Last week saw the injection of Tom “durrr” Dwan into a group of players that had seemed more interested in proposition bets about movie ratings and push-ups than playing high stakes poker. Dwan immediately changed the energy of the game into one where players had to be aware that anything could happen at any moment. It raised the excitement level, and increased the quality of the game. This week’s episode promised more of the same, and the likely clash of Dwan and the other dominant personality at the table, Patrik Antonius.
Joe Hachem raised the first hand to $2,500 with 8-5 offsuit, and Patrik Antonius called with an unsuited 6-4. The flop was a rainbow 10-8-4, and Antonius led with a bet of $5,000 into the $7,000 pot. Hachem called. The came on the turn, Hachem bet $12,000 and Antonius folded.
The very next hand saw the same two players go at it again. Hachem raised to $2,500 with , and Antonius called with . The flop was 8-4-8, with one heart, and both players checked. The turn brought the , and after Antonius checked, Hachem fired out a bet of $2,500 into the $7,400 pot. Antonius, suspecting weakness, but also having outs with his double belly-buster straight draw, raised to $13,000. Hachem asked, “Why did I bet?” and then folded his cards. It was the first sloppy play Hachem has made during his time on the show.
On the next deal, Antonio Esfandiari called with pocket nines, and Antonius raised to $4,800 with . Esfandiari called the bet, and the two players saw a flop of A-6-10, with two clubs. Esfandiari checked, and Antonius bet $7,000 into the $12,800 already in the middle. Esfandiari called, and the turn brought the . “The Magician” checked again, and Antonius fired out $19,000 more, bringing another call from Antonio. The river was the , and Antonius now bet $41,000, and Esfandiari finally gave up the hand, leaving Antonius to take down the $105,800 pot.
Dwan raised the next hand to $3,000 with an unsuited A-10, and Nick Cassavetes defended his big blind with . With the pot at $8,000, the flop brought A-3-Q, and both players checked. The turn was another Q, and Cassavetes bet $5,000, which Dwan called. The river brought the , and Cassavetes shot out another $11,000 into the $18,000 pot. Dwan finally showed his strength by raising to $24,300, and Cassavetes folded.
“Durrrr” once again raised the next hand to $3,000, this time with an unsuited K-Q. Daniel Negreanu was the only one to take him on, with A-6 offsuit. The flop came A-9-J, with two clubs. Negreanu checked and Dwan bet $5,700 into the $8,000 pot. Negreanu called, and the turn brought the . This time Negreanu led out with an $11,000 bet into the $19,400 already in the center of the table. Dwan called, needing a king, queen or ten to take the pot. The on the river made his straight, and after Negreanu checked, Dwan bet $28,800 into the $41,400 pot. Negreanu thought for a while, and finally made the proper laydown.
Phil Laak won a small pot after once again finding pocket aces, and getting no action post-flop, and Laak then called the next hand with , only to have Dwan raise to $4,000 with pocket eights. The flop came 6-9-6, with two hearts. Dwan led out with $6,300 into the $10,800 pot, and Laak raised to $21,300, which Dwan, continuing his series of masterful reads, called. The turn was the , filling out Dwan’s full house. With the pot at $53,400, both players checked. The river was the , giving Dwan an even bigger boat, and Laak a made flush. After Laak checked, Dwan put out the tantalizingly small bet of $9,400. Laak agonized for a full four minutes, trying to get information from Dwan, and going on and on about what a bad call it would be, and then finally called, sending the entire table into hysterics.
Negreanu led off the next deal by raising to $2,500 with K-J offsuit, and Laak called with the , as did Hachem with pocket fours. The flop was K-5-8, with two clubs, giving Negreanu top pair, good kicker, and Laak bottom two pair. Negreanu bet $6,500, and Laak called. The turn was the , and with the pot at $22,500, Negreanu checked. Laak then bet $18,500, and Negreanu check-raised to $43,500, which Laak called. The river was the , which didn’t change the situation, and after Negreanu checked, Laak bet $54,200 into the $109,500 pot. Negreanu once again made the correct play, and folded his hand.
Laak called the next hand with an unsuited K-Q, Howard Lederer also called with pocket sixes, and Dwan raised to $5,400 with A-Q offsuit. Negreanu then called with , and Laak and Lederer also called, creating a $23,600 pot going to the flop. Negreanu checked in the dark, and the flop brought Q-A-2, with two diamonds. The other two players also checked to Dwan, who bet $14,300. Negreanu called, and the other two players folded. The turn was the , Negreanu checked, and Dwan bet $34,600 into the $52,200 pot. Negreanu raised to $84,600, and Dwan once again made the right read, and called. The pot was now $221,400, and the on the river left things just the way they were. Both players checked, and Dwan took down the massive pot.
The final hand of the night, and also the last hand for this group of players, was the deal that was previewed on last week’s show, promising a big showdown between Dwan and Antonius, who had been the dominant players at the table. Dwan started the action by raising to $3,000 with pocket jacks. Esfandiari called with , and Antonius then RE-RAISED to $14,400 with ! Dwan called and Esfandiari got out of the way. With the pot at $34,200, the flop came A-8-2. Antonius bet $21,000 and Dwan made the call. When the turn brought the , Antonius fired out another $52,000 into the $76,200 pot. Dwan seemed disgusted by the way he let Antonius take over the betting, and decided to fold. Although it was a fine play by Antonius, it was a bit of an anti-climax as a final hand for this group.
Next week, a new group of players takes over, including Doyle Brunson, Eli Elezra and newcomer Dario Minieri. But guess what? Dwan will still be there! So, fasten your seat belts, and get ready for more high-wire, High Stakes Poker. See you then!
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