Poker After Dark S12/24: Switching Up the 7-2 Game, Matusow Pulls a Move

Mike Matusow

In the sixth and final week of "Watch Your Step" on PokerGO's "Poker After Dark," former WPT champ Frank Stepuchin was joined by six other players to battle it out playing $50/$100 NLH with a mandatory $200 straddle.

The minimum buy-in was $10,000 and there was no ante required. Below is a look at five of either the biggest or most interesting hands from this week's episode.

Remember, an annual subscription to PokerGO costs $99.99, but you can save $10 off by using promo code “PokerNews” at checkout.

The New 7-2 Game

Alex Ding
Alex Ding

The players at the table were playing the “Seven-Deuce” game in which every time a player won holding 7x2x, all the other players paid them an additional $200. It hadn’t come up much, so they suggested changing the starting hand by making the first two cards on the next flop the “new seven-deuce.”

In the hand, Ronnie Bardah had the $200 straddle on when action folded to Marle Cordeiro, who raised to $600 from the button with the AK. Alex Ding looked down at the QJ in the big blind and called. After Bardah folded, the flop came down 6JQ making Jx6x the new seven-deuce.

Ding, who flopped top two pair, checked and then called a continuation-bet of $500 from Cordeiro. Action then went check-check on the 4 turn and the 2 completed the board on the river.

Ding tossed out a bet of $3,500 and that’s all it took as Cordeiro folded. With that, the seven-deuce game ended and the jack-six game began.

Ilyas Abayev vs. Ronnie Bardah

Ilyas Abayev
Ilyas Abayev

After Stepuchin straddled, Ilyas Abayev just called under the gun with the KJ. Bardah called from the small blind with the A10, Landon Tice put in an additional $100 holding the 73 in the big blind, and Stepuchin checked his option with the 82.

On the 610K flop, Bardah led out for $575 with his pair and flush draw. Action folded to Abayev, who called with top pair. After the dealer burned and turned the 8, both players checked and the A completed the board on the river.

Bardah made aces up and bet $1,075, which Abayev refused to pay off by flashing his king and tossing it into the muck. With that, Bardah recouped some losses by claiming the $3,025 pot.

Ilyas Abayev vs. Ronnie Bardah Round 2

Ronnie Bardah
Ronnie Bardah

In the very next hand, Bardah raised to $550 with the 43 and Abayev three-bet to $1,300 from the small blind holding the AK. Mike Matusow folded from the straddle and Bardah called to see the A2A flop.

Both players checked and the 9 appeared on the turn. Abayev continued to slow play with another check and Bardah took the free card, which was gin for him as the 5 river gave him a wheel.

Abayev checked for the third time and Bardah bet $2,500. Abayev opted to just call, which obviously saved him some money, and Bardah rolled over the straight to win the $7,900 pot. Not long after, Bardah collected even more chips when he three-bet preflop and won holding Jx6x.

Gin Flop for Abayev

Ilyas Abayev vs, Alex Ding
Ilyas Abayev vs, Alex Ding

Ding raised to $600 from the cutoff with the Q6 and Abayev three-bet to $1,400 with the J6 in the big blind. Remember, if he were to win with it, he’d collect $200 from each player.

However, Ding didn’t give up easily and instead called to see the flop, which came an action-packed 66J. Abayev flopped a full boat but checked it to Ding, who flopped trip sixes. The former check-called a bet of $1,000 and then checked again on the 10 turn.

Ding bet again, this time $2,200. Abayev did a little Hollywooding before sliding in a tower of black $100 chips to make the call. On the 7 river, Abayev checked for the third time and Ding seemed suspicious. He thought long and hard before checking behind, and not only was Abayev pushed the $9,450 pot, he collected an additional $200 from each player.

Matusow Flushes Tice

Mike Matusow is proud of himself.
Mike Matusow is proud of himself.

Matusow, who opened up his game a bit, raised the button to $600 with the 85 on the button and Tice, who had straddled, defended with the K10.

On the 576 flop, both players checked and the K appeared on the turn. Tice checked top pair and Matusow, who had bottom pair with both straight and flush draws, bet $1,000. Tice called and then checked for the third time on the 3 river.

Matusow made his club flush and bet another $1,000, which Tice insta-called. Matusow tabled his hand to claim the $5,350 pot, and then complimented himself on mixing it up with the hand that he did.

Final Standings

At the end of the broadcast, the final numbers were shown. According to commentator Ali Nejad, just two players finished down in Alex Ding, who lost $10,000, and Ronnie Bardah, who dropped $22,000.

Frank Stepuchin$40,700
Alex Ding$39,650
Marle Cordeiro$31,100
Ilyas Abayev$28,450
Landon Tice$25,525
Mike Matusow$21,000
Ronnie Bardah$16,725

Remember, Poker After Dark will air every Monday but is only available to PokerGO subscribers. If you’re not currently subscribed, you can get a monthly subscription for $14.99, a three-month plan for $29.99, and an annual subscription for $99.99. You can also save $10 off an annual subscription by using promo code “PokerNews” at checkout.

Photos courtesy of PokerGO.

  • Check out five of the biggest & most interesting hands from Monday's "Poker After Dark" on @PokerGO.

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Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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