Poker After Dark returned for the second week of live action exclusively on PokerGO from the ARIA Resort Casino Tuesday night. “Voices Carry” featured Nick Schulman, David Williams, Matt Berkey, Jean-Robert Bellande, William Kassouf and Mike Matusow on the felt and each ponied up $25,000 for a winner-take-all showdown.

The aptly-titled night action featured plenty of table talk from the Brit infamous for his speech play. Kassouf was visibly getting under his neighbors’ skin for the first two hours of play; lighting up social media.

“One of the most underrated poker actions is being a little bit annoying at the table,” Bellande said during his post-bust interview. “My play was probably compromised because I was a little annoyed.”

Kassouf was flanked on either side by Bellande and Schulman and both players got up from the table, taking a break from the Brit’s chatter. Not long into play, an irritated Bellande put a $1,000 bounty on Kassouf, which only really fueled his table talk. When Bellande got short, the table voted the bounty should stay on the table but Bellande wasn’t hearing that and said, “I assure you, that bounty is leaving with me if I bust.”

Bellande busted first and was wasn’t the jovial host viewers saw last week on “The Return of Tom Dwan.” Bellande couldn’t gain any traction over the first 2.5 hours of play and with blinds increasing every 15 minutes, no player could sit for too long short stacked. 

Bellande moved in with pocket fours, Williams called with pocket tens, his hand held and Bellande was eliminated. Williams sent good bit of those chips across the table to Kassouf a few hands later when he spiked an ace on the river against Williams’ pocket queens to stay alive. 

Williams then ran a bluff against Matusow on the river of a sizable pot where Matusow snap-called on the river holding two pair. “I didn’t think he was that strong, unless he had a really strong hand he can’t call,” Williams said. “Tonight was a blast, a lot of fun.”

Three hours and twenty minutes into play Kassouf took a bad beat holding ace king. Berkey open-shipped with Qc 5c, Kassouf caught him making a move but the board ran out for a six-high straight for Berkey.

Matusow is the only player to appear on every season of PAD. He made 21 total appearances, three cash game session, and holds the record for most sixth-place finishes with six. But Tuesday night’s third place finish may have been the most painful.

Matusow was on a mini-rush when Schulman open-shoved with 8s 7d and Matusow called holding ace king. The board ran Kh 9c 6c 4s Ts, Schulman rivered a straight to stay alive and Matusow’s face soured as he was left pretty short stacked.

Matusow had the sick look of someone that knew a ten was hitting the river.
The next hand Matusow moved in preflop with Kc Jc and Schulman woke up with pocket aces in the big blind and called. The board bricked for Matusow, he was eliminated and said, “The poker gods are determined to keep me broke.”

Matusow was visibly shaken with the loss and barely held it together in his post-bust interview with Host Drea Renee.

Heads-up play began with Schulman holding 731,000 to Berkey’s 169,000, but Berkey doubled up on the third hand moving in with Ac 9s and held against Schulman’s Ah 8c. 

Berkey took the chip lead after a stretch of fairly tight play. Schulman moved in with Ks 6c, Berkey had him out-pipped again with Kc 7c, called and made a flush to take the pot.

A couple hands later Schulman moved in with Ac 9h, Berkey snap-called with pocket nines and the board ran out jack-high. Berkey earned the $150,000 prize and returns Wednesday night for another crack at a six-figure win.

“It was great, it was a ton of fun to play in a little more of a relaxed environment,” Berkey said. “It’s a tournament, so when we got down to the final three there wasn’t much talking going on.But it was still a good time for everybody.”

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