Antonio Esfandiari Wins $600,000 Pot on High Stakes Poker


On Saturday night, the action continued on the GSN cash game franchise “High Stakes Poker.” You can catch new episodes every Saturday night on 8:00pm ET and 11:00pm ET and “High Stakes Poker” is entering its seventh season. Norm Macdonald serves as the series’ new host this year, replacing Gabe Kaplan, and PartyPoker pro Kara Scott conducts interviews from the sidelines.

To start off the one-hour episode, the second of Season 7, David “Viffer” Peat was up $210,000 as the show’s big winner and PokerStars pro Vanessa Selbst was down $228,000, the furthest in the red of anyone.

The action at the start, however, featured two of the businessmen at the table. On a flop of 7-8-2, Treasure Island Las Vegas owner Phil Ruffin bet $3,000 with 10-9 for an open-ended straight draw, Peat called with 9-8 for top pair, Victory Poker’s Antonio Esfandiari called with 9-6 for an open-ended straight draw, and Silly Bandz creator Robert Croak came along with 6-4 of hearts for a gutshot.

The turn was the ace of hearts and the action checked around to the jack of hearts on the river, giving Croak a runner-runner flush and Ruffin a straight. Croak checked, seemingly setting the trap, but Ruffin put in a massive overbet of $50,000, or four times the pot. Croak told Ruffin that if he would pull back $30,000, he’d happily call, but ultimately mucked his baby flush. Ruffin showed the straight and Croak responded by saying, “I give you too much credit for betting four times the pot.”

Two major pots down the stretch included one in which Ruffin bet $5,000 with K-3 of clubs on a flop of K-A-8 for second pair and Peat came along with 9-2 for air. The turn was a four and Ruffin bet $20,000. Rather than fold, Peat bluff-raised to $50,000 and Ruffin called to bring a queen on the river.

After a check from Ruffin, Peat once again fired with absolutely nothing, this time a hefty bet of $100,000. Following some thought, Ruffin called behind and scooped a $319,000 pot. After entering the night as the chip leader and at one point being up by over $300,000, Peat was now ahead just $122,000. Meanwhile, Ruffin was approaching nearly $350,000 in profit.

In the largest pot of the night, and of the seventh season of “High Stakes Poker,” Esfandiari bet $6,200 on a flop of 10-6-4 with two hearts holding 8-7 of the suit for a flush draw and a double-gutshot straight draw. Peat came along with 7-6 for middle pair and Barry Greenstein pushed the action to $30,000 with pocket fours for bottom set. Esfandiari re-raised to $106,000, Peat abandoned ship, and Greenstein moved all-in.

Esfandiari tabled his cards and ask Greenstein whether he wanted to run the turn and river once or twice. Greenstein opted for just once and was quickly behind when a heart hit on the turn to give “The Magician” a flush. Needing the board to pair on the river to make a full house or better, Greenstein watched as an eight fell. Esfandiari scooped the $593,000 pot and the credits rolled.

Next week, Andrew “good2cu” Robl joins the mix, replacing Croak. Remember, you can catch new episodes of “High Stakes Poker” Saturdays at 8:00pm ET and 11:00pm ET on GSN.


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