Tonight’s episode of High Stake Poker began with the news that everyone who has been following the show was secretly waiting for: the result of the Phil Ivey Vegetarian Bet! If you’ll recall, Dwan bet Ivey one million dollars earlier in the season that he couldn’t be a vegetarian for an entire year. It turned out to be a good bet for Dwan, as Ivey conceded after trying it for a bit, and settled for $150,000. Meanwhile, back at the table, Dwan, Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Eli Elezra, David Benyamine, Bertrand Grospellier, Mike Matusow and Phil Galfond continued to battle it out in the last group of the season.
The very first hand saw not one, but two straddles, as Elezra put up the $1,600 and Dwan double straddled for $3,200. Grospellier, not being able to resist all the dead money, raised to $11,000 with J-6, and was called by Dwan with . Both players whiffed on the K-Q-8 flop, and after Dwan checked, Grospellier bet out $16,000 and Dwan folded.
Matusow, who had been the big winner last show when he felted Negreanu twice, was taking a lot of good natured abuse from the table, particularly Elezra, who asked him if he would play against Dwan for all his chips if he knew he was a 65% favorite. When Matusow said that he wouldn’t, the players accused him of having no heart. Of course, what Matusow really has is no bankroll, and so it is not surprising that he is being very tight with his profits.
Right after that, Matusow raised to $3,300 with pocket jacks. Unfortunately, Benyamine had queens sitting right behind him, and he called, as did Elezra with the lowly . The flop brought 6-2-A rainbow. Elezra checked, and Matusow made a continuation bet of $6,400. Benyamine called, but Elezra folded. The turn brought the , taking out the possibility of any flush draws. Matusow checked, and Benyamine accepted the invitation to take it down, betting $15,000. Matusow folded.
Grospellier raised the next hand to $3,000 with . Only Brunson, in the big blind, called with Q-9. The flop brought A-Q-2, with two hearts. Brunson checked, Grospellier bet $4,500, and Brunson called. The turn of the made Grospellier’s flush, and Brunson folded to his $14,000 bet.
With Negreanu on the straddle, Brunson raised to $4,500 with A-2. Grospellier called with , as did Galfond () and Negreanu (10-7). Negreanu made gin when the flop brought 10-10-7 with two hearts! All four players checked, but when the hit the turn, Grospellier decided to lead out with a bet of $11,000. Galfond called, but Negreanu now raised to $41,000. Grospellier folded, but Galfond called. The river card was the and Galfond checked once again. Negreanu then bet $80,200, surprising Galfond, who expected Negreanu to shut it down. Nonetheless, he couldn’t resist making the call, and paid Negreanu off.
Dwan raised the next hand to $3,200 with . Galfond called with A-10, and so did Negreanu with . The flop was 6-K-Q, with two hearts. Negreanu bet $8,000, which both other players called. The came on the turn, and this time Negreanu bet $24,000, which only Dwan called. Both players checked the on the river, and Dwan took it down.
With Brunson on the straddle, Benyamine chose just to call with pocket queens, and attracted a lot of hitchhikers, including Galfond (A-10), Negreanu (8-5), Elezra (7-4), Dwan () and Brunson, who checked his option with Q-10. The flop brought , making Dwan a flush. He bet $7,400, and everyone folded except Benyamine, who called with his pair of queens, which included the queen of clubs. The hit the turn, and Dwan bet $21,200 into the $25,600 pot. Benyamine called once again, but when the river brought the and Dwan fired out another $54,600, Benyamine didn’t even think twice before throwing his hand away.
Benyamine continued his pattern of limping pre-flop when he called with A-10. Elezra followed him in with , and so did Dwan, in the small blind, with 5-3. Brunson checked his option with 8-4, and then hit trips when the flop brought 4-3-4, with two diamonds. All four players checked, and Dwan caught the on the turn, and bet $2,900, which Brunson called. Brunson filled up when the came on the river, and he bet out $10,500, which Dwan wound up calling.
Galfond, who had played a number of questionable hands since he sat down at the table, did so once again by raising to $3,500 with K-4. Elezra called with , but Dwan made it $15,800 with pocket jacks. Galfond folded, but Elezra decided to call. The flop was a safe one for Dwan, 9-8-4, with one diamond, but for some reason, he checked behind Elezra, who then hit his queen on the turn (). Elezra checked again and Dwan bet $28,200, which Elezra called. The rivered put three hearts on the board, but when Elezra checked a third time, Dwan gave up, and Elezra took down the pot.
The most interesting hand of the night followed. With Dwan straddling, Brunson put in a raise to $5,500 with . Benyamine called with pocket fives, and so did Grospellier with a pair of tens. Dwan also had a pair of tens, and three-bet to $24,800. Brunson decided to call and try to hit a big flop, as did the other two players. With $101,800 in the pot pre-flop, 3-A-A with two spades was turned over. With no one having an ace or a spade draw, Dwan made a small continuation bet of $22,800, which only Grospellier called. The turn card was the , and both players checked. A third ace, the , was the river card, and Dwan led out with $58,400. Grospellier hesitated, but finally made the call to chop the pot.
Matusow, who had once again gone into a totally “nitty” shell, began whining about having to play against players with much bigger bankrolls than his, yearning for the days when everyone just played with $100,000, instead of the much bigger buy-ins many of them are playing now. He left soon after, and to the credit of the other players, no one groused about him taking so much money off the table before the game ended.
In the final hand of the night, Negreanu raised to $4,200 with , Brunson called with , and so did Benyamine with . Brunson hit the nuts on a flop of 6-4-3, with two diamonds. Both he and Benyamine checked, and Negreanu bet $10,500, whereupon Brunson went all-in for another $69,800. Negreanu made the call, and then saw just how dire the situation was. They agreed to run it twice, but Negreanu got no help either time, and Brunson took down the $153,600 pot.
Next week will be the last episode of the season, and the last chance for Brunson to extend his extraordinary televised cash game winning streak. From the teaser, it looks as if there will be increased stakes and numerous huge pots. Can’t wait! See you then!
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