It’s a dream for many cash game poker players, scoring that losing hand to win a massive bad beat jackpot. That was the scenario that played out for one lucky player from West Virginia on Thursday afternoon at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh.
After months of accruing, the bead beat jackpot reached more than $1.2 million. At around 4:15 pm, Benjamin Flanagan saw his four Aces beaten by a royal flush.
The player from Huttonsville, West Virginia, scored $490,708, the largest share of the jackpot, for his “losing hand.”
What is a bad beat jackpot?
For those now in the know, a bad beat jackpot is a promotion run by many poker rooms. In cash games, the house removes a small amount from each pot and that’s added to the jackpot.
The payout comes when a certain premium poker hand is beaten by an even better premium hand. Casinos usually have stipulations on which hands qualify. At Rivers, the minimum qualifying hand is four of a kind with 10s or higher.
The jackpot usually sees the largest percentage of the pool going to the player with the losing hand. Another nice chunk goes to the player with the winning hand.
A smaller percentage is then distributed among the other players at the table at the time, whether in the hand or not. At Rivers, the losing hand earns 40% of the total amount. The highest-ranking hand wins 30% and the remaining players split the rest equally.
No doubt the rising pool attracted more cash game players in recent weeks, all hoping to find a huge losing hand.
— Rivers Casino Pittsburgh (@WinBigRivers) August 25, 2022
Massive payday for Rivers players
The payout at the Rivers is particularly huge and came in a game of $1/$3 No Limit Hold’em. Raymond Brodersen of Wexford, Pennsylvania, scored the second-highest payout for $368,029 with his winning royal flush.
The remaining six players at the table didn’t go home empty handed and each scored $61,338. Three of those hailed from Pennsylvania as well and one from West Virginia.
The Rivers record-breaking bad beat jackpot progressively increased since it was last hit on April 14, 2021. That pool paid out $149,417, paltry compared to Thursday’s life-changing payout.
“It’s absolutely thrilling and potentially life-changing for a poker game to payout at this level,” Rivers Pittsburgh assistant general manager Andre Barnabei said in a news release. “When we launch a bad beat jackpot, we have no idea when it will hit or how big it will get. It’s almost as exciting for us, as it is for the winners. Congrats also to our Rivers Pittsburgh poker room team members for a great job.”
Following the payout, another bad beat jackpot got underway and continues to grow daily. Rivers Pittsburgh’s previous bad beat jackpot record was more than $480,000 in 2017.
A look at the hand
The massive hand at Rivers certainly involved two premium hands. Flanagan held A♥A♣ while Brodersen held K♠10♠. The flop brought J♠9♦A♠, giving Flanagan three Aces and Broderson a royal flush draw.
The Q♠ on the turn produced the royal flush. But the A♦ on the river brought Flanagan four Aces and produced the massive payday.
WizardofOdds.com estimates the probability of four Aces beating a royal flush in a Hold’em game at about 1 in 165 million.