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Laak champions Liebert in GSN's Poker Royale
The series pit The James Woods Gang against The Unabombers, the former led by James Woods and the latter by Phil Laak. The poker showdown was filmed at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California, and featured pros and celebrities battling it out for a $75,000 prize pot and bragging rights. Team captains chose their own teams.
The James Woods Gang included pros Kathy Liebert, Ted Forrest and Susie Isaacs along with TV stars Bob Goen ("Entertainment Tonight") and Nichole Sullivan ("MADtv"). The Unabombers' line-up featured pro players Cyndy Violette and Hassan Habib and TV stars Danny Masterson ("That 70's Show") and Gail O'Grady ("NYPD Blue"). Actor turned pro player Jennifer Tilly also played for boyfriend Laak's team. The series was hosted by John Ahlers with Lisa Dergan as sideline reporter. Pro poker player Robert Williamson III provided commentary.
Team captains hand picked team members to participate in each qualifying match, with each player competing in a minimum of 3 games. Players earned points based on where they finished; First place earned 10 points, second received 8, third got 6, fourth earned 4, and fifth received 2. The team with the most points had chip count advantage at the start of final table play.
The pros obviously outshined the TV stars, with Liebert, Woods and Forrest representing "The James Woods Gang" and Laak, Habib, and Violette playing for "The Unabombers" at the final table. This was Laak's second win in Poker Royale. He won "Poker Royale: Comedians Vs. Pros" this past September, beating out 12 other players. Liebert is also a two-time GSN Poker Royale champion, and was the highest point earner on her team upon entering the final round of play.
"The James Woods Gang Vs. The Unabombers in Poker Royale" is part of GSN's Casino Night series, which airs every Friday at 10 p.m. (EST/PST).