Is This the Unluckiest Hand in Poker History?

Connor Drinan Nightmare Hand
A poker player's nightmare.

Every poker pro remembers the tough beats of his or her poker career.

The entire poker world will remember what happened to Connor Drinan on June 30, 2014 at the World Series of Poker.

The Arlington Heights, Illinois, native was cruising in the $1 million buy-in Big One for Drop with a five million-chip stack, 19 players remaining and a legitimate shot at the $15.3 million first-place prize.

Drinan looked down to see a welcome sight:    

After getting into a pre-flop raising war with Cary Katz it was clear Drinan wasn’t the only one with a good starting hand. Katz flipped over     after all the chips had gone into the middle.

While not exactly common, this does happen from time to time in poker and most of the time it results in a split pot.

Not this time, as the dealer put out the soul-crushing:


The Amazon exploded as Katz lucked his way into a heart flush. Even poker vets Phil Ivey and Sam Trickett looked amazed by the incredibly unlucky turn of events for the eliminated Drinan.

Is This Really the Worst Bad Beat in WSOP History?

Connor Drinan
Connor Drinan being interviewed by Kara Scott

Well it’s at least the worst bad beat in the Big One for One Drop, which officially has the biggest buy-in in the world.

There has only been one other $1 million buy-in Big One (in 2012) and there was certainly no aces vs. aces shenanigans in that one.

It’s important to remember that first place in the Big One is $15.3 million with the payouts beginning with eight players remaining. That means the equity in the pot was in the millions.

You could point to Matt Affleck losing with pocket aces to Jonathan Duhamel’s pocket jacks in the 2010 $10,000 WSOP Main Event but he was only an 80% favorite in the hand.

Drinan only had a 2% chance of losing. Even Carter Gill, who played the so-called “Saddest Poker Hand Ever”, had a 7% chance of losing.

On the bright side Drinan really seemed to take the massive bad beat well. He did an interview with ESPN’s Kara Scott and appeared optimistic despite the brutal end to the biggest tournament he had ever played.

Still, losing a shot at $15.3 million in a horrific bad beat is always gonna hurt.

Just remember this hand the next time you get your aces cracked in your home game and start complaining.

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