Not-So-Bad Beat: Losing Four Aces Hand Triggers $1.2M Jackpot at Rivers Pittsburgh

Posted on: August 26, 2022, 05:51h. 

Last updated on: August 29, 2022, 01:30h.

Some bad beats are worse than others. But in the case of a West Virginia poker player, his bad beat Thursday afternoon ended up netting him nearly half a million dollars.

Bad Beat
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh announced Thursday that its bad beat jackpot was triggered after a Texas Hold ’em player lost a game despite holding four aces. The monumental loss led to the players at the table splitting more than $1.2 million. Benjamin Flanagan of Huttonsville, WV, who had the four aces, won more than $490,000 of the jackpot. (Image: Rivers Pittsburgh)

Benjamin Flanagan of Huttonsville, WV, was playing no-limit Texas Hold ’em Thursday at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh when he hit four aces in a hand at the $1-$3 table. That’s a winning hand almost anytime.

The keyword in that last sentence was almost because Raymond Broderson of Wexford, PA, drew a royal flush, the best hand available in poker in the same game.

That sequence triggered Rivers’ “bad beat jackpot,” a progressive jackpot that paid out at more than $1.2 million. Thursday’s jackpot payout at Rivers Pittsburgh was the first since it was hit for nearly $150,000 on April 14, 2021.

It was a ‘potentially life-changing’ game, Rivers Assistant General Manager Andre Barnabei said in a statement. Thursday’s payout shattered the previous record payout of more than $480,000, which occurred five years ago.

When we launch a bad beat jackpot, we have no idea when it will hit or how big it will get,” Barnabei said. “It’s almost as exciting for us as it is for the winners.”

The jackpot pays out whenever someone has four of a kind that are 10s or higher and to either a higher four of a kind or a straight flush. Under the jackpot rules, Flanagan received 40% of the jackpot, or $490,708. Besides winning the pot for the game, Broderson also got 30%, which was $368,029.

Even the other players at the table got a share. The other six each took home $61,338.

What Are the Odds?

So how rare is it for a Texas Hold ‘em game to have a royal flush and four of a kind?

According to one playing card company, the odds are astronomical. said that the chances of a royal flush beating four aces are about 1-in-165 million hands.

For those who don’t play poker, in Texas Hold ‘em, each player is dealt two cards face down. After a round of betting, three community cards are dealt face up. There’s another round of betting, followed by a fourth community card and then another round of betting.

A final card is dealt, and then a final round of betting occurs before players still in the game show their hands, which consist of the best five cards out of their two cards and the five community cards.

About Rivers Pittsburgh

Rivers is one of five casinos operated by Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming. The land-based casino is not far from where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet at the Ohio River in Downtown Pittsburgh.

With 30 poker tables, Rivers Pittsburgh has the second-biggest poker room of any casino in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). Rivers also has 99 live dealer or electronic table games. With 2,466 slot machines, it offers the third-most of any casino in the Keystone State.