If you’re not an avid poker player, it can be tough to run through all the scenarios of what beats what in your head in a split second. For pro poker player Jiri Horak though, he probably wished his friends spent a little more time studying the fact that a flush beats two pair before they attended the final table of his appearance at the 2016 World Series of Poker Colossus event.
Let’s set the stage: Horak has gone all-in with an Ace-Nine while his opponent, Ben Keeline, has a pair of jacks. With just the two of them remaining in the tournament, it was a crucial hand. If Keeline wins, the tournament and the $1 million prize is his. If Horak wins, he would have a dominating chip lead and it would likely go on and take all the chips.
Going into the river (the final card drawn for you Texas Hold’ Em rookies), Horak had only a few outs remaining and only a 9 percent chance to win the hand. He needed either a red nine, an ace of clubs, or an ace of hearts to win. Anything else and Keeline takes it.
Horak could barely stand to watch, so he went over to the section of the crowd where his friends were sitting before the card was dealt. With his back turned, all Horak saw was his friends celebrate wildly after an ace of spades came up. In that moment, Horak believed he had survived and consequently gained a nine-to-one chip lead over his opponent.
Unfortunately for him, that was not the case. See, while his friends immediately celebrated after seeing an ace pop up, what they failed to comprehend was that the ace of spades had actually given Keeline a flush, and therefore the victory. It wasn’t until Horak turned and saw the board for himself that he saw that his friends were mistaken and he actually had been defeated.
While Horak still walked away with a cool $600,000 for his second-place finish, that was still 400 grand that he mistakenly thought he had won. Something tells me he won’t ever turn away from the table again.