Hello all! It’s been quite some time since the last season of Celebrity Poker Showdown, but I’m excited to be back. As some of you may remember, both the lovely Zhora and myself called the plays last year. Well unfortunately Zhora won’t be joining us this season since her poker career has taken off fantastically. Well I guess I should say fortunately for her, but unfortunately for us. Good luck, Zhora! Maybe we’ll see her someday with these big stars on tv!
This season is pretty much the same except for a host change. We now have Dave Foley from News Radio taking over what were Kevin Pollack’s duties. From what I’ve seen in the most recent shows, it’s a marginal improvement if for only the wardrobe improvements. Fortunately we still have the dashing Phil Gordon joining us with all of his poker wisdom. The contestants will still be playing for the ultimate pot of $250,000, $100,000 of which will go to their charity of choice. Our contestants this week are Sean Astin from the Lord of the Rings, Lauren Graham from Gilmore Girls, Chris Masterson from Malcolm in the Middle, Matthew Perry from the show Friends, and lastly Sara Rue from Less Than Perfect.
As the contestants come out, I can’t help but notice both Lauren and Sara have gone for the low cut blouses tonight. They are obviously trying to distract the gentlemen at the table, especially Sara whose chest I can’t stop staring at. Her breasts are in some ultimate support universe that most women die for. Somehow Matthew Perry is more intrigued by the table as he instructs the others to “caress the felt”. Anyway, let’s get on with what we all came to see.
Shuffle Up and Deal
All contestants start off with 10,000 in chips.
Lauren and Sara both start off by folding. Sean tries to check. Raise your hand if you can predict who’s going out first tonight. And if it isn’t Sean, we are going to be here for a long time. The tournament director tells him he can either bet or fold. Sean decides to fold. Chris has K[img]c.gif[/img]J[img]c.gif[/img] in the small blind and raises $600. Matthew also has K[img]d.gif[/img]J[img]s.gif[/img]. He thinks about it but eventually folds, and Chris wins the pot. I’m not so sure I’d let someone steal my blind that early in the game, especially with cards like KJ. Maybe Matthew is getting a feel for everyone at the table first.
Let’s take a moment to meet Sean Astin. He is playing for the National Center for Family Literacy. Sean loves competing and recently found out his father has a regular poker game. He tells his father through the camera that he’s going to practice really hard and come over some day to beat him at cards. From what I’ve seen so far, I believe Sean might have better luck at Go Fish.
In the next hand Chris plays quite aggressively even before the turn and wins the hand. Phil explains that the players don’t need to play lots of hands this early in the game, but when they do it’s good to develop an image so you can use it later when the contestants dwindle down. Let’s take a moment to see where everyone stands at this time.
Chris Masterson $10,600
Sara Rue $10,000
Sean Astin $9,900
Lauren Graham $9,800
Matthew Perry $9,700
Sean is first to act with A[img]d.gif[/img]9[img]h.gif[/img] and comes in with a raise of $900. Chris has big slick with A[img]h.gif[/img]K[img]h.gif[/img] and reraises to $2000 which gets applause from the crowd. Matthew, Lauren, and Sara all fold. Sean contemplates his options. Personally I would fold realizing he either has a big pair or has me outkicked on the Ace. The audience starts chanting “Rudy, Rudy, Rudy”, but what gets him to call is Chris saying, “Can I just fold right now?” Who knows, maybe he’ll get his miracle flop. The Flop comes down 10[img]c.gif[/img]3[img]c.gif[/img]Q[img]d.gif[/img] giving Sean nothing and Chris and inside straight draw. Sean reveals his weakness by asking, “Now what are my options?” and eventually checks. Chris comes out swinging and bets $4000. Now most normal players would realize they were beaten at this point (actually most would realize it before the flop, but that’s neither here nor there now), but Sean actually thinks about calling. Outraged, Phil says, “What’s he thinking about?!”. Someone in the audience eventually yells out “Show him that Notre Dame spirit” and Sean moves all in. Now if I recall correctly, Notre Dame hasn’t been so hot in the most recent years, and maybe Sean should have taken that fact into account before deciding. Anyway, Chris calls without much thought and both turn over their cards. The Turn comes 10[img]s.gif[/img] and The River brings K[img]c.gif[/img] giving Chris the win and knocking Sean out of the game.
