Online Poker is Rigged... uh... Celebrity Apprentice is Rigged

Ultimate Bet ultimate user, Annie Duke, discovered what it's liked to be in a Cereusly rigged poker game. With an outcome that was predetermined no matter what the flop or the turn were... Rivers won. That seems to be the story in all the poker sites coverage of Celebrity Apprentice. And yes, they use equally bad and unoriginal poker analogies.

Annie did everything right and got bad-beated (won't be the last one). Worse yet, with a Trump relative or in-law (as I've seen written) on the board of Joan River's charity, everybody knew it was going to happen. Also, suddenly with monster fund-raiser Annie going up against Joan Rivers, a woman who's been in show business since people wore the current state of her face as a mask in Vaudeville, yet has no deep pocketed friends to speak of (save perhaps Trump himself), the criteria was skewed in Joan's favor. Suddenly, it wasn't just about raising money for charity it was about decor and other ambiguous factors.

Then when Annie was going to crush Joan in design, suddenly the design team quits on Annie, the evidence starts to pile up like a 2+2 spreadsheet the fix was in. They also said Joan had more Celebrities. What? She had none, she had celebrity impersonators. Kathy Griffin, who also makes her money impersonating a real celebrity, and admits to being on the d-list trumps Bernard Hopkins (considering Trump is a judge and he's a boxing fan)? I don't think so.

There are good reasons to say Rivers won because it was rigged, but let's go deeper into the finale, and perhaps there is more to it.

Let's not ignore the fact, just about everybody asked who should win... said Joan Rivers. Including Piers Morgan, the smarmy Brit from the year before that was almost as into fellow egomaniac Annie Duke as he is into himself just one episode ago. Course he based his "informed" opinion on the criteria that was obviously weighted in Joan's favor.

Here is something I didn't realize until just last night. Everybody thinks Joan won because she was the good guy. But I think Trump could cover his ass, and say he picked Joan because she was the BAD guy (I started this thought in Wicked Chops' comments section).

In the board room, Joan Rivers would destroy Annie verbally and then Annie would calmly try to point that out. Joan Rivers would then talk over her with (false)righteous indignation and accuse Annie of doing the very thing Joan was doing. Which was comical. Annie wouldn't say anything and Joan would berate her for berating her and insulting her. At first, I thought how is it Trump is missing this? I'd love to play Trump in online poker if that was the case. America is stupid (no offense Red, White, and Blue) so I get how most of them missed it, but isn't this obvious to the Donald, I asked myself.

Some would say, it was obvious and he chose to ignore it because the fix was in. Which may be true, and every poker site seems to be saying that, but that rings a little hollow like every time a poker player gets bad beated he thinks he got cheated. No, it happens and once you get deeper into it, there could be a good reason Trump picked Rivers that actually makes sense and is consistent with decisions he's made in the past.

It was obvious, Annie maintained class the entire time (in the board room). It was not until last night that I realized that was a bad tactic. She thought business was about having class and being above the name-calling but that was an error in judgment. Duke thought, like poker, results are everything... BUT for Trump that's not always the case.

Trump mistakes name-calling and insults for being a stronger player, so you can see perhaps Annie was mistaken in how to appeal to the Don. She suggested Joan would be fired in any board room in America for her behavior (which is a solid appeal to rationality) but perhaps the exception is Trump's boardroom.

Certainly, seems to be a pattern in his TV boardrooms. Piers the year before ripped his opponents as badly as Joan did and won, so maybe Annie made a mistake in strategy by taking the high road. You could argue Don didn't pick Joan not because he got snowed into believing she was the Good Guy (like the viewing audience did) but because he recognize she was the Bad Guy.

Similar evidence, Brandi Rhoderick didn't get saved until she screamed at people and showed a spine, something Melissa Rivers never did until outside the boardroom, and Annie refused to do inside of it. Joan Rivers was on blast the entire time. The Don seems to think in your face conveys competence because that's the way he does business.

From that perspective, Trump is an open book about who advances in his game. Omarosa, the first season's reality show villain, we all thought stuck around way too long merely because she was good for ratings but maybe that wasn't the reason. Perhaps, we made the same mistake with Piers Morgan last year, and Joan Rivers this year, and the truth of the matter is they stuck around because as Trump says nice guys finish last.

Cut-throat Annie Duke's fault was she chose not to be transparently cut-throat in front of Trump.

Or... it was fixed and Annie never had a shot. It's AK vs. QQ (told you there'd be more bad poker analogies).

Sidenote: if anybody has a screen grab of when Annie got slowrolled and Trump made her think she'd won, where she lights up like a Christmas tree, before he tells her she's fired and it takes her a second to process it, please forward it to me. Like getting kicked in the balls, it's funny because it happened to someone else.

In the end, I've read enough bad things about the way Annie handles people, saw enough of it as she berated her team members, to not really care that she lost. I've seen people so upset they said they'll never watch NBC again (and miss the office? I don't think so). Which boggles my mind, Annie Duke lost a game show on the whim of the arbiter of the game show, because he picks the winner based on whims.

There was nobody to root for and the only intriguing thing all year was to see the Rivers blow up like Phil Hellmuth. I thought Duke did a much better job defending her profession and her fellow players last night, and I rooted for her only because of the way Rivers ripped the entire industry. She's is still one of ours, and we have to back her. And, I have. But, I don't care if she won or lost. But I care if she represented poker well and that was what I rooted for her to do.

While, taking the high road MIGHT have been a losing strategy I think it reflected well on her and poker when in the boardroom. However, she undermined that entirely by saying she wanted Rivers to die outside the boardroom, and being two-faced about saying niceties in front of trump and then ripping the woman any time there is a camera on her.

In fact, being duplicitous actually caused her to fail in both regards. The public never took to her because there was a lot of truth in half of the insults Joan flung at Annie. Had Annie been able to take the high road the ENTIRE TIME the camera was on, she might have still lost but the public would have been behind her more and seen poker in a more favorable light. She couldn't do that, and I think to a degree failed us as representative. As much as I would enjoy watching Hellmuth or Layne Flack on a reality show, if our in-laws are ever going to accept our profession we need some stiffs like Andy Bloch or Jesus Ferguson representing us to the rest of the world.

Why is it important? You know it's bad when Tom Green thinks poker players are beneath him. He told Rodman, "I just got yelled at by a... poker player." This is a guy who made his living dressing up in a padded suit and bashing his genitals with a bat in front of people and saying "Crotch, crotch, crotch. Crotch, crotch, crotch." That's a bad beat.


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