finals.
The path to the finals was not an easy one for Hellmuth. First, they had to survive the “King of Slowrolls” in the late Jack Ury. This opening round was a close one with Hellmuth squeaking through. The next two rounds proved much easier for Hellmuth as he received 3/4 of the vote against Phillip Candio’s “Suckgasm” in the Sweet 16 and 67% of the vote against Mike Matusow’s High Stake Poker meltdown in the Elite Eight.
Finally, Hellmuth squared off against Tom “durrrr” Dwan in another High Stakes Poker classic hand. Dwan’s skillful bluff versus both Barry Greenstein and Peter Eastgate had marched through the competition and came close to dethroning Hellmuth in the Final Four. Despite leading at the halfway mark of Final Four voting, Hellmuth’s and company managed a valiant charge and fans of Hellmuth voted him into the championship round.
Hellmuth’s opponent for the championship match is Justin Phillips’ crushing defeat of Motoyuki Mabuchi in the early days of the 2008 WSOP Main Event. The classic Quads vs. Royal Flush hand made Phillips a poker celebrity for a time and reminded us that wearing the “wife beater” t-shirt in a poker tournament is a fashion no-no.
Phillips and Mabuchi’s ride to the finals went through some stiff competition and even managed a semi-upset in the Final Four. During the opening round, they handily defeated Connor Drinan’s million-dollar loss during the 2014 Big One for ONE DROP. During the Sweet 16, they faced off against another cracked quads moment. Andrew Robl’s quad 9’s losing to Toby Lewis just wasn’t shocking enough to get by Mabuchi’s crushing blow. During the Elite Eight, Jean-Robert Bellande failed to survive and continued his “broke living” ways.
The Final Four match against Michael Mizrachi is easily one of the biggest upsets of this contest. Heading into the Final Four, Mizrachi’s double suckout against Matt Jarvis in the 2010 November Nine had crushed the competition in every round. However, Mizrachi was given the Robbie Strazynski Kiss of Death when the Weekly Burn and Turn presenter declared on-air that Mizrachi would win it all. Haters and Mabuchi fans turned out in mass to prove Robbie wrong. This match produced the highest vote totals of the contest and Phillips crushed Mizrachi with a shocking 79% of the vote.
Now we have Phil Hellmuth and the King of Suckouts against Justin Phillips’ crushing defeat of Motoyuki Mabuchi. Did Wiggins provide the most memorable moment by sucking out three times out of four against Hellmuth or was Motoyuki’s loss with quad aces versus a Royal Flush more memorable.
It is now time for your to decide. Voting is now open in our championship round to determine the greatest televised poker hand in history. Are you Team Hellmuth or Team Phillips? Vote now!