I was happy to hear at the show’s outset that the group of players will be changing again; it’s time for some new blood.

As regular readers know by now, I’m a devout Daniel Negreanu fan, so admittedly, it’s nice to see Negreanu pick off Lex Veldhuis in the first hand. I’m looking for Daniel, Lex Veldhuisthe small-ball expert, to try and build up his stack a bit at a time and recover from the brutal beating he’s taking at Tom Dwan’s hands.

Moving on, Dennis Phillips picks up JJ against Tom Dwan and just called pre-flop. Originally it looked like he might’ve been hoping for a raise, but to just call the raise doesn’t fit with that plan. Maybe he’s just scared of Dwan? The turn and river turned out to help him though, as Dwan got “lost” in the hand and ended up folding to a $33k river bet. In all the times I’ve watched him play, this is the first time I recall Dwan “giving up” – I guess anything can happen on High Stakes Poker!

Then there was AN AMZGING HAND between Phil Ivey and Lex Veldhuis. This hand is already being discussed on the main poker forums and probably will be remembered for some time to come! Ivey raised pre-flop to try and pick off Barry Greenstein with 2-5 offsuit. He himself gets caught by Lex Veldhuis, who, with a good read, reraised to $51k with KJ suited hearts. Then, seemingly posturing, Ivey asks Lex how much he has, and unbelievably goes all in over the top! WITH NOTHING! and gets Lex to fold! WOW! Words simply don’t do this play justice. You have to see it yourself! Ivey is totally the best player ever… I love how, as he’s raking in the chips, you still can’t see any emotion on his face.

On to the hand between Daniel Negreanu and Lex Velduis, where Daniel flops the nut straight. I found it interesting that at the end, it seemed, accidentally, that Daniel slowrolled saying “straight?” (without indicating HE had the straight). What’s interesting is that this hand was broadcast just after Daniel’s “Did You Know?” segment where he talks about, you guessed it: slowrolling! Coincidence?

Later on in the episode, I was sorry to see Phil Ivey leave (as I sure many of you were too!) Funny replacement in Phil Laak (even just for a few minutes of the last episode featuring this group) – at least he’s entertaining…

Speaking of Phil Laak, he clearly made a huge mistake just limping after picking up QQ in late position in a hand against 5 other players. Letting that many world class players possibly outdraw you is nothing less than sinful at the poker table! Even though nobody actually ended up having the better hand, an Ace and flush draw on the board allowed both Negreanu and Dwan to outplay Laak. Welcome to the table Mr Laak…

The show ends with a nice preview of next episode. I’m stoked to see the new lineup – Doyle returns to the show, always exciting to see Dwan, Ivey, and Negreanu, and YIPEE! – Mike “The Mouth” returns to the show (I still would love to see Sammy Farha again) along with Eli Elezra, who played GREAT on the first few episodes this season. ElKY and David Benyamine round at the table. But tough to see that Negreanu is likely destined for more bad things…

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