CELEBRITY POKER SHOWDOWN
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Take one part WPT, mix with twenty-five parts celebrity editions of any game show and reality show you can think of... and you get Celebrity Poker Showdown, a six-part elimination tournament to decide who is the best home-game poker player in Hollywood and win part of a $250,000 prize pool. And it's all for charity, of course.

Recaps by Chris Wolvie, GSNN


FACT FILE:
Hosts:
Dave Foley and Phil Gordon
EP: Joshua Malina, Marcia Mule, Andrew Hill Newman, Bryan Scott
Packager: Bravo
Airs: Thursdays at 9:00pm ET on Bravo


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What follows is a televised-hand-by-televised-hand account.  Obviously, since it's only a two-hour show, most hands are not televised so you're going to see a lot of jumping of the dealer button.

What's a "dealer button"?  What's "all-in"?  What the heck is this weird poker game they're playing?  Well, I'll do my best to give the rookies out there a run-down while maintaining the flow of the hands for the veterans.


A new year in Las Vegas means new chances for people to hit it big at the gambling tables.  But what if you're ALREADY a millionaire in, say, show business but still want to live out a fantasy of high-stakes poker?  Why, you come on CELEBRITY POKER SHOWDOWN, of course!  And that's what five celebrities have done.  This 25-person poker tournament is designed to find the best celebrity poker player on basic cable.  And the winner of the tournament will walk away with $100,000 of the $250,000 prize pool for their charity!

And Kevin Pollak has the pleasure of introducing a potpourri of entertainers tonight.  TV, music and movies are all represented here:

CELEBRITY BIO

David Cross
playing for The National Gulf War Resource Center
Cross started as one-half of the hosts of Mr. Show with Bob & David and is currently on FOX's latest smash Arrested Development.  Will he be busted quick or will he put on a show that his charity will like?

Carrie Fisher
playing for The Midnight Mission
Fisher's best known as Princess Leia in the "Star Wars" Trilogy but she also wrote the book made into the movie "Postcards From The Edge".  Will she mail this table in or would she just as soon kiss a Wookie?

Tom Green
playing for The Amanda Foundation
The former host of his own MTV talk show, Green has been in *ahem* films like "Road Trip", "Stealing Harvard" and "Freddie Got Fingered".  Will this be HIS show or will he end up being "Razzied" again?

Mimi Rogers
playing for The Dream Foundation
Rogers made frequent appearances on The X-Files as Agent Diana Fowley and was also Dr. Maureen Robinson in the film version of "Lost In Space".  Can she learn the truth that's out there amid the cards or will she be in "DANGER, DANGER"?

Scott Stapp
playing for With Arms Wide Open Foundation
Stapp is the baritone gravelly-voiced lead singer of the group Creed, whose hit song is what Stapp's charity is named for.  Will he take his game "Higher" or will he be left wondering "What's This Life For"?

$10,000 worth of chips is what each one starts with, and only when one person grabs all $50,000 will the game end.  That person then earns the right to play in the Final Table for a lion's share of that quarter-million dollar price pool.

We're talking No Limit Texas Hold 'Em as the game of choice here.  A dealer button will be passed around the table after each hand to show the dealer where to start handing out cards (to the right of the button).  The two players to the right of the button post blinds, forced bets to insure there's money in each hand.  Each player is dealt two cards face down, called hole cards.  They'll then either call the highest bet, raise the bet or fold their hand.  After the bets are in, three community cards, called the flop, are dealt face-up on the table.  After bets (and/or folds), a fourth card is turned up, called the turn or fourth street.  Then more bets (and/or folds), followed by the fifth and final community card, the river or fifth street, being turned up.  After more bets/folds, the best five-card poker hand (made of any combo of the five community cards and the two hole cards) wins the pot.  The game is called no limit because, at any time, any celebrity can go all-in and bet all their chips.  But, if they LOSE the hand they go all-in with, they're eliminated from the tournament

Back in the Loser's Lounge, where all bad poker players go when they go broke, Kevin Pollak waits with poker expert Phil Gordon.  They also will call the action out at the table.

There's only one spot left at the Final Table, so let's SHUFFLE UP AND DEAL!

Initial blinds are $100 (SB) and $200 (BB).  The Dealer Button (D) starts on Nicole.

