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phil galfond 2

If it weren't for a questionable call by Phil Galfond, Daniel Negreanu would have booked yet another losing session on episode 12 of High Stakes Poker Season 6.

Sub-plots included Negreanu happily paying off Doyle Brunson's flopped straight like it was his job and Mike Matusow continuing to nit it up, inexplicably folding KdQd to a single raise. Matusow plays so tight he makes Phil Laak look like Tom Dwan.

Another hand of note saw Elky and durrrr both holding TT and durrrr partially berating Elky for tanking on the river.

durrrr seemed a little out of line with his comments but when you remember that Season 6 was taped during the infamous isildur1 matches where durrrr lost like $5 million we can understand why he's a little cranky.

But that's besde the point. The hand we're going to look at today is a failed hero call by Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond vs Daniel Negreanu.

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Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu losing money on High Stakes Poker is becoming the norm. There's no denying that he runs bad, but he certainly doesn't do himself any favors with his awful play.

In episode 11, like in so many episodes of High Stakes Poker, Negreanu runs into some tough spots and manages to lose the maximum each time.

The benefactor this time is Mike Matusow, who in two hands takes just over $300,000 from the PokerStars pro.

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Doyle Brunson

Well it's Monday and you know what that means, it's time to talk about the latest episode of High Stakes Poker.

Episode 10 was pretty quiet poker-wise but I learned one thing: if you want action just convince the table to have three straddles. When 70% of the tables is blinds, its impossible to have a boring game!

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David Benyamine

With nine episodes down and three more to go on this incarnation of High Stakes Poker, Episode 9 brought us our last roster change of the season.

Rotating in for the last session are Mike Mattusow, Elky Grospellier, David Benyamine and Doyle Brunson.

The episode itself was pretty boring and would have been a complete write-off if not for a few well-timed impressions. The first was Negreanu's short but sweet Tom Dwan impersonation but the real gem was Doyle Brunson parodying Phil Ivey's Full Tilt ad.

"We're all just playing the same game. Well ... almost"

Easily the funniest thing that Doyle's said on television poker.

There was some real poker too and the hand that had everyone scratching their heads was a three-way pot between Doyle, David Benyamine, and Daniel Negreanu.

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Phil Ivey

Episode 8 of GSN's High Stakes Poker has come and gone and if we've learned one thing from that episode it's that Ivey's a sick, sick man.

We've also learned that if you're Barry Greenstein 100% of your raises will be three-bet and you're legally obligated to fold.

Other than that not too much happened, the game played shorthanded pretty much the entire episode with at least one or two players away from the table on any given hand.

It made for an interesting dynamic pre-flop with the game playing more like an online six-max game than your run-of-the-mill full ring live cash game.

This weeks snapshot is a great example of that.

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Daniel Negreanu

Well, we're seven episodes deep into High Stakes Poker season six and the action has been pretty decent thus far. Even though we've yet to witness a million-dollar pot there's been a bunch of great hands from some of the best players in the world.

This last episode was no different. Let's take a look at the most notable.

We saw Barry Greenstein call a three-bet oop vs Andrew Robl with KQs and flat a #Qh#7s#Js flop and then check-raise an #8c turn all-in.

In another hand Andrew Robl just called a raise before the flop with AQo and then fourbet a potential squeeze all-in only to find himself up against the aces of Patrik Antonius.

We also saw a familiar scene with Daniel Negreanu flopping the near nuts and playing it extremely passively.

And then there was his hand vs Tom Dwan.

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The sixth episode of GSN's High Stakes Poker brought us our second group of players.

In the second session of Season 6 Patrik Antonius, Lex "RaSZi" Veldhuis, Andrew "Good2CU" Robl, Barry Greenstein and Dennis Phillips join Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu for a little degenerate gambling.

Right away we get to see Ivey's KK crack Patrik's AA in a hand that sounds way more exciting than it actually was.

In another hand Negreanu turns a straight flush and remarks that he's never made a royal. Lex Veldhuis steals the show with, "Well, you're a live player you play like 300 hands a year."

