Latest on the World of Poker

The dust has settled from the WSOP, and while many poker players are continuing to make dust by heading to Burning Man, there are still some poker stories coming out that we felt you needed to hear about. Here is a brief recap of a few of the more notable stories from the week.

Bad Bead on a Bad Beat?

When we are playing cash games, we often look around to find out if there is a Bad Beat Jackpot. Depending on the game and the casino where you are playing, these jackpots can get pretty huge -for example, the Playground Poker Club in Montreal recently have one hit after reaching the Million dollar figure!

As you all know, Bad Beat Jackpots are triggered by a minimum hand being beaten, usually quads. This is a pretty rare occurrence, so you can only imagine the bedlam when a jackpot was hit in Arizona this week…and someone didn’t get the jackpot.

At a cash game at the Casino Del Sol in Tuscon, Arizona, a player who was certainly planning to scoop up a decent sized pot with his quad nines never expected to finish third in the hand! 37-year-old R.J. Bergman got into this hand with pocket 9s at a $1-$2 games and got to see a flop with a couple of callers. The flop came 10c9d9c, giving Bergman flopped quads. Sure that he was going to be ahead for a while in this hand, Bergman slow-played his quads, allowing two other players to see the turn, which was the Jd.

Even better news for Bergman was that here was abet and a raise in front of him, so he decided to smooth call the $50 presented to him. The river brought the 10d, another action card, and Bergman was certain that his quads were going to hold up and that perhaps he would be toppling a couple of flushed or a full house. What happened after the round of betting could never have been imagined.

The first player turned over 1010 for quad tens. Bergman couldn’t have been happier to have lost, regaling in the fact he was about to trigger the $18,000 Bad Beat Jackpot when he rolled over his two 9s. However, the third player turned over KdQd for a rivered straight flush…triggering a higher bad beat! From flopping quads to third in the hand, Bergman was reduced to taking a table share of the jackpot rather than its highest percentage.

We will allow this bad beat story to be told for some time…

Suing for a damaged poker career?

Gambling can be a dangerous game, and casinos can be ruthless if they think you are taking advantage of the system. They have full authority to remove you from properties if they feel that you are breaking the rules, and there isn’t much that you can do about it…except maybe sue them.

This week, a lawsuit was filed by Maryland poker pro Joseph Stiers against Caesars, claiming his poker career had been ruined when the Rio hotel disqualified him during the Main Event of the World Series of Poker. Stiers claims that he was removed unfairly and that his chip stack, which was among the leaders at the time, was removed immediately, not only causing him not to be able to appeal his disqualification but also not blinding out into what would have likely ended up in the money.

The story is a little more complicated, however. The poker pro is also an avid blackjack fan, and apparently a bit of a card counter. Stiers was removed from a Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore ( a Caesars-owned property) in late 2014 for alleged card counting, and at that time was apparently given a ban from all other properties owned by the gaming giant. This didn’t stop Stiers from entering and cashing in other poker tournaments hosted by Caesars, cashing in one event under a fake name, and playing in another using a different hometown on his entry. By the time the casino caught up with him on day 3 of the WSOP main event, his 630k in chips would have made him a top-20 stack for sure.

Now, how to connect the dots between that and having his poker career ruined may be a bit of a stretch, but this is America, where you can sue anyone for anything. Here’s hoping this doesn’t start a bad precedent of clogging the legal system with ridiculous claims.

WPT Barcelona is on!

Finally, one of the most anticipated stops on the World Poker Tour calendar has started this week, with the poker elite heading to beautiful Barcelona. You can follow along with the Spanish adventure with many of the poker pros via their Instagram stories, like Daniel Negreanu who is really starting to make an effort with vlogging these days. In early results, Liv Boeree found herself at the final table of the 10,000 EUR High Roller event, shooting for the top prize of just over 300,000 Euro. We’ll update you on how the events are unfolding next week in our recap.

As you can see, it was indeed a busy week in the poker world, and now that everyone has had a rest after the World Series, the tournament schedule will start to heat up in the fall. We will bring you regular updates on anything we think you need to know from the felt.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.