Published on July 30th, 2008 2:50 am EST

Every day, there are all sorts of unspeakable suckouts in poker tournaments, both online and "live". Everyone has a story of a horrible beat that they took late in a tournament. You may read some of these stories and think to yourself, I've taken much worse beats than that.

These were suckouts that were made worse by the fact that they took place at the final table of a major poker tournament, where there was millions of dollars on the line. This is by no means a comprehensive list - these are just some of the historic suckouts that stood out for me.

John D'Agostino vs Hoyt Corkins. Main event of the 2004 United States Poker Championship in Atlantic City. Final table. $691,096 to the first place winner. Six players left. Corkins and D'Agostino both have around 615k in chips, which is good for a second place stack. Corkins pushes all-in pre-flop from the small blind holding 8-7 offsuit. D'Agostino, in the big blind, looks down at pocket Tens and calls immediately.

The flop comes J 7 7, putting Corkins way ahead in the hand.

As if that wasn't enough, the 7 of diamonds comes on the turn, giving Corkins quads and leaving D'Agostino drawing dead. D'Agostino was left with just a single 1,000 chip, and was eliminated on the next hand. If D'Agostino's tens hold, he is the chip leader with just five players left. Instead, he was eliminated in sixth place for $63k.

J.C. Tran vs Alan Goehring. 2006 L.A. Poker Classic WPT Main Event. $2.391 million dollars to the first place winner. Final table.

Tran raises pre-flop holding pocket Aces. Goehring pushes all-in from the small blind holding pocket fives. Tran snap-calls. Goehring has Tran covered - Tran had a respectable stack at the time.

The flop comes 8 7 2, all spades. Tran is holding the Ace of Spades, so Goehring will need something runner-runner, or he'll need to hit a one-outer (the remaining five that wasn't a spade).

The turn paired the board, bringing another deuce. Now Goehring had another out, as the five of spades would give him a full house instead of giving Tran the flush.

Can you see where this is going?

The river was a five, giving Goehring the full house and sending Tran to the rail. Goehring ended up winning the tournament for $2.391 million dollars, and Tran finished in fifth place.

Doyle Brunson vs Jesse Alto. Heads-up at the 1976 World Series of Poker Main Event. This isn't the worst beat in the world, but considering the circumstances (heads-up at the WSOP main event), it's pretty bad.

Alto raises pre-flop holding A-J offsuit, and Doyle calls holding the 10-2 of spades.

The flop comes A-J-10, giving Alto top two pair, and Doyle the bottom pair.

Alto bets out, and Brunson pushes all-in, hoping to push Alto out of the hand. Alto isn't going anywhere with his top two pair, and quickly calls. It should be noted that Brunson was the chipleader at this time, but Alto still had a workable stack.

A two on the turn gave both players two pair, but Alto is still far out front in the hand.

The river? Another 10, giving Doyle the victory and the World Series of Poker Main Event bracelet.

Chris Moneymaker vs Phil Ivey. If Moneymaker doesn't win this hand, then where would poker be today?

Moneymaker is dealt A/Q offsuit, and raises pre-flop. Ivey is dealt pocket nines, and calls.

The flop comes Q-6-Q, putting Moneymaker well out in front. Moneymaker bets 70,000, and Ivey calls.

The turn is the nine of clubs, giving Ivey the full house. Moneymaker bets 200,000 this time, Ivey pushes all-in, and Moneymaker quickly calls.

Ivey is an 83% favorite at this point. Moneymaker needs a 6, Queen or an Ace to win the pot.

The river? An ace. Moneymaker wins the one million chip pot, and Ivey is eliminated in 10th place. If Ivey wins the hand, then he has a very respectable stack and has a great shot of winning the tournament. Instead, Moneymaker wins the hand, eliminating the best player left in the tournament, and poker is changed forever. Not a bad beat, as Moneymaker was ahead for most of the hand. But definitely a historical suckout on the river for Moneymaker.

Hal Fowler vs Bobby Hoff. Heads-up at the 1979 World Series of Poker Main Event. Fowler was an amateur that had somehow held his own at a final table full of phenomenal poker talent, including the likes of Bobby Baldwin and Johnny Moss. Fowler had been severely short-stacked, but had managed to scratch and claw his way to a chip lead.

In heads-up action, Bobby Hoff raised pre-flop holding pocket Aces. Fowler called in the big blind holding 7-6 offsuit, hoping to get lucky and hit the flop.

The flop came J-5-3 rainbow. Hoff made a big bet on the flop, committing nearly half of his remaining stack. Fowler called, holding nothing but a gutshot straight draw.

The turn? A 4, and the rest of the chips soon went into the middle of the table. Hoff was horrified to see that Fowler had turned the nut straight and that he was drawing dead. The river was meaningless, and Fowler took down the first place prize of $270,000.


Filed Under: Tournament Results

Related Articles