PokerUpdate readers began casting their votes last week to determine the Most Memorable Televised Poker Hand of all-time. With Round 1 behind us, we take a look at which videos advanced and and each clip’s chances of making it to the Quarterfinal “Elite 8” round.
Funny Televised Poker Hands
King of Suckouts – Ernest Wiggins stars in in a “run it four times” 2010 scenario versus Phil Hellmuth. Unbeknownst to Wiggins, his Pocket Kings are no good against Hellmuth’s flopped Trip Nines, but that doesn’t stop him from getting all his chips in the middle. After winning the first run, Hellmuth is bad beat three times in a row and eventually loses 75% of the pot. Fellow competitors Phil Laak and Daniel Negreanu can’t contain their laughter. Round 1 Win: 54% to 46%
Filippo Candio SuckGasm – Filippo Candio’s chances of becoming the first Italian-born WSOP Main Event November Niner in 2010 looked bleak, but a river straight put him on the fast track. Candio’s reaction (a mix of relief and excitement) made for great television and a funny WSOP outclip. Round 1 Win: 66% to 33%
Round 2 Matchup Analysis: Although Candio’s cameo advanced to the Quarterfinal round on a 2-to-1 margin, it will be tough for this video to overcome Ernest Wiggins’ beat on Hellmuth, which advanced to Round 2 by a very slim margin.
Bad Beat Face – Professional poker player Carter Gill needed to fade 3 outs to significantly improve his position in the 2013 WSOP Main Event, but David Paredes spiked a river Queen to dampen Gill’s mood and send him to the rail. “You did a really valiant effort,” stated Paredes as Gill walked away from the table. Round 1 Win: 58% to 42%
Hellmuth Doesn’t Bet Big Bluff – This time, it’s Phil Hellmuth who gets the best of his opponents in this High Stakes Poker hand. Mike Matusow decides to fold his Kings and allows Hellmuth to rake the pot with seven-deuce. Round 1 Win: 79% to 21%
Round 2 Matchup Analysis: It could be a runaway victory for Phil Hellmuth in Round 2, as the banter between him and other poker players makes for great television. That’s not even mentioning the fact that the 14-time WSOP bracelet winner has earned a Tight image over the years. Gloating comes natural to Hellmuth, and the result is usually very funny.
Shocking Televised Poker Hands
Robl’s Quads Crushed – A player seldom gets Four of a Kind in a poker hand, the losing with Quads is a huge rarity. Round 1 Win: 61% to 39%
Quad Aces No Good – Yet another unbelievable hand in which Four of a Kind loses a showdown, this time to a Royal Flush. Round 1 Win: 70% to 30%
Round 2 Matchup Analysis: This is an intriguing matchup because it features two losing hands of Four of a Kind. Robl’s Four Nines advanced in the first round over bracket powerhouse Matt Affleck, who was the victim of one of the most memorable shockers in WSOP history. However, the 1-in-2.7 billion chances of Quads and a Royal Flush occurring in the same hand could catapult it into the “Shocking” bracket finals.
Bellande Not Ultimate Survivor – Jean-Robert Bellande’s deep run in the 2008 WSOP Main Event came to a screeching halt thanks to a four-out river card. Round 1 Win: 53% to 47%
Ivey Human After All – Phil Ivey may been recognized as the best poker player in the world, but even he is capable of mistakes. Round 1 Win: 56% to 44%
Round 2 Matchup Analysis: Both these videos squeaked by in the first round, but one of them will make it to the “Shocking” bracket finals. The eventual implications of both hands could factor in to Round 2 voting. Bellande’s ouster in the 2008 WSOP ME was definitive, while Ivey would overcome a rare mental lapse to make a the November Nine, busting in 7th place for $1.4 million.
Impressive Televised Poker Hands
Romanello’s Big Laydown – Roberto Romanello made a highly impressive river fold in the 2008 WSOP Main Event, correctly mucking his Full House to a superior boat. Round 1 Win: 59% to 41%
Dwan Outplays Everybody – High Stakes Poker star Tom Dwan gets the best of high-profile opponents by bluffing his way to take down a pot in which 8 players saw a flop. Round 1 Win: 72% to 28%
Round 2 Matchup Analysis: This Quarterfinal contest could be close, as High Stakes Poker videos get a lot of support from the poker community, but the hand is up against a bracket favorite in Romanello’s mucked full house. The winner of this matchup will advance to the “Impressive” bracket finals.
Van Tran Hero Call – Henry van Tran makes a gut-check river Hero Call against Ben Alcober in the 2012 WSOP Main Event. Round 1 Win: 64% to 36%
Ivey Genius – There was a time when Phil Ivey was a rising star in the poker world who wasn’t on every poker player’s radar. This 2005 Monte Carlo Millions hand put Ivey on the map, and was the topic of several high profile poker forum discussions. Round 1 Win: 54% to 46%
Round 2 Matchup Analysis: This could be another close contest between two amazing televised poker hands. On one side you have one of the greatest river calls of all-time while the other video features Phil Ivey pushing around an inferior player heads-up. The winner of this matchup will go on to compete in the “Impressive” bracket finals.
Exciting Televised Poker Hands
Grinder Rollercoaster – In front of a packed 2010 November Nine house, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi wins one of the most exciting televised poker hands in history. Round 1 Win: 84% to 16%
Moneymaker’s Historic WSOP Victory – Once upon a time No Limit Texas Hold’em took a back seat to other forms of poker. That was until Chris Moneymaker set the game on the fast-track to poker dominance with his 2003 WSOP Main Event victory. Round 1 Win: 83% to 17%
Round 2 Matchup Analysis: This Quarterfinal contest slates two videos who won by a very wide margin in the first round. Although Moneymaker’s 2003 WSOP win has ultra-historic implications, this could be another landslide victory for “The Grinder.” The November Nine format lends itself to excitement and the epic call by Lon McEarchon and Norman Chad add to this video’s place in poker history.
Merson Player of The Year – Greg Merson cemented his status of 2012 WSOP Player of The Year by winning the Main Event. Round 1 Win: 52% to 48%
Hellmuth Ends Johnny Chan’s Three-Peat Hopes – Phil Hellmuth, Jr. made a name for himself in 1989 by winning the WSOP Main Event against Johnny Chan and has never looked back. Round 1 Win: 88% to 12%
Round 2 Matchup Analysis: The poker world was changed forever when a 25-year old newcomer from Wisconsin bested “The Orient Express” Johnny Chan in 1989. Hellmuth’s triumphant reaction to the river card is still used in poker programming intros today. This could be an easy bracket victory for Hellmuth, meaning this video will likely face off against Michael Mizrachi’s November Nine hand in the “Exciting” bracket finals.