April 9th, 2023: Playing in casino tournaments, including poker tournaments, is exciting and fair since there are rules to give everyone a shot at the prize pool. But for a few poker players, the rules became a contested issue when a San Antonio poker club declined to payout a $100,000 bad beat jackpot due to a technicality: exposing the cards before all action was complete. It’s now the latest fiasco rocking the poker circuit, at least on Twitter, when Cedrric Trevino (@Poker_Traveler), a Texas poker pro, posted a screenshot from the co-owner of the San Antonio Poker Place making the announcement. The Twitter post shows a video of the game and explains why the $100k deadbeat jackpot payout was canceled.
A winning hand went bad
In a Twitter post, user Cedrric Trevino (@Poker_Traveler) shared the poker room’s explanation and questioned whether it was a good decision.
So here’s what happened exactly, based on multiple sources and a series of tweets. One player had a straight flush and was up against players with quads in a low-stakes and No Limit Hold’em cash game, a perfect opportunity to trigger the bad beat. But, most poker operators that feature the bad-beat jackpot promotion, including this poker room, have strict rules to ensure fairness. A popular rule is that if a player in the hand exposes the playing cards before the completion of the hand, the operator reserves the right to pay the jackpot.
And this is exactly what happened to the un(lucky) player and the San Antonio Poker Palace. A shared video on Twitter shows the player with the straight flush exposing the cards before the other players have placed the remaining chips in the pot.
Poker room explains the decision
Based on a now-deleted Facebook post, the owner says the winning player’s hand was exposed before the action was completed. The statement also adds that the player with the losing hand did not say the call verbally or in motion. It added that the other player saw that he had a losing hand after seeing the exposed cards and then pushed the chips in. The post also mentioned that they want “stress the importance of abiding by the house rules while maintaining the integrity of the game and promotion.”
The post explaining the operator’s side is based on its published rules. The club poker’s website shares that the bad beat jackpot requires aces full of kings or better to lose. Now, the player with the losing hand gets $50,000, the winning hand wins $25,000, and the remaining players on the table get a share of the $25,000 in the pot. According to Rule #6 of the operator’s deadbeat jackpot promo, “any player exposing their cards before the action is complete will disqualify the entire table from the bad beat jackpot”.
So, is the poker jackpot drama over?
Not quite. With the video on hand and clear rules on the jackpot, we can say that the poker room has the legal standing to refuse the payout. But many social media users have contributed their comments and opinions on the issue. Some Twitter users say that the poker owner should still pay the jackpot, and some agree with the decision.
One Twitter user says something is wrong in the game and suspects collusion. Also, one user counters that nothing in the video indicates the player with the quads made the call. He continued that since the player exposes his hand prematurely, it becomes the basis for the casino not to pay out and agree with the decision of the poker room.
Another Twitter user also shared the experience of his wife about a bad beat jackpot promo, saying that the offer has ‘magically disappeared from the operator’s site immediately after her wife hit the jackpot:
The Twitter threads are long and crowded with different comments, showing how players and enthusiasts are passionate about the game and the jackpot.