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Matusow Busts Negreanu Twice on High Stakes Poker

Negreanu’s Tough Times on the Show Continue


Mike MatusowIt’s actually a pretty simple, logical plan. At a table full of aggressive pros with big egos, just sit back, play super tight, and wait until you hit the nuts.

That seemed to be Mike Matusow’s plan, and it worked beautifully for him in the most recent episode of High Stakes Poker. Of course, it helps that the deck was especially friendly to him and that he was facing off in his huge hands against Daniel Negreanu, who once again solidified his role as the unluckiest player in the history of the show.

Negreanu had to re-buy not once, but twice, because of Matusow on Sunday’s episode. And by the end of the show, at a table that included Tom Dwan, David Benyamine, and Eli Elezra, it was The Mouth who boasted the largest chip stack.

The styles of Matusow and Negreanu could not have been any different.

Even though he was chastised last week for his tight play, Matusow continued to play close to the vest this episode. The Full Tilt pro declined to see a flop with A-J suited with two raises before him, he mucked K-10 pre-flop with only limpers before him, and he declined to play A-4 suited in an unopened pot.

Negreanu, on the other hand, was everywhere. He was a willing participant in 10 of the 13 hands that were televised, easily the most active player at the table. While he won a few pots, he got into trouble with his aggressive play. In the very first hand of the night, he three-bet Bertrand Grospellier with a meager K-2. Elky had aces and quickly made Negreanu relinquish his hand after a four-bet.

But it was Matusow who did the most damage. Although the Mouth got unlucky against Doyle Brunson in last week’s episode when his pocket kings were only able to win half of the pot against Texas Dolly’s A-Q, he benefited from a stacked deck in this episode.

Negreanu had to rebuy twice on the most recent episode.In the first big encounter of the night, Matusow limped into the pot with KDiamond Suit KClub Suit from early position. Negreanu limped in behind him with 9Club Suit 8Club Suit. Elezra was up to no good, raising to $5,000 with ADiamond Suit 7Diamond Suit. Matusow disguised his hand by just calling, and Negreanu also came along for the ride.

The flop was magical for Matusow, as the K-9-9 gave him a boat and Negreanu trips. The two players checked it over to Elezra, who fired a continuation-bet of $8,800. Matusow called the bet, and must have been giddy to see Negreanu check-raise to $28,800. While HSP host Gabe Kaplan speculated that perhaps Matusow would continue to slow-play his hand and just call, the Mouth decided to re-raise to $68,800.

Negreanu thought about it for a while before announcing all in, eliciting a snap call and a declaration from Matusow.

“That’s how you play poker, boys,” Matusow said.

The comment drew criticism from Elezra, as he mockingly repeated Matusow’s statement and added, “Flops kings full and now he’s so proud of himself…”

In a fairly unique situation for High Stakes Poker, the other players at the table seemed to be actively rooting for Negreanu to hit the case 9 after the two players decided to run it twice. Perhaps it was because he knew Negreanu would gamble more or because he was frustrated with Matusow, but Brunson offered an optimistic “boom” each time the turn and river came out to no avail.

Matusow won the big pot, and Negreanu re-bought.

Just three televised hands later, the two old pals were at it again.

After Brunson straddled, Matusow once again limped in from early position with AClub Suit QClub Suit. David Benyamine, Grospellier, and Phil Galfond all limped in behind him, but Negreanu raised it big to $16,000 with 10-10 from the blinds.

Matusow was a happy camper on High Stakes Poker.Matusow proceeded to re-raise to $45,000 as the others got out of the way. Negreanu called and checked in the dark. The 7Club Suit 6Heart Suit 4Club Suit flop put the two players in a coin-flip situation, as Negreanu held the only pair, with Matusow having both overs and the nut flush draw.

Matusow tried to end the hand right there, over-betting the pot and pushing all in for $199,100. Negreanu went into the tank before finally making the tough call.

“That’s the worst hand I could’ve had,” Matusow said, perhaps deriding the call a bit.

“You’re upset I called Mike?” Negreanu countered.

The two players again decided to run it twice and Negreanu was looking good after a blank 2Diamond Suit hit the turn. “Always good to win the first one,” Negreanu said, repeating the run-it-twice motto. But after an 8Club Suit river sent the first half of the pot to Matusow, the Mouth responded, “Sure is always good to win the first one.” He rubbed his hands together, as Negreanu put his finger to his temple.

The drama appeared to be over in the second half of the hand after a 10Diamond Suit gave Negreanu a set and severely limited Matusow’s outs. He was looking even better when Dwan announced that he thought, but wasn’t sure, that he folded the 3Club Suit 2Club Suit. It was probably all the more painful for Negreanu when a 2Club Suit river came out, sending the entire pot to Matusow.

“You didn’t have the deuce-three of clubs, I guess,” Negreanu said dryly.

Slightly aghast, Kaplan commentated after the hand: “It really is extraordinary how unlucky Daniel Negreanu is on High Stakes Poker.”

There are only a couple of new episodes remaining in this season of High Stakes Poker. While it seems evident that Negreanu will post another losing season, it should be interesting to see if Matusow will decide to gamble it up a bit now that he is one of the year’s biggest winners, up nearly $400,000.



Trent McNeely
over 11 years ago

While DN does get in some tough spots on HSP, he also makes the wrong decision almost all the time. I can't imagine what he could have thought Mike could have in that spot that he had beat.


over 11 years ago

I will admit that Daniel's game hasn't been what I would consider his best the last few times he's played televised cash poker but he's obviously running pretty badly at the moment. Let's not forget though that this is the same man who wanted to let go of his 6s full against Gus Hansen's quad 5s a few seasons ago; yet another cooler that he's had to endure on High Stakes Poker.


over 11 years ago

Once upon a time Daniel was a great player, now he's just an angle shooting has been. When you watch HSP you realize there must be a poker god who is tipping the scales back towards even.


over 11 years ago

Daniel seems to be n continous tilt, making the wrong reads more than the correct ones.


over 11 years ago

<---- Wonders how much of himself he has in these HSP games. Is it all his money? Hope not for his sake.


over 11 years ago

DN is a tournament playeer who gives it all away at the cash games. He had a unique style that once was a winning style, just like Chan had in the mid-80's. But neither could keep up with the game. Chan has been broke for years, THAT is why he is never playing the large buy-in tourneys. Danny Boy is on his way too....


over 11 years ago

I always wonder why so many people like to put others down. So if you flop a set, you would fold. maybe but I doubt it. DN has played some week hands on HSP but its his strong hands that have killed him.