Two Record-Breaking Bad Beat Jackpots Hit Montreal in April
Bad beats are a part of poker. Just because you hold one of the strongest hands in poker is no guarantee you'll win by the end of the hand. In poker, even the most unlikely things will happen, and that means, once in awhile, you may be left staring at the table wondering how your flopped quad aces ended up as the losing hand.
Enter the Bad Beat Jackpot (BBJ) as a way to smooth out those brutal moments when your opponent rolls over ace-king of spades to your eight-nine of spades on the ten-jack-queen spade flop. The bad beat action recently in Quebec has been more extreme than usual, as two record-setting jackpots were hit in the month of April.
The first happened at Casino de Montréal on April 19, and the total jackpot of $1,669,442 set a new record for brick-and-mortar casinos in North America. The hand in question was as brutal as the jackpot was large.
Guymet St-Lot was in the hand with pocket tens, and he flopped the world when the flop came . His opponent, Guillaume Leduc-Frenette, was in the hand with , looking at a gutshot to the straight flush. The turn was a shot in the gut to St-Lot, crushing his quads and handing the pot to Leduc-Frenette.
That was plenty to qualify for the BBJ and it was a big one at $1,669,442. As the person most directly affected by the horrendously unlikely hand, St-Lot won half the pot for $834,711. Since poker is an inherently cruel game, a quarter of the BBJ always goes to the winner of the hand. In this case, $417,356 went to Leduc-Frenette, while the rest of the record prize was divided among the other players at the table at the time. Seven other players each won $59,622 from the jackpot.
Then, just a few miles away, and just a few days later, it happened again. Across the Mercier Bridge, in the early morning hours of April 27, another incredible hand unfolded at Playground Poker Club in Kahnawake when their BBJ was at the highest they'd ever seen it. Kwane R opened the pot with a pair of queens, and got five callers, including Daniel F in the small blind.
Kwane flopped a set on the board, and after the blinds checked to him, he shoved for around $100. Action folded to Daniel in small blind, but he made the call with . When the hit the turn, giving Kwane quads, the only card that could save Daniel was the . That card dutifully came on the river, giving him the royal flush.
Kwane's consolation for losing the ~$300 pot was a share in the $1,375,000 BBJ, coming to $522,622. Daniel's one-outter netted him $261,311, plus the ~$300 pot, of course. All their table mates received $37,328, and every single poker player seated at a table in the poker room at the time pocketed $5,938 each.
Bad beats can be a devastating part of poker. In Quebec, at least for a few players in April, it translated into showers of extra money. It always hurts when your flopped quads lose the hand, but it hurt quite a bit less for these players in Quebec last month.