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High Stakes Poker S6E2: Almost Dead


High Stakes Poker S6E2:  Almost Dead

While last year's episode had the fans skipping in glee over the way $200,000 went down the drain in just a matter of minutes – it was exciting, no doubt about that. However, the second episode paled in comparison to the first one, mainly because nothing exciting was happening. Even the players were caught up in reminiscing about the previous episode. Still, the play had its own merits – you can't expect a poker game with all the best pros to be boring in the least, after all.

Missing Hellmuth

With Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Andreas Hoivold, Gus Hansen, Dario Minieri, and Antonion Esfandiari all sitting in one table, the play was interesting and spoke of true talent indeed. But there were nobody to play the role of antagonist and as such, the show's entertainment value dwindled.

Ten hands into the game and still nothing interesting was happening. It was only until Eli Elezra showed up that things took a different turn. Indeed, it was Elezra who actually put some life into the game by letting his exasperation at the way some hands played out show. Sure, last week's episode was still more interesting by a long stretch – but with people like Hellmuth missing, what else can you expect? While Hellmuth may seem like the type of guy that people would hate to be on the same table with, what with his incessant jeers and taunts, the players all seemed to be in mourning for his abrupt dismissal from the games. That's because he's a true character and it's pretty hard to beat his entertainment value. In fact, much of the funny quotes in this episode centered around Hellmuth even in his absence. Gus Hansen, for one, opened the show by saying "describe Phil Hellmuth in ten words or less – Quickest exit from High Stakes Poker I've ever seen!". Another witty remark came from Gabe Kaplan who said that if Hellmuth brought his 11 WSOP bracelets to the game, then he would have surely lost those to Ivey as well. The barbs against Hellmuth were quite funny indeed – but one can't help but wonder how Hellmuth would have reacted had he been there. Then one can't help but wonder how much more interesting the whole show could have been if that were the case.

Wins and Losses

Still, entertaining or not, there are always winners and losers in every poker game. This week, it was Gus Hansen who won the most, taking down the biggest pot of the night right at the last hand. Hoivold was the one who lost the most, having lost his $200,000 too – just not as quickly as Hellmuth did.

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