Daniel Negreanu's High Stakes Poker curse continued in earnest this week as the frustrated pro dropped two more buy-ins during the episode. Even more aggravating, he shipped both to the bank of newly nitty Mike "The Mouth" Matusow. The show was dominated by Negreanu's struggles, leaving little room for levity. Matusow and Eli Elezra are sitting on solid profits now, so perhaps they'll lighten the mood next week.
Cast: Staring Daniel Negreanu, Mike Matusow, Eli Elezra, and David Benyamine, with Tom "durrrr" Dwan, Doyle Brunson, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, and Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond
Negreanu v. Matusow v. Fate Part I: Matusow played his second pot of the season, and just like the first one, he picked up pocket kings in the perfect spot. This time, Matusow decided to flat preflop with . Negreanu over-limped with , and Elezra raised to $5,000 with . Matusow and Negreanu both called to see the made-to-order flop: . Negreanu checked his three nines, and Elezra, the only player without a big hand, bet $8,600. Matusow continued his snow job and flatted again. Negreanu raised to $28,800, and earned a quick fold from Elezra. Snow storm over, Matusow reraised to $68,800. Negreanu elected to move all-in, and Matusow snapped, putting $329,200 in the middle with Negreanu drawing to one out. They elected to run it twice, but despite Brunson's attempt to summon the case nine, it failed to appear. Negreanu reloaded for $200,000, and the game continued.
Kaplan comment of the night: There wasn't much humor in this week's episode — other than Negreanu's role as the HSP deck's punchline. So we're stretching here, but we got a chuckle hearing the players tell Kara Scott about the cars they used to drive and their new fancy rides. "I had a really big car that I used for about 12 years. Old, but it worked great," Gabe Kaplan said. "It was called the D Train."
Negreanu v. Matusow v. Fate Part II: Second verse, same as the first. This hand wasn't quite on the same level of the cooler Richter scale, but it still involved Negreanu and Matusow getting it all-in, running it twice, and shipping the whole pot in one direction. Brunson straddled, making it $1,600. Matusow limped again, this time with . Benyamine called with , Grospellier called with , and Galfond called with . Negreanu had to like his spot when he looked down to find and raised to $16,000. Only Matusow came along to the tricky flop. Negreanu checked his overpair, and Matusow didn't mess around, moving all-in. That put Negreanu to the test for the $200,000 he had just put on the table. After warning the rest of the players it might take him awhile to make a decision, Negreanu found a call.
"Got a pair?" he asked. "No." "Phew." But when he saw Matusow's no pair, he was less enthused. "Oh, gosh, it's one of those. I don't see how I could possibly win," Negreanu said, looking sadly at the $496,800 in the middle. With two overs and a flush draw, Matusow was a slight favorite. They decided to run it twice, and after the first card dealt, the , Negreanu said, "Always good to win the first one." As the dealer laid the on the river, Matusow was more than happy to agree. On to the second turn. This half looked even better for Negreanu because the on the turn gave him a set and had Matusow down to six club outs. "I think I had the deuce-trey of clubs," Dwan said. "But it might have been the deuce-trey of spades." Must have been, since the river was the , shipping the entire pot to Mr. Mouth. "Pretty standard," was all Negreanu could say as he reached into his bag o' cash yet again.
Benyamine on his game: Despite one misstep last week, Benyamine has demonstrated this season why he's one of the best in the business. Of course, confidence-building flops never hurt either. After Negreanu straddled, Elezra raised to $5,600 with , and Benyamine called with with . Galfond picked up queens and bumped it to $21,400, but his raise didn't succeed in getting rid of either player. The flop came , and Galfond made the obligatory $32,200 c-bet. Elezra ducked out, and with top-two, Benyamine made it $92,200, ending the hand. Elezra lamented that he should have made a move preflop, which he was sure would have chased out Benyamine. While Galfond thought about what might have been, Benyamine responded, "Two nines, right? I know what you have Eli."
Bottom line: Let's hope the Negreanu brand goes up in value several hundred thousand dollars per season of High Stakes Poker appearances. Otherwise, he might want to take a break for a year or two. Either that, or he should have a little chat with the poker gods assigned to HSP. They might also have it in for Matusow despite his tidy profit, if his good fortune here convinces him that his new "nit-tastic" style is a good one.
According to Einstein's Quantum Theory Theory of Talking Chips, explained by Kaplan at the beginning of the show, "The amount of words that come out of your mouth are directly related to the amount of chips that you're on." With Matusow up close to $400,000, buckle your seat belts for the Matusow Show next episode. The first gem he treated us to after his second big pot this week was, "I never win. This is an excruciatingly unfortunate day for you guys." Tune in for the rest of his ridiculousness next week. High Stakes Poker airs at 8:00 pm EST on GSN.
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