“Poker After Dark” is officially back and that means that PokerGO is the home for the biggest names and biggest stakes. From nosebleed cash games to High Roller sit & go’s, “Poker After Dark” will have it all and while event replays are available on-demand on PokerGO, “Photos After Dark” will quickly recap each session with exclusive photos from the ARIA set.
The debut episode of Poker After Dark featured a six-handed cash game and a lineup that checked nearly every box. High stakes legend Tom “Durrrr” Dwan returned to the televised arena for the first time in years to headline the game but he wasn’t the only name brand player in the $200/$400 No Limit Hold’em cash game. Two of the most successful tournament players of all-time, Daniel Negreanu and Antonio Esfandiari, also held starring roles in the debut, along with high stakes cash game regular Jean-Robert Bellande. Super High Roller Bowl veterans Lauren Roberts and Bill Klein rounded out the lineup and were in the thick of the action throughout the night.
Tom Dwan returned and Tom Dwan conquered. In the biggest pot of the night, Dwan, pictured top, picked up pocket aces against Antonio Esfandiari’s pocket kings, while Daniel Negreanu held pocket queens, and after a few pre-flop raises, the pot ballooned over $700,000. The hand was run twice and Dwan won both, making him the biggest winner of the opening night, by far. While Esfandiari will not return for the next two sessions, Dwan will and it will be interesting to see if he can continue his winning ways when Poker After Dark returns at 8 PM ET.
While Dwan was the biggest winner, the real MVP of the night was Jean-Robert Bellande. The former Survivor contestant was seemingly always in action and while his stack swung up and down throughout the night, Robert’s energetic and carefree demeanor never seemed to waver. Throughout the night, JRB went live on Instagram multiple times, giving his fans front row seats to the high stakes cash game, and Bellande will return for more action on Tuesday and Wednesday night.
The secondary MVP of last night’s episode, California businessman Bill Klein. While he did book a small win, Klein easily had some of the best quotes of the night, including comparing the high stakes arena to a “petting zoo.” While Klein may not be a professional by some standards, he is no stranger to huge cash games and tournaments making him a serious threat to not only be entertaining but also successful against any lineup.