Poker can be a very brutal game and many players have surely experienced a situation where the world collapses on you at the turn of a card. While most players handle these situations in stride, sometimes emotions boil over in unpredictable ways. Let’s take a look at the top 10 funniest reactions to bad beats (warning: some of these beats are rated “R, for mature audiences only” due to their brutal, soul crushing nature).
10. Hellmuth Hits The Deck
Before you even begin to read this list, you must have thought to yourself that Phil Hellmuth was going to be on it. You are absolutely right! The Poker Brat probably has more crazy reactions to bad beats recorded than any other player and in fact, two of them made it to this list.
This first one features a beat dealt to Hellmuth at the hands of Chris Ferguson in the National Heads-Up Poker Championship of 2005. As soon as the river was dealt, Phil instantly became a soccer player who got slightly bumped on the shoulder.
9. JRB – The Master Of Bad Beats
Jean-Robert Bellande is truly the master of bad beats and perhaps the top candidate for the amount of vicious bad beats dealt to an individual over the years. Just in the last week alone, Bellande posted a stunning bad beat on his twitter feed, in which he flopped a flush against a set in a high-stakes cash game and ran the river three times. He lost all three runs.
Bellande then went on to bust 29th in the Big One for One Drop and, a little more than a week ago, he was arrested in front of the Bellagio for driving with expired license plates.
After all of this, he can probably look back at this 2008 WSOP hand and laugh about its insignificance. At the time, however, Bellande was just starting his career as the master receiver of bad beats. Before he even saw the flop, he was already squirming in his seat in anticipation of something bad.
8. Andrew Feldman Crying
Now retired, Andrew Feldman was well-known in the poker world for throwing tantrums, sometimes over things as minor as a bottle of water. In 2011, he managed to get to heads-up play against Andy Frankenberger in the Party Poker Premier League.
He obviously wanted to win it more than anything that day and eventually he got it in good. Acting as if his life depended on it, he sweated every second the board ran out and eventually got rivered by Andy. What followed was the most embarrassing 40 seconds in televised poker history.
7. Mike Matusow Meltdown
Mike Matusow has had his fair share of luck in the WSOP and he has four bracelets to prove it. In fact, he also made two Main Event final tables, finishing 6th in 2001 and 9th in 2005.
Surprisingly enough, none of those final table eliminations sparked as much of an emotional outburst as his 2004 elimination from the Main Event. With 87 players to go, Mike got it in good with AK vs AQ and only had the river to fade. However, when the three outer hit, he was certainly not ready to accept it.
6. Phil Hellmuth Hits the Deck Part 2
For all of Hellmuth’s reactions to beat beats over the years, the “fetal position” is one that is rarely seen from the Brat. In fact, it would be another 5 years after the 2005 bad beat dealt to him by Chris Ferguson before Phil would experience a similar reaction.
In the 2010 WPT Bay 101 tournament, Phil reached the final table and was the first one to get it in against Andy Seth with QQ vs AJ. All was well, until Andy hit an ace on the river, sending Phil packing in 6th place. For a moment, it looked like Phil would take the elimination in stride and walk away… that is, until he collapsed near the rail in a fashion similar to what he did after 2005’s bad beat.
5. Paul Snead Shocked by Two Outer
With 20 players left in the 2008 WSOP Main Event, perhaps one of the most bizarre hands in Main Event history unfolded. This hand has everything, an ill-advised four-bet bluff with air, a completely uncalled for clock call by Tiffany Michelle, a good call for a huge pot, a two-outer on the river and the face of Paul Snead that says it all.
4. Marc Podell Rollercoaster
Another person tortured by Tiffany Michelle at the 2008 WSOP Main Event was Marc Podell. Podell got it in good with TT against Tiffany’s A2 for almost a million-chip pot. Why Tiffany called his all-in pre-flop with A2 is anyone’s guess. What happened next was an emotional roller-coaster ride for Poddel that had a sick twist on every part of the board until the final blow swept him off his feet.
3. Matt Affleck Stare of Horror
In 2010, we saw Matt Affleck making a second consecutive deep run in the Main Event. With 15 players left, Affleck was going strong with one of the biggest chip stacks and it seemed that he was poised to make the final table. That is, until he clashed with the only person at the table who had a bigger stack, Jonathan Duhamel.
Affleck played the hand very well, getting it in on the turn with pocket aces and Duhamel making a bad call with pocket jacks and an open-ended straight draw. With the 42 million-chip pot at stake, Affleck was a 4-to-1 favorite to come out on top in a once in a lifetime situation. What happened next? We got to see the face of a poker player who loses in such a situation.
2. Carter Gill Poker Face
The 2013 WSOP Main Event gave us what might perhaps be the most “shocking” bad beat reaction to go viral. With 371 players remaining, Carter Gill clashed with David Paredes for a million-chip pot on one of the outer tables. Carter was talking away all the while David was trying to figure out what to do. Eventually, David made the call and was behind with only three outs to save him. In the blink of an eye, the three-outer hit and Carter Gill became an instant “Bad Beat” Poker Face celebrity.
1. Mittelman Gone in a Blink of an Eye
Every year, the WSOP seems to produce a memorable bad beat and while this year is not over just yet, there is already a bad beat reaction that will surely be memorable to viewers.
With five players left on the final table of WSOP Event #11, Niel Mittelman and Mike Sowers got it in on the turn of what would be one of the worst beats possible. Being on the receiving side of this brutal bad beat, Mittelman reacted accordingly and went through the roof.