It was essentially the most iconic televised poker present, chargeable for attracting thousands and thousands of gamers to the sport, and now that Excessive Stakes Poker is returning to our screens we thought a visit down reminiscence lane to the very first season was so as…
By: Andrew Burnett
It was Tom Dwan who sparked all these wonderful reminiscences, a sneak preview of return seeing ‘Durrrrr’ alongside Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Jason Koon, Brandon Adams and Ben Lamb.
Excessive stakes poker coming again guys. Hope I run nearly as good as final time pic.twitter.com/m8auOjG2ic
— Tom Dwan (@TomDwan) October 27, 2020
Method again in 2005 on the Golden Nugget on line casino, nevertheless, it was a unique although equally spectacular line-up battling it out at $300/$600 No Restrict Maintain’em!
Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, Jennifer Harman, Ted Forrest, Daniel Alaei and Barry Greenstein had been joined by Dr. Amir Nasseri and Jerry Buss.
You’ll nearly actually know the professional line-up, although we’ll add in a number of bits and items about them later, however Iranian gynecologist Nasseri and basketball Corridor of Famer Buss deserve a little bit recap of their very own…
Dr. Amir Nasseri
Born in Iran, Nasseri realized the sport from his father-in-law, and in Excessive Stakes Poker he had discovered the proper outlet for his highstakes behavior.
Rumoured to guess large on blackjack in addition to the poker desk, Nasseri featured in six episodes of HSP, however was already recognized for a really deep run within the 2002 WSOP Fundamental Occasion.
Nasseri took 11th spot and $70,000, falling simply in need of the ultimate desk that noticed Robert Varkonyi go on to scoop the gold bracelet and $2million.
Described as having ‘time to slot in three or 4 sport and tourney classes each month,’ Dr. Nasseri boasts two extra five-figure reside cashes to his identify, both aspect of his HSP appearances.
Jerry Buss was already well-known earlier than hitting the poker screens when HSP aired for the primary time in January 2006, the previous chemist-turned-real property mogul the proprietor of the LA Lakers NBA basketball workforce.
Buss, who handed away aged 80 in 2013, led a vibrant life, fathering six kids from two marriages, and concerned in some controversy involving quite a few alleged affairs with a lot youthful girls.
On the poker desk he proved to be a troublesome cookie, although, showing on Poker After Darkish as nicely, and proudly boasting 40 reside cashes totalling greater than $170ok throughout 20 years of event play.
When he died, Erik Seidel was among the many poker gamers to pay tribute to him, saying: “Unhappy information about Jerry Buss. He was a real buddy to many poker gamers. Large hearted man.”
Poker might be an costly enterprise should you discover it boring, and Chicago restaurateur Fred Chamanara discovered that out to his value when he confronted off with WSOP Fundamental Occasion legend Johnny Chan in episode 7.
The backgammon and gin rummy champ hadn’t observed Chan’s early elevate, so when he re-raised his ace-jack of spades, in opposition to Chan’s pocket rockets, a $300,000 pot was the outcome.
“Motion, pleasure, successful,” is how Chamanara described his ideas and emotions as he waited to see if the river would hit his spade flush draw.
“It was the most important pot I’ve ever been in, by far,” he admitted, and each cent of it might go Chan’s manner because the king of hearts appeared.
Fred can be again for extra although, including a season 2 look to his Four episodes from season 1, claiming: “I’ve my confidence. I do not assume they’re higher than me.”
Probably the most attention-grabbing characters to ever grace a poker desk, Bob Stupak was a type of inbetween gamers…a on line casino proprietor who might additionally play some fairly good poker.
When his first on line casino burnt down shortly after opening, he merely constructed one other, then one other – Vegas World and the long-lasting Stratosphere each Stupak ventures.
Stupak might boast $865ok in event earnings, and even managed to scoop a WSOP bracelet again in 1989, becoming a member of his spouse Sandy who had bagged the On line casino Workers title in 1984!
His highroller playing aspect was infamous, successful $1million on a SuperBowl guess the identical 12 months as his bracelet, and luck was on his aspect once more following a brutal motorbike accident.
Bob someway survived in opposition to all odds and went on to reside one other 14 years, dying from leukemia in 2009 however leaving an enduring Vegas legacy.
