Hollywood Home Game V
|Dates||Jun 24, 2004|
|Final Table Date||Jun 24, 2004|
|Number of Entrants||6|
|Prize Pool||$25,000 Entry to WPT World Championship|
The third season kicks off in style with a fresh episode of the WPT’s popular Hollywood Home Game. Playing for their favorite charities, six celebs from every corner of the entertainment industry came into this No-Limit Texas Hold‘Em battle keenly aware of the additional prize - a guaranteed $25,000 seat at the WPT World Championship at Bellagio, awarded to the sole survivor.
In Seat 1, Kevin Weisman, one of the stars of Alias, (as well as drummer for the notorious hillbilly rock band Trainwreck). In Seat 2, the handsome star of Scream, Skeet Ulrich. In Seat 3, the animated and scrumptious Mena Suvari, who shot to fame (with her well-placed rose petals) in the Oscar-winning film American Beauty. In Seat 4, indefatigable star and legend, William Shatner. In Seat 5, arguably the loveliest MTV veejay ever, the current Miss Universe host, Daisy Fuentes. And in Seat 6, the ever-popular king of the game shows, Chuck Woolery.
Right from the top, this was a raucous, actiony group, with William Shatner doubling up on Chuck Woolery, who stuck with a bluff too long in the face of Shatner’s pair. But the story of the night was really Kevin Weisman’s. The diminutive funny-man took control of the table early with good cards, good reads, and good flops, and looked poised to run away with it. But as often happens in Hollywood stories, this one’s got a twist, too...
While it looked, early on, that game show maven Chuck Woolery would be the first to go to the rail, it was actually Havana born beauty Daisy Fuentes who ran aground first. After using her Red Card to consult with wily WPT pros and consultants Daniel “Kid Poker" Negreanu and Paul “the Truth" Darden, Daisy took down a decent pot from Skeet and Mena when she made a flush. But in the next hand, she found Ah-Qc, and limped in with it, along with Skeet, Kc-9d, Kevin Qd-Td, and Mr. Shatner, Ks-3h, in the blind. When the flop came Tc-7c-3d, Kevin came out firing with his top pair, raising to 20,000. After Skeet and Bill folded, Daisy called, unwilling to give up on her nice starting hand even after not flopping to it. A Js at the turn gave her an inside straight draw, and after Kevin brought it in for a meek 15,000, Daisy went all-in over the top on a semi-bluff. Kevin accurately assessed the situation and called. When Jc hit on the river, Daisy exclaimed, “it sucks to be the first one out," on her way to the loser’s lounge in 6th place, taking $1,500 for her charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
Next on the block came Chuck Woolery, who was on fumes pretty much since his early beatdown by Shatner. Chuck, with Qs-8s and only one blind left, 16,000, pushed it all in. Kevin gave him action and limped with 3h-4h in the small blind, and Shatner checked, with 6c-6d in the big blind. Flop came Ah-8d-6h, giving Shatner trip 6’s, Chuck middle pair, and Kevin the heart baby flush draw. Now in the side pot, Shatner led out for 20,000 and Kevin called. A remarkable 6s on the turn gave Shatner unbeatable quads, but when he brought it in for a “please call me" 50,000, Kevin smelled a rat and smartly scrammed. That left Chuck, who was mowed under even before the unnecessary river card, and he went to the rail in 5th place, with $2,000 for his charity, Safe Passage.
Shortly after, Mena limped with Qc-8c, followed by Shatner, with Kd-2d, and Kevin, with 6h-3c in the blind. The flop came Ac-Qh-Jc, giving Mena middle pair and a club flush draw, and Shatner the nut straight draw. Perhaps trying to protect it, Shatner pushed his semi-bluff all-in, prompting Kevin to fold, and Mena to wave the Red Card. After the briefest of visits, both Negreanu and Darden urged her to gamble on her two way draw, which she did. Moments later, when the board went Js, 6d, improving neither, out went the great William Shatner in 4th place, along with $2,500 for his longtime cause, the Wells Fargo Hollywood Charity Horse Show.
Skeet had been laying in the weeds most of the night waiting for some decent cards. He finally ran into some, and fortunately while he still had a little capital to work with, first winning with A-K offsuit, then, in the very next hand, looking down to find wired Aces! Deciding to slow play them, he limped on the button, as did Mena, with Ad-4c in the small blind, and Kevin, with 5c-2c in the big. When the flop came Ac-8c-3s, Skeet never even flinched. Mena, thinking her top pair was good, brought it in for 80,000. Kevin, again smelling trouble, laid down his baby flush/inside straight draw, and Skeet, sand-bagging, smooth called his trip A’s. When the turn came 5d, Skeet was overjoyed to have Mena move all-in in front of him! He called quickly, and looked poised to go head up with Kevin. But as so often happens in this game, fate was unkind, and the river came 2s, making Mena’s miracle straight, and knocking Skeet out in 3rd place. It’s an old poker saw, but it still cuts true: win a small pot with pocket aces, or lose a big one – slow play them at your peril. That Skeet did, heading to the tunnel with $4,000 for his charity, Impacto del Amor, a branch of the Corazon de Vida Foundation.
Kevin’s only big mistake had come earlier, when he misread the board after the turn, thinking there were four to the straight out, and he folded trip 7’s to Mena. It’s unclear how big a difference it would’ve made, but it might have crippled Mena, who had confidently bet her pocket 9’s into a board of 8d-7c-3s, 5d. Nonetheless, it now came down to these two game and crafty competitors, with Mena owning a decent lead due to Skeet’s cracked aces, 840,000 to 660,000. Again, Mena caught a huge break when Kevin had her outkicked with As-8c to her Ah-4s, and the board went Ac-Ad-6d, Kd. Kevin went over the top of her turn raise, all-in, and she called. One card from a crippling chip lead, a K on the river turned Kevin’s crippler into a split pot. After that, Mena wasted no time taking it to Kevin, raising big and often, and quickly his stack was in jeopardy.
Down to it with the blinds up to 50,000 and 100,000, Kevin found 9s-8d, and pushed his last 150,000 all-in. Mena rightly called the extra 50 grand, with Th-3h, and was instantly rewarded when the first card off was Tc, followed by 6s-2h, giving her top pair. The board then went Ac, Qs, and just like that, the twist was complete: Kevin Weisman, frontrunner, was cut down in 2nd place, with a generous $5,000 for his charity, the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Fund. And taking the title of Hollywood Home Game Champion, as well as the coveted $25,000 seat at the season-ending WPT World Championship at Bellagio, was the lovely and dangerous Mena Suvari, who also delivered a healthy $10,000 for her charity, the Starlight Children’s Foundation.