I love how the episode starts out with Gabe Kaplan’s commentary about Shabbat dinner at Eli Elezra’s house. As a proud member of “the tribe” myself, it’s always funny to hear other Jews make fun of themselves. Sure, I’d play poker with my friends too instead of having a Shabbat dinner with my kids, LOL, why not?!
READ MORE: I don’t write about poker on shabbos!
Great 1st hand – finally Daniel Negreanu gets the best of Tom Dwan… calling and betting with “air” of his own into Dwan’s “worse air”. Amazing that Daniel just won a $100k+ pot with just Jack high when you consider that ElKY would’ve flopped the straight and Doyle Brunson would’ve flopped a straight flush draw. How huge would that pot have been, with over $2 million on the table?!
Interesting hand between ElkY (4-6 spades) and David Benyamine (6-8 clubs). The flop brings 2-3-3, with four to Benyamine’s club flush draw. By the time the turn comes around (4 of diamonds), the other players have left the pot, which stands at just over $40k. The river brings the bingo card (4 of clubs), hitting both players. ElKY’s great check (and subsequent raise) nets him an extra $56k call from Benyamine. Well played!
Next hand Elezra vs. Dwan, it was fun to see Dwan give up on the river instead of try to bluff with nothing. Also, specifically seeing Eli Elezra take him on, perhaps Dwan is realizing that he’s the 1 player he need fear (clearly Eli’s got the best head-to-head results against Dwan thus far this season). Eli realizes this too and needles Dwan about it after winning the pot.
Mike “The Mouth” Matusow finally entered a pot with KJ spades against Doyle’s 88, while David Benyamine made a loose call for $3,200 with J3 diamonds. Mike and David hit their Jack on the flop and got Doyle out, but when the Queen hit the turn, Gabe Kaplan rightly pointed out how obvious it was that Mike didn’t like the card. Benyamine used this to his advantage, forcing the “tight (lipped)” Mouth to fold to a $15k bet. Ship $25k to the player with the worse hand… Over and over Benyamine impresses me in these big cash games.
Later on, unceremoniously, Ivey leaves the table – been really fun to watch him make money this season. Make room for Phil Galfond!
High Stakes Poker Action Post-Galfond’s Taking a Seat
Then there was the interesting hand between Elezra and Negreanu, with each of them holding AJ pre-flop. With these types of hands where 2 players have even holdings, especially with poker players this caliber, oftentimes it’s the more aggressive player who will take down the pot. That’s how to play Texas Hold’em! This maxim holds true as Eli fires bullets, seeing that Daniel isn’t all too thrilled with his AJ. Another pot to Elezra.
Fascinating hand up next. Triple straddle on, with Dwan ponying up $6,400 blind. Doyle, down about $150k for the session looks down at AQ hearts and moves all in (to steal?). Mike “The Mouth” wakes up to see KK and pushes all in on top (albeit for not too much more). I wonder what possessed Doyle to risk $150k essentially under the gun with every player left to act behind him. He only had $13k to gain (in blinds)… I mean, he’s an underdog to any pair… That’s what we call – OOPS! I don’t think Matusow thought it through when he offered Doyle to run the full board of 5 cards twice, considering he was about 2:1 to win. I would’ve said 3 times, if not at least see the flop first. Matusow clearly got caught up in the “dream situation” – had he thought it through, he’d realize he was giving Doyle a bit too much of a chance to suck out and scoop the pot.
On to the last hand of the episode; the first hand for Phil Galfond, who decides to play a little looser and raise to $11k with Q7 diamonds. He gets 2 callers. Galfond flops the flush draw while Eli Elezra in the big blind flops top 2 pair (Elky missed with 88 preflop). Galfond makes a continuation bet into Elezra of $22k only to be met by a $50k raise. Clearly Elezra knows he’s good and wants to make Galfond pay to catch a card or just give up the pot right there. Galfond swings and misses. Phil Galfond: 1 hand, already down $75k; welcome to the table. Another great hand for Elezra – best performance this season, save, perhaps, for Phil Ivey in my opinion.