The final group of players continued their competition tonight as High Stakes Poker moved towards the end of its sixth season. With Doyle Brunson at risk of having his long televised cash game winning streak broken, and Mike Matusow in danger of never playing a hand for the whole season, those two, in addition to Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, David Benyamine, Eli Elezra and Bertrand Grospellier sat down for their second episode. Let’s see how the action played out.
Grospellier opened the first hand with a raise to $3,000 with . Negreanu then re-raised to $15,000 with J-10, and Dwan four-bet to $38,200 with !! Grospellier folded, but Negreanu called. When the flop brought 4-8-7, which would have brought Grospellier a straight, Dwan surprisingly checked, and Negreanu’s $55,000 bet bought the pot.
Negreanu, fresh from that opening hand win, raised to $3,500 with . Elezra called with and Matusow finally played a hand, calling with J-9. The flop of made Elezra a flush. After Matusow checked, Negreanu made a continuation bet of $6,200, which Elezra smooth-called, while Matusow folded. The turn card was the , Negreanu checked, and Elezra bet $20,000, causing Negreanu to fold.
Elezra limped into the next pot with A-8. Brunson then raised to $4,300 with K-J, only to have Benyamine (, Grospellier (), and Ivey () call. Elezra folded, and the four remaining players saw a flop of 2-3-3, with two clubs. With $19,600 in the pot, Grospellier fired out a bet of $11,000. Only Benyamine, with the flush draw, decided to call. The came on the turn and both players checked. When the fell on the river, Grospellier checked again, hoping that Benyamine had made a flush, and Benyamine obliged with a bet of $16,000. Grospellier then raised to $56,000, and Benyamine paid him off, with Grospellier raking in a pot of $153,600.
Elezra limped into the next pot for $800 with . Dwan raised to $4,400 with , and was called by Grospellier () and Elezra. Two diamonds showed up on a flop of 10-7-Q, and all three players checked. The (which was a second spade), was the turn card, and Dwan called Elezra’s lead bet of $7,700, while Grospellier folded. The hit the river, Elezra checked, and Dwan agonized over making a bet, before deciding to wave the white flag. Elezra’s pair of sevens took down the pot.
Matusow finally decided to try and make a move, raising to $3,500 with . He was called by Benyamine with A-J, Grospellier with and Elezra with A-4. Benyamine hit big on a flop of 8-J-J. After Elezra and Matusow checked, Benyamine also decided to check, hoping to induce a bet from Grospellier, who led out $8,000. The others folded, and Benyamine just called. When the came on the turn, Benyamine checked once again, and Grospellier bet $21,000. Benyamine now showed his strength with a raise to $63,000, and Grospellier laid his hand down.
Ivey raised to $4,000 with , and Elezra called on the button with 10-9. They saw a flop of , and they both checked. The turn was the , and Elezra called Ivey’s bet of $7,000. Ivey bet once again when the river brought the , this time $20,000, and Elezra folded.
Brunson next raised to $4,000 with pocket eights on the button, which Matusow called in the small blind with and Benyamine called in the big blind with . The flop brought J-7-A, with two hearts. Matusow bet out $6,000, Benyamine called and Brunson folded. When a third heart, the queen, came on the turn, Matusow was visibly disturbed, and after he checked, Benyamine bet $15,000 and Matusow folded.
At this point in the evening, Phil Ivey left the game, and they continued seven-handed for a while. With the players agreeing to a round of straddles, and Benyamine in that position, Grospellier raised to $5,500 with . Negreanu called with A-10, as did Elezra with pocket fives. The flop of K-8-6 rainbow missed everyone, and after Grospellier made a continuation bet of $12,000, Elezra decided to call. However, when the came on the turn, giving Grospellier a flush draw, he bet $31,000, and Elezra chose to give it up.
Negreanu raised Grospellier’s straddle to $6,000 with , only to have Elezra make it $24,500 with ! Negreanu called, and the flop brought K-J-9, with two hearts. Both players checked, but when the fell on the turn and Negreanu checked once again, Elezra bet $33,000 into the $53,200 pot, and Negreanu, after a pause, decided he was likely beaten and folded.
On the next hand, which was Negreanu’s straddle, Elezra double straddled for $3,200 and Dwan also straddled for $6,400!!! Brunson, who was first to act, then looked down at , and pushed all-in for $152,600! However, Matusow had pocket kings, and he, too, went all-in for $169,200! The others folded, and with $319,000 in the pot, they decided to run it twice. The first flop seemed harmless enough, with . But when the and fell on the turn and river, Brunson had rivered a flush and taken the first half. Matusow proceeded to flop a set when another king showed up, but a jack, giving Brunson outs for a straight, accompanied it. However, aces came on both the turn and river, and the two chopped the huge pot.
Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond now arrived to replace Ivey, and he quickly got involved with Elezra on the last hand of the night. With Elezra straddling, Matusow raised to $3,200 with , and then said he didn’t see the straddle. Grospellier called with pocket eights, but Galfond, who felt he had played too conservatively in his previous appearance on the show, re-raised to $11,200 with ! Elezra called with A-10, Matusow folded and Grospellier called. Both Elezra and Galfond enjoyed the flop of 10-A-2, with two diamonds, with Elezra taking the lead with top two pair. Galfond bet $22,000, and after Elezra asked him how much he was playing, he raised to $72,000. Galfond surprisingly just called, and when the turn brought the , Galfond had to fold to Elezra’s all-in bet.
Tonight’s show was the least engaging one of the season, with only the big all-in hand between Brunson and Matusow providing any real fireworks. One can only hope that the season will still finish up with a bang in the upcoming weeks, and with this table of players, that likelihood is still strong.
See you next week!
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