Those without a valentine on Sunday were treated to the debut of “High Stakes Poker” Season 6 on GSN, which featured UB.com pro Phil Hellmuth drop $200,000 in a matter of minutes. Kara Scott and Gabe Kaplan hosted.
Kaplan, who has previously appeared alongside A.J. Benza, will fly solo this season, while Scott will bring the action to life from the floor of the “High Stakes Poker” suite. Six of the eight players began with $200,000, while Phil Ivey and Tom “durrrr” Dwan bought in for $500,000. After dropping a pot early to Norwegian poker player Andreas Hoivold, Hellmuth limped pre-flop with A-Q of clubs, Ivey called with 10-6, and Hoivold came along with J-8 from the big blind. The flop came 3-K-4, missing everyone, and Ivey bet $2,000. Hellmuth called to see an eight on the turn. Ivey once again bet, this time $6,000, and Hellmuth got out of the way.
On the next hand, Hellmuth held A-J and raised to $4,000 pre-flop. Ivey, holding pocket queens, made it $15,000. Hellmuth pushed the action to $40,000 and Ivey shoved all-in, having Hellmuth covered. The UB.com pro deliberated, explaining, “I’m thinking about making a thin call.” Hellmuth ultimately folded and Dwan told Ivey that he’d pay $2,000 if Ivey flipped over a pair of jacks or better. However, Ivey declined and Hellmuth was quickly down $50,000.
After seven-way action to a flop of 7-6-5 with two spades, Dwan bet $3,800 with 7-4, Antonio Esfandiari called with A-Q of spades, and Hellmuth called with K-2 of spades. Then, disaster struck for Hellmuth, as the eight of spades peeled off on the turn, giving him the second nut flush. Esfandiari bet out $11,100 with the ace-high flush and Hellmuth called to see a 10 on the river. Esfandiari bet $32,000 and Hellmuth elected just to call, shipping the $104,800 pot to Esfandiari. The duo discussed the hand with Scott and Hellmuth once again noted that Esfandiari has run him over in recent years.
Several hands later, four players saw a flop of 6-4-7 with two hearts. Ivey led out for $6,000 with K-9 of hearts and Hellmuth raised to $26,000 with J-5 of hearts. On Ivey’s plans, Kaplan explained to “High Stakes Poker” viewers, “There’s a good chance he’s going to put Phil Hellmuth all-in right now.” Ivey asked for a count, but just called, and the turn brought the king of diamonds. Ivey checked top pair and Hellmuth shoved for $82,300 into a pot around $60,000. Ivey called, leaving Hellmuth drawing to an eight or three on the river. Hellmuth asked Ivey if he wanted to run the board three times, but Ivey declined. The river was the 10 of hearts, which gave Ivey the better flush. Just like that, Hellmuth departed, out $200,000.
A segment called “30 Seconds with Kara Scott” asked Hellmuth’s opponents to describe him in 10 words or less. Another new segment was the PokerStars-sponsored “Did You Know,” which featured Daniel Negreanu discussing the origins of the Dead Man’s Hand. It turns out that the real Dead Man’s Hand is not aces and eights, but rather jacks full of tens.
Meanwhile, Ivey continued his demolition on the Season 6 debut of “High Stakes Poker,” as, on a flop of 5-4-J, Negreanu bet $25,000 with 9-6 and Ivey called with pocket fours for a set. The turn was a 10 and Negreanu check-folded to a bet of $60,000. Ivey was up $233,000 at the time, more than the show’s typical buy-in.
The final pot of the night on “High Stakes Poker” grew Ivey’s bankroll even further. Hoivold raised to $2,600 with pocket fives and Negreanu called with J-10. Ivey called with pocket sixes and the flop came 4-K-6. Ivey checked middle set, Hoivold bet $4,600, Negreanu called, and Ivey pumped it to $20,000. Hoivold reached for chips and fired out a bet of $56,000. Negreanu abandoned ship and Ivey asked for a count before pushing all-in. Hoivold folded, and, in just one episode, Ivey was up over $330,000.
Gus Hansen and Dario Minieri also appeared on the Season 6 kickoff episode. Next week, Eli Elezra joins the table and another player goes broke. New episodes of “High Stakes Poker” air at 8:00pm ET on Sunday nights on GSN.