Think Pocket Aces Always Win? Think Again ...

Connor Drinan

We've all been there. You peek at your pocket cards, and then you try and keep your face straight as you see you have pocket aces. It's no wonder they're called pocket rockets or pocket bullets, as of course a pair of aces is the best pocket cards you can possibly have when you're playing Texas Hold'em. You've a 220 to one chance of being dealt pocket aces, and you're immediately in a strong position.

Because pocket aces always win, don't they? Well, perhaps not ...

At the recent WSOP, poker pro Connor Drinan was playing in the Big One for One Drop event, which had a $1 million entry fee. To his delight, in one hand, he was dealt A and A♣. After the pre-flop betting only Drinan and Cary Katz remained in the hand, and both went all-in. To Drinan's dismay, and the amazement of those watching, Katz flipped over A A♠. Two pocket aces in the same hand!

Not such a bad deal, as the worst that could happen was a split pot.

Actually, that wasn't the worse that could happen. What did happen was possibly the worse and most expensive bad beat in the history of professional poker.

The flop came out 2 K 5. Not so bad, although the two hearts gave Katz an outside chance of completing an ace-high flush and costing Drinan $1 million.

The turn was dealt ... 4. A third heart! Tensions mounted at the table. The chances of Katz completing his flush were still pretty slim (nine outs remaining from forty-four cards, about a one in five chance), but Drinan couldn't really bear to watch.

Then came the river ... 2!

Aces versus Aces

Katz had completed his flush, and Drinan's pocket aces were now worthless. Katz looked slightly embarrassed at his good fortune, while Drinan could only sit there, staring at the cards. He'd just lost $1 million, despite having been dealt pocket aces.

Katz went on to finish eighth in the tournament, whilst Drinan went home to curse his bad luck and lick his wounds.

Here you can share in Drinan's agony:

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