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Mar 07, 2014

Weekly Flop: Adelstein out of Survivor, NBC drops HU Championship, Pelton Decision Too Harsh?

By RTR Dennis

Garrett Adelstein Survivor Rake The Rake

Garrett Adelstein Survivor RakeTheRake

After much hype, poker's Garrett Adelstein didn't make it off the first episode of Survivor... The NBC National Heads-Up Championship returned last year, however, it won't be back in 2014... Chan Pelton paid the ultimate price for stealing a chip in a WSOP Circuit event, but was the penalty too harsh? Let's answer this question and discuss the other stories in the Weekly Flop.

Garrett Adelstein voted off on First Episode of Survivor: Cagayan
The 28th season of Survivor recently debuted, and the poker community had a vested interest as the hit CBS show traveled to Cagayan. Garrett Adelstein, an online poker pro and trainer, was looking to make a run at the $1 million top prize. And given that he studied the show for 2,000 hours beforehand, it seemed very likely that he'd do pretty well.

But despite all of the preparation time, Adelstein was the second player voted off on the two-hour season premiere. It was clear from the beginning that the "Brains Tribe" saw Adelstein as a threat. Miami Marlins President David Samson tabbed him as the weakest member of the tribe, however, it was obvious that Adelstein was physically the strongest. After being tabbed the weakest, Adelstein had to search for a hidden immunity idol that he could use to remain on the show.

From here, the poker pro was able to convince his tribe to vote Samson off when they lost an immunity/rewards challenge. In the second hour of the show, Adelstein established himself as the leader of the group and also a hard worker. But the Brains Tribe lost yet another immunity challenge, thanks to J'Tia. When Adelstein pushed to have J'Tia eliminated, the rest of the tribe got tired of being bossed around and instead voted him off. It was a short-lived run on the show for Adelstein and his biggest mistake was being too aggressive by trying to dictate both eliminations.

NBC National Heads-Up Championship won't be back in 2014
After not running in 2012, the NBC National Heads-Up Championship made a triumphant return last year. And the tournament certainly didn't disappoint, with Mike Matusow beating Phil Hellmuth heads-up for the $750,000 top prize.

But for the second time in three years, the Heads-Up Championship won't take place. Mori Eskandani, president of POKER PROductions, made the announcement and gave no reason why NBC chose not to renew the 64-player tournament this year.

The reason why the tournament was cancelled in 2012 was due to a lack of sponsors after the events of Black Friday. As for what the problem is in 2014, we'll be interested to hear the details. But not everything is doom and gloom, though, because Eskandani did say that there's "good reason to believe that the future of the series will be bright." He added that we can expect "some really exciting news" about the tournament in the near future.

Chan Pelton banned for Life - Was It Necessary?
Last month, one of the biggest poker stories involved Chan Pelton stealing a $25k chip from a WSOP Circuit $1,125 NLHE tournament. Already a two-time WSOPC champion, Pelton was about to finish off his heads-up opponent, Chris Bolek, and grab a third title when he took the $25k chip from his stack. Tournament officials and cameras caught this and Pelton was left explaining that he merely wanted a souvenir of his victory.

Some posters on TwoPlusTwo didn't buy it, though, claiming that he intended to use the chip in the upcoming $1,675 Main Event. The WSOP didn't take a stance on Pelton's intentions, instead pointing out that he was clearly in violation of the rules. They, along with the Palm Beach Kennel Club (tournament's location), stripped Pelton of his title and $47,061 top prize, and they also banned him from Caesars properties for life.

Does the punishment fit the crime here? In a poll on TwoPlusTwo, only 39.90% of the voters "completely agreed" with the decision, while 15.03% voted that they "completely disagreed" with the punishment. 36% of the other voters picked a punishment that only banned Pelton for one year. Maybe the WSOP was trying to send a message here. But it's clear that not everybody in the poker community is in agreement with what was decided.