High Stakes Poker Update: Biggest Ever TV Cash Pot & Joe Hachem Debuts

Posted at 13:30 2009-04-15
The latest season of GSN’s High Stakes Poker is heating up with the biggest cash pot in televised poker history and a new lineup hitting the felt including Australia’s own World Champion Joe Hachem. Internet forums have been buzzing as they watch the greatest players in the world compete at nosebleed limits with all the action unfolding right in front of us.
Episode six of the series was filmed towards the end of the session for the group that included Doyle Brunson, Eli Elezra, Ilari Sahamies, David Benyamine, Daniel Negreanu and 2008 World Champion Peter Eastgate, however most of the focus was on the battle of “Durrrrstein” between Internet sensation Tom Dwan and big game player Barry Greenstein.
The “Durrrrstein” battle had many interesting hands and huge pots. Earlier in the season, Greenstein cracked the pocket aces of Dwan, after the two got it all in on a jack-high flop. Greenstein made two pair on the turn with his J-9 to scoop a near half-million dollar pot.
However Dwan was able to get his revenge during the final moments of filming in the biggest pot in High Stakes Poker history. Eastgate opened the action with a raise to $3,500 with {As}{Kh} before Greenstein popped it to $15,000 on the button with {Ad}{Ac}. Dwan wasn’t going to let a hand like {Ks}{Qs} go to waste as he called in the small blind. Eastgate may have considered raising again but decided to see a flop.
The action flop arrived as the cards were spread {4s}{2s}{Qh} and Dwan led out for $28,700 with his top pair and flush draw. Eastgate safely stepped aside before Greenstein casually tossed out four blue $25k chips to announce a raise to $100,000. Remember this is real money folks! Dwan wasn’t going anywhere as he cut out another raise to $244,600 in total. Greenstein quickly committed his entire stack to the pot and Dwan made the call. The pot was a staggering $919,600!
Although the hand kind of played itself, the interesting element of this hand was in the negotiations. Often in big pots like this the players will opt to run the board more than once to reduce the variance. However Greenstein is an old-school player, and while Dwan was happy to run it as many times as Greenstein wanted, Barry was adamant to only run it once. He did however offer Dwan the opportunity to take a “few hundred” back off the table to reduce the size of the pot. Dwan instantly shook his head to deny the request as he was quite content to play for the massive pot in full. 
“Run it once!” was the cry as the turn brought the {Qc} to give Dwan trips and leave Greenstein drawing near-dead. Needing an ace and only an ace, Greenstein was in shock as the {7d} bricked on the river and Dwan scooped the biggest cash game pot in televised poker history!
The latest episode of High Stakes Poker brought a fresh batch of players that included Phil Laak, Patrik Antonius, Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari and Howard Lederer.  While this group were finding their feet with play that was certainly a lot tighter and arguable more passive than the previous group, Australia’s Joe Hachem played very well and was probably the most impressive player.
The best hand of the episode saw Lederer raise from early position to $3,000 with {Ts}{Td} with Hachem flat calling the raise in position with {Jh}{Jc}. The flop was {Ks}{7s}{6s} and Lederer’s $4,500 continuation bet was called by Hachem. Things got interesting on the turn when the {5s} peeled off to give Lederer the best hand with the only flush. He checked to Hachem who fired $8,500. Lederer decided to find out where he was at with a check-raise to $18,500. Hachem read the situation perfectly and continued to represent a big flush with another re-raise to $38,500. Lederer was finally convinced and released the best hand as Hachem collect a healthy pot with a nice play.
The fifth season of High Stakes Poker continues to be broadcast in the States on the Game Show Network, and while it’s not available on Australian television, you can scour the Internet for uploaded episodes. For more details stay tuned to the PNW Forums.

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