World Series of Poker Europe

High Stakes Poker Season 7: The Champ is Here

Jonathan Duhamel

In the first session of season seven of High Stakes Poker, amateur Phil Ruffin walked away with heaps - around $300,000 to be exact - while fellow amateur Bill Klein lost over $400,000. This week marked the start of a new session, headlined by 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel, the "Unibomber" Phil Laak, and one of the best, young players in the world; Jason Mercier.

Here's how the entire table looked.

SPOILER ALERT: If you are waiting to watch the HSP episode, read no further.

Seat 1Haralabos Voulgaris
Seat 2Phil Laak
Seat 3“Silent” Mike Baxter
Seat 4Jonathan Duhamel
Seat 5Jason Mercier
Seat 6Julian Movsesian
Seat 7Bill Perkins
Seat 8Barry Greenstein

(NOTE: All eight players started with $200,000, except for Bill Perkins who bought in for an extra $15,000. Don't ask.)

It’s a Trap!: Bill Perkins raised to $2,800 with {j-Diamonds}{9-Spades}, Haralabos Voulgaris called with {k-Clubs}{k-Spades}, and Jonathan Duhamel called from the small blind with {5-Spades}{4-Spades}. The flop fell {j-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}{2-Hearts}, and Duhamel checked. Perkins put out a continuation-bet worth $5,500, Voulgaris called and Duhamel folded.

The turn was the {10-Clubs}, and Perkins quickly fired $12,800. Voulgaris again called. The {6-Spades} on the river changed nothing, and Perkins coolly tossed $15,000 in the middle. Voulgaris called.

“You got me,” Perkins sighed, shaking his head.

Voulgaris tabled his pocket kings, and Perkins angrily mucked his hand.

When I Had You to Myself: “Silent” Mike Baxter opened to $2,500 with {j-Hearts}{2-Hearts}, Jonathan Duhamel called with {a-Spades}{q-Diamonds}, Julian Movsesian followed suit with a black pair of fours on the button, and Bill Perkins joined the party with {j-Spades}{9-Diamonds} from the small blind. The dealer fanned {5-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}{5-Spades}, giving Perkins and Baxter jacks and fives. Perkins checked, and Baxter continued for $7,000. Duhamel released his hand, Movsesian called, and Perkins check-raised to $27,000. Baxter tank-called, but Movsesian got out of the way.

The turn was the {6-Clubs} and Perkins announced, “Thirty-thousand.”

Baxter quickly folded the second-best hand, and Perkins raked in the pot. The businessman from Texas offered to show his hand for $5,000, but no one even took the offer seriously.

Mercier Turns Two-Pair: Julian Movsesian raised to $3,800 from under the gun with {a-Clubs}{7-Clubs}. Mike Baxter called on the button with {q-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}, and Jason Mercier defended his big blind with {k-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}. The flop came down {a-Hearts}{4-Diamonds}{10-Spades}, Mercier checked, and Movsesian tossed out $8,500. Baxter folded, and Mercier called, which was a wise decision because the {k-Spades} peeled on the turn. Mercier checked again, this time with the best hand, and without hesitating, Movsesian chucked $15,000 into the pot. Mercier called.

The river was the {6-Spades}, and Mercier checked a third time. Movsesian immediately fired $20,000, and Mercier almost beat him into the pot with the call. Movsesian knew straightaway that he was beat, and surprisingly mucked his pair of aces before Mercier tabled his two-pair.

High Stakes Legends: The subject of this week’s High Stakes Legends segment was Thomas Austin Preston Jr., better known as Amarillo Slim. In the 1970’s, Slim became the world’s most famous poker player, making appearances on both The Johnny Carson Show and 60 Minutes. Slim owns 4 WSOP gold bracelets, and is unquestionably one of the most influential rounders of all time.

