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Amanda De Cesare Crowned Australia’s Newest Poker Star!

Posted at 16:55 2009-11-21
It has taken seven episodes and eight eliminations, but The Poker Star finally reached the finale with only Josh, Chris and Amanda remaining.

Beginning the episode with a repeat of host Joe Hachem’s initial outlines for the players, it continued with Josh, Chris and Amanda reminiscing on their approach to being on the show and how they felt.

 
As they made their way into the communal area of their shared apartment they found a table set for ten and instantly – as poker players do – started trying to put a read on the situation. Joe along with his family and Lee Nelson are one thought, along with the past contestants, until Joe and Lee walk into the room.
 
Joe announced that the arranged breakfast is a celebration and that he has invited some special guests along to inspire them for their last leg on the show. Josh was greeted by his fiancé and younger brother, Chris with his mum and brother while Amanda struggled to hold back the tears as her two young daughters and mum greeted her.
 
Everything was going smoothly for the contestants and their family until they received “Joe’s Code” which this week was “Charisma: Presence and Influence”. The contestants were then left by their families as they got dressed and took another limousine ride before arriving at a press conference. Their challenge for the day was to answer every question they were asked with a part of the code – reading people, focus, bluffing, composure, recall, endurance, courage and charisma.
 
Lights flashed, cameras clicked and the nerves were on show for all three of the contestants as they answered a range of questions while trying to impart the code.  Chris performed well, Amanda was herself while Josh struggled and got stuck on his words on several occasions. The press conference wrapped up and Joe and Lee discussed the challenge before moving onto the tournament with three surprise guests in PokerStars.net Team Australia Pros Eric Assadourian, Emad Tahtouh and Celina Lin brought in to test the contestants.
 
After being introduced to the surprise guests, the contestants were informed that $10,000 was up for grabs as Joe asked, “Give me your best!” Chris kicked off the action in his usual aggressive approach as he entered the pot with a raise holding {Ad}{Qc} only to have Emad bump the action with his {Kh}{Kd}. Chris four-bet, Emad then five-bet all in and Chris thought for a little before calling. “I just feel ill because I’m pretty sure we’re going to see an Ace on the flop,” laughed Emad as the board rolled out {5h}{4s}{Ah}{8s}{3d} to confirm Emad’s feelings as he hit the rail after just one hand.
 
“I love talking, because no one can hide all their emotions. It’s an impossible thing. Everyone has a weakness,” uttered Eric as he amped up his aggression. After flatting a preflop raise from Eric with {Ad}{As}, Amanda then was met with a three-bet from Josh holding {Ah}{Th}. Amanda paused, and then moved all in with Josh making the call for his tournament life. The board fell {Tc}{5s}{Ks}{4c}{5h} to see Josh as the first contestant to hit the rail.
 
Celina was next to fall when she moved all in on a {Jh}{4c}{Tc} flop holding {Js}{Ts} and was called by Eric with {Td}{9c}. Eric would find running clubs in the {7c} and {Kc} to knock Celina out as he took a commanding lead into three-handed play. Eric remained aggressive before Chris managed to start fighting back before eventually doubling through the Sydneysider when his {Kh}{Kc} held up against Eric’s {Ac}{Ts} on a final board of {3h}{4s}{9s}{4c}{5c}. Crippled, Eric called his remaining chips off with {Kd}{3c}, but would be unable to outdraw Chris’ {Ac}{6c} on a board of {Tc}{5s}{Qc}{2c}{2h} as Chris snatched a major chip advantage when entering heads up play with Amanda.
 
Amanda rivered Chris in their first major confrontation when her {As}{3h} outdrew Chris’ {Ad}{8c} when the board ran out {9c}{2s}{7c}{Kh}{3d} after all the money went in preflop. Amanda took the lead through some aggression that Chris couldn’t overcome until he called off all of his chips holding {Ah}{Tc} to Amanda’s {jc}{9s}. The final board of {4h}{Qc}{4d}{2s}{8h} would see Amanda crippled. Soon after she was forced to push her {Qd}{3c}, only to run into Chris’ {6h}{6s}, and when the board rolled out {Ts}{6d}{Ah}{4h}{7h}, Chris was announced victorious and recipient of a handy $10,000 boost to his bankroll.
 
Now to the business end of the show as Josh, Chris and Amanda stood in front of Joe. Josh was commended for fighting back after being on the brink of elimination, Chris for his aggressive approach to the game and Amanda for her steady performance and solid poker game. The camera panned from Joe to the contestants to the onlookers as Joe announced, “The winner of the poker star has shown much focus, much strength, much courage, much endurance, this person has stepped up in every challenge and gave it their best. The winner of The Poker Star is . . . Amanda.”
 
“Our lives are defined by opportunities, this is yours Amanda,” finished Joe as Chris and Josh were left to lament on their missed opportunity before exiting Crown.
 
As The Poker Star ticked into the final minutes of a successful first series, the cameras panned one of the greatest cities in the world before focusing in on a limousine. A stunningly-dressed Amanda stepped out, greeted Joe and then boarded a private jet, taking a seat and flicking through Joe’s Pass The Sugar. As the jet pulled out of the hanger, Amanda couldn’t help but unleash a grin that stretched from ear-to-ear as she now has the opportunity to travel the world and play for millions of dollars as The Poker Star!

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Amanda Wins The Poker Star Amanda Wins The Poker Star

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