"Joey Del takes a look at The Poker Star finale"
November 23, 2009
Well it is over, after 8 weeks of addiction and re-arranging my schedule so that I could watch every episode I can close The Poker Star
chapter of my life and go back to my general dislike of reality TV shows. All-in
-all I think the show was a success.
I suppose the ratings could have been higher but in saying that I don’t know what the producers were expecting so perhaps they assumed it would take a few seasons before this show became mainstream viewing. As far as entertainment and quality of programming though I can genuinely say I was impressed and send my congratulations to all involved. I can say that I am looking forward to next season (maybe I will even try to enter? ;-).
The final episode had it all. The three remaining contestants Chris, Josh and Amanda had a final breakfast where members of their family were invited. It was the first time in a few weeks that Amanda had seen her children and this was quite emotional with all involved. Lee Nelson could even be seen dabbing a tissue to wipe a tear from his sunglasses - this is the first time in my life that I have ever seen any indication that there were actually eyes under there. I was starting to think that perhaps he just had empty holes where his eyes were supposed to be, hence the reason that he wears sunglasses all the time. Either that or he has something going on similar to ‘No 2’ in the original Austin Powers movie where he has an x-ray under his eye patch that helps him see through the back of the card to the number on the other side. Before I poke too much fun at Lee for crying let me disclaimer this by saying that I too was crying, I was lying on my couch all alone in the dark blubbering like a school girl whose prom date had left with someone else. In saying that though, I cry during pretty much every show that I watch so it doesn’t say much.
After the heart-warming breakfast, the final three then held a press conference which challenged their ‘charisma’ (apparently a part of Joe Hachem’s code). It was good to watch with the journalists in the crowd doing their best to hammer them, but sadly all the questions were about The Poker Star. I was hoping that someone had done some extensive research on all of the contestants and that they would reveal some sort of well-concealed tale of a sordid sexual past or something as equally scandalous. Sadly this wasn’t the case. Chris was clearly the strongest contestant at the press conference, although they all left a lot to be desired - not one Mohammad Ali/Anthony Mundine style threat was made throughout proceedings let alone the hint of making an orphan out of Amanda’s children. I think Don King and Mike Tyson need to be recruited to teach poker players how to handle press conferences a little better in the future.
It was then time for the big final tournament. $10,000 to the winner and three new players added, PokerStars
Team Australia Pros Emad Tahtouh, Eric Assadourian and Celina Lin. I am sure all three of them were a little disappointed to hear that if any of them won, the prize money would be going to charity. The first hand of the tournament probably went a long way towards to ensuring the Chris was not going to win. He called a five-bet shove from Emad with
and was up against Tahtouh’s
spiked on the flop
, Chris doubled up and Emad continued his reputation of being ‘Mr Run Bad 2009’. Josh made a play which in my opinion was also questionable. Assadourian opened from early position (as he so often does) which Amanda flat called from the seat next to him. Amanda had been very quiet so far in this week’s tournament. Action was then on Josh who looked down at
and decided that a little squeeze play might be in order, which factoring in how many pots Eric plays and that Amanda had just called is probably fine. However after Eric immediately folded and Amanda moved all in, Josh realised that he was getting 2:1 on his money and felt he had to call. He did begrudgingly and Amanda turned over
and won the hand. Now neither Lee nor Joe had a problem with his play and who am I to judge, but surely if you are going to call a shove and only call because you are getting 2:1 then perhaps you should think about that before you raise? Maybe either raise a little less so you are not committed or shove so you can increase your fold equity. It’s not like you are trying to trap someone with Ace-Ten. Anyway that is my two cents and if anyone who actually can play poker competently reads this and would like to explain why he is right and I am wrong please feel free to do so.
Chris went on to win the tournament and the $10,000 on offer. This pales in comparison to the $100,000 that Amanda has picked up for winning the title of The Poker Star, not to mention the ‘be a poker balla for a year’ package that she scores as well. I really hope she does well. She is a lovely person and it is comforting to know that the money she has won will be going to the worthwhile cause of supporting her two young children, instead of say, a wardrobe of ridiculous shirts and stupid belt buckles if Shane had one.
I will raise the same initial concern that I had in my last Poker Star
related article. As mentioned above, Amanda became an emotional wreck when she saw her children again. A constant theme throughout the show was how hard she had found it being away from her family whilst on the show. I just wonder how she will handle this when she is travelling around the world playing poker for weeks on end without seeing her kids. I hope she does well but I think it will be hard.
Anyway that is enough of that, I for one am looking forward to next season.
Have a great week and best of luck in whatever it is you choose to do!
- Joey Del