Poker Royale
Comedians vs. Pros
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Comics take on seasoned vets in the pro circuit on the fourth series in GSN's hit poker tournament

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN

Kenna James

John Ahlers
Lisa Dergan
EP: Jeff Mirkin, Jim Coane, John Faratzis, Gary Garcia
Packager: Coane Productions, Jeff Mirkin Productions, Last Word Productions for GSN Originals
Origin: Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, CA
Airs: Fridays at 9:00pm ET on GSN

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Match 1: Williams/Laak/Kolberg/Wuhl/Rodriguez/Murphy - July 8

Obviously, I am not Chris Wolvie. Unfortunately, Chris has his Poker Royale edition called Writers Vs. Hurricanes. SInce the hurricanes seem to be winning, and since this is hurricane season, I will be covering this series that features 6 professional poker players and 6 comedians.

Here's how the series works. There will be 10 preliminary matches, which gives everyone 5 chances to collect points. The 2 highest scoring poker players and celebrities automatically advance to the championship match. The next 6 highest will go to a Wild Card Playoff game to get to the finals. the low 2 people will get to watch everyone, but not participate themselves.

We start off Match 1 with these 6 people -

Poker Pros

David Williams - Came in second in the 2004 World Series of Poker to Greg 'Fossilman' Raymer. More money would be nice.
Phil Laak - Nicknamed the 'Unabomber', this Irish poker player has won a World Poker Tour championship. He is also currently dating to 2005 WSOP Bracelet winner Jennifer Tilly, who was on the last Poker Royale series.
Kelly Kolberg - She has won the Aussie Poker Open. She's a tall, leggy beauty who could mesmerize you with her eyes. You mesmerized yet?


Robert Wuhl - He has been the main player in Arli$$ and Kim Basinger's sidekick in the Michael Keaton version of 'Batman'. Time has not been very good to him.
Paul Rodriguez - The Latin King of Comedy
Sue Murphy - comedian on the Ellen DeGeneres show.

Hand #1 - We start with Williams, who raises off a... 6 ? 2 ?? Well, that's comedy. Wuhl calls with a Q ? 4 ?, and Rodriguez has...uh oh...he's got cowboys (K ? K ?). The flop is 2 ? 6 ? A ?. This spells disaster for Rodriguez, because Williams, who raises to $20,000, has 2 pair (6's and 2's). Wuhl bows out and with Rodriguez and the African-American Williams left, Rodriguez calls it a 'minority game' - 'All of the caucasians have been eliminated'. Rodriguez may be eliminated as the Turn is a J ? and Rodriguez is betting on it. The river - a 5 ? and they both check. Williams takes a big pot on 2 little cards.

Hand #2 - As all of the pros (and some of the celebrities) are making fun of Williams for hanging in there with a 6/2 off-suit, Rodriguez, with an A ? 10 ? makes a raise. Now it's Williams with a huge starting hand (J ? J ? ) and re-raises. Rodriguez calls, and is clearly behind in the hand when a 3 c' 5 c' 5 ? show up on the Flop. Williams goes all-in. Rodriguez calls and he have our first show-down. Do we have our first eliminated contestant? No, because we see an A ? on the Turn! The River is a 6 ? and Williams counts his chips to send over to Rodriguez. Rodriguez warns Williams that all of the chips he's going to get.

Fun Fact - Paul Rodriguez has traveled in 33 countries.

Fun Fats about David Williams - He won the Poker Royale Young Bloods of Poker Championship. He's also a former 4.0 student at Southern Methodist University. David says that he is single because he needs a woman that will let him mope if he loses. 'Usually most successful poker player's girlfriends are either very understanding or they are also poker players. I don't really want to date another poker player because I don't want to date myself because I know how poker players are.'

Hand #3 - Rodriguez plays again with a Q ? 10 ? , but this time he has problems. Problem #1 is Kolberg with a 5 ? 5 ?. Problem #2 is Wuhl with a K ? K ? . Williams decides to see a flop with a 5 ? 3 ?. It's a good thing that he has, because the Flop, with a 2 ? 8 ? K ?, now has a flush. That also gives Wuhl Trip Kings and he calls Williams bet on a flush. The turn is a J ? , which sends Wuhl all-in. Unfortunately, without a pair on the River to make a boat (the River is a 7 ?), Wuhl is also all-out in 6th place. 'I can't do a while lot worse. Excuse me, I have to go, the caterer wants to play me.'

Fact - Robert Wuhl was on the Dating Game in 1985. Hopefully he had better luck there than what he is having now.

We get a quick chat with Kenna James, who says that the comedians could use their comedy to distract the players. We'll see if they are successful in doing so...

Hand #4 - Leading the pack is...Sue Murphy? Huh? She hasn't even played a hand yet on the show? Well, obviously, this is edited as we see...well, not Sue yet. Williams is back and calls an 8 ? 3 ?. We see Murphy now with a monster pair of Jacks (? ? ) and raises. The flop is 2 ? 7 ?, 5 ?. That's no help to anyone, and while Williams is trying to buy his way the pot, Murphy isn't having any of it and calls. The turn is a K ? and Williams is drawing dead. He can only bluff out Murphy, and with a check, it looks like he is going to give it up. Murphy bets, but Williams re-raises in another move to take the pot. It's not going to work, because Murphy calls it. The river is a 9 ? and Murphy checks again. They both check and Murphy takes a nice $162,000 pot. Phil Laak gives Murphy a congratulations hug, because a weakened Williams would be easier for him to wipe out later.