We also see Dwan durrrring it up and making all sorts of rivered hands and soul-owning people into calling, hoping to hit the bottom of his range.

But the most interesting hand of the night was played by Lex Veldhuis and Andrew Robl.

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Phil Ivey

It took five episodes of High Stakes Poker Season 6 to bring us an episode with some real action.

Episode five, which aired yesterday, had just that - and loads of it.

We had Dario spazzing vs durrrr, Gus getting felted for 200k vs. Negreanu, Mercier vs. Ivey and, of course, durrrr three-barelling Ivey.

Any one of those hands would make a great strategy snapshot. But, sadly, we had to narrow it down to the single greatest.

IMO, it's a close race between Ivey "picking off" Mercier's bluff and durrrr's three-barrel.

Though the Ivey-durrrr hand might have been more exciting, I believe there's more to talk about in the Mercier-Ivey hand.

The durrrr hand was just a sick three-barrel in a three-bet pot. Of course, had Ivey called like he was contemplating with his pair of sixes, we would really have something to talk about.

However, I wouldn't be able to provide much insight on fifteenth-level soul-reading so it's a good thing he folded.

The Mercier hand, though, is very interesting and not just because he's a PokerListings blogger.

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Though there were basically no big hands of note on Episode 4 of GSN's High Stakes Poker last night, there was at least one interesting twist.

After some haggling, Tom Dwan bet Phil Ivey $1 million that he couldn't go vegetarian for an entire year.

Now chances are this bet doesn't go an entire year, either one side or the other will buy out before the year is up. But it got me to thinking what would your price be?

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Daniel Negreanu

It only took three episodes for Daniel Negreanu to try and spew off a stack on Season 6 of High Stakes Poker.

This time, however, the second river bailed him out for a chop and half the pot.

Other than that episode 3 was decent enough, blogger Jason Mercier made his first appearance but didn't play any real hands of note.

Hopefully we'll be seeing more from him in future episodes.

But back to the Negreanu hand.

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Andreas Hoivold
Top pair no good.

Last night two relevant television programs aired. The first was Canada losing to the USA in preliminary Olympic hockey. The second was Episode 2 of High Stakes Poker Season 6.

The first one is too painful to talk about so let's cut straight to the second.

We've now had two episodes to see how cutting AJ Benza from the booth and adding Kara Scott on the floor has worked out.

I think I can now officially say I miss AJ Benza and that somehow, despite knowing very little about poker, he made the show better.

He and Gabe Kaplan were like to friends watching tv, ribbing each other. It was entertaining.

Without AJ, it's just Kaplan rambling to himself. And when the action's slow, there are very noticeable, long silences.

And there were plenty of long silences in last night's show. Episode two had to be one of the most boring in recent memory.

On the bright side, it did bring us a couple interesting hands. The hand under the microscope this week sees Andreas Hoivold sent to the exit.

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Phil Hellmuth

GSN's sixth season of High Stakes Poker kicked off last night and a few things have changed since Season 5.

For one, AJ Benza was replaced by the much more attractive Kara Scott. Though it wasn't exactly a straight-up trade, in Season 6 Gabe Kaplan finds himself alone in the booth with Kara Scott on the floor for post-hand interviews.

The new format is decent enough. There's less pointless banter with only one play-by-play guy and you can hear the table talk better and get an overall better feel for the game.

After one episode it's difficult to say which format is better. For some reason I found myself missing AJ Benza though I never really liked him in the past.

Either way the poker action remains the same. Episode one picks up right where the previous seasons left off with a ton of big pots straight out the gate.

The "World's Best Poker Player" Phil Hellmuth was up to his old tricks and was involved in a few noteworthy pots.

He got it started right away with an atrocious out-of-position four-bet-fold vs Phil Ivey that was comical at very best.

He then played extremely scared and ended up saving money with the second nuts v.s Antonio Estfandiari and was clearly steaming when this hand came up.

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Francois Balmigere

With the latest two Main Event episodes airing last night, we're now down to the final two tables.

This week we saw Ivey looking ridiculously human mucking a flush with no action on the river (late night at Bobby's Room anyone?) and Nick Maimone looking Moneymakeresque, getting in bad and hitting every time.

We were also forced to suffer through more of Norman Chad's stupid jokes and awful poker commentary.

Side note: If I have to listen to Norman Chad tell one more person to "bet to see where he's at" I'm going to kill a kitten.

But I digress. This week's snapshot comes not from this week's broadcast but from last week's. It was a hand too good to pass up and we really didn't see any hands played to the river on the latest broadcasts.

Without further ado.

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Dennis Phillips

Every year when the Main Event gets under 100 players, it still surprises me how many awful players have managed to get through.

From the last two episodes on ESPN there are two mind-numbingly horrible hands that come to mind.

In one, a player checks through fives full against two players that obviously don't have a better full house.

In the other, some random jock calls a raise with 8-2o out of the big blind vs. Phil Ivey only to flop a pair and fold. (Hoping for an 822 flop? Makes sense.)

Luckily, awful hands weren't the only thing featured.

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Jeff Shulman

Tuesday during World Series of Poker season is quickly becoming one of my favorite days of the week.

Last night ESPN aired two more episodes on the road to this year's Main Event final table, getting us officially up to mid-way through Day 6. With just under 150 players left, it's now just a 15-table sit-and-go to the bracelet.

Today's snapshot features a a blind vs. blind hand involving CardPlayer's Jeff Shulman and the infamous Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier

The Set-up:

With the blinds $6,000/$12,000, the hand kicks off with a raise to $35,000 in the small blind from Shulman.

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Phil Ivey

With ESPN airing two more episodes on Tuesday night we're now in the money and finished with Day 4.

The Day 4 coverage saw two story lines: people playing ridiculously - almost embarrassingly - tight on the money bubble, and the feature table donating chips to Phil Ivey.

In this hand we have the latter, post bubble bust.

The Setup:

With the blinds $3,000/$6,000, Phil Ivey raises it up to $16,000 in the cut-off. Bernhard Perner makes the call in the small blind and David Wickham calls in the big blind.

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Claus Nielsen

ESPN just waxed off its Day 3 coverage of the 2009 Main Event last night and naturally we have another Main Event snapshot.

Last night's feature table had two notable Aussies: WSOP player of the year Jeffery Lisandro and 2005 Main Event winner Joe Hachem.

In this hand, it's Australia vs the world when Claus Nielsen gets not one but both to lay down better hands.

The Set Up:

With the blinds $1,000/$2,000, Claus Nielsen raises it up to $5,200 from middle position.

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Greg Raymer

With two Main Event episodes airing last night, we have another Main Event snapshot for you.

ESPN changed it up this year, adding a second episode for each Day 2, so rather than one episode of each Day 2 you now get two. More coverage means more interesting hands.

In this hand, 2004 World Champ Greg Raymer mixes it up with lacrosse-team owner Jamie Dawick.

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Erick Lindgren

The second batch of WSOP Main Event episodes aired on ESPN this week, covering the final two Day 1 heats.

The latest feature tables see Daniel Negreanu, sick, sniffling and playing quite bad even by Daniel Negreanu standards, and the 2008 POY Erick Lindgren.

To say Lindgren was playing small ball would be an understatement. He was playing tiny ball, seemingly unwilling to risk any chips at all.

As Mike Matusow pointed out in episode one, the Main Event is a marathon, not a sprint, so playing small ball and avoiding big pots early is certainly a sound strategy.

When the tournament takes more than a week, you can't make Day 7 if you're knocked out in a big pot on Day 1.

The second episode opens with one of Erick's small ball hands.

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Lex Veldhuis

Episode one of the Main Event on ESPN featured one particularly uncomfortable, hard-to-watch story line:

How well Gus Hansen does with ladies of all shapes and sizes.

It also, however, featured a still relatively unknown Lex "RaSZi" Veldhuis absolutely running over the feature table, raising, re-raising and bluffing with ridiculous frequency - and no one seemingly able to adjust to it.

His most frequent whipping boy: young German player Simon Muenz.

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