Mimi Tom Scott (D) David (SB) Carrie (BB)
5? 5? ????? 9? 8? A? K? ?????
Raises to $500 FOLD Calls $500 Raises to $1,100 FOLD
FOLD Raises $2,100 Calls $1,000
Mimi had the "Speed Limit" hand (55). A low pair like that beats out David's "Big Slick" (A-K), but not by much, so Mimi may have been right to fold.  Scott is a HEAVY underdog with his 9-8 offsuit, but he plays aggressively.
FLOP: 9? 3? J?

So much for "underdog".  Scott's 9s makes him a slight favorite.

David, first after the dealer to stay in, best first--->

Bets $1,500
Calls $1,500
TURN: 6?
Bets $1,500
Calls $1,500
RIVER: 8?
COMMUNITY: J? 9? 8? 6? 3?
Here, Scott smiles brightly as he makes his two pair.  This is a big-time "tell", or way of acting at the table that tells those trained enough to pick it up what a person has.  David, however, was looking down at his chips and didn't pick up that tell.  When playing ANY poker game, it's important to have a "poker face", or a consistent expression on your face that does show anyone else that you have a good hand.  Scott...he HAS no "poker face", apparently.
Bets $1,100
Here, Scott asks, "Can I raise?"  This is ANOTHER "tell"...and also the sign of an unlearned poker player...which he is, really.
Raises to $2,200 Calls $1,100
9? 9? 8? 8? J? A? K? J? 9? 8?
WIN $15,300
David needed an Ace or King on the river to beat Scott.  But despite not having ANY pair, he still played at the pot, hoping to bluff him out of the pot.  Nothing doin', though.

 

Tom Scott David (D) Carrie (SB) Mimi (BB)
Q? 3? ????? 10? 9? K? J? ?????
Raises to $400 FOLD Raises to $900 Calls $800 FOLD
Calls $500
As Mimi folds, she says, "Mucking".  That's essentially what she's doing, though "mucking" is a term more commonly used when a player folds a GOOD hand thinking s/he's beat.  So unless Mimi had a pair...
FLOP: 8? Q? 8?
Tom has flopped two pair...and shows that HE doesn't have a "poker face", either (though he curses and tries to throw the others off, I guess).  David has a "gut buster straight draw", needing a Jack for a Queen-high straight.  And Carrie...not so much.
Now Carrie is the first to act---> Bets $300
Raises to $800 Calls $800 Calls $500
TURN: 7?
Now, despite having the best hand thus far, three clubs on the board worries Tom.  And rightfully so, since both Carrie and David now have flush draws.  David now also has an "open ended straight draw", needing a Jack OR a 6 to make a straight.
Bets $300
FOLD Calls $300
RIVER: K?
COMMUNITY: 8? 8? K? Q? 7?
Oooo!  Both David and Carrie made King-high flushes!  But the Jack in Carrie's hand makes her the winner.
Bets $500
Raises to $1,500 Calls $1,000
K? Q? 9? 8? 7? K? Q? J? 8? 7?
WIN $8,900
Carrie thought David had aces...obviously not noticing she had the flush.  David knew he had one and that's why HE raised.  Boy, were they BOTH shocked when the cards were flipped and Carrie was announced the winner.

CURRENT CHIP COUNT
Scott Stapp $20,000
Carrie Fisher $14,400
Tom Green $8,200
Mimi Rogers $6,400
David Cross $1,000

At this point, certain he's on his way back to the Loser's Lounge, David pleads his case: "America wants me to stay in this game."  He also tosses his yarmulke away, saying it wasn't the "lucky" one he had in the same drawer.

Blinds are now $200 (SB) and $400 (BB).  Blinds increase as the tournament goes on.

Scott David Carrie (D) Mimi (SB) Tom (BB)
A? 8? A? 2? ????? ????? ?????
Raises to $1,000 ALL-IN
$1,000
FOLD FOLD FOLD
Scott "tapped" David, betting the exact amount that would put David all-in.  Scott's a 62% favorite to knock David out of the tournament.
FLOP: 10? 10? 3?
TURN: J?
David now has a "nut flush draw", needing one more spade to make an Ace-high flush!  He can also win with a deuce to give him two pair.  An Ace would give them BOTH two pair, but Scott would win with a higher "kicker" (tie-breaking card) than David.
RIVER: 3?
10? 10? 3? 3? A? A? J? 10? 3? 2?
WIN $2,600
Scott, unlearned as he is, wonders how he lost.  It takes some explaining to make him see the straight.  David has "doubled up", or effectively doubled his chip total by winning a hand he went all-in with.  He's still a LONG way from the lead, though.


