With a new series of Late Night Poker coming your way later this year, we decided to have a look through the series at some of the best, worst and downright weirdest hands that have appeared over the years.
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Reckless Ram Vaswani certainly didn’t get the nickname ‘Crazy Horse’ for nothing. After calling with 5-3o and flopping an open-ended straight draw, the mobster three-bet shoves against Andy Black, only to find that his opponent had in fact flopped a full house. Whoops. Now you see him, now you don’t – Vaswani goes promptly out, making Late Night Poker History as the first person ever to be knocked out in the first hand.
This hand perfectly captures the first tottering, blinking steps of poker into the bright spotlights of television. There are no sullen online whiz-kids, headphones in and hoodied up to the hilt. Instead, this 1999 series one final table features some of the ‘old-school’ of poker: surly ex-gangster Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott and east-end mobster Joe ‘the Elegance’ Beevers, both peering suspiciously through a cloud of not-yet-banned cigar smoke. Beevers makes his move with suited connectors, but blunders right into the Devilfish’s top set. After making quads on the turn, the Devilfish knocks out the Elegance and goes on to win the first ever televised Late Night Poker, becoming a figurehead for the late nineties poker boom.
Phil Hellmuth vs. Robert Cohen
Fast-forward to series 4 and you see a fresh-faced Hellmuth, in a hand where the trapper becomes the trapped. Hellmuth is not best pleased that his top pair has been bested by a rivered flush, and kicks up a bit of a fuss. This includes an awkward moment when a glowering Hellmuth ignores Cohen’s proffered hand. Burn! Worth a watch if only to gawp at a younger Hellmuth and his rather jazzy tie.
This clip from the 2009 series of Late Night Poker demonstrates without a doubt how Huck Seed got to be former main event champion. Up against formidable opponent Mike ‘the Mouth’ Matusow, Seed talks gently and coaxingly to him throughout the hand, evoking a fold. Seed wins a large pot with the worst hand, out of position. Does anyone else think it looks like Seed is hypnotising the Mouth here? He uses one of the most vital skills in poker – the ability to manipulate your opponents through table talk. Either that, or Jedi mind control.
Dave Ulliot vs. Agnieszka Rylik
The Devilfish is back again, this time going through every poker player’s worst nightmare – losing a hand when you are a 92% favourite preflop. The plucky player managed to jam his chips in with aces, only to have them cracked by Rylik’s runner runner straight. Nasty. The Devilfish’s performance is made all the more impressive by the fact he doesn’t smash anything, considering he’s not known for being the most, ahem, forgiving of players. Or perhaps he just didn’t want to rile up Rylik, who happens to be a professional boxer. Probably a wise choice, Dave.
Adam Heller vs. Pascal Perrault
This hand sees a bizarre twist of events as the community cards are dealt. Heller is pleased to flop a flush with 4s-6s, but the turn and river are dealt to make the board a straight flush. The odds of making a straight flush with both hole cards and community cards are 72,193.33 to 1, so understandably Heller was a bit perplexed. Unfortunately for him, Pascal ‘Triple P’ Perrault held the ace of spades in his hand to make a royal flush, something even more unlikely at odds of 649,740 to 1. What next, the winner getting struck by lightning?
Keep your eyes peeled for the new series of Late Night Poker, which will be hitting your screens some time this Autumn.