Voting in the PokerStars Big 20 Players Awards is open, with PokerStars players and fans invited to nominate their favourite moments from 20 years of televised play. Feast your eyes on 50 memorable moments in 10 categories, then pick your best.
Today’s category: Best WFT Moment
W.T.F. We all know what it stands for. And if you play or watch enough poker, you’ll find yourself uttering it many, many times. Today’s category in the Big 20 Awards looks at five of the most surprising moments in the history of televised poker, where players had plenty of “normal” options yet somehow managed to find a different path entirely.
There’s a Hollywood superstar going up against an amateur, with regrettable consequences. There are a couple of leading pros allowing the stresses of high stakes competition affect their thought processes. There’s one of the most aggressive players in the game getting locked in top gear (also with regrettable consequences). And there’s a World Cup competitor baffling himself, his table-mates and the world.
But who got you shouting “WTF!?!” the loudest?
1. I HAVE A STRAIGHT?: KEVIN HART VS MILA MONROE
Very, very little made much sense about this hand between the Hollywood actor and comedian Kevin Hart and the German amateur player Mila Monroe during the PokerStars Cash Challenge. Whether Hart knew what was going on, or whether he didn’t, is almost immaterial as a big bluff somehow goes awry in a pot worth nearly €40,000. WTF!?!
2. EVERYONE LOVES A CHOP POT: GIUSEPPE PANTALEO VS JESÚS CORTES LIZANO
Both Giuseppe Pantaleo and Jesus Cortes were seasoned pros when they got involved in this deeply weird hand in the 2010 EPT Barcelona Main Event. They had the same hand, the final bet was called on the river, but then…WTF!?!
3. CHECKING THE NUTS: MIKALAI POBAL VS JONI JOUHKIMAINEN
It was late in the day, people had been drinking, and Mikalai Pobal‘s two Finnish opponents at the EPT Barcelona Main Event were wearing sparkly hats. Even so, Pobal himself seemed sober and sensible until the moment he made a blunder so grave that he received a penalty for it. WTF!?!
4. TIMEOUT: SASCHA CORNILS VS DARUS SUHARTO
It’s the hand that baffled everyone: players, team-mates and spectators of the World Cup of Poker in 2010. Germany’s Sacha Cornils was seemingly in a dream position: he had pocket aces and someone had shoved in front of him. But for Cornils, it was apparently a nightmare. WTF!?!
5. SELBST GETS FELTED: VANESSA SELBST VS PRAHLAD FRIEDMAN
Nobody could ever claim that Vanessa Selbst shied away from a confrontation. But in this huge hand from Season 2 of The Big Game, Selbst went over and above even her usual levels of aggression. WTF!?!