Some hands later...
 

Carrie Mimi Tom (D) Scott (SB) David (BB)
????? K? K? ????? Q? 9? ?????
FOLD Raises to $1,100 FOLD Calls $1,100 FOLD
FLOP: 8? 8? Q?
Both Mimi and Tom have flopped two pair: Mimi's "Cowboys" is matched with the 8s on the Board, while Scott matched his Queen with the Queen on the Board.  Mimi's still heavily in the lead, though.

Bets $4,000
ALL-IN
$5,100
Calls $1,100
Again, Scott asks if he can raise the bet...but he immediately realizes that Mimi has nothing to raise WITH so...he calls...and he needs a 9.  An 8 or a Queen would give Mimi a higher full house than Scott's would be.
TURN: 7?
RIVER: 10?
K? Q? 10? 8? 7?  Q? Q? 8? 8? 10?
WIN $12,800
Mimi didn't really NEED the flush.  She had Scott beaten with a higher two pair.



 

David Carrie Mimi (D) Tom (SB) Scott (BB)
10? 7? A? 6? ????? ????? A? K?
Raises to $800 Calls $800 FOLD FOLD Raises to $5,000
ALL-IN
$5,200
Calls $5,200 Calls $200
David joked around, first pretending he had an earpiece and was getting advice from Phil Gordon (Phil said that Peter should fold), then asking Scott what he had as his hole cards.  Scott is a 47% favorite.  Now a "side pot" is created that only Carrie and Scott can bet into and play for.  David can only win the main pot of $15,800.
FLOP: 6? 4? 4?
Carrie flopped two pair. 6s and 4s.  Scott only has the 4s with an Ace kicker...which is still better than David.

Bets $3,000 (Side)
PASS (All-in) Calls $3,000 (Side)
Carrie was torn between calling her two pair or folding to save money.  She counted her chips to see just how low she'd be.  Then, after some pushing by Scott and the audience, she called.
TURN: 10?
Ut oh...now DAVID has two pair (10s and 4s) and is in the lead to take the main pot.
Bets $400 (Side)
PASS (All-in) Calls $400 (Side)
RIVER: 9?
COMMUNITY: 4? 4? 10? 9? 6?
CHECK
PASS (All-in) CHECK
10? 10? 4? 4? 9? 6? 6? 4? 4? A? 4? 4? A? K? 10?
WIN $15,800 (Main) WIN $6,800 (Side)
Scott had to be explained what "checking" means.  You don't HAVE to bet unless someone bet in front of you.  You can "check" and give that decision to the next person, who can LIKEWISE check or bet.  Carrie won the side pot with her two pair, but David won the main pot because he beat Carrie's hand.
David: "I'm pretend-rich again!!"


 


After another hand or two...

CURRENT CHIP COUNT
David Cross $15,200
Mimi Rogers $13,200
Carrie Fisher $11,200
Scott Stapp $8,600
Tom Green $1,800



 

Mimi Tom Scott (D) David (SB) Carrie (BB)
8? 2? A? 10? Q? J? 7? 7? ?????
FOLD Calls $600 Raises to $2,000 Calls to $1,800 FOLD
ALL-IN
$1,800
David has a pair of "red-headed mullets" (put a 7 on the head of a guy facing left and you'll see what I mean).  Tom can only win money that matches his all-in, so the main pot will be $6,000 (three $1,800 bets plus Carrie's $400 Big Blind) and the $400 extra from Scott and David's bets go into a side pot only they can play for.
FLOP: 2? 5? 9?
Scott flopped a flush draw, but David is still head...barely.  Tom is fairly behind, not able yet to beat either of the other hands.

CHECK

PASS (All-in) CHECK
Once again, Scott asks what he can do.  The dealer explains that he can check and see the next card or bet into his current hand.  Scott checks.
TURN: 8?
David now has a gut-buster straight draw, needing a 6.  He's still leading both hands, though, with his pair.
Bets $1,500 (Side)
PASS (All-in) Calls $1,500 (Side)
RIVER: 6?
COMMUNITY: 9? 8? 6? 5? 2?
YEOWZA!  David made the straight (not that he needed it_...and Tom is dead.
Bets $1,500 (Side)
PASS (All-in) Calls $1,500 (Side)
A? 10? 9? 8? 6? Q? J? 9? 8? 6? 9? 8? 7? 6? 5?
OUT WIN $6,000 (Main)
WIN $6,400 (Side)
Since David beat both Scott AND Tom's hands, he wins BOTH pots.  Tom is sent packing even though he beat Scott's hand; he needed to beat BOTH to get the main pot.


