Poker players win another big bad-beat jackpot at Rivers Pittsburgh

November 30, 2023 1:38 PM
Photo: Rivers Casino flickr photo by World Poker Tour shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license
  • Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports
November 30, 2023 1:38 PM
  • Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports

Fifteen months after paying the largest bad-beat jackpot in U.S. history, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh awarded one nearly as big.

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Eight players at a no-limit hold ’em table shared the $905,622.13 prize on Nov. 28 when one player’s royal flush topped another’s quad aces. Coincidentally, that was the same pair of hands involved in the record-setting $1.2 million August 2022 payout.

“We are unexpectedly and happily becoming a national bad-beat-jackpot hotspot,” general manager Bud Green said in an announcement about the awards.

Scott Thompson of Washington, PA, about a half-hour south of the casino, had the four aces and got 40 percent of the jackpot, or $362,250, for losing the hand. Brent Enos of suburban Pittsburgh, who hit the royal in hearts, got 30 percent, or $271,686. The other six players at the table each received $45,281.

The bad-beat jackpot is funded by $1 taken from the pot of virtually every hand dealt in the 30-table poker room. Rivers Pittsburgh offers two bad-beat jackpots. The main one requires the losing hand to be quad 10s or better; the “mini,” valued at $10,321 today, requires the losing hand to be a minimum of aces full of kings, with the player holding pocket aces. The main jackpot reset to $2,773.

This was Rivers Pittsburgh’s first major bad-beat jackpot award since the August 2022 record-setter. Andre Barnabei, assistant general manager, said requiring the losing hand to be quad 10s or better generates supersized jackpots. “It adds fun. It adds excitement. It gives people something to talk about. And another awesome part is it was locally won.” He added that the adjacent Landing hotel, which opened late last year, and Rivers’s entertainment events attract out-of-area customers as well.

Barnabei said he expects the bad-beat jackpot to grow. “This went away in some markets, including our own for a while. When it gets up in that six-figure range, people know about it.”

The Rivers poker room also offers a bonus payout for a royal flush, with the amount varying by suit depending on how recently it was hit. A royal in hearts was valued at $897, but Enos couldn’t claim both the bad-beat payout and the royal bonus.