Action. You gotta love high-stakes action during the halcyon days of televised poker with some of the most-recognizable faces during the boom. These were the golden years before every other degen had a podcast or their own streaming channel and the only time you could watch pros player cards would be on ESPN for the Main Event, Travel Channel for WPT events, Bravo for Celebrity Poker, and the Game Show Network with sharks feasting on each other for High Stakes Poker during the peak of the online poker boom in the 2000s.
If you do not recall, High Stakes Poker was hosted by Gabe Kaplan and AJ Benza on GSN. The table in this episode featured Tex Dolly, Barry Greenstein, Amnon Filippi, Gus Hansen, Eli Elezra, Antonio Esfandiari, and Daniel Negreanu. Man, those golden, olden days seemed like forty lifetimes ago. But this hand between Gus Hansen and Daniel Negreanu is definitely worthy of a flashback.
Gus Hansen opened with $2,100 with .
Daniel Negreanu re-raised for $5,000 with .
The flop came down 9c.
Both players flopped a boat. Negreanu held the bigger boat in a potential disastrous boat-over-boat scenario. Hansen checked his bottom set of fives. Negreanu fired out $8,000 with his set of middle sixes. Hansen thought about it for a while and reached for brown chips. Hansen check-raised to $26,000. Negreanu smirked and called. Kid poker hoped he could set a trap against the super loose Great Dane. The pot ballooned to $53,700.
The turn was the .
"Wow! This is trouble!" said Kaplan.
Hansen improved to quad fives, while Negreanu improved to a full house. Good Old Gus bet out $24,000 and clamed up while Negreanu tanked for a minute. He decided to "slow play his full house" as Kaplan explained. Negreanu called the $24K. The pot now had $111,700 in the middle of the table... both chips and stacks of cash.
The fell on the river.
Hansen checked his quads. Negreanu missed his one outer (for quad sixes).
"There's no reason Negreanu doesn't feel he has the best hand," said our narrator, Kaplan.
Negreanu bet $65,000 on the river in a $111K pot.
Hansen didn't wait before announcing, "I'm all in!"
Hansen shoved for $232,000.
"Huh?" Kid Poker said sorta blindsided.
Negreanu stood up and asked the dealer for a count. The rest of the players at the table finally perked up and started paying attention to the drama.
"This is a big pot here, Eli!" barked Negreanu, clearly aware that Hansen might have him by the balls. "I better have something if I'm gonna call. Right, eh?"
The board read 9c. The pot was $408,700.
Negreanu called. Kid Poker quickly found out his boat was crushed by Hansen's quad fives. The dealer pushed the mountain of chips and stacks of cash toward Hansen worth $575,700.
"You're now looking at a man who lost nearly a pot for $300,000," said Kaplan as the camera lingered on a hallowed-out Negreanu.
At the time, the Hansen/Negreanu pot with quads vs full house was the largest pot in the history of high stakes poker. Oh the good old days. Simple times. Big stakes. Lots of lofty dreams. Too bad we cannot all go back to the mid-2000s again?
You can find episodes of High Stakes Poker on PokerGo.