Top Five Biggest Poker Blow-Ups

Top Five Biggest Poker Blow-Ups

To be successful in poker, you really need to be able to manage your temperament to make the correct calls at the right time.

However, that is clearly much easier said than done, especially when you are on a losing streak.

When you are on a bad run and you make a massive bet in desperation, it is referred to as a “blow up”.

A blow-up is a hugely aggressive move, and when it goes wrong it can be a very expensive mistake to make.

For example, you could have a streak of defeats and decide to go all-in on a hand that isn’t very strong, or even before the Flop.

This clearly doesn’t do your chances of ending the run any good, and in a lot of cases will actually see you eliminated from the game, which will only worsen your frustration.

Below, we’ve made a list of some of the worst blow ups in poker, to give you an idea of the sort of thing you don’t want to do when you sit down at the table to play.


5. Mike Matusow vs Erik Seidel

Mike Matusow is known for letting his emotions out in poker, and he does so here after being knocked out of the game by Erik Seidel.

Despite his opponent holding Pocket Aces, Matusow is in a commanding position after the Flop with Two Pair of 8 and 10.

Seidel raises by $19,000 at this point, but Matusow responds with an extremely aggressive raise of his own.

He doubles the stakes to a $38,000 raise, and this causes Seidel to go all-in.

Matusow eventually calls, but is stunned by the cards on the Turn and the River.

Two 7s are produced, leaving Seidel with an astonishing victory with a higher value Two Pair.

Matusow storms away from the table shouting about his lack of luck.

If he'd held on to the raise a little bit longer, this could all have been avoided.


4. Vanessa Selbst vs Kevin MacPhee

Another example of how not to play a hold is demonstrated expertly by Vanessa Selbst, who decides to go all in with a stack of $977,000 on Pocket 4s.

Having been raised by Kevin MacPhee to $131,000, she evidently hit the panic button for a classic blow up.

MacPhee only has an Ace and a 9, so it’s a big call from him too, as he follows suit by going all-in with $425,000.

You can see Selbst beginning to tilt as soon as she gets called, shaking her head and looking rather unimpressed.

Her mood instantly worsens when an Ace appears on the Flop, giving MacPhee a Pair, along with an 8 and a 6.

While he looks as cool as a cucumber, she puts her hands behind her head in disbelief.

The Turn produces a Queen, giving MacPhee a 95% chance of victory and a monster pot.

That is confirmed with another Ace on the River and secures him Three of a Kind, so Selbst’s Two pair isn’t enough, and she loses $2426,000 altogether.

You can understand her fury at the end of the hand, though you would have to say it is entirely her fault.


3. Phil Hellmuth vs Daniel Negreanu

Phil Hellmuth is famous for his rash decisions and lack of any temperament in poker, and he shows exactly why he got that reputation in this video.  

He gets schooled by Daniel Negreanu, who picks up a six-figure pot.

Hellmuth predicts that his opponent has Queens before the Flop against his Ace and 4, when in reality Negreanu holds Ace and 10, meaning he has the upper hand.

Incredibly, Negreanu completes Two Pair on the Flop as an Ace and a 10 come up, which all but seals victory for him, and he bets $10,000 after Hellmuth's check.

You can begin to see Hellmuth getting irked, and when a 2 is produced on the Turn he cannot win the hand.

Negreanu bets $25,000, which provokes a question from his opponent about the size of the stake.

Hellmuth should know that he is in trouble, but he continues to call.

Following a check on the River, Negreanu raises $40,000, despite Hellmuth's pleas to stop at $10,000.

The latter calls the bet, and explodes after the cards are flipped.

He moves away from the table and unleashes a foul-mouthed rant, clearly furious at his aggressive play in that hand.


2. Phil Hellmuth vs David Fishman

If you’re a big fan of poker, you won’t be shocked to see Hellmuth appearing on this list for a second time.

He gets played for a fool by David Fishman, who lures him into a bet he should never make, and Hellmuth's reaction is extraordinary.

At the start of the hand, Hellmuth is dealt an Ace of Spades and 5 of Diamonds, and decides to raise to $1,000.

Fishman matches this with the King and Queen of Spades, leaving him in a very strong position.

However, it is Hellmuth who has the upper hand when the Dealer produces the 2 and Jack of Spades, plus the Ace of Diamonds, as he has a Pair.

His opponent only needs a Spade for a Flush or a 10 for a Straight though, and this is still the case after the next card is drawn.

At this point Hellmuth has bet an extra $21,000 after achieving Two Pair, but he gets the dreaded bad beat with a 10 on the River.

Hellmuth bets $23,600, and the theatrics then start from Fishman.

He seems ridiculously nervous and unsure of his next move, before going all-in with $97,200.

It was a fine acting performance as he lures Hellmuth into calling him, and when the cards are turned he loses it.

Hellmuth storms away from the table, and starts swearing and bemoaning his luck.

A classic Phil Hellmuth response to losing a hand. 


1. Daniel "Jungleman" Cates vs Scott Seiver

Jungleman simply refuses to believe he can be beaten here against Scott Seiver, and it ends up costing him a huge sum of money.

Both players are deated suited cards - Jungleman has a Queen and 3, while Seiver has 6 and 8.

Following the Flop, it looks as though the former is in complete control, with a 7, 8 and Queen being produced, and he has a 79% chance of winning.

He immediately bets $50,000, which Seiver calls.

However, it takes a Turn for the worse when an 8 is revealed, giving Seiver Three of a Kind, and makes him almost certain to win the hand.

Seiver bets $120,000, and this significant wager should really alarm Jungleman, but he instantly makes the call.

His fate is confirmed with a 5 on the River, and Seiver doubles his previous bet to $240,000.

Amazingly, and despite thinking about it for some time, Jungleman makes the call, handing over a pot worth $900,000.

Sometimes, it pays to fold.