If you watch High Stakes Poker every week like I do, you probably have loved what the $500k buyin has done for the show. For starters, it is just simply amazing staring at over $5,000,000 on the table, and also we got to see the biggest pot in televised history; an amazing $743,800. It can only get better and more heated as the action continues.
As we sit down for episode 13, week 3 of the $500k buyin, the same players are still tossing chips around; Antonio Esfandiari, Sammy Farha, David Benyamine, Patrik Antonius, Guy Laliberte, Jamie Gold, Doyle Brunson, and Barry Greenstein. Some players are loving their experience so far, especially Guy Laliberte. It seems that he just can’t do anything wrong and has to have close to $1,000,000 in front of him starting with $500,000. However, Barry Greenstein, Doyle Brunson, and Patrik Antonius can’t seem to get anything going for them and look very frustrated being stuck. Sammy started to pick it up last show, and Esfandiari is playing tighter than I’ve ever seen before; pure LDP (lock down poker.) Let’s see how big the pots get this episode!
The action starts with Gold staring down at, yep KK again. In the last show he won 2/3 of the biggest pot ever with this hand so let’s see if he brings him good fortune again. He decides to just limp in preflop in ep and action folds around to Sammy who has the mother of all poker hands, AA. What a sick cooler again! First top set versus the nut straight and now AA v KK, but let’s see if Gold can work something out again here. Sammy raises to $4,200, which is a fairly small raise, especially with Gold limping in with the blinds being $300/$600/$1200 and $100 ante. Now when it gets back to Gold, for whatever reason he decides to just call. Now after he calls, Antonio starts talking about “let’s see a dark bet and a dark raise” and Gold decides to check in the dark. Now this is where the fun starts.
After Golds dark check, Sammy fires out $10,000 in the dark and Gold says “wait wait [to the dealer] maybe I’ll bet dark too.” After some talking (and Antonio talking about loving America again) and decides to re-raise Sammy’s dark bet up to $30,000. Now keep in mind these are dark bets and raises without even seeing the flop. Sammy says, “what I don’t understand is why didn’t you raise me before the flop? There is something funny with this hand, do you understand?” To which the table roars. After some more table talk and deliberation Sammy eventually re-raises Gold’s re-raise (still in the dark!) up to $90,000. Gold immediately says “Sammy you have the Aces?! I am in deep trouble if you have the aces.” He basically just told Sammy and everyone else at the table that he has KK. At this point I am pretty sure everyone else knew it was AA v KK and who had which one.
Gold calls Sammy’s $60,000 raise and finally we see some community cards. Since all of this action was played in the dark, the cards will be dealt right to the turn. Without even seeing any cards yet the pot is already $191,300 with all of the crazy dark action. The flop comes down T69 and the turn the 4, and Gold checks. He seems to treat this like a personal thing and keeps repeating “I can’t believe you did all of this to me with aces!” To which Sammy replies, “I didn’t do anything to you, you did this to yourself.” After Gold’s check Sammy starts laughing and now Gold goes into the whole “I may have a set” speech. Sammy keeps talking about how he is sick of the hand and Gold offers to check it down. Sammy doesn’t take the offer and bets $100,000. Gold says he has to call and does just that. They keep on telling each other that they have monster hands and the other should fold, and Doyle comments on how ridiculous this game is. The pot is now $391,300. Sammy keeps telling the dealer to wait and he won’t turn the river card. Now it seems as if Gold is getting completely frustrated and the friendly banter has stopped.
The river falls the T, which is kind of dangerous as the board now reads T694T. Now it cuts to the preview from last week of Jamie going crazy. He checks and says “I have you beat anyway. I can’t fold, whatever you do I call. I call in advance.” He keeps calling before Sammy bets but eventually Sammy just checks. The turn up their hands and Gold says “I knew you have aces, enough!” Sammy then says he checked because he liked Gold, but that definitely is not the case. Gold talked a lot this hand and it very well might have saved him his last $200,000. Barry Greenstein after the hand commends him for saving the last bit of his money saying “anyone else would have lost their last $180,000.” This was the very first hand of the show and took nearly 20 mins of the total 60 mins. This has to be the most bizarre hand I have ever seen.
