The 20 Worst Moments in Poker in 2015: #20-16

Phil Hellmuth Day 2
Would be even better in sketch form.

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 2016 starting tomorrow.

20. Caesars Bankruptcy Woes Continue

caesars palace

Caesars Entertainment’s ongoing bankruptcy proceedings are complicated. Right now the operating part of the company is in bankruptcy along with Caesars Palace and a variety of other properties around the US.

There’s also a chance the entire company will go into bankruptcy. Without bogging down in the details, here’s one thing we do know: It sucks that the WSOP owner has been in the media for all the wrong reasons over the last few years.

Let’s hope that 2016 will see Caesars Entertainment finally turn it around. Recently the company said that it hopes to emerge from bankruptcy by July 15, 2016.

At the very least it would be nice to have some consistency from the brand.

19. Get a Sketch of Phil Hellmuth for $1,500


What would you pay for a Phil Hellmuth sketch?

One dollar? A Rio $10 meal voucher? Nothing? How does $1,500 sound?

That’s what poker blogger Damon Shulenberger put this bad boy up for on eBay. It features Phil Hellmuth going for bracelet #14 against WSOP beast Mike Gorodinsky.

Somehow it never sold.

18. Kelly Minkin Busts 29th After Big Main Event Run

Kelly Minkin 2015 WSOP Main Event Day 6 4

At some point a female poker player is going to make the WSOP Main Event final table. We’re just not sure when.

After coming tantalizingly close to having TWO at the 2012 WSOP Main Event it’s been more unrequited runs for female players at the Main Event.

In 2014 we had Maria Ho snagging last woman standing honors for the second time. The year before that in 2013 we had Australian poker ambassador Jackie Glazier finishing 15th.

In 2015 we had the awesome Kelly Minkin repping female players with pride. The Phoenix-based attorney spent a great deal of time near the top of the chips stacks as the Main Event entered the endgame and got her fair share of TV time.

Minkin would have been a fantastic player to make the final table and would have undoubtedly grabbed some big sponsorship bucks.

Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. She finished 29th, and we have to wait at least another year for a little female representation at the final table.

17. Bryan Micon Indicted for SealsWithClubs

Bryan Micon 2

Bryan Micon will always be a polarizing figure in the poker world but what happened to him in 2015 wasn’t really good for anyone.

In February Micon’s Bitcoin-based SealsWithClubs site was shut down by the US government and his home was raided at gun-point.

Fortunately all the players on SealsWithClubs got their money back and Micon stayed in Antigua after a vacation to relaunch

The .EU site continues to operate but Micon and his family returned to the USA so that he could plead guilty to operating an illegal online poker site.

Micon managed to avoid jail time but did incur a $25,000 fine and surrendered cash and items that were seized by the police in the initial raid.

Regardless of how you feel about Micon, or Bitcoin in general, SealsWithClubs Poker did provide a global platform to play poker without any interference from banks, which is definitely something.

16. Vanessa Rousso Doesn't Close Out Big Brother

Vanessa Rousso Big Brother

Vanessa Rousso should have won Big Brother. The former PokerStars pro was a dominant force on Season 17 of the long-running CBS reality show and appeared to have victory locked up with four players left.

Unfortunately it didn’t work out and she ended up finishing in third place, despite the fact many viewers thought her strategy was the superior one throughout the entire run of the show.

Rousso is just the latest in a long-line of poker players on reality TV shows that have come up painfully short of winning it all. Among the notables are Jean-Robert Bellande, Jim Rice and Garret Adelstein in Survivor. Of course Tiffany Michelle and Maria Ho in Amazing Race and if you go way back Annie Duke in Celebrity Apprentice.

Of course former poker pro Alex Jacob did have a particularly impressive run on a certain long-running game show, which helps make up for it. Keep your eyes on our top 20 Best Moments for more information.

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