Three Remain In The Poker Star

Posted at 09:08 2009-11-15
We’re down to the final three in the Joe Hachem hosted poker reality TV show The Poker Star, following the elimination of Ben during this week’s episode.
“Joe’s Code” this week asked the contestants to work on their “Courage” – an essential ingredient for any aspiring poker player.
In a challenge more reminiscent of a lame Fear Factor stunt, the players’ courage was tested as they were asked to walk across a narrow beam perched between two buildings 16-storeys in the air.
Josh, Ben and Chris had little trouble with the challenge while Amanda stuttered a little bit as she had flashbacks to the episode where she had to escape under water, however she also successfully completed the walk between buildings.
Unable to split the contestants, Joe and Lee ruled all of them equal winners in the challenge. Touching, but hardly satisfying, as Ben especially felt he had the win in the bag. Their reward was to enjoy Joe recall the key moments of his historic WSOP Main Event victory in 2005, and the courage he needed to succeed. And yes, we hear about how to play 73o once again!
Moving on to the tournament, and Joe explained the dynamics of a four-handed game and encouraged the players to demonstrate courage as the cards were in the air with $7,500 up for grabs.
From the outset it was clear that Chris was the aggressor at the table, and you get the feeling that he really is the standout player of the final four. However his aggression was a little mistimed early as he three-bet preflop, before firing bets on the flop and turn holding {Ac}{4s} on a {8d}{2s}{Jc}{Qh} board but Ben moved all in over the top with his {Ad}{Jd} to take it down.
However this didn’t slow Chris down as he continued to pound on his opponents, while Amanda found a double up through Ben. Amanda had opened with a raise to 12,000 with {Qh}{Jh} and Ben three-bet to 29,000 with {Ah}{Tc}. Ben expressed surprise that Amanda “just called for almost all of her chips” after she left herself with just 13,000 which was then all in on the flop when Amanda spiked a queen.
Ben’s evening went from bad to worse in another strange hand with Amanda, who had opened from the button to 20,000 with {Ks}{7s}, thinking that was enough to put Ben all in from the big blind. Ben declared “call” with his {Kh}{6s} but still had a few chips remaining as Amanda exposed her cards. Seeing the apparent dire situation he was in, Ben decided to check-fold the {8d}{Ad}{Kc} flop and leave himself crippled but alive in the tournament, not realizing that often the pot would be chopped in that situation. A lethal mistake to make.
The final blow for Ben came when Josh moved all in with {Qd}{Td} and Ben called with {Jd}{9c} only to see the {Tc}{9s}{8d}{Th}{Ts} deliver Josh quads to add insult to injury and send Ben to the elimination room.
Soon after, Chris shoved from the small blind with {Kh}{7h} and Amanda woke up with {8c}{8d} in the big blind to make an easy call. The board ran out {4c}[3d}{8s}{Th}{Tc} to give Amanda a full house to take play to heads up!
Amanda held the chip lead, but Josh started out aggressively as he moved all in on several occasions to steal the blinds. Amanda eventually made a stand with the {Ks}{2s} but her timing was off as Josh held {9s}{9c} and doubled through.
Next hand, Amanda pushed with {9c}{8c} and Josh snap-called with the {As}{3d}. The board ran out {7d}{2d}{Kc}{Qh}{7s} and it was all over – Josh had made it three wins in a row!
All four players were asked to come back into the elimination room to see Joe who expressed a disappointment at the players’ lack of courage and lack of focus during the tournament. Is the pressure getting too much?
Josh was told to bring out his personality as his hat-trick of wins was enough to see him survive. Amanda was criticized for her play with the QJ, but clearly Joe has a soft spot for her as she was next to be told that she was through to the next week, leaving Chris and Ben in a precarious position. It was a line ball decision but in the end Chris scraped home to leave Ben to be eliminated from the show.
Ben was a strong competitor, especially in the early stages, but a few fundamental errors as he lost focus in later episodes ultimately led to his downfall.
We’re down to our final three! Amanda, Josh and Chris - who will become The Poker Star? You can 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.


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The Poker Star tests the contestant's courage The Poker Star tests the contestant's courage

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