Poker is a game of skill, strategy, and luck. Over the years, televised poker has become increasingly popular, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch some of the biggest names in the game battle it out on the felt. While there have been countless memorable moments in televised poker history, here are some of the most unforgettable hands that have left a lasting impression on the poker world.
The Miracle Hand
One of the most iconic poker hands of all time happened during the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event between Chris Moneymaker and Sammy Farha. Moneymaker, an amateur player, was all-in with just a 5 and 4 of hearts against Farha’s pair of nines. The flop came 9, 2, 6, giving Farha trip nines and leaving Moneymaker with just two outs. However, the turn and river brought a miracle 5 and 4, giving Moneymaker a full house and the pot. This hand not only secured Moneymaker’s victory in the tournament but also helped ignite the poker boom of the early 2000s.
In the 1988 World Series of Poker Main Event, Johnny Chan faced off against amateur player Eric Seidel. On the final hand, Seidel had an Ace-King, and Chan had a pair of nines. After some back-and-forth betting, Chan went all-in, and Seidel had to decide whether to call or fold. In a bold move, Seidel decided to fold, and Chan revealed that he had been bluffing all along. This hand has become famous not only for Chan’s masterful bluff but also for Seidel’s impressive read.
The Royal Flush
During the 2008 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event, Norwegian player Annette Obrestad made history by becoming the youngest player ever to win a WSOP bracelet. In one of the most memorable hands of the tournament, Obrestad was dealt a 7 and 5 of diamonds. The flop came 6, 8, 9, all of diamonds, giving Obrestad a straight flush draw. She bet aggressively, and her opponent, John Tabatabai, called. The turn was a 10 of diamonds, giving Obrestad a royal flush. She bet again, and Tabatabai folded, giving Obrestad the pot and securing her place in poker history.
The Unbelievable Fold
In a 2009 episode of High Stakes Poker, professional player Tom Dwan found himself in a tough spot against Barry Greenstein. Dwan had a pair of nines, and Greenstein had a pair of kings. After some aggressive betting from both players, the flop came 7, 5, 2. Dwan bet again, and Greenstein raised. Dwan then went all-in, and Greenstein had to decide whether to call or fold. In an unbelievable move, Greenstein folded his pocket kings, and Dwan showed that he had been bluffing the entire time. This hand has become legendary in the poker world, with many experts calling it one of the greatest folds of all time.
The Double Knockout
In a 2015 episode of the European Poker Tour, two players, Adrian Mateos and Pavel Plesuv, found themselves all-in on the flop. Mateos had a pair of jacks, and Plesuv had a pair of aces. The turn was a queen, giving Mateos a straight draw, and the river was a 10, giving him a straight. However, Plesuv also had a straight, and the pot would be split between them. That is, until a dealer realized that there was one more card left in the deck: the five of hearts. This card gave Mateos a flush and knocked out both players in one hand, making it one of the most memorable hands in EPT history.
These hands are just a few examples of the countless unforgettable moments that have taken place in televised poker. Whether it’s a miraculous comeback, a masterful bluff, or an unbelievable fold, these moments keep viewers on the edge of their seats and inspire countless players to try their luck at the poker table.