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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


FACT FILE:
Host:
Kevin Nealon
Analyst:
Robert Williamson III (Evelyn Ng in the first ep)
Commentator:
Susan N. Freeman
Creator: Charlie Parsons
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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We are down to a mere seven prime poker players in Poker Royale, the World Poker Players Association Championship event. One of them is gaurenteed $125,420...and a chance to play one more hand for $10 million to split between him/herself and a GSN viewer. And Kevin Nealon and "poker expert" Robert Williamson III is here 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 key hands through commentary. We start with the chip count for the Final Table:

CHIP COUNT
James Van Alstyne
179,500
Carlos Mortensen
138,275
Bill Carroll 130,275
Kathy Liebert
106,300
Paul Wolfe
92,950
Lee Markholt
51,550
Yohanes Muruz
20,850

Let's shuffle up and deal!


Markholt Muruz
Mortensen
A♠ Q♠ 7♦ 7♣
9♦ 9♠
Markholt bets 3500 on his suited "Big Chick", and Muruz QUICKLY goes all-in with his "mullets" (or "walking sticks"). That may have been a mistake as Mortensen has a "German Virgin" and calls. Markholt says, "Carlos just made me hate my hand" and folds. Mortensen is an 82% fave unless Muruz can pull off a "slot machine".
FLOP: 3♥ J♠ 6♦
TURN: 3♦
RIVER:
4♠
 
7♦ 7♣ 3♦ 3♥ J♠
9♦ 9♠ 3♦ 3♥ J♠
 
OUT - 7th Place
$14,100
WIN 43,575



Van Alstyne Carroll
Q♥ J♦ A♦ K♣
Van Alstyne raises with his connetors, but Carroll just calls with his "Big Slick". Odd, since most players play Ace-King uber-aggressively.
FLOP: Q♠ 9♦ 7♦
Van Alstyne went from a slight underdog to a 3-to-1 fave with a pair of Queens. He bets big...and Carroll CALLS with NOTHING.
TURN: 5 ♣
Van Alstyne bets $10,000...and Carroll calls AGAIN, perhaps pryaing for a King or Queen on the the River.
RIVER: 8♥
That kills Carroll, as he has no hand. Van Alstyne bets $20,000. After pondering if Van Alstyne has a 6 for a straight, he calls.
Q♥ Q♠ J♦ 9♦ 8♥ A♦ K♣ Q♠ 9♦ 8♥
WIN 62,450  


Van Alstyne Markholt
K♠ 10♠ K♦ 6♦
Van Alstyne raises to 3000 with his "woodcutter" and only Markholt calls with suited cards. Van Alstyne is about a 6-to-4 fave.
FLOP: 5♣ 9♣ 8♥
Markholt has a straight draw, but Van Alstyne is still a 3-to-1 fave... and bets. "'Check' is not in your vocabulary, is it," Markholt says as he folds.
WIN 12,940  



Markholt Wolfe
J♣ J♦ A♥ Q♦
Markholt's "hooks" are good...but Wolfe's Big Chick is enough for him to raise to $10,000. Markholt plays back at him and goes all-in and Wolfe, saying "Show me some Jacks", calls. Sure enough, Markholt SHOWS him his Jacks. and that he's a slight fave in this coin-flip situation.
FLOP: 5♠ J♥ 10♦
Ut...ohhhh...Markholt has his third Jack. Wolfe needs running Aces, running Queens or a King for a straight to keep from doubling Markholt up.
TURN: 7♦
RIVER: 5♣
 J♣ J♦ J♥ 5♠ 5♣ 5♠ 5♣ A♥ Q♦ J♥
WIN 57,600  



James Van Alstyne
260,400
Carlos Mortensen 163,200
Kathy Liebert
98,600
Bill Carroll
79,300
Lee Markholt
75,500
Paul Wolfe
62,000
CHIP COUNT

As the new dealer shuffles the cards, the players see who can toss a chip into the GSN logo box on the felt. Kathy ends it, saying, "This isn't fun and games; this is poker."

