Watch! Big names sent home as GGPoker's Game of Gold heats up

GGPoker's Game of Gold
Mo Afdhal
Posted on: November 17, 2023 06:35 PST

Game of Gold continues to impress after Episode 4 of the show dropped on Friday. The program's well-received debut set the foundation for the series and now it's all about watching the game unfold.

If you haven't seen Friday's episode--don't panic--watch the video below and then carry on reading.

Episode 4 saw the end of the first challenge and the competition's first casualties. Shockingly, it was Team Clubs that hit the showers first. The powerhouse lineup of Daniel Negreanu, Jason Koon, Michael Soyza, and Kevin Martin couldn't get anything going in any of their Sit & Go appearances. Combined, the players on Team Clubs boast well over $100 million in career tournament earnings, but all that experience at the highest level couldn't save them from short-term variance.

As Koon made his exit in the final round, Martin exclaimed, "Can we win a f***ing all-in, all week? Can we win one?"

Evidently not, K-Mart, better luck next year!

The elimination of Team Clubs came as a great relief to the other participants. In one fell swoop, several of the front-runners to win the whole thing are out for good. As Maria Ho said, "I think everybody is happy to see such a strong team, like Team Clubs, gone. I think that really opens the path for a lot of us to have a really good chance of winning."

The Good

Team Spades continues to win over the hearts and minds of the poker community. Their upbeat, energetic attitude to the competition makes it easy to root for any one of them. The dynamic, and loud, duo of Charlie Carrel and Johan Guilbert may ruffle some feathers, but we love these guys--and their accents. Fedor Holz's stoic, quiet leadership kept the team grounded and Nikita Luther's unyielding positivity kept their spirits high.

Game of Gold

In Episode 3, Daniel 'Jungleman' Cates catches up on sleep for half of the airtime. In fairness, it wasn't his turn to play and jet-lag can be a real pain in the ass. Remember, the show's taping took place in South Korea, so we've got to cut Jungleman some slack here. Still, it's hilarious to see him fall deeper into his slumber in each of the Team Diamonds cutaways.

$456,000 goes to the winner of Game of Gold. The number seems oddly specific at first glance, but, and this admittedly went way over this writer's head, the top prize borrows directly from Netflix's massively popular Squid Game. In that show, 456 gameshow contestants compete for a winner-take-all prize. The same number runs through both the Mr Beast version (first prize $456,000) and the new Netflix reality show (456 runners, $4.56 million prize).

The teaser for next Monday's episode. It looks like the next installment of the show will see tempers flare and barbs thrown. The snippets shown in the teaser feature several players having a go at one another--verbally, off the felt. That's the kind of reality television drama that we're here for, so bring it on. The next episode airs Monday on GGPoker's YouTube channel and it might just be the best one yet.

The Bad

Andy Stacks and David Williams double up on the awkward hug-handshake-dap. It happens first at the end of Episode 3 and then again at the end of Episode 4. These are always tough to watch, one guy goes in for the handshake, the other goes arms wide for the hug. Who yields first? (In this case, it was Stacks, both times.) Shake it off, Andy, we've all been there.

GGs. What's up with this? Sure, it's a common phrase and a courteous way to handle either victory or defeat, but do we really need the players to say it every thirty seconds? Maybe GGPoker slipped in a mandatory GG quota into the contestant contracts? Whatever it is, it's just a bit too much, let's mix it up.

Team Clubs being the first to go probably wasn't on anyone's bingo board and it's actually a big loss for the show. Negreanu, far and away one of the most well-known, well-respected members of the community, and Koon, the end-boss of every high roller field, were two of the most skilled contestants poker-wise. Carrell put it bluntly in his cutaway, saying, "Daniel and Jason are out--that makes the chances of coming first place so much higher."