I’d like to start off by saying that I absolutely LOVE Gabe Kaplan’s intro to the episode. I think it’s very smart of the producers to acknowledge the tape-delayed nature of the broadcasts by letting Kaplan give up-to-date news of Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan’s vegetarian prop bet. Interesting that Dwan let Ivey off the hook for “only $150K”… probably the easiest $150K Dwan probably ever made…

Gabe Kaplan

Okay – to the poker action: There was a good hand between Mike Matusow [JJ] (who’s getting ribbed by everyone for still being tight even with a big stack) and David Benyamine [QQ]. Mike stays the course and remains tight, folding his jacks face-up for everyone to see; he might be a nit, but at least he’s keeping a rock-solid table image. The pot itself wasn’t too big because of the ace hitting the flop, but it really could’ve developed into something big if Mike had some more gamble in him rather than indicating he clearly didn’t have an ace.

Away from the poker action, there’s great table conversation throughout, thus far, with Dwan being kind enough to sympathize with Daniel Negreanu for getting coolered 9i.e., sucked out on) by Mike “The Mouth” Matusow. Most viewers will probably agree with me (and Dwan) that Matusow was wrong (as far as poker etiquette goes) to have stuck it to Negreanu so badly when he felted him – AS IF it was because of a great play rather than a bad luck flop. Dwan finally scores some points in my book.

Next good hand – Daniel Negreanu flops a full house (10-10-7 holding 10-7), with 3 others in the hand. ElKY’s nut flush draw helps stir a little action and Phil Galfond comes along with bottom pair. In the middle of the action, Negreanu puts on an interesting Hollywood act, slamming his chips to the table. It didn’t fool Gabe Kaplan, who called it a tell – I wonder if the “live” players figured the same. It worked, however, against the “online player”, Phil Galfond, who got cajoled into calling over $110K more over the course of the rest of the hand. He must’ve put Daniel on a busted flush draw. Good acting Daniel (in my opinion at least). And to think there could’ve been even more money and action in the hand if Eli Elezra had stayed in (he would’ve turned a straight)!

After Dwan and Doyle win a couple hands, we’re witness to some more fascinating table chatter about allowing sunglasses or not. The topics they bring up (worrying about poker cheats, especially in big games) and how they say all the big pros in favor of banning sunglasses are very interesting. Hilarity ensues, however, when Doyle does an Inspector Crusoe impression and then follows up with a Phil Hellmuth imitation… LOL, now we know what Hellmuth will look like at 76! Priceless!

Aside from another interesting hand between ElKY and Dwan, when they each have 10-10, there wasn’t too much more going on poker-wise.

What WAS interesting to me, however, was how Mike the Mouth started griping about how high the stakes have gotten on High Stakes Poker. Indeed, as he says, during the first few seasons the blinds WERE $300-$600, and everyone pretty much started out with $100K on the table. This season, however, it’s $400-$800 with everyone starting out at $200K. Perhaps Mike has been playing tight most of the time because he’s a little out of his bankroll comfort zone? That would be a good interesting explanation. Apropos, he folds QK diamonds to an ElKY raise to just 3k, in late position, with just 1 other player to act. Considering Mike was up about $400K, Gabe Kaplan really hit home with his “Nit Alert”. Anyhow, Mike soon after packed up and left with his profit.

Last hand – How the HELL does Daniel call a $60K all-in from Doyle on the last hand? Doyle flops the straight and takes down a $153k pot that should have been nowhere near as big. Daniel ONLY had top pair (of 66!!!) Stupid mistake by Daniel…

Gotta give kudos to Gabe Kaplan for making an otherwise not too memorable episode very entertaining… Anyhow, next week is the last show this season :(. At least with the WSOP coming up there will be no shortage of stories to write about over the long summer. As always, stay tuned for more poker blogging.

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