Bad-Beat Jackpot

Chico Network’s Bad-Beat Jackpot Cracked for Over $990,000

Remember when bad-beat jackpots were all the rage? In something of a throwback tale, the Chico Poker Network has announced that its quite-large bad beat jackpot was hit yesterday for just shy of a cool million — $994,119, to be somewhat more precise.

It’s the first time the BBJ has been hit at the grey-market Chico Network in nearly six months, and it’s the largest of four such BBJ winnings since the network implemented its series of BBJ tables back in late 2016. Of course, the official winner of the BBJ, a player screen-named “Tyrant,”pocketed $273,382.82 for his 27.5% share of the BBJ. The actual winner of the BBJ-cracking hand, “pokerplayer4ever,” didn’t do too bad, either, seeing his bankroll grow by $149,018.49.

As always (and though we don’t normally focus on grey-market stories of this type) this one has a couple of interesting side stories involved. First, as reported by a couple of affiliate sites, you sort of have to feel bad for two players who were seated at the table,but who were actually sitting out when the BBJ hand was dealt. “pokerplaye4ever”‘s share was 15% of the BBJ, and another 15% of the BBJ, per the network’s rules, was distributed among the remaining players at the table.

This jackpot hand occurred at a 6-max $1/$2 No Limit Hold’em BBJ table, and all six seats were occupied. Except that two of the six, “(seven)” and “Bimaxa”, were sitting out. That meant that the other two active players, “matter1734” and “shara02”, split the rest-of-table two ways instead of four, for $74,509.25 each. Had that 15% share been split four ways instead, each player would have received roughly $37,259.

One wonders if the two sit-outs sat back in at some point, only to discover their bad luck, or simply slunk off into the night, likely flinging breakable objects at the nearest wall in real life. Thus goes the schadenfreude.

The network’s rules for distributing the BBJ money also include payouts for anyone seated at such a table across the network. This meant that payments of $598.87 went to another 93 players.

The Chico Network’s BBJ promotion declares a minimum starting point of $100,000, but also declares that an additional 27.5% of the cracked BBJ is rolled over to start the next cycle. That means it began again yesterday at the same $273,382.82 amount collected by “tyrant” for his win. And the network did okay itself, gathering the final ten percent, or just under $100,000, for the proverbial “administrative expenses.”

In fact, the network has never had to go back all the way to the $100,000 minimum; all four times since the BBJ has been cracked, it’s been high enough to guarantee at least $137,000 for the restarted promo.

BBJ winnings are wonderful windfalls for those lucky enough to hit them (and no, Ive never been that lucky). Nonetheless, they’re not a “free” promotion; they’re well and duly paid for by participating players through the added rake taken from participating tables, each and every hand.

Unforeseen issues can also arise. Just three weeks ago, we reported on the controversy of a denied BBJ by Las Vegas’s Station Casinos chain over technical-improper play during the BBJ-cracking hand, which occurred at Red Rock. That matter is now before the Nevada Gaming Control Board, part of the Nevada Gambling Commission.

That live-play BBJ hand was ruled ineligible for the BBJ payout due to a possible collusive action by the potential winner, even though the facts (and security footage) showed that he was just a newbie who got excited in the moment. That form of BBJ disqualification isn’t really an issue online; instead, it’s always been more a matter of being able to collect all of one’s windfall winnings in an era when many sites and networks have caps on withdrawal amounts.

I’m not a Chico Network player, so I can’t comment specifically or knowledgably on the network’s cashout performances for major wins, but I do note that the prospect of having a BBJ win converted into, at best, a long-term annuity has always had a dampening effect on online-poker BBJs. It’s one of the reasons that networks such as Winning Poker Network (America’s Cardroom) and the Merge Network have walked away from the BBJ concept in years past. It just hasn’t been that workable, even if Chico seems to have found a way… and a near-million-dollar BBJ has its own obvious marketing potential.

We also don’t recall reading anything untoward about Chico Network payouts regarding the three 2017 BBJ winners, and Chico itself seems to have stabilized after its shaky first two years, beginning in late 2012, when it came to be from the reformation of a debt-ridden and underwater earlier network. That’s good news, too. Grey-market online poker has always carried with it a dash of caveat emptor, as that’s the nature of that business. So congratulations, and continued good luck, for all involved.

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