So, finally, a dejected Tom crawls back to the Losers' Lounge, asking the celebs at the table, "Poker in the front, liquor in the back, right?" (If you don't get it, never mind.) Tom meets Kevin, who informs him that at least The Amanda Foundation, an animal shelter, gets $5,000 for his participation.  Tom admits he didn't how to play poker well, but he also says that he was goaded by the audience since they booed whenever he folded...and that this contributed to him losing.  He's ashamed...and needs a tequila.  So as waitress Brandi gets him a drink (rum and Coke, actually) and sits down next to him, we return to the table (and I wonder why Kevin didn't ask him if he'd like some sausage):

Blinds are up to $300 (SB) and $600 (BB) now.

David Carrie (D) Mimi (SB) Scott (BB)
????? ????? 8? 6? Q? J?
FOLD FOLD Calls $600 CHECK
You SHOULD know you REALLY don't know how to play the game when you go all-in out of turn.  Scott declared he was all-in before Mimi even looked at her cards.  This, of course, made it an illegal bet.  So Scott was in his right to check...though that WAS a bit of a tell about HIS hand.
FLOP: A? 7? 9?
Open-ended straight draw for Mimi; a 10 or 5 will get her the straight.
Bets $600  ALL-IN
$600
Mimi did "tap" Scott...but it wasn't intentional.  The minimum bet during any hand is the Big Blind.  Mimi bet the minimum of $600...which just so HAPPENED to be all that Scott had left.  Scott is still a 53% favorite, though.
TURN: K?
Scott's now up to a 77% fave.  A 10 would give Scott "Broadway", or an Ace-high straight...so Mimi needs to pair either her eight or six...or get a 5 for a straight.
RIVER: 6?
Ouch!  Poor Scott...
6? 6? A? K? 9? A? K? Q? J? 9?
WIN $2,400 OUT

Scott is a little upset as he joins Tom and Scott in the Lounge.  Scott asks Phil about the odds of losing a hand on the last card.  Phil says the odds aren't good...but that Scott probably lost 3 of the last 5 hands on the last card and has been just plain beaten for most of the rest of the night.  But Kevin explains that Scott made it exciting and that With Arms Wide Open Foundation gets $5,000.  Scott's happy for that...and admits to being scared of Mimi since he feels she's that damn good at the poker table.  While he joins Tom in a drink, we return to the table for three-way action:

Carrie Mimi (D) David (BB)
This is the very next hand after Scott's outing.  Scott was supposed to be the Small Blind, so he's skipped and David posts the Big Blind as if Scott were there. (Truthfully, I don't get it too clearly, either.)
A? Q? 9? 9? ?????
Calls $600 Raises to $1,200 FOLD
Calls $600
Carrie: "This is my poker face lift."  "I don't want to fold."
Mimi: "All right, you little whore...and I mean that in the kindest way."
Carrie: (as she calls) "I may be peri-menopausal, but I'm not a whore, OK?"
FLOP: 4? 2? 10?
CHECK Bets $1,000
Calls $1,000
TURN: J?
Carrie's a King away from "Broadway".
CHECK Bets $1,500
Calls $1,500
Twice, when Carrie was asked to act, she asked, "Can I call?" Apparently, Scott isn't the ONLY one not up on rules.  You can only call when someone has bet before you.  After Mimi bets, she THEN asks if she can check...which, of course, she can't.
RIVER: 2?
COMMUNITY: 2? 2? J? 10? 4?
CHECK CHECK
2? 2? A? Q? J? 9? 9? 2? 2? J?
WIN $8,000

 

CURRENT CHIP COUNT
David Cross $20,800
Mimi Rogers $25,000
Carrie Fisher $4,200

 
Paul Gordon: "I think (Carrie) needs a little help from Obi-Wan Kenobi."

The blinds are now up to $400 (SB) and $800 (BB).
 

