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Tom Dwan Continues to Roll on High Stakes Poker

New Players, Same Result -- Net Profit for Durrrr


Tom DwanAs the saying goes — sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

Few have ever legitimately questioned whether or not Tom Dwan is good — as the young superstar from New Jersey has torpedoed his way up to the highest no-limit hold’em games both online and live — but even Dwan knows that it doesn’t hurt to have a little luck on your side, either.

On the most-recent episode of High Stakes Poker, Dwan hit his fair share of river cards, but using his image and creative bet sizes, he was able to get paid off each time.

In the sixth episode of the season, there was a mostly new cast of characters willing to try to mix it up and perhaps showcase their talents on poker’s biggest cash-game stage. Dwan, Phil Ivey, and Daniel Negreanu decided to stick around, taking on High Stakes Poker newcomers Dennis Phillips, Andrew Robl, and Lex Veldhuis, along with a couple veterans of the show, Patrik Antonius and Barry Greenstein.

Dwan controlled the action from the very beginning. The first hand shown on the episode featured him simply stealing the blinds and antes with a preflop raise with K-4, but it didn’t take long for a few players to see a flop against him. But almost each time, he started out with the worst hand and improved to the best.

Dennis PhillipsPhillips tried to prove that he could play creative poker against the best, showing a modest 3-2 in his hand for bottom pair when he raised preflop and then made a continuation-bet against Dwan, who laid down his 8-8 pocket pair when a board of A-J-3 came up. But Phillips had a tough time overall in his first episode, eventually paying off Dwan on two separate occasions after durrrr received a fortunate river both times.

Along with Phillips, Veldhuis also had a rough welcoming to the table. The PokerStars pro from Holland was trying to use his aggression to run over the table, but three queens would doom him twice, as Robl and Antonius were both able to collect a good chunk of Veldhuis’ stack.

In his first significant hand, Veldhuis made a preflop raise to $3,500 with KSpade Suit 2Spade Suit after Antonius inadvertently tried to throw his hand away before realizing he was in the big blind. Phillips called with A-K, as did Ivey with 6-5, tempting Antonius to join the ride with his adventurous QSpade Suit 6Club Suit.

After a QHeart Suit QDiamond Suit 10Heart Suit flop, Veldhuis bet $12,800 into a $16,000 pot in an attempt to take it down. Antonius just called, prompting Veldhuis to fire $31,300 after a JClub Suit turn gave him a straight draw. Antonius just called again with his trips and checked when an insignificant 5Spade Suit rounded out the board on the river. Veldhuis decided to cut his losses and checked behind, sending the $104,200 pot over to the Finnish superstar.

Lex VeldhuisVeldhuis didn’t let that hiccup from trying to bluff again later in the episode, though. After Negreanu raised to $3,000 with 4Diamond Suit 3Diamond Suit, Veldhius three-bet to $11,000 with 8Heart Suit 6Heart Suit. Robl, who had played fairly close to the vest for his first episode, just called from the big blind with QHeart Suit QDiamond Suit. Negreanu called, as well, sending three players to the flop.

The flop of QClub Suit 7Spade Suit 3Club Suit put Robl firmly in the lead, but Veldhius made a continuation-bet $23,800 with his 8 high. Robl just called, while Negreanu threw his cards into the muck. The action went check-check on the turn after a JSpade Suit came, but an ADiamond Suit on the river gave Veldhius an opportunity to bluff once more.

Robl gave him that opportunity, checking over his set to Veldhius. Sure enough, Veldhius fired $54,000 into an $82,000 pot. Robl called and raked in the $190,000 pot.

One hand that was featured in previews of this episode was a hand between Antonius and Ivey, wherein both players were dealt monsters before the flop. After Greenstein opened with a raise early in the session, Ivey three-bet his pocket kings, only to see Antonius four-bet him to $36,400 with his pocket aces. With both players sporting half-million-dollar stacks, Ivey decided to go the conservative route and just called with his kings.

But the hand slowed down quite a bit after a flop QSpade Suit JHeart Suit 10Diamond Suit. Both players checked, and neither was eager to bet when a QDiamond Suit came on the turn, either. The action went check-check again, and Ivey was the recipient of a fortunate river card, as a 9Club Suit gave him a straight. Antonius checked for a third time, but he couldn’t help but pay Ivey off after he bet out $45,000 on the river. The $168,200 pot was sent over to Ivey, but it was pretty small, considering what could have been.

Check back to every Monday for the latest High Stakes Poker recaps.



11 years ago

Dwan is by far the luckiest player I have ever seen on tv. He's always catching crazy turn and river cards and it makes him look like a genius.

(I'm just talking about his play on tv, he's obviously a great player)


11 years ago

I agree.


Dino Stacks
11 years ago

I believe some are luckier than others and its pretty damn apparent if you watch and follow enough poker. Great play is a solid foundation but the luck factor plays a role whether some wish to believe it or not. I know its not on my side very much. When you get players all in with 70% or better odds after the flop only to lose 6/10 times by the river. Where Dwan, Ivey, and many others win in that position 6/10 times or even more. Others like me will lose...which are you? Same when coming from behind.


Mr. Honest
11 years ago

Its funny how we watch great players play poker but yet we cant exactly put our finger on what makes them great or incorperate what they do into our own game. I also think reading people is overrated it really only comes in handy when playing deep in a big buy in tourney and the goal is to win. When it comes to cash games if your buying in for 100,000 and your worth 20 plus million its really all about pushing people around. So my point is dont play over your head and you have a better chance to win. GL everyone.


11 years ago

Dwan does seem to be lucky or on a lucky run. The reality though is that he creates his own luck. He puts himself in difficult situations almost constantly and with his reading ability and image wins pots. You have a big advantage if your reputation is that whenever you play against me your whole stack is in jeopardy. Any scared money is soon lost at that level. Only a few people can really comfortably play that game in the world.

Ivey, Antonious, Brunson, Greenstein, Dwan, Sahamies, the cirque de solei guy and maybe Jennifer Harmon comfortably can play those stakes all the time and show a profit comfortably.