When Negreanu Owned Esfandiari For $200k On PNIA!

1 week ago
When Negreanu Owned Esfandiari For $200k On PNIA!
14:13
15 May

DNegs and the Magician go back a long ways, playing with each other since both were knee high to a starting-stack. This wasn’t very much in evidence during last week’s Poker Night in America where, in a crazy series of straddle-over-straddle-over-straddled pots, the two went head to head again and again, like two pastel be-shirted highlanders. 

Watch the episode for the $80,000 pot that starts the montage of horror. But stay for Phil Laak’s detailed description of how best to brew a green tea with lemon.

That opening pot –“It’s gotta be the biggest pot on Poker Night in America,” says the awestruck, and badly synced, commentary – is happening in a $25/$50 game remember.


After that it was a nightmare from which Esfandiari was unable to awake. With his initial buy in burning a hole in the felt one seat to his left, Esfandiari doesn’t get a break. The game plays out with two more brutal moments of run-bad and a blinding lack of sympathy from the table.

If you’re squeamish, you might want to turn the tape off after Negreanu gets it in with K-6 preflop and wins both run outs, because at that point because that’s only half way through and Esfandiari, whose usually chipper personality normally dominates any table he’s at, has already begun to slip into the void. The worst is still in store for him.

In the final moments, as Daniel Rakes in a $110,000 pot the final noises on the tape are the sound of Phil Laak refreshing his cup of tea with some hot water. The cruel world ticking indifferently over as Esfandiari steps away from the table to be consumed by the darkness.


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Jon is a freelance writer and novelist who learned to play poker after watching Rounders in year 9. He has been giving away his beer money at cards ever since. Currently he is based in Bristol where he makes sporadic donations to the occasional live tournament or drunken late night Zoom session. He ...Read more

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