We are at episode 15 in season 4 of the highest cash game on television! The High Stakes Poker season 4 has been the best by far, and last week’s episode 14 was the best of the season. This 500k minimum buy-in has really made things interesting and we got to see the first million dollar pot (well close to it, actually $998,800)! With all the chips flying that went on last week, I can only imagine it will be even better this week.
This week is the first time we see a new face, and say goodbye to Jamie Gold who is replaced by Daniel Negreanu. Incase you haven’t seen the last few episodes (and if you haven’t go watch them now!) here is who is playing; Antonio Esfandiari, Sammy Farha, David Benyamine, Patrik Antonius, Guy Laliberte, Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, and Barry Greenstein. Remember, there is over $5,000,000 on the table!
With the departure of Jamie Gold we might not see as many crazy calls and people playing as loose, but with Negreanu replacing him I don’t think it will have an impact on the action. The blinds are still $300/$600/$1200 with a $100 ante as things are kicked off. The show starts off with the degen Sammy putting on the $2400 straddle and it folds around to Guy who calls with 84 on the button. Negreanu then calls with 65, Doyle Brunson with JT, and then Barry wakes up with KK and raises to $24,000. This is a huge preflop raise, but Barry has been known for playing his big hands large and fast. Judging by the first few episodes this is a very large raise and may look fishy to someone. Next to act is Antonio who happens to have TT. Barry’s raise must look suspicious because Antonio makes it $73,000 to go. It then folds to Sammy who put the straddle on and complains before throwing away KQ, and he most likely would have called $24k with it. The table folds back to Barry who thinks for a moment before going all-in for $347,500. Antonio then looks disgusted as he has to call $270,000. He keeps talking to Barry trying to get something, but he remains motionless. Antonio has definitely been playing tighter than anyone else so far, and didn’t want to be outplayed. He eventually calls a clock on himself and Doyle starts counting down. When it gets to about 10 seconds left he eventually folds. He then told the table he had TT, trying to get a reaction from everyone and letting them know he might call his whole stack with just tens.
The next hand we come back from commercial break to see Daniel Negreanu looking down at AA. He limps in early position trying to trap someone, and it folds around to Barry who has QQ. This is pretty bad luck for Barry, and he raises it to $7,000. It folds to Guy who calls the $7,000 with 86, then when it’s back to Negreanu he calmly re-raises to $32,000. Barry decides to just call, and Guy folds. The pot is $72,700 and the flop comes 5AT. Daniel casually grabs $25,000 and fires it out like he has nothing. This was a nice move and Barry calls. I’m not sure if he called because of the way Daniel bet, or if he decided to call one shell. The turn fell the J and after a brief pause Negreanu fired out $60,000. After a slight deliberation Barry let it go and Negreanu scooped the $120,000 pot.
The very next hand after Doyle gets done talking about the show “Show Gun” Farha raises to $4,200 with A3. Right behind him Benyamine calls with A8 on the button, and Guy with K5. The flop comes K35 and there could be action with Guy having top two and Benyamine with the nut flush draw. Guy checks, and Sammy bets $13,000. Benyamine thinks and decides to raise, up to $43,000. When it gets back to Guy he quickly declares raise, and makes it $168,000 which is $125,000 more. In the previous shows Guy always acts quickly and usually is in raising, so this could be trouble for Benyamine because he can’t have it every time can he? Sammy laughs and folds, then when it gets back to Benyamine he stands up, looks at Guys stack and says “alright I’m all-in.” Benyamine has almost exactly $600,000 and Guy can cover that. It’s a huge $432,000 raise back at Guy. I don’t think there is a chance Guy ever folds top two here and he turns his cards over and says “I have to think about it, eh?” Once David sees Guy’s cards he looks sick. He knows Guy is going to call and he is going to be an underdog for a very large pot. Eventually Guy does call and now you are looking at the biggest pot in High Stakes Poker history at $1,227,900! Over $1.2 million in just one single pot!
