The Rivers Casino Pittsburgh Poker Room recently surpassed a $1 million bad beat jackpot back in June, and it’s still climbing. The jackpot of $1,159,167 as of July 28 is the largest in the history of US poker bad beat jackpots, overtaking the previous record jackpot of $1,068,590.
At Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, the bad beat jackpot is structured to pay 40% to the loser of the hand, 30% to the winner, and distribute the remaining 30% to the other players at the table. Now that the jackpot is over $1.1 million, the winner of the bad beat jackpot (the loser in the qualifying hand) will earn more than $460,000.
The player who delivers the bad beat will also receive $347K+, with all other players at the table dividing up that same amount amongst themselves for five-figure paydays, at minimum.
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh Bad Beat Jackpot
The Bad Beat Jackpot went live on March 1, 2021, offering two tiers in a mini and main jackpot. The mini jackpot requires the loser of the hand to have a full house, aces full of kings, or better with both players in the hand using both of their hold cards. It gave players the opportunity to win more frequently, every one to two months.
Meanwhile, the main jackpot would be harder to qualify for, with the loser of the hand needing to make quad aces or better with both hole cards playing.
Intentionally designed to be much more challenging to hit, Rivers Casino Poker Room Manager Leslie Brittain said the goal of the main pot was to pay out possible “life-changing money,” something PA poker players can surely appreciate.
The road to $1 million
Things did not go immediately as planned, as only six weeks passed before a player hit the first main jackpot for $149,000.
“In the back of my mind, we knew it could get to a $1 million mark. But ideally, we thought it would total like $500,000,” Brittain told PlayPennsylvania.
A few weeks later, the mini-jackpot hit on May 4 for $70,024 before nearly seven months passed when it struck on December 1 for $431,648. It has since hit three more times in 2022, while the main jackpot climbed towards half a million dollars.
“When it hit past $500 [thousand] and then it got to $750 [thousand], it was like you didn’t want it to hit. Deep down, you want it to hit, but is it going to get there [to $1 million]?” Brittain continued. “And the day we got to make that font a little bit smaller,” she added. “It was cool.”
Big Bad Beat Jackpot helping business
Is the jackpot helping business, or is business growing across the board?
The jackpot may also be helping business inside the poker room, though that actually cannot be confirmed. June is typically a down month across the industry due to families going on vacation and the World Series of Poker (WSOP) underway in Las Vegas, but Rivers Poker Room tends to stay steady.
Traffic is up from years past, though, and that traffic is buzzing more than usual, given the circumstances. However, Pennsylvania’s entire casino industry is also growing, so Brittain said there is no way to tell whether or not that uptick has been due to the jackpot or an industry-wide trend.
Will Rivers Casino Pittsburgh Bad Beat Jackpot break the record?
Back in June, Rivers Pittsburgh beat out the US bad beat jackpot record of $1,068,590, won in 2018 at Motor City Casino in Detroit.
The jackpot could hit at any moment, but it also could hold out.
It will hit eventually, though.
“I think that’s kind of the unique thing, too, right?” said Andre Barnabei, Senior VP of Gaming at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, of their jackpot. “A lot of people ask, ‘Oh, is it attainable?’ Not only has the mini hit multiple times, but the main bad beat has also hit, too.”
As for whether Barnabei or Brittain have any predictions on when the jackpot will be won or what its total will be at that time, both echoed the same sentiment: when there is a winner, they hope it’s for a record-setting prize.
That already appears to be a lock.