The range of things that can and do happen across a poker table is so diverse and multi-layered that ranking them on a limited scale such as "best" and "worst" is a fool's errand.
So that's exactly what we did. Enjoy (and share your thoughts in the comments)!
20. Isildur1 Wins SCOOP $10k Main Event
Any moment in poker that involves Viktor “Isildur1” Blom is a “best” moment in poker, really.
When the most exciting player in poker is also one of the most insatiable action hounds, has swings of millions of dollars week-on-week but doesn't go busto (or insane), it's a good poker moment each and ever ytime.
Given how things are going for some of his peers, it's pretty remarkable Blom still finds the buy-ins day after day for the obscene stakes he plays.
Even better, he just pops into a major tournament every now and then and takes it down for $1.1m in classic, dominating form.
We’re thankful we still get to watch Isildur play poker at all, but watching him win is the icing on the cake. May the force be with him again in 2014.
19. Mike "The Mouth" Matusow Wins NBC Heads-Up Championship
Truth be told it's a little hard to feel much sympathy for Mike "The Mouth" Matusow given how he's carried himself over the years. But it was sort of brutal to see him get blindsided in the Full Tilt Poker debacle.
Sure, he was simply in the right place and the right time at the beginning of the boom but, love him or hate him, Matusow has added a lot to the game of poker.
To see him prevail in this year's NBC Heads-Up Championship (against Phil Hellmuth in the finals and after knocking off Blom in Round 2 no less) - felt at least a little bit fair.
And if a $750k score (or portion thereof) will help keep him in the game for a couple more years we're probably all the better off for it.
18. Deeb Slowrolls Matusow in Poker Night in America Preview
By the same token The Mouth has also always been a bit delusional about his "essentialness" to the poker industry.
He had his time, he made his money, he earned his due. But he certainly carried a chip on his shoulder and needled his share of opponents along the way. So he's probably "earned" a slow roll (if you can ever do that) somewhere along the line.
The etiquette breach itself is pretty funny, if you find slowrolls funny, but more importantly the context was in the midst of a made-for-TV cash game that hopes to bring some life back into televised poker in 2014.
It did. And it couldn't have happened to a better guy to get people talking about it.
17. Dan Bilzerian Gets Beard Stroked on ESPN
This just kind of speaks for itself, really. Our only confusion was where to rank it. It still might be Top 5.
16. Michael Phelps, Nate Silver, Rafael Nadal, Ronaldo Rep Poker
The more respected names from sports, business and politics that play poker the better. And those are some, very, very big names in the worlds of sports, business and politics.
To see them sitting at the tables and generally pushing for our game out in the mainstream means something.
The Greatest Olympian of All Time putting up $10k for a poker tournament has to say something good about the game, doesn't it?
More Best and Worst Moments in Poker in 2013
- The 20 Best Moments in Poker in 2013: 20-16
- The 20 Best Moments in Poker in 2013: 15-11
- The 20 Best Moments in Poker in 2013: 10-6