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The coolest pool hustlers from all over the country take to the GSN stages for their new nine-ball game show.

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN


FACT FILE:

Host:
Sal Masekela
Analyst:
Ewa Mataya Laurance

Rack Girl:
Adrienne Curry
EP: Rob Rollins Lobl, Sam Sokolow, John Hermansen, Michael Binkow
Packager: SokoLobl Entertainment for GSN Originals
Origin: Tribune Studios; Hollywood, CA
Airs: Mondays at 10p ET on GSN


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Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

"Celebrity Show #1" - July 25

This is our first celebrity version of Ballbreakers. I'd be all good with that, except that it's only the SECOND EPISODE. At least give us a chance to learn and understand the format before you saturate it to make it easier for the celebrities. With that, let's meet the four people who will be competing for charity...

Noah Wyle - You know him as one of the surgeons from ER. You may not know that he is playing tonight for Human Rights Watch, Inc.

Goran Visnjic - He was the cohort with Jennifer Garner in Elektra and he's also an actor from ER. He's playing for the International Fund for Animal WIldlife.

Julie McCullough - She's been on 90210, and if she was ever on ER, it would be for a different reason - she is currently a Playboy Playmate. Yowzers. She's playing for the Last Chance for Animals. Can we get her on the ER episode that she has to undergo her yearly physical?

Dorian Harewood - He's been in Roots, as well as Gothika and Full Metal Jacket. He is playing for A1 Athletics.

Ewa and Adrianne are also here to support Sal. Ewa is impressed with the talent in the lineup. Adrianne, who wanted to break some balls on the last episode, likes Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands - and makes the scissors motion. We don't want to be too subtle in making her the table floozy, do we?

We have rules changes - No one will be eliminated until Round 3, where they will all compete. Well, what's the point of the first 45 minutes of the show?

For control of the table, we play a lag, which is shooting the ball to the far rail and then having it come back to the near rail. The two balls that are closest to the near rail get to play first. Those two people are Julie and Noah.

Everyone starts with $5,000, as the first round will just be the awarding of money instead of the betting of it. There is, however, still side bets and we get the opening bet. Goran bets $500 that Julie will win the first match, and Dorian takes the bet.

Julie gets the ball on the break - and then promptly fouls. Noah takes control, but leaves a tough opening shot. Goran bets $500 that he will make it, while Dorian says $500 that he won't. Noah misses, so Dorian gets the cash. After a series of misses, Noah finally takes control, but misses the 8. Julie sinks that one and the 9...b ut scratches on the 9 ball. Oops. That gives Noah ball in hand (which means he can put it anywhere on the table) and quickly disposes of the 9 ball for the game. Noah gets the opening non-betting $2,000, while Dorian gets the other $2,000 thanks to Goran. Julie wants to warm up the money, so she sticks it in her shirt before presenting it to Noah. Nice.

Noah - $6,000
Dorian - $6,000
Goran - $4,000
Julie - $4,000

Noah wants to play his ER homeboy Goran. Julie puts up $500 for Goran, since Goran put up $500 for her. AwwwwBarf. Dorian wants nothing to do with that sentimentality and puts up $500 for the warmed-up Noah. And warmed up he is - after a small sputter at the beginning, Noah hits 7 shots in a row up to the 9 ball. At the 9, however, he scratches, and Goran, with ball in hand, is in the same spot that Noah was in last game. Like Noah did last game, Goran capitalizes on it. He gets his $1,000 back, and Julie inches up a little closer.

Dorian - $5,500
Noah - $5,000
Goran - $5,000
Julie - $4,500

It's Goran Vs. Dorian in the final match of Round 1. Julie sticks with $500 for her homie while Noah goes with Dorian. Goran leaves a nasty shot at the 1, and Julie says that he will miss it. Julie quickly turns on her homie but makes $500 from Noah when he does blow the shot. Control goes back to Dorian, who makes some shots but leaves the 3. We have a pair of whiffs, then Dorian takes control. He hits the 4 in, then combos the 5 and the 9 - the 5 goes in one corner, the 9 in another, and that ends the game.

