Remember what I said about Season 6 not quite living up to my expectations? How I was disappointed in the action despite all the great names on the table? Well I take it all back! Episode 5 probably had one of the greatest hands of High Stakes Poker history, and that’s saying something. However, I won’t ruin it for you just yet, but just let me say this. Episode 5 got HSP Season 6 out of the muck and into the red zone. That’s for sure.
Notable Hand 1: You Don’t Mess with the Zohan!
Negreanu, Hansen, Dwan and Esfandiari all limp into the pot only to have Minieri raise it up to $7,000. Eli picks up 2 Jacks and raises it up $22,400. Everybody folds except for Dario who calls the additional $15,400. The flop comes out 7-9-6 giving Dario a pair of 6s. But with Eli still ahead with his over-pair he bets $16,900. Dario reaches deep into his heart and pulls out a whopping raise to $66,500 with his measly pair of 6s – perhaps representing two pair or a very big draw. Eli calls and the action goes check check to the river, and Eli takes it down. Don’t mess with Eli – he’s probably got the most pure gamble in him than most of the players on the table.
Notable Hand 2: A Series of Unfortunate Poker Hands
Who runs worse than Daniel Negreanu on High Stakes Poker? No-one, that’s for sure. He never makes his straight flush draws, never manages to draw out on anyone and his hands – whether it be a straight, set or full house – are never any good. Will the poker gods ever cut him some slack? Well maybe, but it definitely wasn’t for this hand. Minieri raises up to $3,000 with J-9 of clubs, Eli re-raises to 8-7 suited to $11,000 and Daniel goes all in for his remaining $46,900 with K-Q of spades. Dario gets out of the way and Eli is left pondering pot odds. Daniel provokes him into calling after showing a Queen and they decide to run the entire board twice. With two live cards and a moderate chance of at least chopping the pot, it didn’t look too bad for Daniel. That is until the cards fell. Eli manages to flop a straight on the first board and despite flopping top pair on the second board, Daniel managed to get drawn out AGAIN by another straight. It’s just sickening sometimes. Good on Daniel for always remaining classy despite his bad beats and good on Eli – the truest gambler.
Notable Hand 3: Dwan Meets Dario Pt. III – End Game
Dwan opens up with K-10 off suit to $3,200, Minieri bumps it up to $11,600 with K-3 suited which Dwan calls. The flop comes out 2-10-3, giving both players a pair each. Dwan check-raises Minieri’s continuation bet of $13,700 to $32,900, causing Dario to push his remaining stack in. Dwan takes a few seconds before casually throwing in the additional $126,300 and they proceed to run the turn and river four times. With only 2 threes left in the deck to save him, Dario doesn’t manage to draw out and is felted. Bye Dario, it was nice knowing you.
Notable Hand 4: It’s About Goddamn Time
Daniel raises it up to $3,000 with 7-5 suited, Hansen smooth calls with his Queens and Mercier comes along with J-10 off suit. Daniel flops top two pair on a board of 7-2-5 and leads out for $6,500. Hansen raises it up to $21,000, thinking that’s going to end the hand. Not so fast Mister. Daniel jacks it up to $71,000, Hansen pushes for $195,300 and Daniel reluctantly calls. They run the board twice and Daniel’s two pair holds up both times. That’s unusual isn’t it? I was imagining a Queen coming out on both turns. But it’s true, Daniel wins over $400,000 and Gus is left muttering to himself.
Notable Hand 5: Re-Buy Time
Esfandiari raises it up to $3,000 with 10-7 suited, Eli calls with 6-5 suited, Daniel and Gus both call with A-9 and Dwan comes in with a pair of deuces. The nice looking flop comes out 9-5-4 with two hearts. Both Daniel and Gus have top pair, top kicker and Eli – who’s the favourite to win this hand – has a pair with a flush draw. Gus goes all in for his remaining $14,300, Eli calls and Daniel pumps it up to $39,300. Eli calls and the turn brings a 6, giving Eli two pair to go along with his flush draw. Daniel bets $42,000 and Eli quickly raises it up to $100,000. Daniel gets out the way and Gus and Eli run the river twice. Eli’s hand holds up and Gus is left to rebuy for another 200K.
Notable Hand 6: Another One Bites the Dust
Wow, they’re dropping like flies. Hansen raises up with Q-6 off suit to $4,200, Eli and Ivey both call. Mercier with A-4 of hearts re-raises to $22,100. Ivey with 9-9 is the only one that calls, and they both see the flop. The board comes out 2-3-7 with one heart, giving Mercier a gut shot straight and a backdoor flush draw. Mercier leads out for $28,700 and Phil re-raises it up to $78,700 only to have Mercier come back over the top for $185,100. Ivey calls the additional $106,400. Needless to say, they run it twice and Ivey ends up raking in the $425,200 pot. See you later Mercier.
Notable Hand 7: Suicide King vs. Suicide King Pt. II
If Tom Dwan was fairly quiet during the previous episodes of season 6, I think it was only because he was preparing his heart to summon up the courage for this hand. Before I talk about it, I just have to say it’s one of the sickest, most courageous, greatest-value-bets, poker move I’ve seen. Well, one of them anyway. Down to 6 players after Dario, Hansen and Mercier left, newcomer Phil Laak raises it up with A-9 off suit to $3,900. Eli calls with A-7 suited, Ivey calls with A-6 suited and Daniel calls with J-3 suited. After a little bit of teasing by Antonio and Laak; Dwan pumps up the action to $28,900 with 8-9 suited. The re-raise gets rid of everybody except for one: Phil Ivey. The two go heads up to the flop which brings out 10-Q-K with two diamonds; giving Ivey a flush and straight draw and Dwan with a gut shot. (Note: both players started the hand with over $750,000 behind them). With the pot already at $70,700, Dwan fires a continuation bet of $45,800. Ivey calls, swelling the pot up to $162,300. The turn brings a 3 of spades, prompting Dwan to fire a whopping $123,200 with 9-high and practically no chance of winning the pot. Ivey calls again and at this time the pot is $408,700. The river brings a 6, giving Ivey the best hand, although he doesn’t quite know it yet. Dwan fires out an amazing value-bet-bluff of $268,200 and this leaves Ivey genuinely confused. After pondering for several minutes, Ivey folds and the $676,900 pot is shipped over to Dwan; as well as the title for best bluffer.
Episode 5 Recap
On a side note, for those who are new to HSP and don’t quite understand why they run the board twice, or the turn and river three times, etc. Daniel explains it on his segment of poker trivia this week and it’s quite enlightening. Also, the players on the table are asked who they thought was the best all-round poker player in the world and the consensus was Phil Ivey. But anyway, back to the table. Wow, what a week of HSP. Dario busted out, Mercier busted out, Gus got felted and even though he re-bought, I think he was still a little shell shocked and decided to call it quits. Daniel doubles up with a lucky flop, Eli rakes in a few nice pots and Dwan faces off with Ivey in one of the most epic poker hands ever. What a great final hand, they’ll be talking about that one for a while. I’ll see you next time.
Image by larrykang