A $697,100 Pot Took Place Last Night On Poker After Dark

August 15, 2017
A $697,100 Pot Took Place Last Night On Poker After Dark


Poker After Dark returned to the airwaves last night following a seven-year hiatus. At the top of the marquee for the first episode was cash game superstar Tom Dwan.

As part of the new poker streaming service PokerGo, the rights for Poker After Dark were acquired midway through 2017 with new episodes announced to air shortly after.

Instead of the standard 45 minutes of airtime that each episode would air for on NBC when the show was first on the air, the full six-hour session was live streamed on PokerGo

Who was in the lineup? 

Dwan appeared on Poker After Dark with other well-known faces including Antonio Esfandiari and Daniel Negreanu. Notable poker celebrity Jean-Robert Bellande was in the game as well. Businesspeople Bill Klein and Lauren Roberts rounded out the six-handed table.

The minimum buy-in was $100,000 with all players electing to take more than that.

Fans of high stakes poker action were treated to a multitude of large pots thanks to the multiple straddles put on top of the $200/$400 blinds. For the full session, the game played much higher than the initially set stakes with pots of over $10,000 breaking out on every orbit.

Hand of the night: A $700,000 monster

The action was moving in the early part of the game before Dwan, Esfandiari, and Negreanu got tangled in a pot that became an instant classic from the moment the cards were dealt.

Two hours into the game, Esfandiari straddled to $800 under the gun and Negreanu raised to $3,500 on the button with Q♣Q. Dwan picked up A♣A♠ in the big blind and put in a three-bet to $14,000. This left Esfandiari in rough shape when he looked down at K♣K. Esfandiari’s raise was to $41,400, putting the action back on Negreanu.

Negreanu decided to just call and after a few minutes in the tank, Dwan moved all-in for $328,000. Esfandiari had Dwan slightly covered and calling would force him to reload based on how large the game was playing. It took Esfandiari a moment to call and once he did, Negreanu elected lay down his queens.

The $697,100 pot size is one of the largest pots in televised poker history. Dwan and Esfandiari followed the standard high stakes cash game practice of running two boards. The two boards were good for Dwan and he shipped the monster pot. 

How many times have you folded kings pre-flop?

Coincidentally enough, the table conversation immediately prior to that hand was Esfandiari discussing how many times he had folded kings preflop. That number was five but failing to make it six ended up costing him over $300,000.

Esfandiari had the biggest downswing of the lineup once the game wrapped up thanks to that hand, and a few others. In total, there was over $2,000,000 on the table when play stopped for the night with nearly one-third of it belonging to Dwan.

Roberts ended up a six-figure loser with Bellande taking in a win of nearly $200,000. Klein finished about where he started and Negreanu booked a win.

Was there any good banter at the table?

As is the case with televised cash games, the table talk was vibrant throughout with a few main conversation points popping up repeatedly. Dwan told many tales of his time playing nosebleed games in Asia with all players in the game curious about the details of how he has spent much of the last few years.

One interesting detail that came up early in the game was on Dwan’s admission of playing a format of no limit hold’em with all of the cards ranked 2-5 removed. The variation creates more action, according to Dwan, and is requested by the businessmen in the game to have a better chance against professional players

The other major talking point surrounded President Donald Trump and the current state of political affairs in the United States. Klein mentioned one story of golfing with Trump at a Pro-Am event and Trump changing the scorecard. Klein relayed this information to tournament officials once their round was over. It was revealed to Klein that this was common practice by Trump and the table did not appear surprised at the revelation.

Ali Nejad returned to the commentator’s booth and he followed his standard practice of allowing the table talk to be the focal point while jumping in occasionally to narrate major hands.

Drea Renee took on the duties of sideline reporting for the night and spoke to all players during the session.

The game returns Tuesday for another six-hour session with Doyle Brunson and Andrew Robl taking the respective seats of Esfandiari and Negreanu.

The game starts at 8:00 pm ET and will be exclusively streamed on PokerGo.

After the fireworks that erupted last night, Poker After Dark is officially back and is already back at the top of the list for as a must-watch for all poker fans.

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