This weekend, Poker Night in America was back with their second installment of the King of the Hill Series.
This weekend, Poker Night in America was back with their second installment of the King of the Hill Series. This winner take all contest pits 4 of the world's top no limit players against each other in a series of heads up matches. The semi-finals consists of a couple two on two matches in a best 2 of 3 series. This narrows the field to the final two, who compete for the title of King of The Hill. Each player puts up $50,000 of their own money, so the besides a badass wrestling-style championship belt, the winner walks away with a cool $200k.
The Premier Episode
The premier episode of King of the Hill featured Dan "Jungleman" Cates vs. Frank Casella and Doug Polk vs. Phil Hellmuth. Jungleman and Polk, as heads up specialists, were the clear favorites to move onto the finals. But while Cates swiftly defeated Casella, Hellmuth pulled off a surprise upset and used his "white magic" to beat Polk. An even bigger shock came when Hellmuth came back from a very short stack to beat Jungleman in their tiebreaker match, which featured Cates folding trip tens to an all in bluff by Hellmuth. After his victory on the premier episode, the Poker Brat was back this weekend to defend his title in the second installment.
The New Cast
Besides Hellmuth, the newest episode featured a fun new cast of characters, including his competition for the semifinals, big name Twitch streamer Parker "tonkaaaap" Talbott. The other semifinal match included Shaun Deeb, famous for his obnoxious slowrolls, against Olivier Busquet. Busquet is a heads up legend and I took him on a couple times in $1k HUSNGs pre-Black Friday, when he played under the name livb112. I lost. It took a little time, but livb swept Deeb and would play the winner of the Hellmuth/Talbott match in the finals. Hellmuth came out swinging and won the first match, but in the end Tonkaaaa took down the other matches and moved onto the finals. Unlike the previous episode, both favorites made it to the finals of this match and if skill had anything to do with it, Olivier should have defeated Talbott handily. And he did, with another 2 match sweep. Needless to say, Busquet was happy with his victory and so were his fans. He is a funny, humble guy who is great for and great at the game of poker. He will be defending his title in episode 3 on October 25 with a great lineup including fellow heads up specialist and current favorite, Dan Colman.
One great thing about poker is the characters. You don't often hear about what pro athletes do after the matches, but poker players keep the cameras rolling. After the match and presumably some heavy drinking, the contestants were hanging out and decided to make some side bets on whether Phil Hellmuth could make a 3-point shot without warming up first. I won't spoil the action, but check out the video below as the players blow off some steam after the match with hijinks.
Even More Fun!
I would be negligent if I didn't mention the break-out star of the episode, Pete "Manz" Manzinelli. The Manz and I have a lot in common. We both come from a comedy background, and have moved into a style of poker journalism that includes talking shit and heavy drinking. He represents PokerTube, and online site where you can easily search for poker content. They discovered him from his hilarious DFS videos and his poker videos are even funnier. I highly recommend doing a search for them. You will not be disappointed. Manzinelli's role on this episode was to act as sideline reporter and he stole the show from host, Doug Polk, with his wild pre and post-game interviews. But where he truly shined was when him and Polk had to kill a half hour of airtime during a dinner break. I insist that you watch this video, including The Manz forcing Polk to chug a beer and coining his newest moniker, One Chug Doug. Seriously, I insist.
50 Thank You Tickets
You can see the first two episodes of Poker Night in America in their entirety on PNIA's Twitch channel, www.twitch.tv/pokernighttv. And don't forget to follow me on Twitch as well at www.twitch.tv/scotlenter so you can see me try and compete with the Manz for the funniest, drunkest poker content provider in all the land! Which leads us to our contest for this week. I am giving away 50 Thank You Freeroll tickets to people who comment below. What do you guys think of Pete Manzinelli's videos? Will he be the next big name in poker? Entries must be received by Thursday at 9AM EST to qualify.