These are the hands that dazzled the world stage of poker in 2014, making some, and breaking some. But hey, who said poker was pretty? It ain't, but it's damned entertaining. Just take a look at this action.
Any poker player worth his weight in chips will tell you that some of the best lessons come not only from examining your hits and misses, but also from looking at the triumphs and flops of other poker players - especially generally good poker players. (Even the pros make mistakes, right?) It's with the aim to educate (and amuse) in mind that we're going to examine the best poker hands of 2014 - and by extension, also the worst poker hands of 2014. After all, one player's treasure is ultimately another player's trash. Watch, grasshoppers, and learn.
Van Hoof vs Larrabe - WSOP ME Final Table
The power dynamic here sees some major flux as the streets unfold. Just in case you need further proof that perceived confidence can win out over actual hand strength, Van Hoof delivers as he turns a made hand into a bluff when pressure is at the max. I think I actually stopped breathing at the end. This is how it's done!
Drinan vs Katz - Big One for One Drop
As far as bad beats go, this AA vs. AA one drop is one of the best (or worst) of last year. Watch as Connor Drinan unwittingly snags the not-so-coveted title of 'Most Famous Loser of All Time.' (And guess what? He revealed in a Gripsed exclusive that he's OK with that, so while he may the most famous loser of all time, he certainly isn't the most famous sore loser of all time. Props, man. This, my friends, is proof that you can keep it real and keep it classy.)
Ronnie Bardah vs Miss Finland - PokerStars Shark Cage
Faint hearts never won fair ladies, and as Ronnie Bardah illustrates, they also never won against fair ladies. It’s actually painful to watch Bardah fold trips to Miss Finland and get bluffed big time. Perhaps worst of all, it's the first hand, and she limped! Come on, Ronnie! You're better than that! Use your head, man - the right head!
Notkin vs Miller vs Jacques vs Rivers - PokerStars Canada Cup
WTF?! There's almost nothing else I can say. This is a crazy 4-way poker hand that crowns the 2014 Canada Cup. Everyone is all-in before ANY streets of action. (This is an easy fold for the last player to guarantee a lot of pay jumps, and to get to potentially play heads-up where he should be a favourite.)
Griffin Benger vs Mike Tindall - PokerStars Shark Cage Finale
And the best man wins! Watch as Griffin flips for a million in a Shark Cage event. Mike's nervous laughter says it all: when you're playing winner takes all, second place really is the first loser. (Start around 43 minutes to see the action.)
Jacobson vs Stephensen - WSOP ME Final Hand
The final hand of 2014's WSOP Main Event saw Martin Jacobson and Felix Stephensen pitted head-to-head with Jacobson holding TT with a 10 on the flop to win $10 million. That's a lot of 10's. The excitement for Jacobson is contagious (just try to suppress a smile) - and he deserves it. His overall play in this event was outstanding.
Did we miss anything? Leave a comment with your favourite poker hand from 2014!
Photo Credit: Florencia&Pe | Flickr