The same eight players returned once again for the third installment of this season’s High Stakes Poker. After two weeks of Tom “durrr” Dwan psychologically controlling the table, anticipation was high to see how the other players would respond.
Daniel Negreanu, who had been unusually cautious for much of the first two weeks, raised the first hand to $2,500 with the . Doyle Brunson, for the third week in a row, woke up with pocket kings, and for the third straight time, smooth called with them! Eli Elezra then raised to $13,300 with a pair of nines, and Negreanu folded. Brunson took some time to think about his next move, and Elezra asked him if he had pocket kings again! Hearing that, Brunson moved all-in for $95,600, and Elezra called, creating a $195,700 pot. As is typical for the regular big-game cash players, they decided to run out the board twice. The first flop came J-8-7, making Brunson having to sweat not only the third nine, but also Elezra’s inside straight draw. However, a queen and seven on the turn and river gave first blood to Big Papa. The second board began with a 5-4-3, with two hearts. Two more hearts (the 10 and 6) followed, and as Elezra was the only one holding a heart in his hand, the huge pot was chopped.
While the early hands were being dealt, discussion continued about the final hand of the previous show, when Dwan pushed Eastgate and Greenstein off better hands with a huge turn bet. Dwan had immediately stated that he felt Eastgate had folded the best hand, which Brunson and others disputed, beginning a side bet conversation. Tonight, Eastgate revealed that he had, in fact, folded three deuces, which won Dwan some money on his bets, and was also to influence a hand later on in tonight’s show.
Meanwhile, more poker was being played, and, in a harbinger of how the night was going to play out, Daniel Negreanu called the big blind with A-8 suited, only to have Barry Greenstein raise to $4,000 on the button with J-10 offsuit. Greenstein then flopped the nuts, with Q-9-8 making him a straight, with Negreanu far behind with bottom pair. Negreanu checked, and Greenstein bet $5,500, which Negreanu called. The fell on the turn, putting Negreanu in even more danger with the “dead man’s hand”, aces and eights. Greenstein bet $15,000 this time, and Negreanu called again. The king of spades was the river card, and Greenstein bet $50,000 into the pot of $51,800 with the absolute nuts. Negreanu finally made the call, and Greenstein took down the $151,800 pot.
With Negreanu now steaming a bit, Brunson bet $4,000 with , Greenstein called with pocket deuces, Elezra followed suit with K-Q offsuit, and Negreanu also decided to play his . The flop brought A-K-Q, giving both Doyle and Daniel top pair, but Eli bottom two. Brunson bet $9,000 into the $18,000 pot, Elezra called, and Negreanu RAISED to $24,000. Brunson got out of the way, but Elezra called.
The turn was a jack, and Negreanu immediately began to complain about his luck quite loudly and forcefully, saying he knew it was going to either be a jack or ten, and telling Elezra to just go ahead and bet because he knew Eli was going to bluff him anyway. Elezra bet $35,000 and Negreanu immediately threw his cards away. Commentator Gabe Kaplan was shocked, saying he had never seen Daniel give up on a hand that way before.
A couple of hands later, Dwan, who was relatively quiet this episode, raised to $3,000 with 6-5 offsuit, Negreanu, who by now was playing just about every hand, called with 9-8 offsuit, and Brunson called with 10-10. The flop was J-10-6 with two clubs, giving Brunson a set of tens and Negreanu the open-ended straight draw. Dwan checked, Negreanu bet $7,000 into the $11,000 pot and Brunson just called (!), which was a dangerous move given the presence of both straight and flush draws on the board. Dwan folded, and the was the turn card. Both players checked, and the on the river gave Brunson a full house. Brunson, sensing that Negreanu would fold to any bet, just checked, hoping to induce a bluff, but Daniel checked back, leaving Brunson to take down a very small pot, considering how big his hand was. Elezra joked “where’s the rest of the pot?” as Brunson gathered in the chips.
On the next hand, Eastgate brought it in for $3,000 with , Elezra called with , zligmund stayed with pocket threes and Negreanu called with 10-8 offsuit. The flop was K-8-6 with two diamonds. After two checks, Eastgate fired out $32,000 into the pot of $13,600! Negreanu brought the attention of the table to the overbet, stating that it was likely a chip color mistake on Eastgate’s part. Elezra, sensing that was the truth, raised to $140,000 with his bottom pair and flush draw, and wound up taking down the pot when Eastgate admitted he had grabbed the wrong color chip, costing him an extra $25,000. Gabe Kaplan criticized Negreanu for table talking and bringing everyone’s awareness to the error, stating that Eastgate might have won the pot had Negreanu not spoken. All in all, it had been a bad night already for Negreanu, and it was soon to get a whole lot worse. But first, there was a poker lesson in not talking about the hands you’ve folded to be delivered by Big Papa.
The hand began with Dwan raising to $3,000 with . Elezra had A-4 offsuit, Eastgate , and Brunson , all called. The flop was 10-5-2, with two diamonds and a club, which got checked around. The turn was the , and Eastgate now bet his top pair, putting $8,000 into the $13,600 pot. Brunson then raised to $33,000 with his flush draw! Kaplan commented that Eastgage saying that he had laid down the three deuces on the previous show inspired Doyle to make a move on the young player, and sure enough, Eastgate folded.
For the final hand of the show, the players decided to raise the blinds to 500-1000. Negreanu, with pocket jacks, raised to $2,800, only to be called by Eastgate with pocket threes, Benyamine with a pair of fours, and Elezra with . The pot stood at $13,800 when the flop of 7-4-2 (two diamonds) was exposed. Benyamine and Elezra checked, and Negreanu bet $8,000. Eastgate called, and Benyamine raised to $41,000, creating a pot of $70,800. Negreanu called, and Eastgate folded. The pot now stood at $103,800.
The turn card was the four of clubs, making quads for Benyamine, who then asked Negreanu how much he had left. Negreanu told him that he had about $160,000, whereupon Brunson stated that he never tells people how much he has, but makes them look and try and count it themselves. Benyamine then bet $35,000, a tantalizingly small bet into such a large pot, encouraging Negreanu to stay if he had a flush draw or an overpair. Negreanu began to talk about what a “fun” hand it was, and how he had a number of different plays he was considering. Benyamine then told him to “just be careful” with what you do, and Negreanu then went all-in, finding out the bad news as Benyamine insta-called.
All-in-all, not Daniel Negreanu’s finest night on the felt. We’ll see if he can bounce back next week.
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