Sammy ended the last show on a bit of a heater and continued it so far. The next hand starts with Greenstein raising to $4,000 with J9. Sammy begins to play like Sammy again when winning and calls with J8. Antonius also calls with 87 and Gold with his monster 62. The flop comes 4J8 and the heater continues for Sammy. Antonius and Gold check, and Barry bets $8,000 into $17,400. Sammy instantly says raise and makes it $23,000. Barry calls fairly quickly and checks, to which Farha bets $40,000 when the 7 dropped. Barry called almost immediately and must have though Sammy was still steaming. The Q fell and Barry checked. Sammy value bets his two pair for $70,000 into $143,400 and Barry grunts saying he wished Sammy had bet more. During Barry’s decision Sammy starts talking to Gold about the huge first hand and Barry looks very frustrated by it. Nothing seems to be working for Barry Greenstein so far on High Stakes Poker, and the bad luck continues as he pays Sammy off, for a total pot of $283,400. Half the episode is over and we have only seen 2 hands, both huge pots for Sammy.
After Sammy won another $50,000 pot, there was a hand that Esfandiari finally decided to play (yes he played a hand!). Brunson called with 86, and Barry with A7. Antonio then raised to $7,000 with JJ in the sb, and this is the first time he has raised a pot in a long time (he didn’t even raise AA or AK last two episodes). Sammy calls right behind him with T5 feeling pretty good about himself currently, and Brunson and Barry came along as well. The flop hit the felt, Q8T and everyone checked around. The turn dropped a good card for Antonio, the 9 and he checks again. This time Farha falls into the trap and bets $20,000 into the $30,000. It folds back around to Antonio who calls. The river was pretty scary, the 6 completing a flush and it goes check/check, making Antonio win the $70,000 pot.
The next hand shown might show a little steam coming from Barry Greestein, as he hasn’t been able to get anything going. There were 4 limpers and Barry made it $13,000 with A7o. The degen Sammy called with QTo and of course Gold called with 64o, everyone else folded. The flop came J3Q rainbow and Barry fires out $25,000 into $43,700. Sammy just calls with his queens and Jamie folds. Barry must just be steaming at this point, that is until an A falls on the turn. There was only 2 left in the deck since Guy folded A7o as well. He fired another barrel, this time for $40,000. That ace slowed Sammy down and he just called after asking for a chip count (Barry had $140,000 left). The 3 fell on the river and it went check/check, earning Barry $173,700 and a much needed pot.
I hope you haven’t forgot about Guy, because he is still at the table. He picked up JJ late in the show and made it $4600 to go. Gold called with Q9o in position, and Farha called out of the bb with A6o. The flop was semi-dangerous for Gold, 695. Sammy checked, Guy bet $12,000, Jamie called, and Sammy folded. The turn brought the 7, which brought a pretty scary board. Guy checked and Jamie fired $25,000. Out of no where, Guy raised to $75,000, which is a pretty risky play on that board with just jacks. But maybe he knew he player, and Gold is a calling station. After that raise there is just no way Gold can continue with the hand, but alas, he calls the $50,000 raise. The K fell on the river, which was definitely a scare card and it went check/check, netting Guy another pot, this time worth $191,100. Since the start of the show Gold has been going no where but downhill and has lost over $300,000.
The last hand of the show starts with Greenstein raising to $4,000 with 55 and slow playing Sammy calls with QQ in position. It folds around to Gold who calls with T7. The flop comes 798 and it checks to Barry who bets $8,000 into $14,300. Sammy then makes it $28,000 to go without much deliberation. It then folds back to Gold who has been on a nasty downhill slide and eventually announces he is all-in for $142,500. Barry instantly folds and Sammy offered to just run it without Jamie’s raise. Jamie declined and it made the decision harder for Sammy. One thing Gold did that was good in this hand was not talk at all, much like when he had KK against Patrik in the last episode. One thing Guy does that was way out of line was say “I folded T6” when Sammy was still deciding. It wasn’t intentional as you could tell because he covered his mouth right away, but definitely should not have been said. I couldn’t tell if Sammy heard him or not, but eventually he makes the correct decision and calls the all-in. The pot was then $307,300 and both players decide to run it twice. On the first run the turn and river came K A, and Sammy won the first pot. It was now sweat time for Gold as it looked like he was going home. The turn was a useless 3, but the river brings his magical J, keeping him alive by making his straight. He gives a “boo-yah!” and the action ends for the night.
Well that did it and we saw some very weird, interesting, and huge pots. Sammy went on a serious heater and Gold dropped over 3/4 of his stack. On the preview for the next episode, we see Benyamine finally tossing around his bricks, putting $250,000 into the pot. We also get a glimpse at Guy raising more hands, this time for $200,000. It ends with Antonius declaring all-in and Sammy instantly calling. The previews at the end of the show always make you want to see it right now, and I can’t wait to see who busts who next game!
High Stakes Poker runs every Monday at 9:00 PM EST on GSN.