The HSP season 1 professionals
Nicely, as we noticed within the Chamanara-Chan hand there have been loads of big-name professionals on the tables in that first season, and right here’s a fast rundown of all of them…
Essentially the most recognisable identify of all, Daniel appeared in all 7 seasons, solely Doyle Brunson, Antonio Esfandiari and Barry Greenstein matching that feat.
DNegs purchased in for $1million on the very first episode and his plan was to “present everybody who’s boss by being very aggressive!” That plan didn’t take lengthy to materialise, throwing in two bricks of $50ok money bundles on a $34ok pot flop…
♦ ♥ ♠ ♣
Negreanu: Okay♦ Okay♥
Buss: 10♠ 10♥
Nasseri: A♦ 7♦
Flop: 7♠ 6♥ 4♣
…and regardless of his chat, Nasseri folded to the large overbet, adopted by Lakers proprietor Buss!
Like Negreanu, it appears as if Texas Dolly received’t be again within the remake collection attributable to Covid fears for reside play, however he actually made his mark again in season 1.
Similar to Negreanu, the grandpappy of poker Doyle determined to see how the amateurs would react to a $500,000 all-in!
Harman was DNegs’ mentor when the younger Canadian first arrived in Vegas poker scene, and he or she was already a star in her personal proper, top-of-the-line gamers – not to mention feminine gamers – enjoying the best stakes.
Extremely, her first look on HSP got here only a 12 months after she underwent her second kidney transplant, which had adopted her participation in The Company match vs Andy Beal.
The first lady to realize two WSOP bracelets, Harman was inducted into the Poker Corridor of Fame in 2015.
Greenstein was one of the assured professionals enjoying the nosebleed reside video games in Vegas, and he defined a lot later that “even shedding $500,000 wouldn’t have been that large a deal.”
That may change in later seasons, nevertheless, Greenstein confessing “… after I misplaced that $600ok pot to Antonio, after which the $900ok pot to Tom [Dwan] it was an enormous hit financially.”
One in every of his first and most well-known big arms noticed this occur vs Sammy Farha…
♦ ♥ ♠ ♣
Greenstein: A♥ A♣
Farha: Okay♣ Okay♦
Flop: 6♣ Okay♥ 8♥
As we simply noticed, the legendary Sammy Farha wasn’t scared to get his cash within the center and all through his six seasons on Excessive Stakes Poker he was one of the standard professionals.
He was already well-known, after all, as the person who Chris Moneymaker defeated on the 2003 WSOP Fundamental Occasion – a event victory that’s credited with sparking the primary on-line poker growth.
Farha himself grew to become a celeb, in addition to including to extra WSOP titles of his personal to carry three bracelets, however the previous few years or so have seen him spend rather more time away from the tables.
Season 1 Names:
Although the identify might not be as acquainted to everybody as his HSP colleagues, Iran-born Alaei is a famous reside MTT crusher – boasting 5 WSOP bracelets and nearly $7million in event winnings.
Though his HSP appearances spanned Three seasons, Alaei was by no means as pleased enjoying No Restrict Maintain’em as he was different variants and he misplaced simply over $220ok within the televised sport.
Ted would grow to be one of the well-known professionals in poker, mixing WSOP bracelets and enjoying the best stakes money video games in Vegas with prop guess lawsuits, and felony court docket instances.
His HSP outings included one memorable hand in season 1 that noticed him lose a $100ok stack and promptly attain into his pocket for one more $100ok!
♦ ♥ ♠ ♣
Nasseri: 5♣ 5♥
Forrest: 2s 2♦
Negreanu: J♣ 10♣
Flop: 5♦ 4♥ 2♣
Negreanu was pushed out on the flop when Nasseri re-raised after Forrest had simply flatted DNegs’ steal try, after which Ted sprang his ‘entice’ solely to seek out himself looking at a 2-outer…
…and the $206,600 pot was pushed Nasseri’s manner!
Sheikan performed three collection of Excessive Stakes Poker, however the Iranian-born professional is best recognized maybe for the various fallouts and arguments he had with different professionals. The well-documented argument he had with Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow recurrently pops up in ‘poker professional blowout’ compilations…
Sheikan was jailed for 9 months’ in 1995 with 5-years’ probation for misdemeanour youngster sexual battery, a conviction that reared its head greater than a decade later in an immigration case.
Todd Brunson carved himself a profession in highstakes poker that might have rivalled his well-known father Doyle’s if he had chosen to commit the whole lot to the sport. Todd, nevertheless, had different pursuits outdoors of playing cards.
