High Stakes Poker has been living up to its billing of having one of the toughest tables in the history of poker. Going into tonight’s fourth episode, Phil Ivey continued to lead the way with a profit of over $300,000, with Eli Elezra ahead by more than $80,000 and Tom Dwan about $50,000 in the black. Let’s see what happened tonight:
Tom Dwan opened the first hand with a raise to $3,200 with K-Q, and Antonio Esfandiari, who had been almost absent for the first few episodes, put in a re-raise to $11,000 with A-J, which Dwan called. When the flop brought a harmless 10-7-5, Dwan led out with a bet of $14,700, and Esfandiari folded. Dwan’s proclivity to play any two cards, coupled with Esfandiari’s tight play, made it a move that was likely to be successful for Dwan.
Ivey then started off what was to be a night of big bets with small cards with a raise to $3,000 with 7-2. Daniel Negreanu called with , as did Gus Hansen (Q-J), Dwan (7-5) and Dario Minieri (). The flop was 4-9-A, with two hearts. Ivey, playing with a confidence that few players possess, made a continuation bet of $12,000 into four other players! Everyone folded except Minieri, who called with his flush draw. When the came on the turn, Minieri checked, but Ivey kept it up, firing out $30,000 into the $40,400 pot. Minieri folded.
Next, Negreanu raised to $3,000 with , which Eli Elezra called with . The flop of 10-5-7 brought a check from Elezra, and a bet of $5,500 from Negreanu, which Elezra check-raised to $13,000 with his open-ended straight draw. Negreanu called with just an inside straight chance. When the came on the turn, Elezra checked. Negreanu then accidentally exposed his as he was reaching for chips, and then decided to check behind. The river brought the , making a straight for Negreanu. Elezra checked once more, and Negreanu bet $20,000. Elezra thought about it for a long time, before finally making the good lay down.
Hansen and Minieri went at it next, with Hansen raising to $3,500 with A-8. Minieri then re-raised to $11,500 with A-9! Hansen, not to be outdone, popped it once more, to $35,500. But Minieri then pushed all of his chips into the middle, and Hansen finally decided to muck his cards.
After Negreanu won a fairly small pot with pocket queens, Dwan raised a hand to $3,200 with K-J. Minieri, continuing his aggressive play, re-raised to $12,300 with . Negreanu then looked down and found pocket aces, and raised once more, to $40,300, no doubt hoping that Minieri would keep attacking. However, both Dwan and Minieri folded, ending the hand.
Minieri raised to $3,000 with A-Q, and Negreanu re-raised to $15,000 with J-5. Unfortunately, this time Minieri really had a hand, and he moved to raise once again, but Negreanu folded before he even picked out an amount to bet. Negreanu, who just seems to expect bad things to happen on the show, complained about never being able to trap Minieri when he raises.
Elezra limped into the next hand with 10-9. Jason Mercier, who had been very quiet until now, also limped with , as did Negreanu with . Dwan then raised to $7,200 with pocket eights, only to have the other three players all call. With the pot holding $31,200, the flop brought 7-5-J, with two clubs. Dwan checked, and the other three checked behind. When the turn brought the , all four checked once again. The river card was the , and it was checked down, with Dwan’s eights holding up for the win.
Ivey then raised to $3,000 with pocket eights. Negreanu called with , as did Dwan with Q-J. J-4-A came on the flop, and Ivey checked. Negreanu bet $8,000. Dwan called and Ivey folded. The hit on the turn, which gave Dwan two pair and also put three clubs on the board. Negreanu bet $18,000 into the $27,800 pot, and Dwan called once again. Both players checked the river of the , and Dwan won, with Negreanu visibly deflated over yet another High Stakes Poker hand that he lost after being ahead on the flop, which has been his consistent history for six seasons.
Mercier limped in with , and was followed into the pot by Hansen (A-J), Dwan (5-4), Esfandiari (K-J), Minieri (A-9) and Elezra . The flop brought 9-8-10, with two clubs. Elezra and Minieri checked, and Mercier bet $3,700 with his made straight. Only Esfandiari, with his higher straight draw, called, but when the came on the turn, Esfandiari folded to Mercier’s bet of $9,100.
Next, Esfandiari raised to $3,100 with 5-4, a huge departure from his extremely tight play to this point. Minieri then re-raised to $12,200 with 8-3! Esfandiari then came back at the young Italian player with a bet of $35,000. Minieri clearly considered pushing all-in, but finally wound up folding.
In the final hand of the night, Elezra raised to $3,000 with 9-7. Negreanu called with Q-9, and so did Dwan with K-Q. The flop was K-8-10, with two spades. Dwan checked, and Elezra bet $7,200. Negreanu folded, but Dwan called. The turn of the made a straight for Elezra, but also put a flush draw on the board, and both players checked. The was the river card, and Dwan bet $8,400 into the $25,400 pot. However, Elezra raised to $28,400, and Dwan folded.
The play tonight was largely conducted pre-flop, with not a lot of action after the community cards were dealt. The biggest bet of the night, however, came between Ivey and Dwan, when Dwan bet Ivey one million dollars that Ivey could not refrain from eating meat or fish for an entire year! Viewers were treated to extended negotiations over both the terms and the amount of the bet, and both players were interviewed by Kara Scott at the end of the hour, with Ivey revealing it was something he had already been thinking about doing, even without the money involved!
The teaser for next week suggests that four players will be felted, and that Dwan and Ivey will engage in a pot for the ages! Can’t wait! See you then!
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