Episode five of this season’s High Stakes Poker began with the original eight. The blinds remained at 500-1000, with an ante of 200. The big question remained whether anyone could slow down Tom “durrr” Dwan’s aggression, as Dwan’s style has been consistently throwing many of the other players off their games.
The first hand saw Daniel Negreanu call with . The bet was raised to $4,100 with by 2008 WSOP Main Event champion Peter Eastgate, who was called by David Benyamine , Eli Elezra with 10-7 offsuit, and Negreanu. The flop brought an 8-7-5 with two clubs and a heart. Benyamine, with his flopped bottom two pair, bet $15,000 and Negreanu, with an up-and-down straight draw, was the only one who called.
The pot was now $48,000, and the turn card was the . Benyamine fired out another $30,000, and Negreanu folded. Commentator Gabe Kaplan noted that Negreanu has missed every draw he’s been on all season. From this observer’s standpoint, Negreanu’s play for the past two shows has been remarkably out of character, displaying someone either on tilt or very close to it, completely unlike the personality that has made him such a popular fan favorite. It goes to show that even the top professionals lose their edge, and when they do, they are as vulnerable to being taken advantage of as any low level player.
Eastgate called the next hand with 10-8 offsuit, and Greenstein raised to $5,000 with pocket kings. Dwan then re-raised to $18,300 with ! Elezra then spent some time thinking about whether or not to play his A-J offsuit, which is a hand that he would typically play to at least one raise. He finally folded, Greenstein re-raised to $100,000 and Dwan gave it up. Elezra commented after the hand, seeming to complain about how tightly Greenstein has played since taking down the huge pot against Dwan in the previous episode. Elezra would come to regret that comment later on in the show.
Two hands later, Elezra called with , Negreanu raised to $5,600 with K-Q offsuit, Dwan with A-J offsuit, and Elezra called. The flop was a rainbow J-8-2. Dwan bet $13,200 with top pair, top kicker, and Negreanu CALLED with just two over cards. This was yet another example of players just not being sure what to make of Dwan’s betting patterns and tendencies. The came on the turn; Dwan bet $34,200 and Negreanu finally gave the hand up. Negreanu continued to appear completely out of sorts, and had a sense of resignation about him that he has never, in my memory, shown on television.
The very next hand, Negreanu raised to $3,000 with yet another suited 10-9, this time in clubs. Dwan called with 8-7 offsuit and Elezra re-raised to $11,000 with pocket aces, including the ace of clubs. Both Negreanu and Dwan called, and with a pot of $35,100, the flop revealed a Q-4-2, with two clubs. Elezra led out with a bet of $17,100, Negreanu raised to $44,100 with his flush draw, Dwan folded, and Elezra re-raised to $119,100 with his overpair. The pot was now almost $200,000, and Negreanu went all-in for his last $226,300! Elezra called (he was getting almost 4:1 on his money at this point), and the players decided to run it twice. The first board finished with , and the second one showed , and Elezra swept the enormous pot. For the second time in five shows, Negreanu was felted, and was forced to rebuy yet again!
On the next hand, Benyamine called with . Elezra raised to $4,500 with , Illari “zligmund” Sahamies called with pocket fours, and Eastgate re-raised to $20,000 with pocket queens. Doyle Brunson, who was yet to play a hand, then FOLDED a pair of tens, which shocked Kaplan, although it seemed a very reasonable play against a raise and re-raise, and only Elezra stayed in to challenge the young Dane.
The flop was K-7-2, with two diamonds. Elezra bet $55,000 into the $64,100 pot. Kaplan noted the difference between the almost pot-sized bet here and the half-pot bet Elezra made with his pocket aces against Negreanu and Dwan, and suggested that Eastgate would note this and act accordingly. In fact, Eastgate called the bet. The turn was the , and with a pot of $174,100, Elezra checked. Kaplan mentioned that, had he fired a second large bullet, he would likely have won the pot right there, and also wondered if Eastgate would realize that Elezra was still drawing, and try to deny him the pot odds to see the river. Eastgate wound up checking, and the river was the . Both players checked, and Eastgate took the pot.
The next hand featured some more outrageous aggression from Tom Dwan. After Sahamies raised to $4,000 with A-10 offsuit, Negreanu called with pocket sevens and Eastgate re-raised to $20,000 with a pair of jacks. Dwan then PUT IN THE THIRD RAISE, to $58,700, with pocket fours!?! Sahamies and Negreanu folded, and Eastgate called. The pre-flop pot was $128,500.
The flop was A-Q-8 with two spades. Eastgate checked, which Kaplan suggested was simply waving a huge flag at Dwan to take the pot away. Dwan put in a bet of $62,200! Eastgate seemed to sense something was up, and he asked for a count of what Dwan had left. Kaplan noted that if Eastgate played back at Dwan in this situation, it would truly elevate him to a more elite status as a poker player. Finally, however, Eastgate folded, and after the hand, Elezra stuck the “needle” into Eastgate, suggesting he probably had A-K of spades but couldn’t go with it, harkening back to the three deuces Eastgate folded in week two. Meanwhile, Dwan continued to confuse the entire table with his aggression and follow-through.
Along with that hand, the most dynamic hand of the night was soon to be contested. It began with Greenstein, who had played only pairs and A-K to that point in the night, raising to $3,500 with . Elezra with A -2 offsuit, Sahamies , and Eastgate all called. With a pot of $16,100, the flop came A-K-J, with two diamonds. Greenstein made a continuation bet of $7,000, and Elezra raised to $19,000 with his top pair-no kicker. The turn was the , and Greenstein checked. Elezra bet $45,000, creating a pot of $99,100. Greenstein then showed why he has long been considered one of the best cash game players in the world by RAISING to $200,000! So much for Elezra criticizing Greenstein’s lack of gamble! Elezra meekly folded, and Greenstein took down the big pot.
Two of the final hands of the night featured heads-up battles between the two Internet pros, Dwan and Sahamies, both of which were won by Dwan, with Sahamies paying Dwan off with very poor hands, seemingly unsure as to whether Dwan actually had anything. Negreanu also took down a very small pot when he finally hit a hand, flopping the nut flush, only to have everyone fold. His frustration with the luck he has had was just about at the boiling point.
As Kaplan stated at the end of the show, tonight was basically the Greenstein-Dwan show, as these two players dominated most of the action. The coming attractions for next week promised a huge showdown between these two, and personally, I can’t wait! See you then!
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