The 4 Craziest Hands Played in High Stakes Poker Games
Poker is always an entertaining game, but it gets unbelievably more entertaining when it's two players playing off head to head, toe to toe, for a gargantuan pot.
These epic duels of will are powered by both a silent air of confidence in what cards the dealer has dealt them – and also sometimes a huge lack of awareness with a very effective poker face!
Whilst various online poker operators offer up tournaments, the action on the felt is never as good as when the big boys play in multi-million dollar pot tournaments.
It's these tournaments that often have the wildest plays by the players – plays where even a stellar hand such as four of a kind isn't enough to win.
Below, we reveal 4 of the most intense and crazy hands to have ever been played at a poker tournament. These hands have left some of the best poker players on the planet totally speechless!
4. Phil Ivey vs. Patrik Antonius
Arguably one of the biggest names in poker, Phil Ivey, unfortunately, saw victory snatched from him by a certain Patrik Antonius. And this victory was snatched in an incredible fashion!
The round begins with Ivey getting dealt a pair of 9's in the pocket, setting him up nicely. Antonius doesn't have as much luck, managing to bag a 4 and an Ace.
The flop only adds more grief for Antonius, as Ivey works his way up to a set of 9s, whilst a Queen and an Ace also get added to the mix.
Things kick off with both of the players placing $5,000 bets. The turn card is revealed, and it's an Ace – which gives Antonius Three of a kind and Ivey a full house. This is where things start to spice up.
Ivey kicked things up a notch with a whopping bet of $15,000, and Antonius called him. With all the power in Ivey's court, there were only a few cards that could save Patrik.
At an astonishingly low 16% chance of being pulled, luck was on Antonius' side, and the 4 appeared in the river. Both of the players now had a full house – but Antonius had three aces which outranked Ivey's hand.
Ivey bets big with $40,000, and Anontonius actually raises him all the way up to just over $121,000. Ivey took a while to decide his next action – it all rested on his next choice.
And the wrong choice it was – Ivey thought that Antonius was bluffing and called him.
The sheer look of astonishment on Ivey's face when the hands are revealed is still talked about today!
3. Igor Kurganov vs. Sam Trickett
Luck was definitely on Tricketts' side as he managed to turn what's seen as a completely average hand into a pretty much perfect one.
Trickett was dealt a 6♠5♠ and decided to start with a raise. Igor Kurganov himself had two Spades – J♠7♠ – and made a call
Both players were looking to get a flush, but Kurganov had the odds more in his favor of winning the hand thanks to his higher-value cards.
The flop produces two more spades, as it came with 3♠2♠. These flop cards gave Kurganov a great chance of winning, around 68%. Knowing this, he decides to check, but Trickett decides to continue the aggression.
With a good Draw, Igor decided to call the bet.
The turn throws up the card that will save Trickett and turn the game on its head – the 4♠. This card gave Trickett a Straight Flush, which meant he couldn't lose the game.
The Straight Flush is one of the rarest hands seen in poker, let alone a high-stakes poker game, so you can understand why Kurganov didn't see it coming.
Kurganov wasn't doing too bad himself, though, as he had a Jack-high flush. This is a very strong hand, and it had the Russian convinced he had the hand that was going to win the game.
Kurganov tries to lure Trickett in with his strong hand, checking to him. But Trickett stays stalwart and doubles the bet to $160,000.
Kurganov takes his time to think things through, deciding to go all in. Trickett calls and wins the hand in spectacular fashion.
2. Phil Ivey vs. Tom Dwan
At the time, the pot for this game absolutely blew the then-record for the largest pot in a televised poker game.
The game is also remembered for the incredible cards that were played by both players – one of which was Poker legend Phil Ivey.
Dawn is dealt 7♥6♥ right out of the gate and Ivey gets the A♠2♦. A cracking start for both players.
The game proceeds unexpectedly, with both Ivey and Dwan ending up only needing one card for the straight – a 4.
The pot eventually gets raised to over a million dollars, with the tension unbearable for the viewers. Dawn eventually wins, and Ivey is in total shock when Dwan shows his straight, which has a higher value.
1. Andrew Robl vs. Toby Lewis
Argued to be one of the most extraordinary hands ever played in a poker game, When Robl and Lewis faced off at the table in the PartyPoker World Open, it was an unforgettable round.
Both players started off strong, both being dealt a pair in the pocket – Robl had 9s, and Lewis had Queens.
The flop caused each player to still feel they had the strongest hand, although Robl had the slightly weaker hand as it turned. Robl had a full House, and Lewis had four of a kind.
Robl still felt he had the stronger hand, and this feeling was boosted when a fourth 9 hit the table, creating his own four-of-a-kind.
The pot worked its way up to $383,000, and Robl was confident throughout. Watching the game back, you feel like Robl should have had at least some alarm bells ringing when Lewis met this confidence with faith in his own hand.
The rub comes when Robl looks at Lewis nonchalantly as he figures he's knocked him out. Little did he know just how strong Lewis' hand was!