Ivey, Hellmuth, Dwan highlight latest High Stakes Poker lineup

Geoff Fisk
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Posted on: February 15, 2021 2:36 pm EST

Ivey makes his first High Stakes Poker Season 8 appearance

The new rotation player rotation on Wednesday’s episode of High Stakes Poker has to rank as the most intriguing yet on Season 8.

Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth joined the fray for the first time in the High Stakes Poker reboot. Brandon Adams and billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya also sit at the table, while Tom Dwan continues as the only player featured in all Season 8 episodes so far.

The mix also includes Jake Daniels, Lazaro Hernandez, and James Bord, offering fans an interesting mix of poker icons and relatively unknown players.

Episode 9 of the eighth season of High Stakes Poker aired Wednesday on PokerGO, and the latest edition of the show produced more must-see poker programming.

The new High Stakes Poker episode didn’t yield any massive pots involving Ivey, Hellmuth, or Dwan. The biggest pot of the week came at the end of Episode 9, with a $176,200 hand developing between Daniels and Lazaro.

Episode 9 did give poker fans plenty to watch for, however.

Phil Ivey announces his intention to return to the poker limelight

Ivey marks a ubiquitous presence on television shows from the poker boom era, including the original run of High Stakes Poker from 2007-2011.

Ivey’s become an elusive figure in U.S. poker in recent years, however, not even appearing at the World Series of Poker for three years from 2015-2017. Ivey’s still a fixture in Macau high-stakes poker games, as well as Triton Poker high roller tournaments in the eastern hemisphere.

Phil Ivey and Chamath Palihapitiya take seats in the new player rotation on High Stakes Poker (Image source: PokerGO)

During Wednesday’s High Stakes Poker episode, Ivey announced that we can expect to see him much more often in televised U.S. cash games and tournaments in the future.

“I’m happy to be back. It’s a good feeling but it’s just a beginning,” Ivey said in a cutaway interview. “I’m looking to play a lot more TV events and starting to play a lot more tournaments when they come back, and just getting back out there again and starting to play poker from a different perspective.”

The unmistakable presence of Phil Hellmuth

Hellmuth plays a part in several memorable moments from Episode 9.

At one point, Palihapitiya asks how much money it would take to get the chatty Hellmuth to stop talking. Hellmuth sets the price at $10,000, telling Palihapitiya he’ll stop talking for an hour if Palihapitiya donates the $10,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank.

In a cutaway interview, Hellmuth reminisces on Las Vegas clubbing with the younger versions of Dwan and Ivey in the poker boom days. In a later cutaway, Dwan reveals that he didn’t really consider Hellmuth as a friend until he witnessed him on a USO tour, acting the same way he does at the poker table.

Later in the episode, Hernandez puts on a $2,000 straddle and looks down at AK. Four players call the $2,000, including Hellmuth with A♣K♠.

The action goes back around to Hernandez, who raises to $15,000. When Hellmuth’s turn comes, the 15-time WSOP bracelet winner makes a surprising fold with ace-king.

Dwan ends up calling with J♣7♣, as both Dwan and Hellmuth live up to their vastly different table images in the hand.

Wednesday’s chapter of High Stakes Poker produced the best episode yet of Season 8, and we have the current lineup to look forward to for two more episodes.

Image source: PokerGO