That’s How You Win $9 Million: Bill Perkins straddled to $1,600, and the action folded to Jonathan Duhamel on the button who bumped it to $4,200 with {q-Spades}{5-Spades}. Julian Movsesian called from the big blind with {a-Diamonds}{k-Hearts}, and Perkins surrendered his straddle. The flop came down {5-Clubs}{8-Spades}{6-Hearts}, and Movsesian check-called $5,500 from Duhamel with just ace-high. Movsesian binked a pair when the {a-Clubs} turned, but he checked, giving Duhamel a free river card. That decision would come back to haunt him, because the {5-Diamonds} on the river gave Duhamel trips. Movsesian led for $10,000, and reigning WSOP Main Event champion raised to $32,300. Movsesian called, but quickly dished his cards into the muck once Duhamel announced he had a five.

“That’s how they win $9 million, kids,” Phil Laak needled.

Double Straddle OMG: Phil Laak straddled to $1,600 and “Silent” Mike Baxter double-straddled (OMG) to $3,200. The action folded all the way to Haralabos Voulgaris, who raised to $8,500 from the big blind with two black tens, and Baxter defended his double-straddle with {q-Diamonds}{4-Spades}. The flop fell {a-Diamonds}{a-Hearts}{3-Hearts}, and Voulgaris led for $8,500. Baxter called.

The turn was the {5-Hearts}, and Voulgaris slowed down, checking to Baxter who bet $20,000. Voulgaris released the best hand very quickly, and Baxter successfully pulled off the stone-cold bluff.

Duhamel Turns Nuts: Bill Perkins straddled to $1,600, and “Silent” Mike Baxter remained active, opening to $4,500 with {4-Spades}{4-Hearts}. Jonathan Duhamel called on the button with {a-Clubs}{5-Clubs}, and Julian Movsesian defended his big blind with {9-Diamonds}{7-Spades}. Perkins unhappily mucked {k-Hearts}{2-Spades} from the straddle, and the flop came down {4-Clubs}{q-Clubs}{7-Hearts} – oh, boy. Movsesian checked, Baxter made a continuation-bet worth $11,000, and Duhamel called. Movsesian mucked, and the {j-Clubs} on the turn gave Duhamel the nut-flush.

Baxter checked, and Duhamel bet $17,600. Baxter called. The river was the {3-Diamonds}, and Baxter checked again. Duhamel quickly bet $33,500, and Baxter made a crying call.

“I wanted to show people that I will call so I don’t get bullied,” Baxter later told HSP hostess Kara Scott. “I had a pretty good feeling I was beat there.”

Stack Sizes

Here’s how the stacks looked towards the end of the episode.

SeatPlayerStack SizeWin/Loss
Seat 1Haralabos Voulgaris$228,500+$28,500
Seat 2Phil Laak$221,400+$4,400
Seat 3“Silent” Mike Baxter$108,300-$91,700
Seat 4Jonathan Duhamel$310,300+$110,300
Seat 5Jason Mercier$245,600+$45,600
Seat 6Julian Movsesian$96,700-$103,300
Seat 7Bill Perkins$221,400+$6,400
Seat 8Barry Greenstein$198,700-$1,300

Flush Over Flush on Final Hand: On the final hand of the night, Jason Mercier raised to $2,300 with {j-Clubs}{10-Spades}, and was called by Bill Perkins ({7-Clubs}{3-Clubs}), Phil Laak ({a-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds}), “Silent” Mike Baxter ({a-Spades}{5-Spades}), and Jonathan Duhamel ({j-Spades}{4-Spades}). The dealer fanned {q-Spades}{k-Spades}{7-Diamonds}, giving both Baxter and Duhamel flush draws, and the two checked to Mercier who continued for $5,400. Perkins and Laak folded, while Baxter and Duhamel called.

The {2-Hearts} on the turn was a big, red, brick, and all three players checked. The river brought another deuce, but the {2-Spades} was yahtzee for Baxter who led out for $22,000. Duhamel called with his inferior flush, Mercier mucked, and Baxter tabled the nut-flush.

The teaser for next week’s episode showed a lot of Bill Perkins. We’ll see if his jaw gets him into any trouble, or if the wealthy businessman can add to his colossal bankroll.

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