Doug Polk’s ‘Best Laydown Ever’ Steals Show on High Stakes Poker

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Doug Polk

A new episode of High Stakes Poker on PokerGO came with a new cast filled with some of the biggest names to take a seat this season and wrapped up with two superstars clashing in what will undoubtedly be one of the most talked about hands in the history of the show.

Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Bryn Kenney were joined by James Bord, Brandon Steven, Jake Daniels, and making his Season 8 debut, Doug Polk. Dwan wasn’t seated when play began, leaving action to start seven-handed. After the second hand of the night, where Bord scooped a $36,900 pot with 6c4h, Hellmuth seemed to take issue with how Bord was assigned his seat and took aim at his fellow WSOP Europe Main Event champion.

“I want you in the game, but I don’t want you to get away with a lot of bullshit,” Hellmuth said to Bord. Two hands later, the pair would clash.

From UTG+1, Hellmuth called with KcKh and action folded to Bord in the cutoff. He raised to $2,000 with 7d2d. Everybody else got out of the way and Hellmuth called. The flop came Ad6c4c and Hellmuth check-called Bord’s $3,000 bet. The 6d turn got Hellmuth to check again. This time Bord decided to bet $15,000 into the $11,000 pot while saying, “I’m just going to bluff it off now.” Hellmuth complained about how unfair the hand felt before folding face up. Sensing an opportunity to send Hellmuth into tilt, Bord told the 15-time WSOP bracelet winner “good fold” and showed the table his hand.

Dwan joined the table for the sixth hand and then had a front row seat for the next big pot.  Hellmuth called with Jh4h, Steven raised to $2,100 with 9d8d and Bord decided to defend his big blind with 4s2d forcing Hellmuth to fold. After the JdTd6d flop, Steven bet $3,000 and Bord called. The turn was the Qd giving Steven a straight flush. He fired a bet of $5,000 and Bord responded by raising to $17,000. Steven thought over his options and decided to call. The river was the 7h and Steven checked, hoping Bord would fire one more time but the Brit checked behind letting Steven scoop the $45,000 pot.

A couple of hands laters, Steven was involved in the first six-figure pot of the episode. Steven raised to $1,100 with AsJh and Dwan three-bet to $4,000 with 9s7s. Steven called to see the Js8s4h flop and then checked to Dwan. Dwan bet $5,000 and Steven called. The 3d turn improved neither player and Steven check-called Dwan’s $14,000 bet. The 3c river completed the board and once again Steven opted to check. Dwan bet $30,000 and Steven called and showed down the winner.

Half of the players at the table were involved in the next hand – at least until the flop. Kenney opened to $1,500 with KsQh, Steven called with Kc6c, Daniels called with AsJd and Bord came along with AcQc. The Qd9c6s flop gave Bord top pair, top kicker but he checked, as did Daniels. Kenney continued for $2,500, Steven folded, and Bord raised to $8,000. Daniels folded but Kenney called. The turn was the 2d and Bord bet $14,000 and Kenney called. The 2s river slowed Bord down and he checked to Kenney who bet $25,000. Bord called and showed Kenney he had him out-kicked to take down the $122,900 pot for a $64,400 boost to his stack.

Ivey then left the table after apparently not feeling well. He was replaced by John Andress who sat down with $100,000 but wouldn’t have to wait long to get those chips in play. Looking down at 7c7h, Bord raised from UTG+1 to $1,100 before Andress raised to $3,500 from the button with AcAd. Bord called and then got great news on the Qc7d5d flop. Bord checked to let Andress bet $2,500. Bord raised to $10,000 and Andress called. The turn was the 4s and Bord led for $30,000 and Andress called. The Ah river gave Andress top set. Bord announced he was all in and Andress called all in and then showed Bord the bad news.

That $203,000 pot was the largest of the show but certainly won’t be the most talked about. The final hand of the night started with Hellmuth raising to $1,100 from middle position with QsTh. Bord called his button with 2c2h and Polk defended the big blind with Td7c. The Js9s8h flop gave Polk and Hellmuth straights. Both players checked to Bord who bet $2,000. Polk raised to $7,000 before Hellmuth moved all in for $97,200. Bord folded and Polk asked for a count and that’s when the drama began.

“Just such a massive raise,” Polk said to Hellmuth. “Phil, what do you have over there?”

Holding the second best straight possible, Polk indicated he was contemplating making a massive laydown and Hellmuth couldn’t keep quiet.

“Well, I could easily have … ” Hellmuth said.

“What could you easily have?” Polk asked. “You just bet a lot into very little.”

“I could have a set,” Hellmuth said. Polk immediately doubted Hellmuth would shove with a set.

“I could have blockers, two tens,” Hellmuth said.

“Oh, now you’re busting out ‘blockers’? God, if I fold this and I’m wrong, oh my fucking lord,” Polk said.

“I think I’m dead a lot given this,” Polk said while pointing to Hellmuth. “Or like, you just have ton of equity against me.”

Throughout all of the post-flop action, Steven, Bord, and Daniels were engaged in a side bet about each player’s holdings and were openly discussing it as Polk considered his action.

At this point Polk realized he could show his hand without penalty and turned over this hand. Hellmuth put his head down and went quiet and Polk came to a conclusion.

“This is completely absurd. He has to get through him (Bord) and then he has to get through me. No, this is just a fold,” Polk said while throwing his hand into the muck. Hellmuth refused to show his hand. Commentator Gabe Kaplan called Polk’s fold the “best letdown ever on High Stakes Poker.”

The next episode of High Stakes Poker airs Wednesday, March 10 at 8 pm ET and will features much of the same cast along with the return of Rick Salomon.