As another poker year comes to a close, nobody wants to listen to any more bad beat stories.
Still, there's always an inclination to reflect on the best and worst moments of years past and reminisce about just how far your poker journey has taken you.
Just before the Christmas break PokerListings had a chance to sit down with 888poker pros Chris Moorman, Dominik Nitsche, Kara Scott and Natalie Hof at EPT Prague.
All four players have travelled the world via poker, played in some of the highest buy-in events possible and etched indelible memories on their lives at the felt and off.
They're all now proud ambassadors of the game for 888poker, which has been named best online poker operator several times and hosts poker events like the brand new 888poker Festival, the 888Live! crossover events and the 888 Live Local low buy-in tournaments.
We asked the 888 reps not only their worst beats, the toughest opponents they've faced and the one thing in their poker careers they'll treasure more than anything. Here's what they had to say.
Who's the toughest opponent you've ever faced at the poker table?
I can’t name a specific opponent but high-stakes cash game players are really tough to play against.
This is because I'm not as familiar with their strategies in certain spots, whereas I have a much better grasp on even the best tournament players' ranges in different situations.
Holz-esque heater incoming.
I'll give a shout out here to Fedor Holz, Steffen Sontheimer and Rainer Kempe. They all play incredibly well and think about poker in the same way as me.
I find it hard to spot any leaks in their game and they are constantly improving. Now that Fedor has “retired” I'd expect one of us to go on an absurd heater next.
I want to say something deep here like, "The toughest opponent you ever face at the poker table is yourself," but that's not true.
The toughest opponent is probably Phil Ivey. Or Vanessa Selbst. I'm pretty sure I've sat across from both of them at different times and pure intimidation has just wiped my memory of it.
I think my toughest opponent was Antonio Esfandiari. I played with him EPT San Remo a few years ago and on Shark Cage.
What’s the most memorable moment in your poker career?
Nothing like a win and a rail filled with friends.
I would have to say finally getting my live win at the WPT LAPC in 2014. It felt like forever that I had been waiting to get a live title and to finally get it was an amazing feeling.
Winning my first bracelet. Nothing comes even close. I had all my friends there with me and it was an incredible experience. Winning tournaments is just a lot of fun and a bracelet is special for sure.
As a player, that would be when the bubble broke the first time I'd ever played in the WSOP Main Event and I was in the money. That was incredible. The whole room burst into applause and celebrated.
I think my most memorable poker moment was me winning the EPT Ladies event in Vienna. I had the best rail and a lovely time after I won the trophy.
What was your worst moment at the poker table?
It wasn’t a bad beat as such but it felt like a bad beat. It was at the 2008 WSOPE in my home city of London and I had been playing for 4 days and had a great stack approaching what was a huge money bubble for me at the time.
I was in prime position to go deep but ended up running kings into aces in an unavoidable spot against the most aggressive player at the table with the big blind sitting out.
AA < AK? Really?
I can think of a few but most painful in terms of money must have been a series of three bad beats and coolers to go from 1/10 in the PCA $25k to go out in 10th.
With more than a million dollars up top I will admit that one hurt a lot.
The second year I played the Main Event I was pretty close to beating my own deep finish from the previous year when I got it all in pre-flop with AA versus AK for a huge pot and lost. So disappointing.
It’s not that special but it really sucked when I busted the WSOP main event this year at the end of Day 2 with JJ< TT all-in pre-flop.