Markholt Carroll
A♥ Q♠ A♠ K♥
Markholt raises to 3000...and Carroll, once again, just calls with Big Slick. He's a 3-to-1 fave and he slow-plays on of the best starting hands in Hold 'Em.
FLOP: 7♦ 3♥ 4♣
Markholt fires into the pot first,...and NOW Carroll raises to $5000! Markholt is pot-committed and calls.
TURN: A♦
Now BOTH players have a pair of "bullets"... but, of course, Carroll's kicker is higher. Markholt checks... and Carroll bets 10,000. Markholt calls.
RIVER: 3♠
Aces and treys for both...but it's the King of Carroll's that'll do it. Markholt checks...and Carroll goes all-in for 55,000. Markholt asks Carroll if he flopped a "set"... and Carroll, non-chalantly, says he can't discuss it because he's in the middle of a hand (that's just good poker ettiquette, folks; never talk about hands during one). That's just too much for Markholt and folds.
WIN 110,600

A few hands later...

James Van Alstyne
213,600
Carlos Mortensen 169,000
Bill Carroll
128,400
Kathy Liebert
55,200
Paul Wolfe
62,500
Lee Markholt
35,200
CHIP COUNT



Liebert Mortensen
3♥ 3♣ K♥ J♥
Liebert calls with "crabs" and Mortensen calls with "Kojak". It's almost a literal coin-flip.
FLOP: 7♥ 8♠ 10♥
Mortensen now as a straight draw AND a flush draw. But it goes check-check.
TURN: A♣
Now Mortensen has TWO ways to catch a straight (Queen or 9). He he STILL checks. Thinking he has nothing, Libert bets 6000. Then Mortensen re-raises to 26,000. Liebert groans at being check-raised...and folds.
WIN 41,000



Markholt
Carroll
Liebert
Mortensen
Wolfe
VanAlstyne
8♣ 7♥ 9♦ 8♦
5♣ 5♥
7♣ 6♠
6♦ 4♥
A♥ 5♠
10%
32%
16%
8%
8%
26%
Awwww...our first "family pot" of the tournament! Markholt calls the Big Blind with...not the most enviable of hands, let's just say. Carroll's suited connectors are better for calling, which he does. Liebert calls as well with her "speed limit". This allowed Mortensen to toss in a few himself, Wolfe to see the Flop for cheap and Van Alstyne for free., even though all have rather lousy hands.
FLOP: 9♥ 4♠ 7♠
3%
52%
6%
13%
11%
15%
Carroll leads with a pair of 9s, though everyone but Van Alstyne flopped a pair of one fashion or another. Van Alstyne checks and Markholt bets 5000. Carroll calls, Liebert, Mortensen, Wolfe and Van Alstyne all muck, leaving it heads-up with Carroll an 8-1 fave.
TURN: 2♦
That helps no one. Markholt checks and Carroll bets $10,000. Markholt says, "That's almost a joke."...but he folds.
 
WIN 28,400
       



James Van Alstyne
273,600
Carlos Mortensen 192,500
Bill Carroll
127,900
Kathy Liebert
98,300
Paul Wolfe
44,900
Lee Markholt
12,800
CHIP COUNT

 

Wolfe Markholt
A♣ 7♠ K♠ Q♣
Wolfe raises and Markholt goes all-in with his marriage. Wolfe is a 58% fave...but he folds, since matching that would give him too few chips.
WIN 17,500

 

