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The 20 Worst Moments in Poker in 2015: #15-11
It’s become tradition that PokerListings wraps up every year by taking a look back at some of the best and worst moments.
Of course a list like this will always be somewhat subjective and you’re more than welcome to disagree with us on our rankings (this is the Internet!).
Feel free to give us your thoughts in the comments.
Regardless, there’s always a truckload of poker news released every year and there’s more than enough material to look back on over the last 12 months.
Of course not all the news was good and in this series we'll look at the 20 Worst Moments in Poker in 2016.
If you’re looking for something a little more uplifting, we suggest our 20 Best Moments in Poker in 2016.
15. Daily Fantasy Sports “Insider Trading”
You can’t say we didn’t warn you. To anyone familiar with online poker’s meteoric rise in the mid-2000s the Daily Fantasy Sports phenomenon was eerily familiar.
Well, as it turns out, it was a little too familiar.
In the fall of 2015 The New York Times published an article that alleged a DraftKings employee had used insider information to win hundreds of thousands on rival site FanDuel.
It was the tipping point for DFS’ already gray legality in the United States and there have been sweeping bans since the report. While not exactly the same, it’s hard not to get painful flashbacks to Full Tilt Poker in 2010.
Furthermore there’s a good chance politicians will point to the “insider trading” at DFS as yet another reason not to legalize online poker.
14. Excessive Tanking at Main Event Final Table
The WSOP Main Event final table is poker’s crown jewel. It’s the one final table that people will talk about for the next year. That’s why it’s a shame this year’s edition was such a letdown.
Alright, that may be a little harsh, and respect to Joe McKeehen who played his big stack to perfection. We’re talking — of course — about the excessive tanking that took place - mostly on the first day.
It was hard to watch. That, combined with the lack of star power at the final table, made it tough for ESPN to make must-watch television out of the event.
On the bright side we’ve been hearing that organizers are finally contemplating the use of an anti-tanking device like a shot clock so the 2016 Main Event final table may look drastically different.
13. Andreas Gann Pulls “Disgraceful” Slowroll
It’s not often a poker player pulls off a play so nasty that the TV commentators call it “disgraceful” on air.
That’s what Andreas Gann managed to do at the final table of the 2015 Irish Open against Irish poker legend Donnacha O’Dea.
Gann had the fortune of flopping the nut flush with K♦ Q♦ against O’Dea’s A-6 for two-pair. O’Dea ended up shoving and Gann — for some unknown reason — didn’t immediately call.
Instead Gann Hollywood'ed for a full minute before calling… to the disgust of everyone at the final table. It’s still not clear if Gann was just inexperienced or intentionally disrespectful.
A miracle six rolled off on the river to give O’Dea a full house and bust Gann in eighth. Perplexingly, even Gann clapped when he was eliminated.
12. Nosebleeds Stakes Disappear from Full Tilt Poker
It used to be that if you wanted to play extremely high-stakes online poker you went directly to Full Tilt Poker.
The “nosebleed” stakes, as they became known, played host to some of the biggest sessions ever recorded including Tom Dwan’s incredible emergence, Phil Ivey’s absolute dominance or even Isildur1’s legendary $6m winning streak in 2009.
In 2015 those tables saw their last bit of action before being put out to pasture. After years of declining action and Full Tilt’s new recreational player-focused business model the company made the decision to eradicate them altogether this year.
11. Ivey Waits Until $111k High Roller to Play WSOP Claiming “Duty Calls”
Poker is better with Phil Ivey. Love him or hate him, Ivey demands attention whenever he plays.
That’s why a good portion of the 2015 WSOP felt a little lacking as Ivey decided to skip the majority of the series claiming that “duty calls.”
We’re still not clear what exactly that duty was but we’ve heard rumors of high-stakes games in Macau that Ivey simply wouldn’t leave. We may never know exactly where Ivey was but we do know that Ivey didn’t play a WSOP event until the $111,111 One Drop High Roller.
The WSOP is vastly improved when you have industry titans like Ivey and Daniel Negreanu competing for bracelets. Of course Phil Hellmuth won his record-setting 14th bracelet in 2015 but that just makes us sadder that Ivey wasn’t willing to turn it into more of a race.
Can a billionaire give the man some bracelet bets already? We need a motivated Ivey!