High Stakes Poker Reviewed: Sam Farha Joins Game, Time to 'Raisy-Daisy'

Sam Farha

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.

The previous episode ended with Barry Greenstein losing a nearly $200K pot to Doyle Brunson, and this one begins with the pair getting involved in another big one right off the top. Then four new players join the game — Todd Brunson, Sean Sheikhan, Eli Elezra, and Sam Farha — with Farha immediately showing a lot of aggression with frequent raises and bluffs.

"There's a lot going on under the surface," Gabe Kaplan notes in the opening. "If you want to really enjoy the show, see if you can figure out what some of the players are doing and why they're doing it."

High Stakes Poker: Season 1, Episode 3

Originally aired:January 30, 2006
Location:Golden Nugget, Las Vegas
Players:Daniel Alaei, Doyle Brunson, Jerry Buss, Ted Forrest, Barry Greenstein, Jennifer Harman, Amir Nasseri, Daniel Negreanu, Todd Brunson, Sean Sheikhan, Eli Elezra, Sam Farha
Commentators:A.J. Benza, Gabe Kaplan
Game:no-limit hold'em cash game, minimum $100,000 buy-in
Stakes:blinds $300/$600, ante $100

Strategic Concepts

  • effective stackDaniel Negreanu appears to bet $1 million into a $21K pot, but his lone opponent Greenstein only has about $86K behind, which is the "effective stack" in the situation — 9:00 mark
  • suited-gappers — Negreanu stretches the definition by raising with {7-Spades}{3-Spades}, a hand with flush and (barely) straight potential — 25:00 mark
  • value betJennifer Harman flops a set versus Farha's top pair, top kicker, and after Elezra bets and Farha raises, Harman reraise-shoves in an attempt to get value (but is the bet too big?) — 28:00 mark

Big Hand Alert

  • Negreanu and Greenstein get all the latter's chips in the middle on the flop as they battle for a $203,800 pot — 9:00 mark
  • Sam Farha among those joining the game on S01E03 of "High Stakes Poker." Time to raisy-daisy!

  • Talking effective stacks, suited gappers and value betting on another S01 ep. of "High Stakes Poker."

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