Sean makes his way back to the Loser’s Lounge to meet up with Dave and Phil. He walks over to Phil, and Phil remarks, “That was not good”. Sean explains, “I thought I had a good chance to pull out a King” and Phil says sarcastically, “And that would have made an inside straight draw”. Sean ponders this as if that’s an actual hand, and it’s probably best he made it out of there as soon as he did so as not to make a bigger fool of himself. Luckily his charity still gets $5000 for him just showing up.
So now Chris must be feeling quite confident since he has doubled up so early in the game with over $20,000 chips now. On our next hand, Matthew is first to act with K[img]h.gif[/img]10[img]d.gif[/img] and comes in with a raise of $400. Lauren also has K[img]c.gif[/img]10[img]h.gif[/img] and reraises to $800 trying to get good position on Matthew. Sara and Chris fold, and Matthew calls to see the flop. The Flop comes down A[img]h.gif[/img]9[img]d.gif[/img]8[img]c.gif[/img] giving neither player a hand. Matthew checks showing his weakness, and Lauren turns on her giggly girly act and bets $1000 forcing Matthew to fold. That’s twice now that Matthew has had the same cards as someone else but has lost because of someone else’s aggressiveness.
In the next hand Chris wins another pot before the flop again and is sure building up a reputation that intimidates. Let’s get to know Chris a little better. He is playing for The Citizens Commission on Human Rights. He had a practice game against Matthew Perry and he likes to think of him as his little sister. He says, “I’ll check-raise my mom, I’ll check-raise my little sister”. We’ll see if this strategy works for Chris or not. Let’s check the chip count.
Chris Masterson $21,100
Lauren Graham $10,600
Sara Rue $9,700
Matthew Perry $8,600
Chris is first to act with K[img]s.gif[/img]J[img]c.gif[/img] and just calls. Matthew folds as does Lauren even though she’s in the small blind. Guess she’s intimidated by Chris’s stack. Sara has a good hand with Q[img]h.gif[/img]J[img]d.gif[/img] and raises Chris to $600. Chris calls and the Flop comes down 8[img]d.gif[/img]2[img]s.gif[/img]7[img]d.gif[/img] giving nothing to either player. Sara makes a bold move to try and buy the pot when she bets $800. It works and gets Chris to fold the better hand.
Let’s take a moment to get to know Sara Rue who is playing for The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. She admits to being a dork by having a weekly poker game to meet guys. From the looks of it, all she needs to do is continue wearing the blouse she has on tonight. Her biggest hope in this game is to take Matthew Perry down and not in a “sissy girl” way. Sounds like some of these players have it out for the famous Friends co-star.
Lauren is starting to take the aggressive route like Chris and wins a pot against him preflop. The following hand Chris is first to act and folds. Matthew is dealt A[img]h.gif[/img]6[img]c.gif[/img] and raises $600. Lauren is in the small blind with A[img]c.gif[/img]5[img]h.gif[/img]. She reraises to $1200 knowing Matthew is playing very tight and this works to her advantage getting both Sara and Matthew to fold.
Lauren is playing for the Revlon/UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program. She believes she is going to be really good at this game and will try anything to distract the others. She admits to being a competitor, but will often giggle a lot when things get heated. We’ll see if this works to advantage.
Matthew wins his first pot in the next hand by betting big with AQ and getting the others to fold. It isn’t much, but we’ll see if Matthew can hold on to become more a part of this game.
On the next hand Lauren is first to act with pocket 7s and comes in big with $1000. Sara also has a great hand with pocket Js and reraises Lauren to $2000. Both Chris and Matthew get out of the way and Lauren calls the reraise. The Flop comes down Q[img]c.gif[/img]K[img]c.gif[/img]3[img]d.gif[/img]. Lauren uses her dumb giggling act and eventually bets $1000 and Sara only calls, not quite sure about the K or Q. The turn comes 10[img]c.gif[/img] now giving Sara an open ended straight draw as well and Lauren a flush draw. Lauren checks. Sara starts counting her chips and eventually calls time to the tournament director. Lauren laughs at this and says, “It’s not like dodge ball!”, but Sara explains this is proper terminology in real poker playing and she eventually bets $3500. Lauren takes a long moment to think about this and does a lot of talking out loud, but eventually folds giving Sara the pot.
