Everyone loves to watch the action when they know its happening at that time, and there have been some amazing moments in poker history played out live on a streamed game. From controversial actions at the table to drama away from the felt, live poker brings out the beast in everyone, reducing each poker player to their elements. Here are five of the very best poker livestream moments as examples:
Daniel Weinman Hits a JackDaniel Negreanu Faints the Final TableHellmuth Conquered by Ninja PokerRobbie Jade Lew and Garrett AdelsteinPhil Hellmuth Destroys a Roast Beef Sandwich
Daniel Weinman Hits a Jack
Winning the World Series of Poker Main Event is about as exciting a tournament as live-streamed poker has ever screened. With the action on a half-hour delay, Las Vegas in the heat of summer is always the place to be. In 2023, Daniel Weinman became the latest world champion as he won $10 million and became the latest winner of the life-changing poker event.
Perhaps his most memorable moment was one of the very few hands he went to the flop behind in. All-in and at risk with 15% shot, behind Jose Aguilera’s pocket queens and Joshua Payne’s pocket kings, Weinman needed a miracle, especially after the ace-high flop with no ‘paint’ cards. Down to just an 8% chance of winning the pot, Weinman struck gold on the jack turn and the poker world held its breath.
A three on the river gave Weinman almost 80 million chips, which he used to great effect, winning a memorable WSOP Main Event as Payne felt the pain and Aguilera didn’t make the final nine. Every second of the drama played out live to poker fans around the world on subscription-based streaming service PokerGO.
Daniel Negreanu Faints the Final Table
If there’s anything we like more than success on a poker stream, it is often those moment where a player comes so close. Back in 2015, Daniel ‘Kid Poker’ Negreanu came oh so close to winning the WSOP Main Event. Down to 11 players and under the lights in the Thunderdome at the Rio, the Canadian Poker Hall of Famer was all-in with the best of it, holding a top pair on an ace-high flop.
All the chips went in and while Kid Poker was a 56% favorite, he was up against Joe McKeehen’s combo draw. The turn missed but McKeehen hit Broadway on the river, sending Negreanu literally to the floor, as the Canadian fainted backwards, hitting the deck, and spinning onto his back where he covered his eyes with his hands.
“11th fourteen years ago, 11th again.” Quipped Lon McEachern as Negreanu resumed an upright position to shake his opponents’ hands, a fact that ‘Kid Poker’ was no doubt delighted made it to air.
Hellmuth Conquered by Ninja Poker
Live streams have featured all manner of celebrities in recent years and few have proved as popular as the collection of gamers and streamers who shared the felt with Phil Hellmuth in 2022. Among their number were chess grandmaster Alexandra Botez, YouTuber extraordinaire Jimmy ‘Mr. Beast’ Donaldson and Fortnite legend Ninja, a.k.a. Tyler Blevins.
In a massive all-in pot, Hellmuth had the best of it with pocket jacks against the pocket sevens of Ninja. A board of A-K-J-Q meant that a ten would split the pot, something which Ninja was so desperate to call in, he promised to… well, perform and certain popular service if it landed.
The river was a ten, and Ninja celebrated like he’d just won the Fortnite World Cup, before grinning up at The Poker Brat with the kind of expression no-one wants to see after missing out on a six-figure pot, least of all Mr. Angry himself.
Robbie Jade Lew and Garrett Adelstein
Perhaps the most famous live stream over recent years has been a great example of the classic cash game. Again produced by the revolutionary Hustler Casino Live, the narrative laid down for other games such as the streamers taking on The Poker Brat game wasn’t needed.
Deep in a cash game with several regulars such as the popular high stakes pro Garrett Adelstein, Robbi Jade Lew made a famous call with just jack-high in response to Adelstein’s shove. When the cards were turned over and Garrett’s bluff was beaten, he immediately looked around. Calling with jack-four seemed insane, with the range of hands Robbi was beating being extremely thin. Cue accusations of cheating, collusion with other players, a robbery of some of Robbi’s winnings, and an angry confrontation with Garrett in the wings after the hand took place.
A year later, both Garrett – who has become a father in the meantime and is threatening to sue – and Robbi, who most have sided with after she successfully passed a lie detector, will never forget their legendary live-streamed hand. Neither will we.
Phil Hellmuth Destroys a Roast Beef Sandwich
Live streams are so popular with poker fans because they get to see their heroes make real-time decisions and can analyse exactly how the very best decide whether to fold, call, bet or raise. Sometimes, streams are also enjoyable for the off-the-felt action, however.
Take this hand from the World Series of Poker in 2022. Phil Hellmuth was at the table playing for his latest WSOP bracelet when, perhaps a little low in energy he ordered a roast beef sandwich. So far, so normal. But while the average man takes a clean bite of the sandwich, gorging on that delicious combination of meat and bread, The Poker Brat was not one for waiting. He needed that meat right away, and pulling the buns apart, proceeded to attack the roast beef directly, in the manner that one dinosaur might attempt to consume another – with extreme ferocity.
“What was that bite?!?” echoed around the world live in the small hours on PokerGO and a meme was born. We’ll never look at the humble cow the same way ever again.
From the miraculous turn of fate for Daniel Weinman in the WSOP Main Event, to the heart-wrenching near-miss of Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth facing off against gaming sensation Ninja, the strategic prowess displayed by Robbie Jade Lew or the unorthodox antics of Phil Hellmuth devouring a sandwich mid-game, these moments have etched themselves into poker lore, making livestreams an integral part of the game’s rich history.