A new group of players came to the table tonight to continue what has, thus far, been a high-action, fascinating season of High Stakes Poker. Joining holdovers Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, and Daniel Negreanu were High Stakes rookies Dennis Phillips, Andrew Robl and Lex Veldhuis, as well as veterans Barry Greenstein and Patrik Antonius. Antonius, Ivey and Dwan all bought in for $500,000, while the others have $200,000 to start, except Negreanu, who left the $346,000 he had at the end of the previous session in play.
A potentially huge hand developed right away. Greenstein raised to $3,000 with . Ivey then found pocket kings, and re-raised to $13,000. However, Antonius looked down and saw a pair of aces, and made it $36,400 to go. Greenstein folded, and Ivey just called to see the flop, which came Q-10-J. The dangerous board slowed both players down, and they checked. When another Q fell on the turn, both checked again. The river brought a 9, which made a straight for Ivey. After Antonius checked once more, Ivey bet out $45,000. Antonius made the call, and lost the $168,200 pot. In an interview with Kara Scott after the hand, Ivey revealed that the fact that the hand came so early in the session, and that both he and Antonius had huge stacks, probably kept the pot much smaller than it would have been if they had bought in for the minimum.
Next, Ivey raised to $3,500 with A-K, which got three callers, Veldhuis with pocket fives, Phillips with A-J and Dwan with 9-8. The flop of 8-J-7 brought checks from the first three players, but Phillips bet $8,500, which only Dwan called. Both checked the 4 on the turn, but then Dwan hit a second pair when a 9 came on the river. He bet $14,800 into the $33,400 pot, and Phillips called, leaving Dwan to take the $63,000 pot.
Antonius raised the following hand to $4,000 with pocket eights, which Negreanu () and Phillips () both called. The flop was . Antonius checked, Negreanu bet $7,500, and Phillips folded. Antonius called the bet, and the two saw a turn of the . Antonius had the in his hand, and he check-called Negreanu’s bet of $12,000. When yet another diamond, the 4, came on the river, Antonius checked for a third time, but called Negreanu’s bet of $15,000, and took the pot.
After Phillips won a small pot with a post-flop bet on an ace high flop against Dwan, Veldhuis raised the next hand to $3,500 with Q-J. Dwan () and Negreanu () both called, with Negreanu not realizing that Veldhuis had raised under the gun, but thinking Dwan had made the raise. The flop was 6-K-10, with two clubs. Negreanu checked, Veldhuis bet $8,500, and the other two called. The came on the turn and all three checked. Dwan once again hit two pair on the river when the spiked, and he bet $28,400 into the $38,000 pot. Negreanu called and saw that, once again, he had been drawn out on in a hand on High Stakes Poker.
Ivey then raised to $3,500 with , which Negreanu called with , as did Phillips with and Dwan in the big blind with 8-6. The flop brought 2-8-5. Phillips checked, Dwan bet $12,000 into the $15,600 pot, and Ivey and Negreanu folded. Phillips, however, called, and the two saw a turn of the . Both checked, and then saw the river bring the , making Dwan a straight! With $40, 00 in the pot, Phillips checked, but Dwan put out a bet of $29,200, making it look as if he were bluffing. Phillips called, and commentator Gabe Kaplan said that we were once more “rollin’ on durrrr river.”
Antonius limped into the next pot with . Dwan followed him into the pot with and so did Greenstein with Q-10. However, Ivey then raised to $7,000 with . Antonius was the only player who called. Both whiffed on the 7-4-4 flop, which contained one diamond. Ivey led out with a $12,000 bet, but Antonius RAISED to $36,000, and Ivey called! The on the turn gave Antonius a flush draw to go along with his inside straight possibility, and when Ivey checked, Antonius bet $42,000, and Ivey folded. Kaplan noted that when two of the best players in the world clash in a hand, sometimes 8 high beats K high.
On the next hand, Antonius was trying to throw his hand away, only to be told he was the big blind. Veldhuis, seeing this, raised to $3,500 with . Phillips called with A-K, and so did Ivey with 6-5. Antonius then decided to come along for the ride with Q-6, and was rewarded with a 10-Q-Q flop! He checked, and Veldhuis bet $12,800, which the others folded around to Antonius, who just called. A jack fell on the turn, and Veldhuis fired another bullet, this time betting $31,300 into the $41,600 pot. Antonius called again, and when a 5 came on the river, Veldhuis gave up, and Antonius raked in the $104,200 pot.
Ivey put on the live straddle of $1,600 on the next hand, and was raised to $4,500 by Negreanu, who had . Dwan called in the small blind with and so did Ivey with 6-4. The flop was 7-8-6, with two spades. Dwan bet $13,300, Ivey folded and Negreanu called. With $42,500 in the pot, the turn brought the , giving Dwan the low end of the straight and Negreanu a flush draw. Both players checked, but when the fell on the river, Dwan led out for $31,800, which Negreanu called with top two pair. As has been the case since he first appeared on the show, the other players were having a lot of trouble dealing with the incessant aggression (and favorable luck) of Tom Dwan.
With Ivey and Phillips away from the table, Antonius limped with , and brought three other players with him, Negreanu (), Veldhuis (8-5), and Dwan (). The flop contained J-9-8, with two clubs. Antonius bet $4,000, and Negreanu called with his huge draw, which was then completed when he hit the king-high straight flush on the turn of the . Antonius checked, Negreanu bet $10,500 and Antonius folded. Negreanu said it was the best hand he was ever dealt in his life at the tables.
In the final hand of the night, Negreanu raised to $3,000 with . Veldhuis then made it $11,000 with . Robl, who had not contested a pot all night, smooth-called with pocket queens, and Negreanu also called the re-raise. Robl hit his set on a flop of 3-7-Q. The other two players checked to Veldhuis, who bet $23,800 into the $34,400 pot. Robl called once again, and Negreanu folded. The came on the turn, Robl checked once again, and this time Veldhuis checked behind. When the fell on the river, Robl checked once more. Veldhuis then tried to steal the pot with a bet of $54,000 into the $82,000 already in the middle. Robl called, and took down $190,000 to end the evening.
The first week for this new group of players saw a continuation of the aggressive pre-flop play that we saw in the first five episodes, although without very many of the huge re-raises that the first group made so frequently. In the weeks to come, will anyone stand up and stop Tom Dwan from continuing to make High Stakes Poker his personal playground? We’ll find out next week. See you then!
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