Oh my. We knew it would be big, but even we were surprised at the intensity of the 50 Billion Hand climax. As the moment drew near, there were 220,000 people on PokerStars playing on 33,000 tables, all hoping to win the milestone hand. Of that lot, it was player tbvle who bagged the jackpot.
At 10.37am( ET) on September 22, 2010, tbvle collected $56,140 for winning the 50 billionth hand ever dealt on PokerStars.
That's an incredible return for one hand at Ornamenta (fast), the $0.02/$0.05 NL Hold'em cash table where the hand took place. As Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier pointed out in the chat box, the $26 pot for the winning hand was "not too shabby" for these stakes, either! Also happy were the other five players at the table, who each scooped between $2,990 and $3,070 just for being there, a sum based on the number of VIP Player Points they had amassed at the table over the previous 50 hands.
And for good measure, PokerStars threw in a $5,200 WCOOP Main Event ticket for everyone at the table as well.
As usual, the PokerStars moderators and hosts were masters of playing to the crowd and building excitement. Once news flashed up in the client that the 50 Billionth Hand was about to be dealt on table Ornamenta, the action there was frozen to allow all the railbirds time to open the table and watch the action.
With so much on the line for winning the hand, you would not expect any of the players to fold, no matter what their cards were. Just in case anyone was unclear of the rules, HostBob repeated them. Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck added: "It's gonna be a pretty decent boost for the bankroll." Then, when everyone was ready, we dealt the hand. And this is what happened...
It seemed everyone knew what was on the line, with all six players ending up all-in pre-flop. It was nice to see tbvle's Q♥Q♦ - the best starting hand - holding up to take the pot, although Team PokerStars Pro Lex 'RaSZi' Veldhuis commented he would have put money on the 7♣2♣ of Paha Zhulik winning the hand. In the event the board ran J♦T♥K♠7♠3♠ - and online poker history was made!
Once everything was sorted, HostBob confirmed what everyone had won - then flicked the switch to allow observer chat back on. Boom! It was like an explosion in a firework factory as hundreds of the railbirds all tried to have their say at once!
So that's it for the 50 Billion Hand promotion, which paid out a total of $952,239.50 to PokerStars players. Many congratulations to Germany's tbvle for the big win. We'll be trying to speak to him soon to get some reaction.
If you like long lists, then you'll love the long list of winners on our 50 Billion Hand winners post.