Dorian - $6,500
Noah - $5,000
Julie - $4,500
Goran - $4,000

It's time for Round 2, and to get control, we play '3 For All'. Whoever can sink three balls in the quickest time wins. Dorian gets them down in an agonizingly slow 49 seconds. Noah gets a ball on the break and the 49 gets chopped down to 18 seconds. Julie can't match it and neither can Goran, so Noah gets to pick his first opponent, who is...

Julie, for $2,000. Dorian says that Noah makes a ball on the break, but when he gets no takers, he goes $500 that he won't make it. Goran takes it - then has to give Dorian $500. As for the game, well...it's all Noah until the 8 ball. After a Julie miss, Julie makes a $500 bet with Goran that he won't run it out. Julie is....wrong. Noah finishes the table, which means that Julie loses $2,000 to Mr. Wyle and $500 to Mr. Visnjic. Ouch.

Dorian - $7,000
Noah - $7,000
Goran - $4,000
Julie - $2,000

Noah wants to play Goran - and this time for $3,000. Dorian bets $500 that Noah won't make a ball on the break. He doesn't and Julie owes Dorian $500. Noah gets the first 5, but leaves a nasty shot for the 6 for Goran - so nasty that Noah bets Goran and Dorian $500 each that Goran will miss the shot. Goran makes it, and Noah is out $1,000. He's going to be out another $3,000, but Goran blows an easy shot at the 9 ball. Noah doesn't, and he collects his $500 back - with $2,500 interest.

Noah - $8,500
Dorian - $8,000
Julie - $2,000
Goran - $1,500

Noah goes after Dorian, and $3,000 is on the line. Goran wants $500 on Noah getting a ball in, but he doesn't and Julie gets some of her money back. Dorian tries to combo it, but he messes it up. We now have the 8 hanging in one corner and the 9 in the other corner for Dorian. No problem with the 8. No problem with the 9. Dorian has $3,000.

Dorian - $11,000
Noah - $5,500
Julie - $2,500
Goran - $1,000

But none of that really matters, because we now go into WINNER TAKE ALL! We play it in a stepladder fashion - the 2 lowest people on the money board (Julie and Goran) play each other. The winner of that plays Noah and that winner plays Dorian for the championship.

Match 1 - Julie starts to get on a roll as she makes the first 3 shots. Goran sinks the 4 and is looking to combo the 5 into the 9, but he misses. It's Julie's turn to combo the nine, which she does...but she SCRATCHES and Goran gets a reprieve. He goes for the combo, and this time he is successful. Goran advances and Julie is eliminated. Julie didn't win a single match, but at least we had a playmate grace our screen for longer than Adrianne Curry does.

SEMIFINALS - Goran sinks a shot, but misses the 1 ball. Noah doesn't, and keeps going on to make another 3 balls. Goran is looking to combo the 4 into the 9 to end the match, but he only sinks the cue ball. Oops. It's Noah's turn to try a combo, but he misses as well. Have we ever heard of sinking single ball shots? Goran hasn't, but this time, his combo goes in and Goran gets the final word on his ER buddy.

FINALS - Dorian's not playing. He isn't going to give Goran a chance to combo out a win, because by sinking 5 straight shots, he's not going to let Goran get to the table. Dorian misses the 6 though, but he doesn't leave Goran a combo shot. Goran hits the 6, but he leaves the 7, which Dorian sinks, as well on the eight, but he scratches while making the shot. This is a HUGE opening for Goran, who just has to make an easy 9 ball. He does, and for the second straight episode, someone wins three games at the end to win the championship.

Goran wins the $20,000, but the other three celebrities will get $10,000 and a certificate for a Brunswick Pool Table. That's a nice consolation prize. With that, we are out.

Next week - Will we get civilian players? Will we get celebrities? Will we get Chuck Woolery in fishing gear? Well, we probably won't get that, but join us in seven days to see what we do get.

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