Weekly Poker Update: August 17, 2020

August 17, 2020 On a Black Poker Chip With a Venetian Casino Background

We Got the Beat

Every poker player, whether playing in the casino or on a poker gambling site, has their own bad beat story. And most players actually have several. Usually, it’s one of misery and woe about how the cards went against them at the worst possible time. And the story often looks like a hand that couldn’t possibly lose and yet, well, they lost anyway.

For some lucky folks at The Venetian in Las Vegas, a bad beat turned out to be very lucrative. As is the case with many casinos, The Venetian offers a cash prize for bad beats that are particularly heinous. And, in this example, everybody at the table benefitted.

It all went down on Tuesday when a player named Adam Lister settled in one of the Venetian’s poker rooms. He seemed to be sitting pretty with the four of hearts and five of hearts as his hole cards. Those suited connectors looked even better when the five cards on the board included the six of hearts, seven of hearts, and eight of hearts. In other words, Lister had a straight flush, the second-best hand in all of Hold’em poker.

Yet one of the other players was dealt the nine and 10 of hearts. This gave that player a straight flush with higher cards than what Lister had, winning him the hand. Incredibly, Lister was a loser with one of the best hands in the game.

The Venetian Las Vegas Poker Room

Luckily, the Venetian’s jackpot for bad beats kicks in whenever a player is beaten despite holding a hand that is better than four of a kind with nines. Lister’s hand qualified. In other words, the big loser became the big winner.

To be exact, Lister took home $166,000, which is half of the progressive jackpot that was available at The Venetian for bad beats. The player who won the hand also took home a nice bonus of $83,000. And, just for being innocent bystanders, six other players at the table shared in the remaining $83,000 included in the bonus.

Most bad beat stories, obviously, don’t end so well. But in this case, Lister’s experience shows you that anything can happen when you sit down at the poker table.

Face-Up Cards Bring Smiles in England

In Great Britain, casinos have recently reopened with the expected safety measures in place. Only seated games are allowed, which means no craps for the time being. Partitions separating the players and thermal imaging centers at entrances are also all part of the process.

One additional safety measure can actually give players a tiny edge in a few games. For those who play Three-Card Poker, you know that it’s commonplace for the cards to be dealt face-down. You then check to see what you have to decide what kinds of bets you’re going to make from that point, depending on if you think you can beat the dealer.

To prevent players from touching their cards excessively, the British casinos will be dealing the player’s cards face-up instead of face-down. This goes for all players at the table. As a result, you won’t need to touch the cards to see what you have.

The dealer’s cards still remain face-down, as you might expect, but it does create a slight advantage for players. This is especially the case if you’re at a table with several other gamblers. Any cards that you see other players having in their hands eliminates them from possibility as being in the dealer’s hand.

You can start to get a better idea of what the dealer might have waiting for you. It could conceivably affect how you play the hand.

Admittedly, the face-up situation gives you more of an advantage in blackjack, which is also contained in this British casino edict. That’s because many blackjack players count cards. Face cards and aces are crucial in blackjack, so if you see a lot of them at the table, it’s bad for the dealer and vice versa.

The same doesn’t quite apply to Three-Card Poker. If you see a lot of face cards at the table, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything about the dealer’s hand. For example, they could be sitting with a pair of low cards, which the player might not be able to beat.

In any case, it’s an interesting byproduct of this new era. Most regulations that have been put in place in casinos are generally inconvenient to players. Here is one that actually helps them out, if only the tiniest bit.

Celebs Got Game

When the poker boom took off at the start of the new millennium, it was fueled—in part—by the fact that celebrities seemed to be just as entranced with the game as everybody else. Now, we might actually have some evidence about who stands above and beyond in terms of celebrity poker players.

In an article published on cardplayer.com, Houston Curtis lists his top five celebrity poker players. It sheds a light on which celebs can actually hang with the best of the best when the chips are down, so to speak.

First of all, Curtis eliminates two players from contention: Tobey Maguire (Spiderman, himself), because of his extensive poker experience which Curtis feels sets him apart, and Jennifer Tilly, because Curtis feels she’s become more poker pro than actress at this point.

Rick Salomon Playing a Poker Game

You can check out the top five in this link. But for those who are wondering, Ben Affleck and James Woods are the two biggest names on the list, coming in at #3 and #5 respectively. Hey, Woods was in Casino, after all, so it makes sense, right?

As for #1, it’s Rick Salomon. The only issue with this is that if you look up Rick Salomon on the internet, he is listed as an “American poker player,” first and foremost. His connection to the celebrity world comes from some of his high-profile romances.

In any case, it is fun to know who’s on top of the pecking order in the world of celebrity poker. And Curtis has promised to also release a list of the worst players in Hollywood. Let’s face it, for the schadenfreude factor alone, that should be a lot of fun.