You’ve heard of bad beats, right? It’s when a gambler’s luck changes at the last second, causing them to lose everything. It’s that moment when an NFL defense scores with zero time left on the clock to suddenly cover. It’s when your opponent pulls out a shocking ace at the last second.
This is … the complete opposite of that. During Season 3 of Sky Poker Cash Game, we saw one of the worst poker calls of all-time.
The action really begins at :34 seconds. It’s a six minute clip, but watch until the end to see what happens. Don’t worry, the announcers are entertaining enough to make it go quickly.
Yeah, that’s not a bad beat. It’s more like self sabotage.
Rupert Elder has pocket eights from the start. Matthew Ashton is saddled with the queen and three of spades. The flop gave Ashton a chance at a flush, but Elder picked up another eight.
At that point, Elder was in command, but Ashton wanted to remain in the game just in case he got his flush. Based on the announcers’ comments, Elder had been playing cautiously all night. He continued to do so initially, checking and allowing Ashton to make raises.
The next card to pop up — the turn — resulted in a two of clubs. Elder again checks and Ashton makes a move to raise. After a brutally long deliberation, Elder decides to raise. Ashton, who is still hoping for a flush, matches that bet.
Finally, the last card is revealed. It’s a seven of diamonds. Elder locks up the hand. The only way he can lose is if he folds. He takes what seems like an eternity before finally going all-in.
Ashton has nothing. He didn’t get the flush he was hoping for, and Elder knows that. Ashton has a queen high. And yet … he waits. He hesitates to do anything. At one point, even the announcer says he believes Ashton is just mugging for camera time.
And then he calls!
Ashton called with a queen high. The announcers, James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton, are completely puzzled. Here’s a quick play-by-play of their exchange:
Hartigan: “What does he think Rupert has here? … HE CALLS! That is one of the sickest calls I’ve ever seen!”
Stapleton: “What just happened?”
That’s a fair response. With the call, the pot jumped up over £2,000. That converts to roughly $2,700.
Ashton gave up half of that for … reasons? We don’t know. We’re just as puzzled as you. When he was deliberating his move, Stapleton said Ashton was just doing it for the cameras. In that moment, you agree with him. Of course Ashton wants camera time. He wouldn’t actually call with nothing, right?
He did, and he paid dearly for it. But at least he provided a valuable lesson for amateur poker players everywhere. If you don’t have anything, don’t bet!
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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik