The same six players returned for a second week of high-stakes cash game play on Poker After Dark’s Rail Heaven broadcast. After a re-draw for new seats, the players sat in the following order: Tom Dwan, Gus Hansen, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Patrik Antonius and Daniel Negreanu.
One of the big hands of the second week began when Ivey called for $600 with 8-6, which Antonius called with . Negreanu decided also just to call with A-Q, but Dwan raised to $5,200 with pocket threes. Hansen and Ivey folded, but Antonius and Negreanu called. The flop was K-9-A, with two clubs. Dwan bet $12,700, which Antonius called. Negreanu, however, raised to $40,700, and Dwan got out of the way. But Antonius, misjudging the situation, decided to go all-in with his weak ace, and Negreanu, naturally, called. The players decided to run the turn and river twice. The first time, the on the turn meant that Negreanu couldn’t lose, and turned out to be fortunate for him when an 8 fell on the river. Negreanu had won the first of two, and took the whole pot down when the and finished the board the second time.
Much of the variance in the stack sizes had been created when the players, other than Hellmuth, had engaged in $100,000 coin flips on blindly played hands during the first week of broadcasts. Now, four players, minus Antonius as well, decided to have one last flip. Dwan found a monster, pocket queens, and appeared to have a stranglehold on the hand when Ivey (10-9), Negreanu (7-3) and Hansen (7-5) showed their hands. The flop of 4-2-K changed nothing, and although the turned eight gave Hansen an inside straight draw, another king on the river settled things, and Dwan won the flip.
Hansen, who had played unusually tight poker for the entire session, decided to cash out long before the game was over. Although he had lost $35,000 on the actual poker, he profited $400,000 on the coin flips, and wound up with a huge win of $365,000. He was to be the second-biggest winner in the game. Replacing him at the table was David “viffer” Peat.
In a big hand contested between two great and imaginative players, Antonius and Dwan went at it in a battle of wills. The hand began with Ivey raising to $2,000 with 8-7 under the gun. Antonius called with , as did Dwan with A-J. The flop came 3-2-2, with two diamonds. Dwan, feeling that he could win the pot right there, bet out $5,700. While Ivey folded, Antonius, with his inside straight-flush draw, called. The on the turn kept Dwan in the lead, and he fired out $16,300, which Antonius called once more. Dwan felt very comfortable when the came on the river, and he bet $43,700. Antonius, however, decided to raise to $135,000!!! Dwan pondered his move for a long time. After the hand was over, he described his thought process, saying that Antonius’ raising range in that situation is normally very well balanced between strong hands and bluffs. He felt that there might be a slightly greater chance than normal that Antonius was bluffing in this situation, and although he was not happy about it, he wound up calling, and winning the hand. Making the decision even tougher was Dwan’s sense that Antonius doesn’t give anything away in his mannerisms, but he made the right decision in this case.
With Dwan up over $350,000, he raised to $2,200 with A-Q. Peat made it $7,000 with Q-10, and Dwan called. Dwan checked the flop of 6-Q-5, with two clubs, and Peat bet $12,000. Dwan then raised to $35,700, and Peat, after some thought, made the good laydown. Peat had started with the minimum $100,000, and was already down to under $75,000.
Peat got that money back, and then some, in a hand against Ivey. After Negreanu raised to $2,000 with , Peat called on the button with , as did Ivey with pocket fours. The flop brought , and all three players checked, with Peat disguising his nut flush draw. The on the turn made big hands for both Ivey and Peat, with Peat hitting the nuts. Ivey bet $5,000, and Peat called. When the came on the river, Ivey reasonably believed that his set of fours was best, and he bet $15,000. However, Peat raised to $43,000. Ivey paid him off, and saw the bad news.
In the teaser for the show, both Antonius and Negreanu had commented on Hellmuth being over his head in this company. Negreanu had gone so far as to “book” Hellmuth, meaning that whatever Hellmuth lost, he would have to also pay Negreanu, and vice versa if Hellmuth won. Negreanu had predicted that Hellmuth would play extremely tight, and then would make a big mistake late in the game and lose his stack. He had been correct about Hellmuth’s tight play, and his chance for a big mistake finally arrived.
Hellmuth had predicted he was going to trap someone when he had a big hand, and had been waiting all game to put his plan into motion. When Ivey raised to $2,500 with , Hellmuth just called with pocket tens, as did Antonius with a pair of fours and Dwan with K-Q. Hellmuth flopped top set when 10-9-7 fell; unfortunately he was behind Ivey’s flopped straight. After Dwan checked, Ivey bet $8,000, and Hellmuth just called, while Antonius and Dwan folded. The on the turn seemed harmless enough, and when Ivey bet $23,000, Hellmuth pushed all-in for $80,000. Ivey naturally called, and the on the river meant that the only one Hellmuth had trapped was himself. To his credit, he decided to rebuy rather than leave the game.
At this point, Hellmuth was somewhat tilted, continuing to mutter to himself about his horrible luck, and after Ivey limped in with A-3, Hellmuth raised to $2,600 with Q-9, quite a departure from the tight game he had been playing. Antnoius called with 10-7, as did Dwan with . The flop was 4-A-4, and after Dwan and Ivey checked, Hellmuth bet $5,000. Antnoius and Dwan folded, but Ivey called, and then saw another ace on the turn! Ivey bet $15,000, but Hellmuth inexplicably raised to $30,000! Ivey just called, and then both players checked the queen on the river, as Hellmuth had another big chunk of his stack taken from him.
Dwan turned out to be the big winner of the week, almost doubling his starting stack of $500,000. Interestingly, Antonius, who got off to the huge start by winning $400,000 on the first coin flip, actually wound up losing money overall, as almost nothing he tried during the actual poker worked out for him. Negreanu came out with a small profit on the poker, but lost $400,000 in coin flips, and another $100,000+ in Chinese Poker during the commercial breaks!!!! Meanwhile, Hellmuth continued to deny that he was outclassed by this particular group of players, telling Negreanu he could book him anytime. Negreanu eagerly agreed, saying that he is certain Hellmuth could never beat this crowd.
Once again, it was a fun week of poker all around. See you next time!
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