When watching a major tournament that’s being filmed for television, there are certain things that you immediately know will make the broadcast. Late on Day 2 of the 2014 World Series of Poker Big One for One Drop, a hand that played out between Connor Drinan and Cary Katz not only qualified to make it to the ESPN airwaves – it quickly became clear that it would go down as one of the most memorable hands in poker history.
Given the money on the line in this tournament in particular, and the stage in the tournament during which it took place (only 18 players remained), Katz and Drinan getting all in with pocket aces against pocket aces should have been a forgettable 90 second clip in the middle of one episode of the 2014 Big One for One Drop as they chuckled and chopped the pot. What happened instead won’t soon be forgotten.
While the $1 million buy in tournament was the biggest Drinan had ever played, the sting is taken out of it just a little bit with the knowledge that he satellited in for ‘just’ $25,400 the day before the tournament began. Drinan has, in fact, been masterful in the last two years in big satellites at the World Series of Poker, winning his way into the $111,111 One Drop High Roller in 2013 and both the $25,000 Mixed Max and $1 million Big One for One Drop this summer. For his part, Drinan seemed to take the astoundingly bad beat in stride, even stopping to talk to Kara Scott about it just minutes after the hand played out.
With the debut of the broadcast on ESPN Tuesday night, the viewing public got its first chance to see Drinan’s painful 18th place exit, and as soon as it hit the ESPN airwaves a clip of the hand absolutely exploded. Tens of thousands of tweets from around the world rolled in as the broadcast aired and didn’t slow down over the next 15 hours. The YouTube clip posted by ESPN already has over 350,000 views, and the same video posted on ESPN.com got a ton of plays as well.
The mainstream media picked it up as well, with many major outlets sharing their own takes on the hand, with USA Today presenting their interpretation of a blow-by-blow of the clip.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 30, 2014
— SB Nation (@SBNation) July 30, 2014
It’s not fun to lose $1 million playing poker. It’s REALLY not fun to do it when holding pocket aces. MUST WATCH: http://t.co/lLgWO1BwGH
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 30, 2014
— ESPN (@espn) July 30, 2014
Cringe in horror at the most painful beat in tournament poker history. http://t.co/P8fleUzZ18
— Gawker (@Gawker) July 30, 2014
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