Van Alstyne Markholt
Carroll
A♣ 7♠ A♦ 10♦
4♦ 4♣
Van Alstyne raises on the button with Big Slick (as he should)...but Markholt RE-raises with his "blackjack" for 13,000. Carroll ponders calling...but opts to fold. Van Alstyne re-reraises all-in, unaware that he's a 69% fave. Markholt quickly calls, going all-in himself.
FLOP: 10♠ 10♥ 9♦
EEP! Markholt just hit "thirty miles of bad road!" Van Alstyne will need running Aces to keep Markholt from doubling up (a 2% chance of THAT happening).
TURN: A♥
And there's ONE Ace. Though it gives Markholt a full house, one more and Van Alstyne knocks Markholt out of the game, since Van Alstyne with have a BIGGER "boat".
RIVER: 3♦
Nope...Markholt still lives.
A♣ A♥ 10♠ 10♥ 9♦
10♦ 10♠ 10♥ A♦ A♥
 
WIN 57,000
 

 

Carlos Mortensen
212,300
Bill Carroll
167,400
James Van Alstyne 155,300
Kathy Liebert
88,700
Lee Markholt
53,100
Paul Wolfe
43,200
CHIP COUNT

 

Liebert Mortensen
10♥ 8♠ Q♠ 9♦
Since everyone else folded behind her, Liebert simply called the Big Blind to see a flop with a bad hand. Mortensen, with an EQUALLY bad hand with his "Quinine", just checks. Mortensen is almost a 2-to-1 fave.
FLOP: J♠ 8♥ J♦
It's a 180! LIEBERT's now the 2-to-1 fave with two pair. BUT, Mortensen has a straight draw. Liebert checks and Mortensen "limps in" with a small bet. But it's the ol' check-raise as Liebert goes "over the top" on him. Mortensen nonchalantly calls.
TURN: 3♥
Liebert (79%) bets 5000, quickly called by Mortensen. He still has many outs: any Q, 9 or 10 will win him the pot.
RIVER: 8♣
Nope. This actually gives Liebert a "boat", 8s full of Jacks. She bets 5000 again. After some thought,...he calls. And Liebert gives him nothin' and he don't like it.
8♠ 8♥ 8♣ J♠ J♦ J♠ J♦ 8♥ 8♣ Q♠
WIN 30,000  

(Oh, and remember, if you're gonna gamble, PLAY RESPONIBLY! And, if you can't, go to GamblersAnanymous.org and get some help.)

Carlos Mortensen
213,000
James Van Alstyne
158,700
Bill Carroll 154,700
Kathy Liebert
73,300
Lee Markholt
67,300
Paul Wolfe
53,000
CHIP COUNT


Liebert Mortensen
Van Alstyne
K♣ K♥ A♠ 9♠
K♦ J♦
55% 31%
14%
Our little cowgirl got "cowboys" and raises to 4000. Mortensen thinks A-9 suited is enough to call with...and he does. Van Alstyne calls with his K-J of diamonds.
FLOP: J♠ 10♠ 9♦
32% 55%
17%
Ut oh...Mortensen has a MASSIVE flush draw, which makes him the fave DESPITE both Liebert and Val Alstyne having higher pairs than him. Van Alstyne bets 12,000 with the worst hand. Liebert, with an overpair and a straight draw, re-raises to 40,000. Mortensen quickly calls...and Van Alstyne, knowing he just wasted 12 "large", folds. Liebert is now a 68% fave in heads-up.
TURN: 10♦
That actually HELPS Liebert; she now has two high pair and is a 71% fave. Thinking that, she goes all-in. Mortensen, also with two pair and pot-committed, calls. He needs a 9 for a full house, a spade for a flush or an Ace for a better two pair...
RIVER: A♥
OHHH! SUCK OUT!
K♣ K♥ 10♠ 10♦ A♥
A♠ A♥ 10♠ 10♦ J♠
 
OUT - 6th Place
$17,285
WIN 150,000
 

Kathy Lieberthas some satisfaction for getting in the money...but, as always, she wishes she had done better. OK, let's call it a night with THIS as your leaderboard:

Carlos Mortensen
303,500
Bill Carroll
154,600
James Van Alstyne 142,600
Lee Markholt
67,200
Paul Wolfe
52,000
CHIP COUNT

We're down to five now...and one could walk away with over $5 million! Stay tuned!

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