Fact - Sue Murphy has been to 30 different ballparks. She was also on the Jeff Foxworthy show and has been on Jay Leno. She has a daily comedy radio show and is looking for a lucky charm. She wants to use a huge garden gnome. Uhhh...ok. Another fact - the winner of this match gets $5,000.

Hand #5 - Murphy once again has a good hand (K ? Q ?) and raises. Rodriguez re-raises with a K ? 2 ? and is a clear underdog here. WIlliams goes over the top with a A ? 9 ? and Murphy folds. Rodriguez calls and we see a showdown. The Flop is...2 ? Q ? 8 ?. Kolberg wants a deuce, and gets it, as Rodriguez takes the lead temporarily, because the Turn is an A ?. Williams takes the lead back and with the river being a J ?, Williams doubles up and Rodriguez is the new short stack.

Fact - Rodriguez learned poker 32 years ago while in the Air Force. Hopefully, he won't crash and burn here.

Fact - Kolberg once played in a game for 3 straight days with no sleep. She hopes to catch people napping on Hand #6 and raises with a J d' 2 ?. Rodriguez goes all-in with K ? J ? and it looks great for him - especially with a Q ? 7 ? 10 ? . The turn is ...a 2 ? and Kolberg takes the lead. We have another deuce on the river, and Rodriguez is out in 5th. Paul Rodriguez says that in order to immigrate from Mexico to America, you have to be aggressive. Uhhh...ok. Murphy is the only comedian left, but she is the chip leader, thanks to her win over Williams earlier.

Hand #7 - The blinds are going up. Murphy plays a K ? Q ?. Williams checks in with a 10 ? 0 ?. The Flop is K ? 2 ? 10?, which is nice for Williams, because he paired his 10's, but Murphy paired her Kings. Williams goes all-in and needs some help. The turn is not help with a * ? The rives, with a 5 ? , is no help either. Williams is the first pro player gone as he cones in 4th. The minorities have all left the table and only the Caucasians are left.

Fact - David Williams gave an interview with Playboy Magazine. Williams admits that the comedians weren't as easy targets as he thought, and he has to rethink his strategy for the next match that he plays.

Facts on Phil Laak - He talks about his relationship with Jennifer Tilly, and how he has been helping her play. Apparently so, as she won the Ladies Only event at the WSOP.

Hand #8 - Murphy has red 4's and is making quacking noises. You're not X-22, Sue. After hearing a conversation about Muppets noises, Laak, with a A ? 7 ? suited, raises to $25,000. With Kolberg watching, Murphy calls and we see a flop. A flop of a 2 ? K ? 8 ? has Laak go all-in. Murphy is in the lead in the hand, and saying that this is how you lose a big lead, she folds. Well no, Sue - you lose a big lead by making dumb decisions like the one you just did.

Facts - A hand of 4's is called a 'Dirty Harry', because of the .44 magnum that he carries. Another fact - the Sandwich was created because the Earl of Sandwich wouldn't leave the card table to eat - so he made himself food stuck between 2 pieces of bread and voila!

Hand #9 - Murphy has an A ? 3 ? and calls. Kolberg raises with a A ? J ?. Murphy says that she wants to play with Kolberg. Oooh baby. Laak and myself are both getting excited. The Flop is (9 ? 10 ? A ? , which is not good for Murphy - they both pair Aces and Kolberg has the better kicker. They both raise big and Kolberg goes all-in. Murphy calls and sees that she's in a big hole. The turn is a 2 ? and that doesn't help Murphy, neither does the 9 ? on the river and Kolberg wins a huge $397,000 pot, while Murphy is a very short $36,000 stack.

Fact - Kathy Kolberg is the daughter of WSOP champion Jack Koller. She could be the champion of Poker Royale if she keeps this up.

Remember when Murphy says that she would give her chips away? Well, she has done so, and in Hand #10, Laak (K ? 9 ?) is looking to take the rest of them. Murphy calls with a 7 ? 7 ? and need some help. A J ? 8 ? 6 ? isn't enough help, but a K ? on the Turn is and laak pairs Aces. Murphy needs a 7, and the River is...4 ?. Murphy is gone in 3rd and the last of the comedians is gone. When asks if she is going to change strategy, Kolberg says that she is going to hire someone to play for her. Heh.

Fact - Laak says that if he wasn't a poker player, he'd be a broker on Wall Street. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Hand #11 - Kolberg should be afraid, because when we get back to action, it's Laak with a 334,000 Vs. 266,000 lead on her. Kolberg raises with A ? 7 ?. Laak goes all-in with a 3 ? 3 ?. It's a classic race situation and Kolberg calls. The Flop is J ? Q ? 4 ? and Laak has the lead. the Turn is a 9 ?, and Kolberg has some outs with a 7, 10 or Ace. A J ? is not one of them, and Laak wins the match and $5,000. Kolberg enjoyed how fun the match was, while Laak is thrilled with the cash.

Fact - Phil Laak once tried to be a comedian in Vegas. Obviously, he's a better poker player.

Standings -

*Sue Murphy - 6
*Paul Rodriguez - 2
*Robert Wuhl - 0


*Phil Laak - 10
*Kathy Kolberg - 8
*David Williams - 4

* = The Number of matches played

And here's what we are playing for -

Match winner - $5,000
Bonus for making the final Match - $5,000
Runner up in the Championship Match - $10,000
Champion - $50,000

Next week, we see some people we saw last week (Rodriguez, Wuhl, Laak) and some new people (Connie Kim, Carol Leifer, Robert Williamson III). That's Williamson III, as in one of the announcers of the series. Wha? Lucy, you've got some explaining to do. Join us in 7 days to see Match #2 and to figure out what Williamson III is doing in the match.


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