Last week, Poker After Dark returned with the first new episodes of 2011; however, this was not your normal Poker After Dark week. Instead of a cash game or the traditional $20,000 buy-in freeze-out, this week’s single-table tournament had a price tag of $100,000 per entrant — winner take all. With such a steep buy-in, tournament officials knew they’d need a sick lineup, and they certainly delivered. Phil Ivey, owner of eight World Series of Poker bracelets; John Juanda, winner of four WSOP bracelets and the 2008 WSOP-Europe Main Event Champion; Erick Lindgren, proud owner of one WSOP bracelet and two World Poker Tour Championships; Tom “durrrr” Dwan, the online superstar; Huckleberry Seed, the 1996 WSOP Main Event Champion; and Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond, the only player excluded from the “durrrr Challenge” and winner of one WSOP bracelet.
Juanda First Player Eliminated: This was Galfond’s first appearance on Poker After Dark, but you wouldn’t know it by watching him play. He seemed right at home, taking control of the table early on. Juanda, on the other hand, wasn’t as fortunate and was the first player eliminated. He was crippled when his pocket aces were cracked by Ivey's river flush. Not long after, Juanda's final hand developed when Dwan raised to 5,000 under the gun with and Ivey called behind with . Juanda opted to move all-in for his last 14,000 with and was called by both Dwan and Ivey. The flop gave Dwan a pair of fives and he promptly bet 18,000, which drove Ivey out of the hand. The turn was no help to Juanda, nor was the on the river. Dwan’s fives held and Juanda was sent packing.
Lindgren Next Out the Door: On the very next hand following Juanda’s elimination, Lindgren raised to 5,000 with from the cutoff only to have Dwan move all-in from the big blind with . To call would cost Lindgren his remaining 41,500 and that is exactly what he did. The board ran out and Lindgren followed Juanda out the door. “I couldn’t give $100,000 to four nicer guys,” Lindgren joked during his exit interview.
Things Get Spicy: One of the biggest topics of conversation during the “SNG $100k” week involved a bowl of bell peppers sitting in the lounge area of the Poker After Dark set. Seed, who is known for taking crazy props bets, made yet another one and earned some extra cash by eating one of the peppers. While this was certainly amusing, there was still a little matter of $600k to settle.
Unfortunately for Galfond, his early rush came to an abrupt halt when he and Dwan continued to engage one another. Dwan emerged victorious from the various skirmishes and dispatched his good friend in fourth place. Dwan was on a roll having eliminated every player up to that point, but it would not last. Dwan’s final hand came when he looked down at on the button and raised to 18,000. Seed picked up in the small blind and threw in a raise to 122,500, enough to put his opponent all-in. Dwan called off and needed to improve; however, it was not meant to be — the board ran out . Seed took down the pot and entered heads-up play with $298k to Ivey’s $302k.
Heads-Up Action: Ivey and Seed squared off against one another for $600k and it looked like it would be an epic heads-up battle between two of poker’s best players. Surprisingly, their match lasted only three hands. In the first two, seed won two uneventful pots. On the third and final hand, Seed moved all-in with pocket eights and was called by Ivey, who held pocket sixes. When the flop brought two eights, giving Seed quads, Ivey was left drawing dead and eliminated as the runner-up. Interestingly, the results of the tournament weren’t official until the last episode aired; as such, had Ivey won the $600k, he would have reclaimed the all-time money winner title from Daniel Negreanu, who won that honor by placing second at the PCA $100,000 Super High Roller Tournament for $1 million on Saturday evening. Instead, it was Seed who took home the check for $600k and celebrated by biting into another bell pepper.
Watch the final hand below.
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