BLOG – High Stakes Poker line-up #1 review

BLOG – High Stakes Poker line-up #1 review

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

By now you should all know my feelings on the new season of High Stakes Poker (though you should post in this thread to discuss it) – AJ gone bad, Kara there alright, Gabe alone awkward, Ivey nuts, Hansen funny. That’s it in a small nutshell.

Now that five episodes have passed, the players are being shaken up. Some new faces surprised me with their performance, some old faces did the same.
Phil Ivey – by far the best player at the table, but that goes for any table anywhere. Up over $600,000 before a huge last hand with Tom “durrrr” Dwan, he’s making all the right moves and dominating the game. Surprise, surprise.

Dario Minieri – for me, the biggest surprise of the season. The young Italian was fearless and ran over the table with gratuitous 3- and 4-betting before making a move at the wrong time against durrrr. Solid performance.

Eli Elezra – seems to be playing better than on previous seasons. My opinion of him as a fish is fast changing, actually. He’s tightened up and is a winner at the table in season six.

Daniel Negreanu – boy, has Kid Poker lost his mojo in cash games. Terrified of every pot, he’s not playing stakes too high but he’s just lost his confidence. It shows – stick to tournaments where we can see you own, Daniel.

Tom Dwan ­– what can we say? He’s durrrr. Hot on Ivey’s tail as the best player there, his own brand of no fold ‘em hold ‘em is reaping huge rewards. His 3-barrell bluff against Ivey makes my hand of the season.

Antonio Esfandiari – I like him and I like Victory Poker, but he’s redundant in this line-up. A huge nit who folds half the hands he even sees a flop with. Outclassed and playing above his limits, but he should perform well on Poker After Dark’s $100/$200 game.

Phil Laak – loud and motor-mouthed, the Unabomber hasn’t played a hand this season but that will change on the next line-up, I’m sure. Generally performs well on the show.

Andreas Hoivold – looks really, really weird. Not in an “oh my God what the hell is that blob” way like Allen Meltzer but he just has a disconcerting face. I think I compared him to a semi-melted waxwork in a previous blog.

Phil Hellmuth – less annoying this season and didn’t play horrendously but had really bad timing. Another one who needs to stick to tournament poker.

Jason Mercier – surprisingly doesn’t need to stick to tournament poker. Played well and pulled off an excellent bluff against Ivey. Unfortunately Ivey sniffed it out with a thin call. Watch out for this one.

Hand of the season – easily the last hand of the most recent episode. Tom Dwan squeezed a multi-way pot to $21,000 and got a call from Ivey on the button. Ivey held Ad-6d and flopped a big draw on a Kd-Qs-Jd board.
Dwan bet $45,8000 and Ivey called before again calling a huge $123,200 bet on the 3s turn. The 6c made him bottom pair on the river and durrrr fired a third barrel, betting $268,200.

Ivey contemplated for what seemed like an eternity in one of the most genuinely suspenseful television moments I have ever watched – oh, did I mention Dwan had 9s-8s for sweet F.A.?

“How much have you got left and how much is the bet?” Asked Ivey and durrrr replied with a shaky voice. Dwan went from looking like he was going to vomit to almost crying as Ivey considered a call. Finally, Ivey mucked and durrrr took down a monster pot.

This, bear in mind, was in the midst of the Isildur1 saga on Full Tilt and Dwan was down over $5m at the time. Who has the balls to fire $330,000 at Ivey with nine high when your bankroll is taking that much of a beating?

Tom Dwan, that’s who.

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