In the next hand Chris and Matthew fold again. Lauren is dealt K[img]d.gif[/img]J[img]h.gif[/img] in the small blind and raises $1200. Sara is dealt K[img]c.gif[/img]5[img]c.gif[/img] and boldly calls after some thought. The Flop comes down 4[img]h.gif[/img]A[img]c.gif[/img]J[img]c.gif[/img] giving Lauren a pair of Js and Sara a flush draw. Lauren bets $2000 and Sara quickly calls to chase her flush. The Turn brings A[img]h.gif[/img] and Sara fakes towards her chips. Phil reminds us that this is usually a sign of weakness and Lauren figures that out by pushing all in. Sara remarks, “I really think, as cute as you are, you don’t have anything”, but eventually lays down her hand to give Lauren back the chips she just lost.
In the next hand Chris tries to see the flop cheaply but Matthew doesn’t allow it and raises enough to win the pot. Why don’t we take a moment to get to know this master of small pots.
Matthew is playing for the Lili Claire Foundation. He admits he is very competitive and at some point might throw chips and cards around the table. One of his big tells, so he says, is when he has good cards he busts into his own version of the song “Dust in the Wind”. When asked what he has been up to now that Friends is done, he responds he’s just busying himself with figure skating and Texas Hold ‘Em.
On the next hand, Chris folds. He sure is remaining quiet over there with all his chips. Matthew picks up J[img]s.gif[/img]10[img]c.gif[/img] and raises $1200 trying to steal the blinds. Lauren has Q[img]s.gif[/img]8[img]h.gif[/img] and calls, taking her chances with Matthew. Sara folds and down comes The Flop 3[img]s.gif[/img]10[img]s.gif[/img]A[img]c.gif[/img] giving Matthew a pair of 10s. Lauren is first to act, though, and bets a stone cold $4000! This forces Matthew to fold his better hand. Lauren certainly knows the players at the table and how to push them around. Let’s take a look at the chip count.
Chris Masterson $20,000
Lauren Graham $16,200
Sara Rue $7,800
Matthew Perry $6000
Matthew and Chris both win a couple of small pots on the next three hands, although I must admit Matthew is going to have to be a bit more aggressive to catch up with either Chris or Lauren. He’s not going to do it on the next hand since he is first to act and folds. Lauren also folds and Sara is dealt J[img]h.gif[/img]10[img]c.gif[/img] and raises $1200 to possibly steal the blinds. Chris has A[img]d.gif[/img]5[img]h.gif[/img] and calls. The Flop comes down 9[img]s.gif[/img]9[img]d.gif[/img]K[img]s.gif[/img] giving Sara a gut shot straight draw, but she only checks. Chris senses her weakness and bets $3000, but Sara obviously likes to gamble and calls. Lucky for her The Turn comes J[img]d.gif[/img] giving Sara a pair of Js, so she pushes all in, forcing Chris to fold and Sara wins a big pot.
On the next hand Lauren is dealt 8[img]h.gif[/img]Q[img]d.gif[/img] and bets $1200. Sara has a great hand of K[img]c.gif[/img]Q[img]d.gif[/img] and reraise to $2400. Both Chris and Matthew get out of the way and Lauren reraises to $3200! She’s obviously trying to vie for position. Sara calls and The Flop comes down Q[img]c.gif[/img]9[img]h.gif[/img]8[img]c.gif[/img] and giving Sara a pair of Qs with K kicker, but also giving Lauren to pair with Qs and 8s. Lauren pushes all in and Sara can’t do anything but call. The Turn comes 6[img]s.gif[/img] and The River brings A[img]d.gif[/img] knocking Sara out of the game and giving Lauren a huge pot.
Sara makes her way to the Loser’s Lounge and keeps saying, “I had to do it”. Sean consoles her by saying “I know it’s not saying much, but you played better than me” and that really isn’t saying much. Luckily Sara’s charity, The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, still receives $5000. Sara is very excited to hear that because as she says “you have to protect ‘the ladies’”, motioning towards her chest region. And let me just add, Sara has quite a region to protect. Alrighty, on to the chip count.
