In a typical No-Limit Hold’em cash game played at $1/$2 stakes, players can realistically hope to drag a few hundred dollars in a big hand – if the cards cooperate.
But on August 17, when the deck delivered a dastardly beat to crack Elphege Delarosbil’s four of a kind, the Canadian cash game player collected an astounding CAD$460,149 (USD$366,462).
The epic pot was contested between Delarosbil and Shane Galle at Playground Poker Club in Montreal.
The two players, along with a third interloper, saw the flop come down Jc-6h-9s – which hit Delarosbil’s Jh-Jd perfectly for top set. Galle, meanwhile, held Qs-10s for nothing but a gutshot straight draw.
The action checked around to bring the Js on the turn, improving Delarosbil to a seemingly unbeatable four of a kind in jacks. But the turn also gave Galle a single out, as the 10s on the river would complete a runner-runner straight flush.
Of course, that exact card happened to hit the felt on fifth street, sending the Playground Poker Club into a frenzy when Delarosbil and Galle showed their hands down.
By overcoming a hand ranked at quad eights or higher, Galle had triggered the venue’s long-standing bad beat jackpot – valued at CAD$1,210,989 (USD$964,431) after a six-month stretch without hitting.
As a reward for holding the losing end – in a pot that appeared to contain about CAD$50 or so – Delarobsil was awarded 40 percent of the jackpot total for a CAD$460,149 (USD$366,462) score.
Galle took home a CAD$230,088 (USD$183,242) prize for applying the bad beat.
The pair weren’t the only winners, however, as Playground Poker Club generously allots 20 percent of its bad beat jackpot as a “table share.” This sent payouts of CAD$32,870 ($USD26,177) to each player seated at the table alongside Delarobsil and Galle.
And to cap off the festivities, every player actively seated in the room when the climactic confrontation occurred earned CAD$1,224 (USD$974) as part of the 20 percent “room share.”
Confetti rained down from the ceiling as onlookers crowded around the table to see the rare sight for themselves. For a few minutes, Playground Poker Club resembled a raucous nightclub rather than a card room, as players celebrated the rare feat – and their own financial good fortune.
Using a progressive system, Playground Poker Club begins its Primary Bad Beat Jackpot with a seed of CAD$250,000 (USD$199,100).
At that point, the minimum losing hand needed to qualify stands at four of a kind in aces, and that threshold lasts over a four-week period. From there, if the jackpot hasn’t been hit, the qualifying hand moves down in rank to quad kings.
Every four weeks without a winner sees the qualifying hand downgraded by one rank, and after 25 weeks the quad eights level is reached. At that point, quad eights remain the standard until the correct cards and in-game criteria are met.
According to Playground Poker Club representatives, the bad beat jackpot had been stuck on quad eights for several weeks – meaning it had been at least 30 weeks since being hit.