It is still the $500,000 minimum buy-in for season 4 on High Stakes Poker and the action so far has been intense. However, being that this is pretty much the half way point I am sure we are very close to seeing that $1,000,000+ pot. Judging by the previews last week, this week should be very interesting.
The games starts with still the same players as the start of the 500k show, Antonio Esfandiari, Sammy Farha, David Benyamine, Patrik Antonius, Guy Laliberte, Jamie Gold, Doyle Brunson, and Barry Greenstein. Guy is still killing the game and has over $1 million in front of him. It has to stop sometime doesn’t it?
The blinds are still 300/600/1200 with a 100 ante and the episode starts off Farha limping with J2, and creates a limping fest; Gold with T6, Brunson with 22, Greenstein with 44, and Antonio checks Q9 in the bb. The flop came down 847, which could bring some action. Gold has a belly buster straight draw, and Barry has a set of fours. Everyone checks around to Gold on the button who bets $3,000 into $6,800. It folds around to Barry who check raises it up to $13,000. When it gets back to Gold he instacalls. The turn brought Jamie’s card, the 5. Barry didn’t like the card and checks. Gold then thinks for a while and decides to just check, which is a pretty strange play but I guess he wanted to disguise his straight and trap Barry. However, the trap fails as the 4 falls on the river giving Greenstein quads! He leads out for $30,000 and Gold instacalls saying “I think I let you get there, but I call.” Greenstein then scooped up the $92,800 pot. Let the Gold meltdown begin (or continue?).
The very next hand starts with Antonius raising to $4,000 with QT, Gold called with 98, and Farha came along with A9 in the bb. The flop came down 645 and it checked around, bringing the 9 on the turn. This gave Farha and Gold top pair, which is usually considered a “cooler” in Gold’s mind. Farha led out for $10,000, Patrik folded and Gold called. The river gave Sammy two pair, the A, and he fired out $30,000 into $33,700. Gold smiles asking him “you got anything?” and Sammy flashes him a menacing smile. This must make Gold think he is bluffing because he calls, which nets Sammy another huge pot, this time $93,700.
The next hand is a big one, starting out with Antonio raising to the magical number $4,000 with JT, Farha calls with 22, Benyamine decides to play his 54, Gold with K8, and Brunson in the bb with KQ. The pot was $20,600 when the flop comes down gin for Benyamine, 673, giving him the nut straight and an open ended straight flush draw! He casually takes a drink of water and waves his finger indicating a check. Everyone else checks bringing an even better card for him, the 2, giving him a straight flush and Sammy a set of deuces! He re-looks at his cards and fires out $10,000, which brings a round of folding back to Sammy. Sammy decides to raise it up, making it $40,000. Benyamine shoots him a look and gives a speech. This must make Sammy think he has the best hand and was a great acting job. After some more deliberation, Benyamine announces he is going to raise again, up to $115,000. This gives Sammy a sick look and he calls the raise. If the board were to pair right here, it would be very bad for Sammy. Luckily for him, the Q drops, and Sammy checks. Banyamine starts stacking up his bills and bets a huge $250,000 which is almost exactly the size of the pot. This would be a good bet if Sammy had a high flush, but alas he did not and mucks it. Then David decides to show everyone the straight flush after calling Sammy’s hand and the table is shocked.
Here comes more of Jamie Gold’s section of how not to play Texas Hold’em. Esfandiari limped with K7s, Guy with A5o, and Gold checked JTo in the bb. The flop drops 347 and it checked around to Antonio who bets $3,000. Guy calls with his double belly buster straight draw and for whatever reason, Gold calls. The turn is good again to Guy (why wouldn’t it be?) a 6 giving him his straight. He checks, and Gold and Antonio both check as well. The river is a terrible card for Gold, a J. Guy leads out for $12,000 and Gold shrugs his shoulders and tosses in the call, to which Antonio folds. Guy wins another pot, this one worth $38,200. I have no idea why Jamie called on the flop, but it ended up costing him $12,000 and saved Antonio $12,000. After the hand Jamie declares, “Boys and girls at home, that’s why you do not make really bad loose calls. I’m just playing so bad today.” And it doesn’t stop there.
The next hand Esfandiari limps with T9, Sammy as well with J8, and Benyamine makes it $7,000 with AT on the button. Gold calls with 76, Brunson with 43, and when it gets back to Esfandiari he throws away the T9 which definitely shows how much the playing styles differ between him and the others at the table. Of course Sammy has to call with his J8 and it’s 4 to the flop with a $31,300 pot. The flop comes down A58 and Gold says “wow! booyah! I’m not gonna bet a hand that big” with his oesd then checks, and it checks around to Benyamine who bets $20,000. Gold then tosses some money into his hand and makes it $40,000, just a min-raise. Everyone else folds back to Benyamine who asks how much he is playing. “So little that it doesn’t even matter,” Gold replies with a total of $75,000 more. Benyamine finally makes the right decision and puts Gold all-in. Gold then calls and the pot is $261,100. They decide to run it twice and each time will be worth $130,550. The first turn card is gin for Gold, the 9, which relieves any pressure of not winning half of the pot. The river is a meaningless J, and now we will see if Gold can possibly win it again. The second turn card is close, but just the 5, and the river was the Q. Both players chop the pot and Gold is still in the game, for now.