That didn’t forestall him changing into top-of-the-line gamers in Vegas, and a part of the notorious ‘Company’ that first misplaced to, then defeated Texas banking mogul Andy Beal.
Chan is a legend in poker, not least due to his WSOP Fundamental Occasion double in 1987 and 1988, the latter of which was immortalised within the iconic poker film ‘Rounders’.
His nickname ‘The Orient Categorical’ took place because of a person we’ve already met on this article, Bob Stupak – Chan scooping Stupak’s 1981 American Cup poker event by steamrollering the ultimate desk in lower than an hour!
A Corridor of Famer boasting 10 WSOP gold bracelets, China-born Chan can nonetheless be discovered on the poker and blackjack tables, with Punta Cana one in every of his favorite spots.
Beirut-born Deeb solely performed the one season of Excessive Stakes Poker, however was already a legend, having turned to poker to fund himself within the 1970s and gone on to bag a WSOP bracelet, later including a second.
He might be remembered for his HSP ‘Going South’ confrontation with the remainder of the desk, a joke by Johnny Chan that Deeb was taking his cash off the desk leading to Freddie exploding at his fellow gamers and calling the ground.
Israel-born Elezra was an HSP common, participating in all however the ultimate season, with a life story that made for attention-grabbing – and extremely controversial studying when he launched the English language model in 2019.
Apparently owing $thousands and thousands to fellow professionals, Elezra’s façade as a profitable professional was known as into query after an AMA on the 2plus2 discussion board backfired spectacularly.
The Magician as Antonio is understood for his pre-poker days as a stage magician appeared in all 7 seasons of HSP and his chip methods in addition to his play stored followers entertained all through the years.
Successful the 2012 WSOP Large One for One Drop for a monster $18,346,673 payday set him up for all times, however Antonio can nonetheless be discovered battling it out on the felt.
A current highstakes loss to Phil Hellmuth hasn’t affected his backside line an excessive amount of, Esfandiari following it up by shopping for a $5.3million dwelling!
There’s little or no that hasn’t been mentioned or written in regards to the all-time primary gold bracelet winner, the ‘Poker Brat’ all the time making for an attention-grabbing story, similar to being the youngest-ever WSOP Fundamental Occasion winner again in 1989.
Phil dipped out and in of HSP historical past, and was largely unsuccessful, one thing he just lately spoke about, telling PokerGO: “Once I would play previously they’d tease me and it might trouble me as a result of I felt like I used to be the all-time nice poker participant and deserved extra respect.”
The brand new collection might be very completely different, Phil promising: “I’m prepared for all conditions and I’ve a method that I feel might be profitable.”
The Vietnamese-born highstakes specialist turned to full-time poker after an accident, her then-boyfriend Barry Greenstein instructing her methods to play.
In her HSP season 1 look she managed to bag a number of big pots, together with a $292,000 corker in opposition to Daniel Negreanu, turning a much bigger straight to outgun DNeg’s flopped straight!
Tran can be up greater than $¼million on HSP, whereas poor previous Negreanu misplaced nearly $2.2million throughout his umpteen appearances.
So, that was the lowdown on all of the season 1 gamers from again within the day.
The re-make received’t characteristic too a lot of them, and as producer Mori Eskandani explains of the reboot: “I used to be very skeptical as a result of numerous our old skool gamers both weren’t obtainable, or not play, or in some actually unhappy conditions aren’t even with us. Dropping individuals like Sammy Farha, not having Doyle [Brunson] be right here as a result of he’s not feeling so nicely proper now, clearly takes away from the previous look of the present. With COVID going spherical, lots of the persons are not prepared to go away their properties till they’re vaccinated like Eli Elezra.”
Nonetheless, Eskandani thinks it will likely be successful, revealing: “I’m pleasantly shocked with what is occurring. I feel it’s the sport, simply the secret, ‘Excessive Stakes Poker’ that brings the very best of individuals out right here. The sport that we had final evening was in all probability within the prime 5 of any Excessive Stakes Poker that we’ve finished. Completely by no means a uninteresting second, and the dialog was precisely what you needed.”
HSP season Eight began on Wednesday, December 16th and we’ll be bringing you the very best of the motion because the heroes of poker battle it out for highstakes money sport supremacy.