"The Poker Star tests the player's composure"
October 23, 2009
This week on The Poker Star the mantra of the show was “Composure” as players had to focus on maintaining their composure and avoiding the dreaded “Tilt”. The Poker Star host Joe Hachem talked to the contestants about how he battled with tilt for many years, and that when he learnt to maintain his composure it made him a better poker player and a better person.
This week’s challenge saw the contestants divided into two teams, which was a little different considering poker is rarely a team game.
The challenge involved the two teams building a “house of cards” our of oversized playing cards. They had one hour to construct the sample structure, with the twist being that each player wore headphones with music blaring to test their nerves and of course their composure. The team of Ben, Katie, Ron and Josh fared well and managed to construct their structure within the time limit. Their only problem was the easily-rattled Ron who regularly showed his frustrations which ultimately hurt the team. On the other hand, the team of Amanda, Shane, Donna and Chris had plenty of trouble constructing their house of cards, and were often forced to rebuild and it had fallen flat. However they remained calm throughout and even though they were unable to finish their structure in the time limit, they were declared the winners due to their better composure. The loser of the challenge was clearly Ron who became the first nomination for the elimination room.
The winners enjoyed a nice dinner with Lee Nelson at Crown’s Koko restaurant while the losers lamented over their over-confidence.
Onto the weekly tournament and again the only frustration I find with this show from a poker purist’s perspective is that the tournament itself is very hard to follow. I’m hoping that this fast-paced action entertains poker novices, and doesn’t prove too confusing for them to follow either.
However the aggressive Katie was the first be eliminated when she pushed her
of Donna. This was the second time in four tournaments that Katie was first out.
From there it was Chris who started to pick up some cards and the aggression level as he eliminated both Amanda and Shane in the same hand. Chris shoved with
and Amanda followed suit for her tournament life with
while Shane decided to go with
. As the board bricked out it was interesting that the play of Amanda was not scrutinized by Joe and Lee, yet both Sally last week and Ron this week were criticized for similar plays despite neither of them having their tournament life at risk at the time.
Ron was out in 3rd
place when he shoved his
and was called by the giant-killing Chris with
it what was clearly a crapshoot by this stage. Chris spiked an eight on the turn which was enough to take it to heads up.
Ron and Katie were joined in the elimination room with Ben who was a surprise choice after winning two of the first three tournaments and proving himself as a strong contender. However Joe was critical of his failing to call Ron’s all-in
bet with his short stack. Ben learnt from his lesson and was told to use it as a “strengthening exercise” for future weeks.
That left Ron and Katie, and based on records, with Katie having busted first on two occasions and failing to win any challenges, and Ron finishing in the top three once again, you would’ve though Katie was a certain elimination. But Ron was surprisingly sent to the rail, with his poor showing in the challenge, and dubious call during the tournament counting against him. Ron proved he is a tough competitor on the felt, and was a likeable character on the show, so he will be missed.
Tune into The Poker Star every Wednesday evening at 8:30pm on One HD, or at midnight Thursdsay on Channel Ten, or join Joe Hachem, Lee Nelson and The Poker Star contestants on the felt by simply logging onto PokerStars.