Infested Terran loses to Moss Icon.
Dear lord that was an awful starting hand I got
1 three (Soviet event)
I was so desperate trying to not let his higher cards pull ahead in the vital early influence rush that I didn't save a 2 card, gambling that he wouldn't get blockade on the very first round, aaaaaand....he did.
Blockade going off is a virtual auto loss. The sword of de Gaulle hanging overhead meant he was free to take France. Italy was the only thing keeping me from an instant Europe control loss. From the start of the mid war I was hovering at a loss with him at a 14-17 point advantage. My only hope was Central or South American scoring to come up to maybe buy me time until late war. Never happened.
In hindsight, you should always save a 2 card for Blockade no matter what, but geez the pressure of watching your opponent dominating you in the early rush with higher cards. The one significant blunder I remember was me not immediately playing Colonial Rear Guards the instant I saw him spend 2 influence to break control of a 1 value African battleground country, dead giveaway of a scoring card.
re: starting hands, there's always tales of poor saps who get stuck with 2 or even 3 scoring cards the first round. Given how vital the first hand is I'm surprised they never developed some sort of tournament rule allowing for a mulligan starting re-deal, even at the cost of something like having to give 2 VP to your opponent.