It isn’t every day you see 83o against 98s, but alas we get to this hand. A couple people limp, and Benyamine does as well with 98. However when it gets to Gold he announces raise to $11,200 with his monster 83. It must be because he announced he was going to leave soon and wanted to get one last bluff in before he said his goodbyes. It folds back to Benyamine who decides to see a flop with his suited connectors. The dealer turns the flop, 6JT, and Benyamine checks. Gold decides to bet $15,000 into the $28,600 pot and Benyamine instantly calls. With the scary A on the turn it goes check/check. The river then falls the 5 and Benyamine must have thought he couldn’t win by bluffing and checks. Gold then keeps talking about how he can’t beat much and it looked as if he would check! If he were to do that than Benyamine’s 9 high would take down the $58,600 pot and would leave Gold devastated. However, after some talk he bets out $25,000, and proudly turns up his 83o. He finally had a bluff work for him, even though David only have 9 high.
After the game got back from commercial it cuts into Doyle and Jamie discussing a hand from a previous episode, where Brunson mucked a ten high flush to Jamie’s 9 high flush. Doyle was not sure if he had made the correct fold until now, and finding out he made the incorrect decision seemed to send him on a little bit of tilt. The hand right after this starts with Guy limping with A5, Gold with J7, and steamed Doyle on the button raises to $11,200 with AT. Farha called with KJ, Benyamine who has loosened up calls with K5, and Guy and Gold both call as well. The pot is already $57,100 preflop, and the flop comes down AJ4. It checks around to the mad Brunson, who fires $40,000. Farha does a little chip dancing before folding, and it folds around to Guy who decides to call, and Jamie folds. The pot is now heads up at $137,100. The turn is the 2, which gives Guy and inside straight draw but Doyle the nut flush draw in addition to his better ace. Doyle is in no mood to check for a free card, and bets $110,000. Now what seems like an easy fold for Guy isn’t quite just that. He decides to check raise, up to $310,000 which essentially puts Doyle all-in.
This is a very interesting play here, because it just might get Doyle to fold out a better ace. If Doyle had not picked up the nut flush draw he would probably fold his AT here; and of course if he wasn’t steaming. It is a pretty crazy high variance style raise, but I don’t think Guy was doing it for value; he wanted Doyle to throw away a better hand. Howeve, Doyle wasn’t have any of it and pretty much instantly goes all-in which is only $30,500 more. This is now the biggest pot ever on High Stakes Poker, at $818,100! And if you were watching blind you would not think both players held what they did! After both turned up their hands, the whole table was shocked. It was a great call by Doyle! They decide to run it twice, both river card being worth $409,050. The first one fell the Q, and the second T, having Doyle Brunson win the biggest pot in High Stakes Poker history at $818,100. After the hand Doyle said he won the pot because he was steaming from Gold’s story, so credit that one to him!
After this Gold keeps saying it is his last hand, and ends up playing about 4 more before he finally gets up to leave. Overall, Gold seemed to play good in the beginning of season 4 and had to have been a decent winner. When the 500k show started, he played decent at first, then when he got the big cooler AA v KK he never recovered and started playing terrible after that. This is the first player to leave and now we have an empty seat, I wonder who will be filling it?
While we are waiting for the seat to be filled, Farha raises to $4200 with KQ and right behind him Antonius re-raises up to $16,000 with J9. These two have collided before with Sammy getting the best of it so far. When it folds back to Sammy of course he is going to call and checks in the dark. The flop comes down what could be an action flop with these two, 639. After Sammy had checked in the dark, Patrik bet $20,000 into $34,200. Almost immediately Sammy makes it $100,000 to go. When it gets back to Antonius he thinks for a moment and says he is all-in for $482,300 and Sammy instantly says call! This is now the largest pot ever just short of a million, $998,800! I can not believe how fast Sammy called, but now the biggest pot ever is just a top pair weak kicker against a flush draw and two overs.
These players discuss this hand for a long time without turning over their hands. They do not want to turn their hands over just yet either because they are superstitious or out of embarrassment. After some time, Patrik eventually admits he has a weak hand, just top pair. Sammy replies “Haha top pair! Bring us one more Patrik here!” Sammy then tells him he has 2 overs and a flush draw, and they agree to run it 4 times. It is virtually a coin flip with Sammy a slight favorite at 53% to win. Now here comes the decision of the biggest pot ever, ran 4 times with each turn and river card being worth $249,700!
The first turn card is great for Sammy, the 3 giving him his flush. He was now a 10:1 favorite to win the first hand until the miracle 9 on the river giving Patrik a full house! The second turn card was the 5, making the hand dead right there. The river was the A and it is now 1-1. The third time brings a 2 and 6 giving half the pot to Patrik and now he can not lose. Sammy still has not hit a K or Q, and will need to have something go right for him this last time or he will end up losing a lot of money. The final turn card is a 4, and now there is one card left, which is the 5 and Patrik wins 3-1 and $749,100! Sammy for very unlucky on the first run and ended up losing 3 even though he was a slight favorite. This was the largest pot in High Stakes Poker, almost $1,000,000! What sick players!
Right after the hand was over, Daniel Negreanu shows up saying “Did I miss anything?” to which the table replies, “Naaaaah!” All I can say is, wow what an action packed episode it was! Two pots over $800,000, one nearly $1 million, and both breaking the previous records! I don’t think episode 15 will have any less action, especially with the previews for next weeks episode. It shows Greenstein going allin and Esfandiari being pained waiting to make a decision. Also, Benyamine goes allin while Guy contemplates by turning over his hand. I can not wait to see this!
High Stakes Poker runs every Monday at 9:00 PM EST on GSN.