Lauren Graham $27,900
Chris Masterson $17,000
Matthew Perry $5,100
Lauren has come back to take the lead and Matthew is looking pretty dire with only $5,100. Luckily Matthew is able to steal the blinds with AJ on the next hand, but then both Lauren and Chris also win small pots preflop so all is even again.
On the next hand Chris is first to act and folds. Matthew has K[img]c.gif[/img]Q[img]d.gif[/img] and raises $2900 but unlucky for him Lauren has pocket Qs and reraises $6300 forcing Matthew all in. The Flop comes down 6[img]d.gif[/img]7[img]s.gif[/img]A[img]h.gif[/img] and it’s looking pretty grim for Matthew. The Turn brings 6[img]h.gif[/img] and finally The River comes 10[img]h.gif[/img] knocking Matthew out of the game. Matthew heads back to the Loser’s Lounge or what Sean Astin is now calling the “Learning Lounge” since he’s taking copious amounts of notes on each player. Matthew doesn’t say much except he realized he was just too conservative with this bunch.
So now we’ve arrived at the final heads up action between Lauren Graham and Chris Masterson. Let’s see if Chris can fair better than his brother from a previous round.
Lauren Graham $33,900
Chris Masterson $16,100
Lauren tries to chat Chris up a bit by having him give facts about himself. Meanwhile she raises $2000 with K[img]h.gif[/img]3[img]h.gif[/img] and forces Chris to fold. Chris returns the favor by raising $2500 with pocket 3s and Lauren folds.
Next we get to play “How Would You Play It?” where we only see Chris’s cards and bet against Lauren. Lauren is first to act and bets $1900, we (Chris) has K[img]s.gif[/img]7[img]s.gif[/img] and since it’s not bad enough to fold and not good enough to raise, we call to see the flop. The Flop comes down 2[img]d.gif[/img]3[img]d.gif[/img]3[img]s.gif[/img] not helping us much but we do have overcards so we can try to steal the pot. Chris bets $5500. This definitely more than we would have bet, and when Lauren calls quickly we aren’t too thrilled since she probably has a flush draw. The Turn brings the A[img]h.gif[/img] and leaves us with nothing but to check. Lauren then bets “this many purples” which she definitely knows is $4000, but tries to trick us with her dumb act. Since we have nothing but K high, we fold. We get to see Lauren’s cards (J[img]d.gif[/img]8[img]d.gif[/img]) and realize we were actually the ones with the better hand. Great playing by Lauren!
Chris successfully bluffs an all in bet on the next hand, and then gets taken for $2700 by bluffing again. Lauren definitely knows when to call and when to bet. She has Chris outchipped 4-1 in the chip count.
Lauren Graham $40,800
Chris Masterson $9,200
Lauren again takes two hands by betting aggressively, even though Chris should have moved all in when he had an Ace. The Blinds have moved up to 500/1000 so Chris needs to make a move soon. He moves all in during the next two hands even with crappy cards, but manages to steal the blinds in order to stay alive. Chris moves all in again with 7[img]h.gif[/img]2[img]c.gif[/img] (the worst possible hand in Hold ‘Em poker), but Lauren was patient and now can call with K[img]d.gif[/img]Q[img]c.gif[/img]. When they turn their cards over, Chris starts waving goodbye to the audience. The Flop comes 7[img]c.gif[/img]8[img]s.gif[/img]K[img]s.gif[/img] and Chris is going to have to catch another 7 or a 2 in order to survive this. The Turn brings 9[img]d.gif[/img] and The River comes A[img]s.gif[/img] knocking Chris out of the game and declaring Lauren the winner!
Lauren receives her silver chip for her entrance into the final round for a chance at the $250,000 pot. I can’t help but notice two things: 1) Lauren doesn’t seem all that excited about winning, but possibly she’s too liquored up to notice now and 2) she’s almost tall as Phil Gordon and he’s a giant among these people! Just some things to ponder until the next time we meet! Until then, folks!
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