Hollywood Home Game I
|Dates||Nov 6, 2003|
|Final Table Date||Nov 06, 2003|
|Number of Entrants||6|
|Prize Pool||$25,000 Entry to WPT World Championship|
At the WPT Hollywood Home Game stage, celebrities Jack Black, Drew Carey, Steve Harris, Mimi Rogers, Fred Savage, and Aisha Tyler converged at the inaugural table of the four game series. Staked to 250,000 each in chips, the sparks started to fly from the get-go.
"I'm going to play very conservatively early," said Aisha Tyler before the game, "I'm going to watch how everybody else plays..." Then again, maybe she was sandbagging, because the sharp-tongued former host of E! Television's "Talk Soup" came out swinging, raising, and winning three of the first four hands.
The two comedy masterminds, Drew and Jack, went head to head early. Jack got the better of it, scaring Drew off with a King-high raise on the turn, assisted by his secret weapon, a pair of Hobo Kelly-style giant sunglasses. Drew bounced back quickly, taking a pair of 7's all the way to a showdown with Mimi Rogers. Steve Harris was the first to cool off Aisha when his 10's held up against her stone bluff.
In the first big showdown hand of the night, Aisha (no surprise) found herself heads up against Mr. Black. A favorite, with pocket J's against Aisha's K-T, Jack raised 30,000 pre-flop, and was quickly called. On came the oversized sunglasses, followed by a flop of Q-7-9, favoring neither, but giving Aisha an inside straight draw. Treading carefully, Jack bet 20,000, and was again quickly called. When a J came on the turn, the School of Rock star decided it was time to rock with his set of Jacks, going all-in. What he didn't know was that it was also the miracle card for Aisha, making her straight. After a brief pow wow with WPT pro players Daniel Negreanu and Jennifer Harman, Aisha called. When a 4 came on the river, Jack's jacks meant jack, and he was the first casualty of the night. However, he walked away with $1,500 to hand over to his charity, the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. And a nifty WPT hat and chip set.
Starting to feel the short-stack heat, Fred Savage entered the contest with some guppies taking a 4-3 against - you guessed it - Aisha and her Q-J. The flop came Q-7-3, and Fred hung in with bottom pair, calling Aisha's top pair raise. When a 3 came on the turn to give him two pair, Fred raised and Aisha called. The K improved neither on the river, and when Fred called Aisha's 40,000 raise, the table had a new chip leader: the former star of America's beloved TV series "The Wonder Years."
Next to ride the rail was Drew Carey with A-J off suit, going heads up against Mimi Rogers and her pocket rockets, A-A. Drew pushed all-in after a nothing flop of 10-5-2, and quickly clapped himself on the forehead when Mimi turned over her monster pair. When 4th and 5th came J-9, another funny man was sent packing, along with $2,000 for his charity, the Cleveland Public Library.
"Who's in charge of the comedy now?" exclaimed a concerned Jack Black from the Players' Lounge, when he learned that Drew was done. But comedy time was over, as the four remaining players dug in and the tension rose. A short-stacked Steve Harris, with half his chips in the pot, was forced all-in with Qd-4d. He found himself facing (yup) Aisha with 10c-6c, and Fred with J-T. The flop came Jc-Td-9d, giving Steve a nice draw of both the open-ended straight and the flush, but also making Fred's top pair. Fred now went all-in, and Aisha made a tough, but good, decision to fold. When the turn and river offered no help, Steve Harris was the third man to go, along with $2,500 for his charity, Ronald McDonald House, Memphis. Now things really got crazy...
Moments after holding the chip lead with nearly a million on the felt, Aisha saw short-stacked Fred go all-in and suck out a flush on the river, then Mimi go all-in and double up on her with a set of 9's. When Fred went all-in again, and flopped a full house, Aisha screamed "Why won't you die?!" Little did she know, the worst was yet to come. Going all-in an astonishing third consecutive time, Fred caught an ace on the river. Fred jumped for joy as he both continued to "live" and also pushed Aisha to the brink of disaster. It came quickly, as she was forced all-in herself before the next flop with a T-3 against Mimi Rogers' 7-4. When Mimi caught middle pair on the flop, then a second pair on the river, Aisha was done, the first woman out, in third place, with $4,000 for her charity, Child Help USA.
The end came quickly and decisively. Short-stacked after Mimi doubled up on him with aces up, Fred was forced all-in before the flop with J-7. It looked bright, momentarily, as Fred paired when the flop came K-J-T, but after a 4 at the turn, Mimi caught an Ace on the river to give her top pair, and also, top billing, as champion of the first WPT Hollywood Home Game. Fred left with $5,000 to offer his charity, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. A regular at legendary Hollywood agent Norby Walter's long-time home game, Mimi Rogers proved herself a formidable foe, and will now have a seat at the table to try her stuff against the pros, at the WPT World Championship. Add to that $10,000 for her charity, the environmentally conscious Earth Communication Organization, and it's not bad for a night's work. And this is just the first of four WPT Hollywood Home Games. We'll see you at the next one...