Six of the biggest names in poker took center stage on NBC’s Poker After Dark this past week in a match called “The Magnificent Six.” Those participating were Phil Hellmuth, Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, and Daniel Negreanu.
It didn’t take long for the match to experience its first casualty. With the blinds at 150/300, action folded to Ferguson in the small blind who raised to 900 with Ad 7s. Lederer, with Qd 10d, made the call from the big blind. The flop was 8d Jd As, giving Ferguson top pair but Lederer was a slight favorite to win the hand with a straight, flush, and straight flush draw. Ferguson bet 1100, and Lederer raised to 4000. Ferguson then put Lederer all in and Howard called. After a few prop bets between the players, the turn was the 8c and the river the 2c, resulting in Lederer missing his outs and making a surprising early exit in 6th place.
On Day 2 with the blinds at 300/600, Chris Ferguson raised preflop to 1800 with a pair of 8s, and a short-stacked Phil Ivey moved his remaining 4300 chips in with pocket 7s. Ferguson called, and a Js Jh 6d 6h 5h board improved neither player, eliminating Ivey in 5th place. Ivey did win $10,000 from Brunson during the hand, however, in a “Lodden Thinks” game regarding Clint Eastwood’s age, in what is believed to be the highest amount that the game has ever been played for on television.
The four remaining players all made it to Day 4, with Brunson nursing the short-stack. With the blinds at 400/800 Ferguson open-raised a pot to 2400 with Ac Qh, and Brunson called with Qd 9d. A flop of 10c As 8c gave Chris top pair, and he bet 3000. Brunson, with only a gutshot straight draw, moved all in for his remaining 8800 chips, and Ferguson immediately called. Dolly needed a jack to stay alive, but it didn’t materialize and he was gone in 4th place.
Negreanu was in 3rd chip position after Brunson’s departure, and after some ill-timed preflop aggression that resulting in him losing a good portion of his remaining chips without ever seeing a flop, he was soon down to just 6750 in chips. Ferguson then picked up Ad 9h in the small blind and put Negreanu all in, and he called from the big blind with Kc 8c as a 60/40 underdog. The board ran out 3s 10h 2s 7c Qc, and Ferguson’s ace high was good enough to eliminate Daniel in 3rd place.
Heads-up play began between Hellmuth and Ferguson with each player having exactly 60,000 in chips apiece and the blinds still at 400/800. The heads-up battle was a lengthy one, with the lead changing hands more than once, and even featured a hand where Hellmuth made a royal flush, the first in the history of the show. But with the blinds at 1000/2000 and Hellmuth holding a 64000 to 56000 lead, Ferguson doubled thru Hellmuth when he made trip 7s on the turn and a flush on a river, leaving Hellmuth with only 12,000. The final hand saw Chris, holding Qh Jh, put Phil all in and Hellmuth calling with As 2c. Two hearts on the flop and another on the turn gave Ferguson another flush, his 2nd PAD title, and tied a PAD record held by only Johnny Chan and Gavin Smith for knocking out all five opponents in one match.
Dennis Oehring serves as the Public Relations Coordinator for the firm POKER PROductions.