US Poker Open MSPT $1,600 Venetian

Poker After Dark S12/E5: Ronnie Bardah Tortured; Big River for Matusow

Poker After Dark

In the fifth week of "Watch Your Step" on PokerGO's "Poker After Dark," former WPT champ Frank Stepuchin was joined by six other players for some table talk, antics, and big pots.

The seven-handed cash game was played $50/$100 NLH with a mandatory $200 straddle. The minimum buy-in was $10,000 and there was no ante required. Below is a look at five of either the biggest or most interesting hands from this week's episode.

Remember, an annual subscription to PokerGO costs $99.99, but you can save $10 off by using promo code “PokerNews” at checkout.

Ronnie Torture Day

Ilyas Abayev
Ilyas Abayev

In the first hand of the broadcast, Ilyas Abayev straddled with what turned out to bet he {9-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds} and defended when Ronnie Bardah (lead image) raised to $550 with the {k-Diamonds}{q-Hearts} on the button. The {4-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}{j-Diamonds} flop saw Abayev check-call a bet of $600 and then action went check-check on the {j-Spades} turn.

When the {q-Diamonds} peeled off on the river, Abayev checked his flush and Bardah, who had paired his queen on the river, bet $800. Abayev immediately check-raised to $2,000 and Bardah debated what to do.

“I almost checked this hand back,” he said. “Is this Ronnie torture day? I don’t think you’re bluffing, so…”

Bardah eventually folded his two pair and Abayev claimed the $5,350 pot.

The Counterfeit River

Alex Ding
Alex Ding

Alex Ding raised to $300 from the hijack with the {4-Clubs}{2-Hearts} and Abayev defended his big blind with the {7-Spades}{7-Diamonds}. Abayev checked and then called a bet of $300 from Ding. On the {q-Spades} turn, Abayev checked for the second time and Ding checked back, which brought the {10-Hearts} on the river.

Abayev got counterfeited and Ding seized the opportunity with a bet of $1,200. That was enough to claim the $2,550 pot as Abayev wasted little time in sending his hand to the muck. Ding then tabled his hand and flashed a big smile.

Showing Marle the Bluff

Marle Cordeiro
Marle Cordeiro

Landon Tice raised the hijack to $300 with the {a-Clubs}{5-Clubs} and Frank Stepuchin called from the cutoff holding the {k-Spades}{8-Spades}. Abayev looked down at the {a-Hearts}{3-Hearts} on the button and came along, which prompted Marle Cordeiro to do the same from the small blind with her {a-Spades}{9-Clubs}.

Ding just called with his {7-Diamonds}{7-Clubs} from the big blind and it was five-way action to the [ jcjhqs] flop. Everyone checked, the {5-Diamonds} appeared on the turn, and again it checked around. On the {9-Hearts} river, Cordeiro bet $400 with her rivered two pair and it folded to Abayev, who raised to $1,200.

Cordeiro looked suspicious and flashed her hand to Abayev before sending them to the muck. Abayev, who won the $3,200 pot, obliged and showed her the bluff.

“Why Did You Have to Say That?”

Mike Matusow
Mike Matusow

After Cordeiro opened for $300 with the {a-Hearts}{8-Diamonds} in early position, Mike “The Mouth” Matusow just called next to act with the {7-Spades}{7-Diamonds}. Action folded to Stepuchin in the big blind and he called with the {a-Clubs}{j-Clubs} to bring about a flop of {2-Spades}{9-Clubs}{4-Clubs}.

Two checks saw Matusow bet $600 and only Stepuchin, who flopped the nut flush draw, made the call. Cordeiro got out of the way and the {9-Hearts} peeled off on the turn. Stepuchin check-called another bet, this time $1,000, and then the action card hit on the river when the {7-Clubs} spiked.

Stepuchin made his club flush but Matusow filled up sevens full of nines. Stepuchin bet “Michael Jordan,” which he clarified was $2,300, and Matusow raised to $8,300, which left him $7,000 behind. Stepuchin talked through the hand, looked back at his cards, and said, “I’m going to do what I didn’t do yesterday.”

“What’s that, fold?” Matusow asked. It looked as if Stepuchin was going to do just that, but then he leaned back to further contemplate.

“Why did you have to say that?” he asked. “I was going to fold until you said that.”

Stepuchin continued to talk through the hand and correctly deduced pocket sevens was a real likelihood. Stepuchin then folded and the $14,850 pot went to Matusow, who showed his hand much to the delight of the rest of the table.

Ding Can’t Shake Stepuchin

Frank Stepuchin
Frank Stepuchin

Matusow straddled to $200 and Ding double straddled to $400. Action folded to Stepuchin on the button and he called with his {5-Clubs}{6-Clubs}. Cordeiro called from the big blind with her {k-Spades}{8-Hearts}, Matusow called the additional $200 with his {j-Clubs}{10-Hearts}, and Ding exercised his option to raise with his {k-Clubs}{q-Diamonds}, making it $2,400 to go.

Stepuchin called, Cordeiro and Matusow both folded, and it was heads-up action to the {9-Clubs}{a-Spades}{6-Hearts} flop. Ding continued for $1,800 and Stepuchin called with his pair of sixes to see the {10-Diamonds} turn. Ding picked up a gutshot Broadway straight draw and upped his bet to $3,800. Stepuchin, who only had $9,000 in his stack, called to bring about the {a-Hearts} on the river.

Ding missed and checked to Stepuchin, who checked it back to claim the $16,850 pot in the last hand of the episode.

Remember, Poker After Dark will air every Monday but is only available to PokerGO subscribers. If you’re not currently subscribed, you can get a monthly subscription for $14.99, a three-month plan for $29.99, and an annual subscription for $99.99. You can also save $10 off an annual subscription by using promo code “PokerNews” at checkout.

Photos courtesy of PokerGO.

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