The final week of episodes for the 2017 season of Poker After Dark kicked off tonight in style on “Holidays with Hellmuth.” The namesake ‘Poker Brat’ made his first appearance of the year and did not disappoint both in play and words.

The $10,000 Sit-n-Go featured a rebuy option for the first time in Poker After Dark history as the action live-streamed on PokerGO. Other players in the match included Poker After Dark favorites Antonio Esfandiari and Mike Matusow along with established faces Randall Emmett and Dan Shak.

Even with all the hoopla surrounding Hellmuth’s return, the star of the show was Poker After Dark first-timer Maria Ho. The Super High Roller Bowl host and tournament professional showed her chops on numerous occasions and emerged victoriously.

Before Ho could make it to the winner’s circle, Hellmuth made a few more Poker After Dark memories for himself. The fuse was lit early for another Hellmuth rant and it almost went off in an all-in encounter between Hellmuth and Shak.

Hellmuth managed to survive that all-in but found himself up against it later on against Esfandiari. The two have been adversaries for years and Esfandiari had both the better hand along with the chips to click the right buttons pushing Hellmuth closer to the edge.

If you came for the ‘Poker Brat’ volcano, it finally erupted once play reached the three-handed checkpoint. Esfandiari found himself ahead of Hellmuth and all it took was a simple continuation bet to get Hellmuth wired in for his latest rant on the Poker After Dark stage.

Esfandiari held the lead for most of the three-handed play but eventually fell thanks to some bad luck in all-ins against Hellmuth and Ho.

Ho entered heads-up against Hellmuth with a sizable chip advantage and the chance to close out her first Poker After Dark show in style. The two battled before Ho finally edged out Hellmuth in dramatic fashion to claim first place and $77,000.

“Holidays with Hellmuth” returns tomorrow to PokerGO at 6:00 pm ET with a $100/$200 No Limit cash game featuring Shak, Emmett, and the first appearance on Poker After Dark for David “Doc” Sands.

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Maria Ho, Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari, Dan Shak, Mike Matusow, Randall Emmett