David (D) Carrie (SB) Mimi (BB)
7? 6? Q? 2? A? K?
Calls $800 Calls $400 Raises to $2,800
Calls $2,000 Calls $2,000
FLOP: 2? 8? 6?
Carrie flopped "bottom pair", her deuce with the deuce on the Board.  David flopped "middle pair", while Mimi...flopped NO pair.
CHECK Bets $800
Calls $800 ALL-IN
$1,400
Calls $600
Calls $600
Once again, a side pot is created, just for David and Mimi, should tey decide to bet anything.
TURN: K?
CHECK
CHECK
RIVER: J?
COMMUNITY: K? J? 8? 6? 2?
CHECK
CHECK
No money was added to the side pot...so it's like it never existed.  All three are playing for the main pot.
6? 6? K? J? 8?   K? Q? J? 8? 6?  K? K? A? J? 8?
OUT WIN $12,600

As Kevin embraces Carrie back at the Lounge, she jokes, "I'm devastated!  I'm gonna end up back on drugs!"  Kevin says, "That's hysterical and ridiculous."  At least 5 grand goes to The Midnight Mission.  She complains about David and Mimi, saying, They're arrogant...and...they're Jewish...but so am I...they're BETTER than we are."  She then tells Scott than he'll be able to brag about winning after the others are "long dead" because he's so young.  But let's head back to the table where it's heads-up between two TV actors who have been EXCEEDINGLY lucky at cards...while Carrie, being happily married, claims to be more lucky at love:

CURRENT CHIP COUNT
Mimi Rogers $33,000
David Cross $17,000

 

David (SB) Mimi (D) (BB)
Q? 4? A? 5?
Calls $400 Raises to $1,600
Calls $800
FLOP: 6? 5? 8?
Mimi's flopped a pair of 5s, but David has an inside straight draw, needing a 7.
  Bets $1,600
Calls $1,600  
Carrie: "He's (David's) so tense...he just filled his pants."
TURN: 9?
  CHECK
Bets $1,600 FOLD
WIN $8,000  
NOW you could say Mimi "mucked".

 

Mimi (SB) David (D) (BB)
A? 7? A? 8?
Raises to $2,500 Raises to $6,000
FOLD
  WIN $8,500
Mimi was a fair underdog...but I'm sure, even if David had something like 2-7 offsuit and raised that much, Mimi would've STILL folded.

 


CURRENT CHIP COUNT
David Cross $31,000
Mimi Rogers $19,000

 

David (SB) Mimi (D) (BB)
Q? J? K? 2?
Raises to $3,000 Calls $2,200
FLOP: 8? 9? 2?
Mimi's flopped bottom pair.  David has another inside straight draw, needing a 10 this time.  Mimi's a 52% fave right now.
  Bets $2,000
Calls $2,000  
TURN: 4?
  CHECK
Bets $2,000 FOLD
WIN $12,000  
Another muck by Mimi.  She seems intimidated.  But, then again, if someone bluffed me while I was holding deuces, I'd probably muck it, too.  David then says, "I had it," continuing the bluff to make Mimi MORE intimidated.

A few hands later...

David (SB) Mimi (D) (BB)
A? 8? J? 8?
Raises to $3,000 Calls $2,200
FLOP: 7? A? Q?
  Bets $1,500
Raises to $3,500 FOLD
WIN $9,500  
Ron didn't buy into the bluff.  Mimi had only about a 4% chance.

Blinds are WAY up now: $1,000 (SB) and $2,000 (BB).  So a LOT of hands have passed...

Tournament Director Rob Thompson: "Shuffle up and deal!"

David: "Shuffle the @#$% up!!"

David (SB) Mimi (D) (BB)
Q? 3? 4? 2?
Calls $1,000 ALL-IN
$3,000
Calls $2,000
Mimi could have had WORSE hands to go all-in with...but not many.
Mimi: "I'm all-in...like I have a choice."
FLOP: 9? 2? 8?
Mimi ain't dead yet!  She's flopped a pair.  It's a LOW pair, though, and still quite beatable.
TURN: 3?
And it's been beat!  Mimi needs a 2 or a 4 to stay alive.
RIVER: 7?
3? 3? Q? 9? 8? 2? 2? 9? 8? 7?
WIN $6,000 OUT
Not the PRETTIEST hand to win with...but a win's a win!

So Mimi's charity, The Dream Foundation, gets $5,000...but David Cross, who was down to his last grand, gets the final not-available-in-any-store silver chip from Kevin that signifies his entry into the Final Table.  David claims he only "gave 108%...leaving 2% for the Final Table."  He then holds up the chip to the camera and says (like he's in a commercial), "People REALLY do win when they come to the Palms Casino Resort!"

So the Final Table is set!  Willie Garson, Richard Schiff, Nicole Sullivan, Paul Rudd and David Cross will face off for the Prize Pool in the 2-hour Championship!  Stay tuned, people!

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