High Stakes Poker Reviewed: Mimi Tran Hits the Ground Running

Mimi Tran

The popular show High Stakes Poker debuted in early 2006, with the first season lasting 13 episodes. Throughout the show's run, episodes were culled from multi-day sessions, so often the same players would be sitting around the table from week to week, although new players were frequently rotated in to change the makeup of the game.

Years later the shows remain highly entertaining, and can even be educational. For new poker players they introduce the game while illustrating many strategic concepts, while those with experience can watch and recognize how certain strategies have evolved over the years since the shows aired.

After a bit of a hiatus we're continuing our look back at Season 1 with Episode 8. There are fireworks from the start of this one with Daniel Negreanu and Sam Farha getting it all in on the turn and playing a $191,700 pot in the first hand of the night.

Two new players join the game for this episode. Mimi Tran, the accomplished player from Vietnam and friend of Barry Greenstein's takes a seat, mixing it up a couple of times early against the always active Farha and pushing her stack all in postflop in a hand against Todd Brunson. She then plays the episode's largest pot against Negreanu (see below).

(Speaking of Negreanu, you'll want to see the hand starting at the 33:00 mark in which Negreanu and Freddy Deeb make it to the river at which point Negreanu puts in a big bluff.)

Also sitting in for this episode is the late, legendary Bob Stupak who at the time of his passing in 2009 was best known for having built the Stratosphere Las Vegas. (Contrasting with the active Tran, Stupak folds his way through the show.)

High Stakes Poker: Season 1, Episode 8

Originally aired:March 6, 2006
Location:Golden Nugget, Las Vegas
Players:Todd Brunson, Johnny Chan, Freddy Deeb, Sam Farha, Amir Nassiri, Daniel Negreanu, Shawn Sheikhan, Bob Stupak, Mimi Tran
Commentators:A.J. Benza, Gabe Kaplan
Game:no-limit hold'em cash game, minimum $100,000 buy-in
Stakes:blinds $300/$600, ante $100

Terms and Concepts

  • combo draw — Mimi Tran flops both a flush and straight draw, or a "combo draw," in her first hand at the table — 6:30 mark
  • equity — an interesting multi-way hand finds three players all having decent equity after the flop, with Farha making top two pair, Deeb picking up a flush draw, and Amir Nassiri flopping an open-ended straight draw — 18:00 mark
  • double belly-buster — Tran flops another draw in a hand versus Negreanu, in this case a "double-belly-buster" in which she can make a straight two different ways — 24:00 mark

Big Hand Alert

  • in that "double belly-buster" hand Negreanu flops a straight, and as a result he and Tran ultimately build a huge $292,300 pot — 24:00 mark
  • Reviewing S01E08 of "High Stakes Poker" in which Mimi Tran arrives and immediately takes over.

  • There were lots of big bluffs and value bets on this episode of "High Stakes Poker" from Season 1.

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