By Steve Beauregard
Caesars Entertainment Properties are the undisputed big boys when it comes to Las Vegas bad beat jackpots. That’s because they’re using their size and pull to create a eye-catching jackpot. Whereas each card room in the Caesars Entertainment chain used to have their own little jackpot, the company has now combined the take of seven casinos in the Caesars Entertainment chain to create one mouth-watering, lip-smacking monster bad beat jackpot.
**************UPDATE 05/20/14 – Caesars has recently ended this bad beat jackpot ****************
It started on January 10, 2013, and is officially called the “Mega Beat Progressive Poker Jackpot,” or “Mega Beat” as they call it. But we’ll stick with the tired and true “bad beat jackpot,” or, as it’s often called, the BBJ.
This jackpot will always have at least $200,000 in the pot. With this starter pot, the qualifying hand is 4 aces.
Once it hits $300,000, the qualifying hand drops to (just) four Kings. After it hits $400,000, the qualifier is reduced to a hand that loses while holding four Queens, and so on until the pot hits $1.4 million – at which point the qualifying hand is a hand in which four 2’s or better loses.
(Go here to read about other Las Vegas Poker Rooms with Bad Beat Jackpots)
Since its January 2013 start date, the jackpot has frequently reached soaring heights. That’s because it’s just simply so hard to get beaten that badly to qualify. For example, the starting qualifying hand for the Mega Beat, when it is at its starting figure of $200,000 is 4 aces. Think about that for a second. Picture yourself holding pocket rockets. Now picture the flop coming down with two more Aces. Can you see it? God bless you if you can, because I can’t – I’ve never had quad Aces.
But nevermind that. Picture your quad aces. Now picture someone beating that monster hand. Hard to do huh? So you can see why the rarity of that event ensures a quickly rising BBJ.
To fund the Mega Beat, each pot that is at least $10 or more will have exactly $1 taken out of it. This is called the “Promotional rake” and is an addition to the normal house rake – hence the pro’s disdain for it. To be fair, these guys play poker to guy groceries. You wouldn’t like it either if 10% of your paycheck was taken out and put into what is in essence, a lottery pool.
As for payout, Caesars Entertainment rules state it will be a 20/10/70 split, meaning it works like this:
Let’s say the BBJ is at $800,000, and Joe, with quad 10’s, loses a pot to Sally, with pocket Jacks. Joe will receive 20% of the BJJ, or $160,000 (20% x $800,000). Sally gets the “winner’s share” of 10%, or $80,000. The remaining $560,000 is split among all of the players who are currently playing poker in one of the 7 Caesars Entertainment properties.
Just a note: you don’t have to be technically “seated” to collect your share of the 70%. If you happen to be in the bathroom when the Mega Beat jackpot is hit, you still get your chunk of the bad beat jackpot.
In March of 2013, the Mega Beat jackpot hit at Planet Hollywood, when a straight flush beat quad Queens. Because the BBJ was at $672,000, the player holding the quads received over $136,000. At the time though, only 238 other players were seated at one of the seven (total) Caesars Entertainment poker rooms. Those 238 players each received $2,159.
In the first seven months of the promotion, the Mega Beat hit four times. Oddly enough, three of those were at the Planet Hollywood. The other occurred on August 31, 2013 at The Quad.
(Read more here about the best poker room in Las Vegas for beginner players>)
The biggest jackpot thus far was paid out on June 5, 2013, when 4 Kings lost to 4 Aces. The BBJ at the time was $914,474. It happened to take place during the 7 a.m. hour – typically one of the slowest times in a poker room (and in a casino in general), so there were only 107 players in all of the seven Caesars Entertainment rooms playing at the time. Each of those 107 players (including the lucky SOB who had already won $182,000 for his losing Kings), took home about $6,000.
On Wednesday, November 27, 2013, when I was home, dreaming about turkey for Thanksgiving the next day, the Mega Beat Progressive Poker Jackpot hit at the Flamingo. A California man flopped a royal flush, and if that weren’t lucky enough, got action for a Texan woman who finished the hand with quad jacks.
The jackpot at the time was $766,951. The Texan won $156,189, while the holder of the royal flush collected $79,406.
The seven poker rooms that are a part of the Caesars Entertainment Bad Beat Jackpot are as follows:
Harrah’s Las Vegas
Flamingo Poker Room
The Quad Resort and Casino
While the more serious poker players avoid rooms with bad beat jackpots, due to extra rake being taken out of every pot, a BBJ offers the casual player an extra level of excitement and a chance (albeit a very slight one), at some large money while playing low stakes.