The strategic depth of poker often leads to almost unbelievable moments. The luck factor, so capricious, has made some professional poker competitions experience moments to get your hands on your head.
Although your top 5 of the most spectacular plays may include others, our ranking includes some of the most spectacular ones starring professional players that sometimes go unnoticed because they include some names that are not in the first line of professional poker.
5.- Tony G vs Vanessa Rousso
The opening hands started strong. Vanessa Rousso, with A♥ A♣, has a 79% chance of winning; Tony G, with 6♣ 5ª, 21%. Vanessa calls $800. Tony G raises to $1,200.
The flop leaves 6ª Jª 5♣, leaving Tony G with a double pair of six fives and Rousso with a 27% chance of taking the hand. Rousso raises to 5,000, and Tony raises to 20,000. The turn leaves Aª, which puts Rousso with a trio of aces and an 81% chance of winning the hand.
Tony check-raises to 10,000, and Vanessa calls. The river leaves 5♥, giving Rousso the win.
4.- Sara Chafak vs Ronnie Bardah
One of the most epic hands in recent memory. Sara Chafak has an opening hand of A♥ 2♦, and Ronnie Bardah’s 8♣ 4ª. The flop gives Qª 5ª 4♣, the turn 4♦ and the river 6♥. That left Ronnie Bardah with 100% chance of winning the hand, but Sara draws a tremendous bluff and goes all in after Ronnie checks.
What happens next will surprise you: Ronnie needs to go all in to call, which he doesn’t do. That leaves the pot of more than 1,300,000 dollars in the hands of Sara, who takes it thanks to a very good bluff.
3.- Vanessa Selbst vs Prahlad Friedman
Selbst starts the round with J♦ 7♦, while Friedman starts with A♥ A♦. Selbst raises to 1,300, Friedman to 4,000. The initial betting round ends with a pot of $340,200. Next, the community cards come out in rounds of three.
The first roll leaves a flop of K♥ 4♦ 5♣, a turn of 9♥ and a river of 10♥. Friedman wins $113,400.
The second roll of a flop of 8♣ K♦ 5♦, a turn of 5♥ and a river of 3♣. Friedman wins $226,800.
The third roll leaves a flop of 4♣ 6♥ K♣ and a turn of 2ª. With the turn card alone Friedman already has the hand and wins $340,200.
2.- Ernest Wiggins vs Phil Hellmuth
The game starts with Tony G and Doyle Brunson with starting hands of Jª 10♥ and 6♥ 5♥ respectively, but soon Wiggins joins with Kª K♣ and Hellmuth with A♥ 9♣. After the flop (9♥ 10ª 9ª), Hellmuth is left with a 69% chance of taking the hand.
On the first of four runs, the turn gives J♥ and the river A♦. Hellmuth wins $49,900. On the second run, the turn gives K♥ and the river 3♣.
On the third run, the turn gives 7ª and the river 8ª. The last run gives on the turn Q♣ and on the river K♦.
Despite the trend in the early rounds, Wiggins ends up taking $149,700 of the $199,600 in the pot.
1.- Benny Spindler vs. Alexandre Gomes
The situation is as follows:
Spindler makes K♣ J♣ on his opening hand, and Gomes makes A♣ A♥. The flop gives J♦ J♥ Jª, which gives Spindler a king jacks poker.
The turn gives 5ª. What comes next is incredible. Gomes goes all-in with almost six million, but Spindler doesn’t think twice and reacts to the second with an all-in to call. Within seconds, Gomes, in his bluffing attempt, has lost $5,985,000 in a futile attempt to put pressure on Spindler.
That J♣ in Spindler’s opening hand probably discouraged him from thinking that Gomes could make a jacks poker, when in fact he did. With any other card, that call might not have happened, or not so soon.
Which of these is the best poker play? Hard to say. In each reader’s personal ranking there may even be other plays above these. But there is no doubt that they are among the most amazing poker moves that recent poker history has left us.
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