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For an Oxford man, losing never felt so good.

MotorCity Casino earlier this week was the site of the largest "Bad Beat" jackpot in United States history, with six players walking away with six-figure paydays — including the biggest "loser," who earned the lion's share of the prize pool, $427,452.

The progressive jackpot, built over months of play, was hit Tuesday, MotorCity Casino announced.

A man identified only by his first name, Scott, from Oxford, had four 3s, and his hand lost to an opponent's four queens — triggering the "Bad Beat."

The "Bad Beat" jackpot had risen to $1,068,590 over several months. The four 3s earned 40 percent of the jackpot, the winning hand earned 20 percent of the jackpot ($213,712), and the remaining players at the table split the rest. There were only six players at the table, so the remaining four each won $106,856

Poker tables can seat up to 10 players, and in recent weeks have been mostly full at MotorCity Casino as the jackpot has ballooned to record heights and players have flocked to the poker room hoping to strike it big. The casino even has had to add cash-game tables and cancel tournaments to meet the demand.

"There are winners every day on the floor, but it's not every day that a jackpot that big hits," said Phil Trofibio, senior vice-president of casino operations for MotorCity Casino.
"Congratulations to all the players at the table."

MotorCity Casino has established itself as the most popular of Detroit's three poker rooms, mostly because of the size of its "Bad Beat" jackpot. The previous "Bad Beat" record at MotorCity Casino was $569,000, hit in May 2016. Before that, it was $386,000, in 2011.

MotorCity Casino reset its "Bad Beat" jackpot at $495,624 this week, and it was at $498,311 as of 3 p.m. Friday. MGM Grand Detroit's "Bad Beat" jackpot is around $50,000, and Greektown's around $40,000.

The game is Texas Hold'em, with each player being dealt two cards to play with five "community" cards — to make up the best five-card hand. The "Bad Beat" is triggered when quads — or four of a kind — lose to better quads. To qualify, each of the quad hands has to include both cards in a player's hand, as well as three of the community cards.

The MotorCity Casino jackpot is built with a $1 "rake" from every cash-game hand that has a pot of at least $20.

A smaller, easier-to-hit "Bad Beat" jackpot is at $36,049 at MotorCity Casino. For that one, a full house of aces and kings must lose to a better hand.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

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