Bad Beat of the Decade: Aces Fall to Aces in the Big One for One Drop6 years ago
Playing in the Big One for One Drop tournament is a dream for many poker players. Not only that you get to play against the best in the world, but you have a shot at truly life-changing money. In 2012, Antonio Esfandiari walked away with $18 million, and this year, the top spot was worth over $15 million.
Of course, the problem is, not everyone can afford a cool million to play in this tournament. This is why the couple players that earned their seats through a $25K satellite can count themselves lucky. Connor Drinan was one of those lucky guys. Or at least so he thought.
For a while his tournament was going quite well, and it seemed realistic that he would turn his $25,000 investment into at least a min-cash of $1.3 million. And when he looked down and found pocket aces in the hole, he probably did not imagine it would be his last hand of the tournament.
He got involved in the hand against Cary Katz who was holding Pocket Aces as well, and while Norman Chad was jokingly commenting that Katz was ahead since he was holding the Ace of Spade, “prettiest card in the deck”. But everybody expected that this would be a pot with a lot of action ending up in a chop and some good laughs. But, alas.
All the chips found the way in the middle and as cards were getting ready to hit the flop, Scott Seiver kindly reminded the rest of the table that it is possible that one of the all in players would actually lose the hand – there was about 2% chance of that happening, and Drinan was player at risk.
Flop brought two hearts, and Katz was home free. Holding Ace of Hearts, he knew that he could now only win the pot or chop it. Drinan had to sweat it though, as he needed to dodge running hearts. He was still in the good mode – if I lose like this, whatever. His facial expressions changed, however, as third heart hit the board on the turn.
River was a cruel dagger to Conor’s heart, as it completed Katz’s flush, sending him out of the tournament with eighteen players left. Drinan was visibly upset with what transpired, and how could he not be?
Playing in the biggest tournament of his career, slowly closing in on the money, he found Pocket Rockets, got the money in, and was up against – another Pocket Rockets. That on its own is pretty unlucky, but it happens, not that big of a deal. And then, with every next card, he was closer to getting knocked out and ended up flushed out on the river. Just brutal!
Although it was a tough one to handle, Connor Drinan bounced back remarkably fast and was back playing other events really soon. Perhaps he was able to really manage his expectations and it’s a good thing, as some people would surely be devastated.
In the end, Daniel Colman and Daniel Negreanu went one and two in the tournament and got to enjoy their good fortune, while Drinan could only shrug it off or go insane. It is not easy to go out on a hand like this, but it is a part of poker, and the fact it happened in this big of a tournament should not matter too much. Drinan was aware of it and that’s exactly why he was able to pull through and move on to the next one.
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