This season moves to The Bellagio & is being presented by PokerStars.net. Remember, Norm McDonald's your new main host.
The first eight players to go to the table are Phil Ruffin, Bill Klein (the first two names listed both have $500K buy-ins, while the other six start out w/ the usual $200K), Doyle Brunson, Vanessa Selbst (who's just the third woman to be on this show), Barry Greenstein, Antonio Esfandiari, Robert Croak & David Peat.
Croak: BLACK JACKS
FIRST BASE POT: $12,800
THE FLOP: (4S)(2H)(9H)
David's made top pair, but Robert has the early lead. After Vanessa bets $7,600, Robert raises her to $15,700...& only Vanessa continues by making the continuation call.
TURN: 5 OF HEARTS
She might make a heart flush to start the season, but maybe she won't need it after firing her next bet of $28,400...a FOLD occurs, so the first pot of the season at $72,600 goes to her!
Selbst (dealer chip): BLACK QUEENS
Ruffin: DOUBLE THREES (Hearts & Clubs)
THE FLOP: (4C)(9C)(3D)
Phil leads w/ trip threes, followed by Doyle w/ an inside straight draw & Antonio w/ a pair of nines. Antonio & Phil both risk $17,700, but Vanessa again tries for a big bluff win by raising to $63,800...Antonio folds, but Phil adds 100 grand to his current raise! Vanessa next...goes ALL-IN & Phil calls!
FINAL POT TOTAL: $475,100
TURN: 6 OF DIAMONDS
RIVER: THE OTHER RED SIX- PHIL WINS!
Klein: BLACK ACES
THE FLOP: (KH)(10C)(5H)
David's got an instant flush draw & a pair of 10s, & he answers Bill's $7K bet w/ a $24K raise prior to Phil's fold...& Bill re-raising him to $67K. David then...says ALL-IN & Bill calls!
FINAL POT TOTAL: $428,600
TURN: 4 OF CLUBS
RIVER: 4 OF HEARTS- DAVID DOUBLES UP!
THE FLOP: (AH)(10D)(KD)
It could be Doyle's turn to make a red flush, but David's made a gutshot Broadway Straight draw. Double check.
TURN: 10 OF SPADES- DUD
After betting $4.5K & answering that he'd like to take the entire pot instead of half of it, Doyle's given the $11,100 pot.
This hand might not make the flop, because Vanessa just raised to $165,600...IT'S INDEED THE FIRST BLITZ OF THE SEASON; she wins a $202,300 pot!
One hand after BLITZING somebody out, THE SAME THING HAPPENS TO HER COURTESY OF DAVID TO THE TUNE OF $208,600; he raised to $203,400.
Greenstein: BLACK NINES
Selbst: DOUBLE FIVES (Spades & Diamonds)
THE FLOP: (JD)(4D)(3C)- DUD
TURN: 6 OF CLUBS
Bill's on the verge of a club flush, while both Antonio & Vanessa are eligible to make straights; Vanessa's draw is open-ended. All three of them continue for $10K each.
RIVER: QUEEN OF DIAMONDS
Nothing too big, but Bill does take a possible win w/ the twin Queens. He next bets $23K against Barry, who makes a big raise to $123K. Does Bill get bluffed out to close this hand...YES.
Incidentally, if Bill ultimately leaves this program w/ any cash, he'll donate it to charity; if he loses money, he'll match it & also donate it to a worthy cause. So far tonight, he's the BIG LOSER w/ -$215K.
As for the BIG WINNER department, it's being led by Phil w/ $241K, followed close behind by David w/ $231,400. Thanks to his bluff working out, Barry's third w/ $83,100 in net earnings.
Brunson (DC): DOUBLE BLACK DEUCES
THE FLOP: (5H)(6D)(10S)- DUD
TURN: 3 OF SPADES- ANOTHER DUD
RIVER (both throw $6K into the pot): 3 OF DIAMONDS- DOYLE WINS $31K POT
THE FLOP: RED EIGHTS & ACE OF DIAMONDS
Phil's got another flush draw & wagers 25 thou...to win the $35,200 pot just like that.
BTW, after this game ends, the action will move into Bobby's (!!!) Room!
Brunson: DOUBLE 10s (Hearts & Clubs)
THE FLOP: (8H)(8C)(KD)
TURN: 4 OF CLUBS- DUD; DOYLE WINS $45K POT
Brunson: DOUBLE QUEENS (Spades & Diamonds)
THE FLOP: (7C)(3D)(4S)- NOTHING THERE; PHIL TAKES $28,200 POT (and has now broken the quarter-million dollar win mark w/ $251.5K; David's still in second w/ $212,800)!
After Mr. Greenstein scores his second BLITZ of the night for $21,600, it's time for the final pot of the night:
THE FLOP: (4S)(KC)(AC)
Antonio's next bet is for $8,300...but Phil's issuing a $38,300 raise. Is that enough to close out what has been an impressive opening night for Ruffin...NOT YET, because Antonio RAISES ALL-IN to $152,800. Afterwards...PHIL PACKS IT IN, resulting in a $206,300 WIN for Antonio!
UNFORTUNATELY LIVING UP TO HIS LAST NAME TONIGHT, BECAUSE HE DIDN'T WIN ANY HANDS TONIGHT: Robert