Final Thoughts on the Big Game – Courtney Gee Poker Update

Published On: 15 July 2011 / Modified: 29 June 2018
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I wanted to write an entry with my thoughts about the Big Game.

In case you don’t already know, I was recently featured as a Loose Cannon in the second season of the PokerStars Big Game.

Pros at the PokerStars Big Game

Let me first talk about the pros at my table. Back in February I specified my dream line up: “Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Laak, Doyle Brunson, and a rich businessman.”

I have to pat myself on the back and say that three out of five ain’t bad! Both Daniel and Phil were at my table, along with Rick Salomon (the so-called “rich businessman”).

The bad news was that the other two players, Bryn Kenney and Randy Lew, were both poker superstars.

When I found out they were going to be playing, I was not happy since I knew they would make the table even tougher.

I had an extremely fun time, though. The footage that made TV makes it appear I didn’t talk much, and it’s probably because I tend to keep quiet while there’s a hand going on.

In between hands there was a ton of great table talk, though.

I told Rick that I love movie stars, I confessed to Daniel that I would snap marry Bono (that was before I got married, obv), and I called my fiancé an unemployed bum (by accident, though, I swear).

Overall I am happy with how I played. I have received some criticism for playing too tight, and I certainly can’t disagree with this sentiment.

At the time, however, it felt like the right thing to do. The entire table was extremely loose, and I can’t remember any hand that got to me in late position unopened.

I am not a cash player, so playing pots with garbage or without position was certainly asking for trouble. I feel that my strategy gave me the best chance to avoid making big mistakes while waiting for a good opportunity to play a big pot and book a profit.

In as a 4-1 Favorite

In the end I was able to get in the bulk of my stack as a 4 to 1 favorite, which I am extremely happy about. It was very interesting for me to watch my expression on TV as the flop came down because I wasn’t sure how I reacted.

While I looked less stricken than I thought I’d look, my body language clearly showed how disappointed I was. At the time I remember my heart sinking and hearing a collective “ohhhh…” around me from the producers, crew, and Amanda Leatherman.

While I wasn’t particularly looking forward to my shows being aired, I have to say that I am relieved that it’s finally over.

Now people won’t be looking at me trying to guess whether or not I won on the Big Game based on what I am buying, how happy I look, or what tournaments I’m playing!

The biggest thing I learned by participating in the production of a “reality” TV show is that the producers can make people appear any way they want.

I have to admit that I will never watch another TV show again without looking at the way someone is portrayed and wondering, “Is that how she REALLY is in real life? Or did they just want her to appear that way?”

I would like to thank everyone that has supported me since I found out I was selected for the Big Game. Special thanks to Ben Sulsky, Thomas Leudke, and Isuru Silva for giving me hours of help with hand histories and cash game strategy.

Thanks to Melanie Urbanski for helping me make an awesome audition video. Thanks to my husband for all the emotional support. I’m finally back to some online poker this week after two weeks off in Vegas for the WSOP.

I’ll be back next week to let you know how it goes. Good luck at the tables!


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