Poker Royale
The WPPA Championship
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The WPT gave out $2.7 million, the WSoP $5 million... but the WPPA is giving out TEN million dollars to a lucky poker player and an even luckier viewer... if they can win ONE poker hand. It's Poker Royale, the WPPA Championship on GSN!

Recaps by Chris Wolvie, GSNN

Kevin Nealon
Robert Williamson III

Susan N. Freeman
EP: Jeff Mirkin, Jim Coane, John Faratzis, Gary Garcia
Packager: Coane Productions, Jeff Mirkin Productions, Last Word Productions for GSN Originals
Airs: Tuesdays at 9:00pm ET on GSN

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Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

The World Poker Players Association Championship event, aka Poker Royale, is down to the last three players at the Orleans Hotel & Casino. They're all getting money, but only one will grab $125,420...and a chance to play one more hand for $10 million to split between himself and a GSN viewer. Kevin Nealon and "poker expert" Robert Williamson III are there to call the action.

Unlike my lengthy recaps of the WPT and CPS, since this show shows all hands but not all bets, I am forced to just recap the hands through commentary. We start with the chip count:
Paul Wolfe
James Van Alstyne 305,000
Lee Markholt

Let's shuffle up and deal!

Markholt Wolfe
A? 9? J? 10?
As the number of players wane, the players left open up their gameplay. Markholt would probably not even call the Big Blind with A-9 offsuit were there nine opponents... but he RAISES to 6000 with it now. Wolve calls with his suited connectors. Markholt is a SLIGHT fave.
FLOP: 5? A? Q?
Markholt flopped the nut pair and is 4-to-1 to win. BUT, Wolfe DOES have a straight draw. He checks to Markholt...who bets 8000. Wolfe quickly folds.
WIN 26,300  


Wolfe Van Alstyne
7? 7? A? A?
Wolfe has "mullets" or "walking sticks" and calls. Van Alstyne has what Vince Van Patton would call the "weapons of mass destruction", the best starting hand in Hold 'Em. He raises to 20G. Wolfe casually calls, though he's a 4-to-1 "dog".
FLOP: 7? 9? A?
ZOIKS! Both flopped three of a kind! Wolfe has the "slot machine" but Van Alstyne has "minor league baseball" (AAA) and is a 96% fave. He leads with 25G and, after dallying, Wolfe calls. The only thing that can save him now is the last 7.
TURN: 6?
CLOSE...but not close enough. Wolfe's down to a 2% chance. Van Alstyne checks...and Wolfe bets 40G. Van Alstyne then goes all-in...and Wolfe QUICKLY calls. Whoever wins this hand will be in a BIG lead... and, if the last 7 shows up, Van Alstyne will be history. If not, Wolfe WON'T be history (he has more chips than Van Alstyne) but he'll be WAY down.
And Wolfe takes a direct hit to his convoy of chips!
7? 7? 7? A? 9? A? A? A? 9? 7?
  WIN 628,400

As the tournament director counts the chips to see if Wolfe is in or out, Wolfe talks to himself...and KICKS himself for losing that hand. And he has a right to...because he is HURTIN'! Observe:

James Van Alstyne
Lee Markholt 86,000
Paul Wolfe

Paul tries to bargain into "chopping" (or dividing evenly) the remaining prize money. Van Alstyne says, "I'll think about it one more hand." Wolfe takes the next two hands, one by default when the two behind him fold, the other by going all-in when the others had bad hands. He's SLOWLY chipping his way out of the pit.

Van Alstyne Wolfe
10? 4? A? 10?
Van Alstyne has the CB Hand (10-4, good buddy) and raises to 6000. Wolfe goes all-in with his suited Blackjack and, after some thought, Van Alstyne calls. Wolfe is a 76% fave.
FLOP: 5? 2? Q?
No help for Van Alstyne. Only a four or running clubs will win it.
No it's down to a 4...
Wolfe doubles-up and is back into five digits!
Q? Q? 10? 6? 5? Q? Q? A? 10? 6?
  WIN 21,200


Wolfe Markholt
A? A? K? 9?
Now it's WOLFE with the WMDs. Markholt thinks his "dog" is good so he calls the blind...but Wolfe goes all-in. Markholt thinks about this for a good while... and then calls. He's an 87% "dog" with his "dog".
FLOP: 9? 7? 6?
OK, that helps. One more nine or a King will give Markholt the better hand.
A? A? Q? 9? 8? 9? 9? K? Q? 8?
WIN 45,000  


