The 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) is two weeks in, and with dozens of tournaments having played out it was no surprise to see a ton of big hands capture the attention of the poker world.

We at 888poker have taken some time to watch the live streams, scour the updates, and scroll through social media to find eight of either the biggest or most entertaining hands thus far from the first two weeks of the 50th Annual WSOP.

Double Elimination to End Short Deck Event

Event #8: $10,000 Short Deck No-Limit Hold’em ended with a rare occurrence – a double elimination. That’s right, it went from three players to a winner without the need for heads-up play.

The hand that ended it all began with Anson Tsang moving all in for 890,000 and Thai Ha jamming over the top for 1.22 million next to act.

Alex Epstein, who had the biggest stack, called from the button and all three hands were turned up.

Epstein: J♠10♠

Ha: A♥Q♦

Tsang: K♣J♣

The Q♣9♣8♠ flop gave Epstein the straight, and he held after the 8♦ appeared on the turn followed by the A♠ on the river.

Just like that Epstein was the champion, good for $296,277 and his first bracelet.

Epstein was the champion, good for $296,277 and his first bracelet.

Poker Hall of Famer Falls in Four-Way Pot

In Event #9: $600 NLH Deepstack, it was Level 22 (10,000/20,000/20,000) when Jose Preciado raised to 50,000 and Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel, an eight-time bracelet winner, called off for 27,000. Dave Alfa and Ken Saito both called, and it was four-way action to the A♦8♥4♠ flop.

All three active players checked, and then Saito moved all-in for 48,000 on the 8♦ turn. Preciado called, Alfa folded, and all three hands were turned over.

Preciado: J♦10♦

Saito: 7♦7♣

Seidel: 5♥3♥

The 10♥ river paired Preciado’s ten to give him the best two pair, and he scored the double knockout.

Quads Over Quads!

Also, in Event #9, a big hand took place early on in Level 3 (100/200/200) when Jamie Nixon raised to 700 from early position, and three other players called. The 4♣9♣3♦ flop saw Nixon continue for 700 and only one player called him.

The 3♥ turn saw Nixon bet 2,500, and again his opponent called. When the 9♦ completed the board on the river, Nixon bet, and his opponent raised to 20,000. Nixon jammed his opponent quickly called with the 3♠3♣ for quads.

Unfortunately for him, it was no good as Nixon rivered a bigger Quads with his 9♠9♥ to win the massive pot.

No Point in Betting

On June 6, Brandon Cantu was playing the $1,500 Shootout tournament when he witnessed something so odd, he was inclined to tweet about it.

Usually, when a player checks the nuts back, they’re issued a penalty. Someone asked Cantu if that was the case, and he responded:

Baron Finally Wins First Bracelet

Event #16: $1,500 NLH 6-Handed proved to be so long that officials had to add a fourth day, which is when Isaac Baron and Singapore’s Ong Dingxiang returned to play down to a winner. It took just four hands.

It ended when Baron raised to 800,000 holding the A♥A♣ and Dingxiang three-bet to 3.2 million with the K♣Q♥. Baron just called and then called a bet of 3.7 million on the 4♣10♥Q♠ flop. When the 6♠ appeared on the turn, Dingxiang moved all-in for 13.35 million and Baron snap-called.

Baron raised to 800,000 holding the A♥A♣

“When we’re heads-up, and you have something as strong as aces, I didn’t want to blow him off,” Baron said of the hand. “I wanted it to happen exactly like it did where he flopped top pair and I get all his money. I didn’t want to blow him off preflop.”

The 3♣ river was of no consequence and Baron shipped it for $407,739 and his first gold bracelet.

A Blast from the Past

The 2019 WSOP got a blast from the past when 1993 Main Event champ Jim Bechtel was spotted playing Event #21: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship. Down to the final two tables in Level 14 (3,000/6,000/9,000), Darren Elias raised to 16,000 under the gun only to have Julien Martini three-bet to 52,000 from the cutoff.

Majid Yahyaei called from the button and then Bechtel four-bet to 150,000 from the small blind. Elias folded, the other two players called, and everyone drew one card. Bechtel then moved all-in first-to-act for 274,000, Martini folded, and Yahyaei called with an eight-seven low. It was no good though, as Bechtel drew to a wheel to more than double up.

Bechtel went on to not only make the final table but win the entire thing for $253,817. The 26 years that passed between his first bracelet win and his second is the longest span in WSOP history.

Big Slick Does the Trick for Cosby

In the last level of the night on Day 2 of the $1,500 Millionaire Maker, the blinds were 8,000/16,000/16,000 when Richard Tuhrim raised to 32,000 from middle position and Sam Cosby three-bet to 105,000 from the cutoff. When action folded back to Tuhrim, he four-bet to 300,000 and Cosby just called.

Cosby revealed the A♥K♥

On the 9 ♥9♦3♥ flop, Tuhrim bet 220,000 and Cosby moved all in for 1.316 million. Tuhrim hit the tank and eventually called with the Q♦Q♣. Cosby revealed the A♥K♥ for a flush draw and two overs, and while the 4♣ turn was a brick, the 8♥ river was not.

Cosby made his flush to take down the biggest pot of the tournament up to that point and end as the Day 2 chip leader.

That hand would help propel Cosby all the way to 34th place for a $38,499 payday.

Frankie O’Dell Makes Miraculous Comeback

Event #18: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo or Better Championship saw Frankie O’Dell emerge victorious to capture $443,641 and his third bracelet in the game, more than anyone else. At one point during three-handed play, things looked bleak for O’Dell.

Owais Ahmed scooped him to leave O’Dell with just 95,000, and the limits at 100,000/200,000. Amazingly, O’Dell managed to either win or chop a series of pots and eventually put himself back in contention.

After Robert Mizrachi bowed out in third place, it came down to Ahmed and O’Dell. The latter pulled out to a lead and in the final hand. Ahmed called off holding the Q♥J♣5♦2♣ with the board reading 8♠7♥Q♠Q♦.

As for O’Dell, he held the A♥9♠8♦2♠ for the nut low and flush draws. He needed a spade to win and got it when the 7♠ spiked on the river.

Be sure to check back here at 888poker as we continue to bring you highlights and articles from the 2019 World Series of Poker!

Chad Holloway is a 2013 WSOP Bracelet winner who has previously worked for PokerNews as a managing editor and live reporter