The final episode of this season’s High Stakes Poker action saw some of the biggest players in the world take each other on for millions of dollars and perhaps just as importantly, bragging rights. With the 14th and final episode concluding on Monday night, however, which big name ended the latest season of the classic PokerGO show with the most money?
It wasn’t just a table full of cash bricks and expensive chips on Monday night’s premiere of the show, with some poker legends duking it out with more recreational types as the players truly came to the fore. After a quiet start to the season, the show has lit up in the final few weeks, with Bryn Kenney and Daniel Negreanu just two names to compete for multiple pots worth over half a million dollars.
Dwan Pushes for Early Dominance
“Seems a little greedy with ace-queen.”
Tom ‘Durrrr’ Dwan has been a great player to watch and early on in the final episode, he saw pocket queens bump a juicy pot up to over a quarter-million by the river. The only problem was that he faced an all-in for $116,000 from Stanley Tang, the owner of Door Dash on the river of a board showing . Eventually, Dwan made a superb call and was shown Tang’s hand of , which was remarked as a “tribute” to Doyle Brunson by Jason Koon, both of who were also at the table.
Up to over a million, Dwan was involved in the next hand that was shown too. Daniel Negreanu, who after a roaring start has suffered a few setbacks in the second half of the season, raised it up to $15,000 and went to the flop with , with Dwan holding . Two checks eventually saw the board complete to and Dwan’s bet of $42,000 was suddenly with the best hand of top pair and top kicker.
Negreanu, now considering a big bluff, even called out “seems a little greedy with ace-queen”, but then went on to include pocket nines in the range of hands he put the former Full Tilt Poker poster boy on. Eventually, Kid Poker called, and dropped to just $69,000, some way behind Dwan’s stack of $1.1 million.
At that stage, Dwan was running over the table, sat with almost treble the stack of Patrik Antonius and more than three times what Jason Koon and Phil Ivey sat behind. With Brunson and Tang also lagging behind, Negreanu was by far the short stack, trailing Tang by over $100,000.
You Have to Hand it to Tang
As is tradition between presenters AJ Benza and Gabe Kaplan, the pair handed out some nominative awards during the show. Kaplan offered up the ‘Humility Award’ to Stanley Tang, who “owns a billion-dollar company but still buys his clothes at the Gap”. Dwan, powering through the gears, pulled in another pot after a queen landed on the river.
The second award, the Al Jolson award “for the first talking picture” saw the most talkative player awarded the prize, but while Kaplan gave the imaginary gong to Eric Persson – who sat at the table earlier in the season – it was the turn of another man fond of words, Negreanu, to see whether his story had another chapter.
All-in with queen-jack on a flop showing two hearts and two jacks, he and his caller Stanley Tang ran it twice. Each man won one play-out, and Negreanu continued to grind. Tang was certainly playing fearless poker, and with Ivey having dipped out, he took a big pot from Antonius to bump his stack over a quarter of a million dollars.
Tang even found it in him to beat Doyle Brunson when the latter held ten-deuce, betting $40,000 on the river of a board showing . Brunson called with the hand that famously won him back-to-back WSOP Main Events in the 1970s, and dropped to just $118,000 as Tang rose to $360,000, his highest amount for a long time in the season.
Final Hands Demand Drama
“And that’s that…until next year.”
It didn’t take long for Tang to once again be the player who was pushed to a big call by Negreanu, again for all of the Canadian’s chips. Negreanu was all-in for $50,000 with on a board showing , but needed to beat Tang’s . After the board ran out on the turn and on the river on the first play-out, the second full board played out Negreanu needed a jack and only a jack to chop it up, while Negreanu had called for another $100,000… only for a jack to land. Negreanu took the top-up anyway.
With the last hand to come, Daniel Negreanu moved all in with , only to be called by Brunson with . The pair of poker royalty agreed to run it twice, but on both occasions, ‘Dolly’ couldn’t find any help and Negreanu finally managed to double up and win the last hand of the season.
Here’s how the final episode of the season saw seven huge poker names pile up their chips:
- Tom Dwan $894,500
- Stanley Tang $589,500
- Patrik Antonius $321,000
- Phil Ivey $310,000
- Jason Koon $302,500
- Daniel Negreanu $93,500
- Doyle Brunson $75,000
With Benza and Kaplan promising to ‘do it all again soon’, the chances of another season of High Stakes Poker on PokerGO seems extremely likely. We can’t wait to the bricks thrown down upon the felt in 2023 in Las Vegas.