Immediately David says “how many times do you want to do it?” To which Guy answers, “one time.” That is absolutely sick as anyone else at the table would want to do it at least twice, maybe more. But since Guy is a billionaire and is here to gamble he only wants to do it once. Benyamine looks visually sick and nervous and Guy finally says “what do you want to do, I don’t care. I know it’s a lot of money for you, it’s more important for you than it is for me so you make the decision.” Doyle decides to chime in and says “This represents one day of his life and represents your life!” Guy then speaks up and offers that he will just take what is in the middle and forget about everything else, which was $238,900. David seems very grateful and accepts the offer. So the largest pot in High Stakes Poker never actually happens, and Guy just ends up winning $238,900. I can understand under the pressure how proposals like that can happen, however I would be lying to say I didn’t want to see the hand played out!
That was a very nice proposition from Guy because David did look like he was going to be sick playing a $1.2 million pot just one time with nothing but a draw. David only ends up losing $47,000 when it could have cost him $600,000. After the hand the both say they do not want to know what comes and Antonio starts going crazy saying he has to know! However the dealer shuffles and that was that; no one knows who would have won!
A couple hands later, everyone agrees to do a round of $2400 straddles, so the blinds are now $300/600/$1200/$2400 with a $100 ante. With that much in the middle we are sure to see more action. The first person with the straddle is Patrik Antonius and it folds all the way around to Benymine who tries to steal with 86 and raises to $7,000. Antonius decides to defend with 95 and 2 way action to the flop. The flop comes down 2JA, David bets $12,000 into $15,700 and Patrik instantly folds. I would hoping to see some bluff on bluff action, but alas Patrik wasn’t in the mood.
Next we see Daniel wake up with another big pair, this time QQ and again he limps in early position. It folds to Antonio who raises to $9,000 with AJ. It folds to Guy who loves calling, and does with 86. I expect to see a re-raise here, but no, Daniel just calls slowplaying his queens all the way. The flop is ugly for everyone T39, and everyone checks around with no heart. The turn could be bad for Antonio, the J. Guy checks, and Daniel fires $25,000 into $29,900. Antonio thinks for a while and eventually makes a very good laydown with his top pair top kicker. Guy also throws away his straight draw and Daniel wins the $29,900 pot.
Later in the show the $2400 straddle is still on, and a looser Antonio decides to raise to $6,000 with his KJ. He was in middle position I think he might have thrown this away in earlier episodes. Sammy (who is always loose) calls with Q9, Guy with AJ, and Doyle who is getting over 5:1 calls with T8 in the straddle. The flop comes down 5T3, and everyone is pretty scared as it checks around. The turn is great for Guy, the J. It checks around to Antonio, who I thought would bet for sure here, but he checks again and Sammy checks. The river brings the 9 which puts a flush on the board. This time Guy bets out $12,000 into $26,300, Doyle folds, and Antonio puts in a small value raise, up to $28,000. Back to Guy he immediately says re-raise, and makes it $73,000. Antonio quickly folds and Guy shows the A. “Nice hand, I got greedy,” replies Antonio.
We get to see more of the foundation later in the show. It starts with Barry folding and forgetting to put on the $2400. He then throws in $2400 into the middle without any cards; free money! Antonio then raises to $5,500 with 66, Guy calls with 97 and Doyle calls with AT. The flop is a monster for Guy, 8QT. Guy checks, and Doyle bets $17,000. Guy decides to just call with his draw, and the pot is $53,100 to the turn of K. Great card for Guy who can never miss a draw, and he checks. Doyle also checks behind. The river is bad for the Big Papa, the J. Guy bets $25,000 and Doyle calls with his ace high straight. Guy wins another pot, this time $103,100.
The last hand of the night folds to Antonius who just casually calls the $2400 with AK. This creates a limp fest, JT with Guy, 96 for Antonio, and 97 for Sammy. 4 players see the flop of 6KA, which is bingo for Patrik. It checks around to him who bets $8,000 into $11,300. Guys calls with this gssd right behind, and the others fold. The turn brings the 3 and trapping Antonius checks. Guy then falls right in by betting $25,000. After a small pause Antonius raises to $105,000. Guy has the “oops” look on his face and folds. Patrik wins the $52,300 pot.
That did it for this episode, and what an show it was! We saw the biggest pot at $1.2 million, which ended up being only $260k. It was a disappointment not seeing it ran out, but that’s poker. I didn’t think this episode was a good as last weeks, but it still was fun to watch. The previews for next week show Sammy raising a huge amount to Antonius folding, and it looks like Sammy shows a big bluff. A round of “wows” are passed over the table, so I can’t wait to see what happens there!
High Stakes Poker runs every Monday at 9:00 PM EST on GSN.