The fourth episode of Game of Gold saw some of the best action of the series so far, as four layers from the 16 who entered the intoxicating mix of reality and poker bade a fond farewell to their opponents.
Having enjoyed the introduction of the poker superstars in Episode 1 of the new hybrid poker sensation from GGPoker and Poker After Dark, watched as the tension ramped up in Episode 2 and witnessed huge drama in Episode 3, we couldn’t wait for Episode 4. In this episode, we found out which team would lose Round 1 and their chances of winning the $456,000 top prize.
In this and every article in this series, we’ll be discussing the episode of the title as well as any and all episodes leading up to it. We won’t be spoiling any further into the series, so if you’ve only made it this far, don’t worry, you won’t find out anything you don’t want to about the drama to come.
Now… let’s get to the GOLD in this week’s episode.
Koon on the Attack
“This is an amazing bet…he’s not calling.”
Heading into the final match, here were the total rankings of each individual with Jason Koon, Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates, David Williams and Fedor Holz yet to change on 20 coins due to being involved in the final match.
Jason Koon knew that he needed to get the outright win to take Team Clubs through to the next round and the West Virginian went into play with an extremely attacking fashion. He lost an early pot to David Williams, but things turned around a little in a hand between Koon and Jungleman. On a flop of , Jungle looked to have hit gin with .
“Team anything but Broccoli,” said Charlie Carrel referring to Koon’s team, featuring as it does, Daniel ‘Kid Poker’ Negreanu, a famous vegan. “Die, Broccoli, Die.”
Koon’s called a bet of 70,000 on the turn and it paid off, with a river giving Koon the best of it.
“That is what we call gin.” Said Negreanu cheering on Koon to save his own Game of Gold life. Cates bet 210,000 and Koon quickly called to rake in a big pot.
It was to get better for Koon – this time at David Williams’ expense. A board of saw Koon again have the better hand but this time it was with a weak holding of . Williams made a big bet of 350,000 chips, creating a pot of 750,000 and Koon had a huge call to make against Williams’ inferior .
Somehow, Koon made the hero call.
“I only beat ten-nine,’ said Koon.
“This is an amazing bet,” said Josh Arieh, rooting on teammate Jungleman. “He’s not calling.”
But he did call. A superb call, and Williams credited him with a great piece of play.
“And he gave broccoli life.” Quipped Charlie.
“That’s what people need to be aware of… I’m never finished.”
A big hand between David Williams and Fedor Holz changed the direction of the fourth match as Williams held and Holz had . A flop of saw Holz call a c-bet, but Williams gave up on the turn without a spade. Holz sniffed out weakness, however, and although he checked behind, the river saw drama.
“I don’t think David can bet this.” Said Maria Ho. But she was wrong, as Williams, a former WSOP Main Event runner-up shoved all-in, and put Holz to the test. Holz made the right fold, but Williams had won a big pot, not knowing that he was bluffing with the best hand.
Dan Cates was behind in both cards and chips when he shoved with . Williams rightly called with but with 1.9 million chips in the pot, Jungle got lucky, a board of giving him trip tens to double him back to starting stack and hit Williams hard. Had Williams won the pot, he would have had close to 5 million chips with only 8 million in total on the table.
“It may have seemed like I was gone or finished, but that’s when I bounce right back. That’s what people need to be aware of… I’m never finished.”
In the next screened hand, Koon’s was an easy raise up to 120,000 chips. Fedor Holz woke up with and shoved, so Koon snapped him off. The flop of flipped the script to the horror of Team Clubs and after the turn and river, Koon was down to 1.1 million and in huge trouble.
It would not be Koon who busted first. Jungleman had and was in real trouble on a board of . Fedor Holz had and bet 280,000 into a pot of just over a million chips. Jungle grimaced and used a time chip in the form of one of his coins. As David Williams spoke, Jungle’s time ran out and his hand was automatically folded.
“Please, next time, don’t talk in the middle of the hand.” Jungle asked Williams, who apologised to his fellow pro.
“We saved you some money, didn’t we?” Koon said.
Fedor Holz wouldn’t reveal whether he had or not.
“It’s so tilting.” Said Jungle.
It got a lot worse for Jungle, as little did he know it, he was outflopped trips over trips by Holz again. Jungle’s was no good against Holz’ on the flop of . After both players checked, the turn led to a bet of 270,000 from Jungle. Holz called and, as Jungle looked like steam might start pouring out of his ears, the river landed. Jungle bet almost all of his stack, Holz snap-called and crippled his American opponent.
One Time Never Comes
“They were favorites for the whole thing.”
Koon lost a big one when dominated by David Williams and had to find a spot to shove. was good enough to do just that for 610,000. It was good enough for Team Clubs, who cheered on their man against his caller, Holz, with . The board was a nightmare for Koon, coming to sent Koon – and his team – out in Round 1.
“Can we win one all-in one time?” said Koon’s teammate Kevin Martin. “The chips have never come back to us!”
“They were favorites for the whole thing.” Olga Iermolcheva said in the green room shared by Team Heart.
“The scenarios that played out for our team were pretty uncomfortable from start to finish,” said Jason Koon after his disappointing exit.
Jungle followed him soon after, as after being down to just a small blind, his bottom pair was beaten by David Williams’ flopped flush.
“I think my team will be happy considering there wasn’t lot I could have done,” the enigmatic Jungle declared. “Guess what, just because you’re behind and they deal you some bad hands, doesn’t mean you can’t come second to last.”
Williams Gets the Win, The Clubs Depart
“I feel dirty because I got lucky.”
David Williams was all-in and at risk with against the dominant Fedor Holz for Team Spade with . A board of saw Williams double with some fortune into the lead, holding 4.7m chips to the 3.3m stacked in front of Holz.
All-in with , Holz was suddenly at risk and dominated by Williams’ . A board of sent the German out in second but he wasn’t disheartened.
“I won a really important all-in against Jason earlier,” he said. “I’d like to have come first, but [second] is a good outcome.”
“I feel dirty because I got lucky,” conceded Williams after celebrating with his team. I think I played well and I’m proud of myself.”
Maria Ho was devastatingly honest in talking about Team Club departing.
“Let’s be honest, I think everybody is happy to see such a strong team gone,” she said. “It opens the path for a lot of us to have a chance to win.”
“Daniel and Jason are gone – that’s makes the chances of winning so much higher.” Agreed Charlie Carrel.
As Team club – consisting of Daniel Negreanu, Kevin Martin, Michael Soyza and Jason Koon said their goodbyes, Koon himself put it best about what he and the other players enjoyed.
“Something as simple as not having your phone for four hours and just watching your buddies play poker was really enjoyable format.”
Only 12 players remain as Round 2 begins…and things are about to get emotional.
Watch Episode 4, entitled Do or Die in full right here: