Tonight, we see former "Party of Five" actors Scott Wolf and Lacey Chabert, comedian Bonnie Hunt, TV series verteran J.K. Simmons and the ever-turtlenecked Robert Wagner. Lacey's a complete rookie (and this episode's obligatory cleavage display, although it lacks the drama of the previous weeks' worth), Wagner's the wily veteran, Simmons is the shark-looking guy, Hunt is an unknown commodity and Wolf is the love child of Mark Hammill and Michael J. Fox.
And as is usually the case, the utter tyro kills the heavy favorite. Chabert's counter-intuitive playing baffles Wagner into two check-raises on one hand and scuttles him early. He's gone within half an hour and sits alone in the Losers' Lounge for almost an hour.
Simmons displays calm, crafty play with strong bets. He and Wolf play head-to-head for at least four straight hands, exhanging comparable pots while Hunt and Chabert drip chips before quick folds.
Hormones ahoy! Hunt is beguiled by the young Wolf, and they flirt shamelessly. Wagner is probably saving himself from a lawsuit by going into the Lounge, putting as much distance possible between him and Chabert, whom he compliments a bit too much. When she busts out next, they at least have the goofy presences of Foley and Gordon to kill any thoughts of neon-color-couch sex.
With 30 minutes to go, Simmons owns the board with over $40,000 in chips compared to Hunt and wolf's combined $6,000. Wolf is down to his last $100 before long and wows the poker gods with four straight winning hands and finds himself with a sizable pile before Hunt takes his chips. And then she shocks the world by snaring the vast majority of Simmons chips in a short burst of hands. He is put out of his misery, and she advances. But before he goes, Simmons has broken Bravo ground by saying both "p****" and "c***" (no, not THAT "C***") and they are not censored.
It's a breezy show this week, unmarred by desperate comics and faded stars (wagner is dashing but quiet).
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker