Poker player out $1 million on worst tournament beat ever

If someone gave you a 99 percent chance of winning anything, you'd take that bet, right? If you got dealt  pocket aces, you'd feel like you owned the table, right? And if you somehow lost, you'd conclude that life has no meaning and all is darkness, right? Strap in for this one, folks.

What we have here is the World Series of Poker's Big One for One Drop, a head-to-head showdown that features a $1 million buy-in. (For non-poker types, that means you have to pay $1 million just to play.) The winner gets almost $16 million, which is not a bad payday for playin' cards.

Connor Drinan and Cary Katz were playing their heads-up game when both got dealt pocket aces. This is the best possible hand with which to begin in Texas Hold 'Em poker, and naturally each guy thought he had the other by the diamonds. They raised and re-raised, and once the flop came, Katz realized he might have something here.

“Save your money, kid," Katz had warned Drinan before the flop. "You can’t win every pot.”

Drinan, naturally, wrote that off as poker table trash talk, and pressed on ... right into an unbelievably painful loss. With almost all the cards on the table, Drinan and Katz were looking at a 98 percent chance of splitting the pot, and each had a 1 percent chance of winning it all.

For Drinan, it wasn't to be. Katz won on a flush draw, bouncing a disbelieving Drinan right to the curb. To be pedantic, this isn't technically a "bad beat," since Drinan wasn't the heavy favorite going into the flop, but that's not much comfort at this point. Drinan ended in 18th place, and walked away with nothing but the worst bad-cards story in poker history.

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or find him on Facebook or on Twitter.