James Van Alstyne
Lee Markholt 109,800
Paul Wolfe


Wolfe Van Alstyne
A? 5? J? 9?
Wolfe does NOT go all-in this time...but DOES raise to 10G. Van Alstyne calls, only a SLIGHT underdog.
FLOP: 5? 6? K?
Wolfe has a pair and is a 7-to-3 fave. NOW, Wolfe goes all-in...and Van Alstyne bails quickly.
WIN 46,000  


Wolfe Van Alstyne
10? 9? 10? 4?
Wolfe finally JUST calls with his unsuited connectors. This give Van Alstyne the chance to check with his CB. But, instead, he RAISES to 6000. Wolve decides to call as a 2-to-1 fave.
FLOP: 9? 3? 9?
Nine-nine-nine! Wolfe is a MONSTER fave now. Van Alstyne bets 5000... and, after a dramatic pause, Wolfe raises to 21,000! That's enough for Van Alstyne to bail again.
WIN 41,600  


James Van Alstyne
Lee Markholt 101,300
Paul Wolfe


Markholt Van Alstyne
K? Q? 8? 5?
Markholt FINALLY gets in, raising to 7000 with his "marriage". Wolfe...FOLDS at last! And Van Alstyne calls with his suited hand. Told ya players open up a lot more when it gets down to a few players.
FLOP: 2? 8? 2?
Van Alstyne flops two pair and is a 7-to-2 fave...but checks. Markholt bets. Van Alstyne raises to 50,000... and a disgusted Markholt folds.
  WIN 82,800


Van Alstyne Markholt
A? 9? 5? 4?
Van Alstyne raises to 8000...and Markholt calls. Van Alstyne's a 65% fave.
FLOP: J? K? A?
Van Alstyne has Aces and is 92% to win from here. Van Alstyne bets big... and Markholt, knowing he's outclassed, folds.
WIN 28,600  


Wolfe Van Alstyne
K? 8? J? 9?
Wolfe raises big... but Van Alstyne calls with a SLIGHTLY better chance at a straight. Still, the King makes Wolfe a slight fave.
FLOP: 9? 5? A?
Van Alstyne has a pair and an 8-to-1 advantage. Wolfe bets 16K, though. After some thought, Van Alstyne just calls, not sure if Wolfe has an Ace.
Wolfe checks...and that's all the info Van Alstyne needs. He bets $25,000. Wolfe mucks his hand begrudgingly.
  WIN 74,000


Wolfe Markholt
10? 9? K? Q?
Obviously on litl from the previous hand, Wolfe goes all-in with his suited connectors. After getting a count from Wolfe and thinking intently, Markholt... folds the superior hand.
WIN 28,600  


Van Alstyne Markholt
10? 8? J? 9?
Van Alstyne raises to 6000... and Markholt calls. Neither are very good... but Markholt is a 3-to-2 fave.
FLOP: 8? 4? 10?
Interesting. Van Alstyne flopped two pair... but Markholt has an open-ended straight draw. Van Alstyne bets 8000 and Markholt raises 20K more. Without hesitation, Van Alstyne goes all-in. This frustrates Markholt to no end... and folds.
WIN 103,200  


James Van Alstyne
Lee Markholt 54,800
Paul Wolfe

(Oh, and remember, if you're gonna gamble, PLAY RESPONSIBLY! Don't blame US if you go bankrupt because you try to be like these guys!)

Van Alstyne
10? 9? 9? 9?
Wolfe goes all-in again...but THIS time, he's picked the WRONG time to do it because Van Alstyne has a "German Virgin". He calls and is a 65% fave. A straight can still double-up Wolfe again... or just a 10.
FLOP: 7? A? 5?
A LITTLE help for Wolfe...but not much. He's down to a 16% chance.
TURN: 5?
That SO does not help him. He puts on his jacket and reaches for his car keys because he KNOWS how bad the odds are. He needs a 10 or...
...Wolfe has been shot down.
WIN 40,600 OUT - 3rd Place

With a bad beat he went from first to worst...and, though he tried valiantly, Paul Wolfe just could not get out of the hole. And, then, there were two:

James Van Alstyne 661,800
Lee Markholt

It may SEEM like a hopeless cause...but it'll only take two or three double-ups by Lee Markholt to tie and overtake James Van Alstyne. One of them will leave with about $60,000... while the other takes an 1/8th of a million and has a chance at TEN million more. Who will it be? Stay tuned!

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