Survivor
All-Star Reunion

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The Rupert Show Returns

Lex, unsurprisingly, still is not done. "This ain't chess, Rich," he says dismissively. Dude. It is exactly chess, with bigger pawns that are, in many cases, more wooden. Jeff says that when they come back, they'll be talking about whether the game is like other games or not, and he brings up poker. Which is good, because that's the best analogy in my mind. One of my good friends is a poker genius, and I will tell you this right now: if I played poker with him, he would do everything in his power to take every penny I had, and if it meant trying to be funny, or charming, or take advantage of things he knows about me because we're friends, or whatever the hell else? He would do it. Because that's how competitive people are. And if I went to play poker with him, that is what I would expect. And if I wasn't ready to expect that, I wouldn't play. If you don't want to compete against your friends, that's totally valid, and might be pretty smart. But if you do it and you later discover you don't like it, that doesn't make them wrong for being able to handle it, because the fact is that they're following the deal that was struck at the beginning, and you're not. You know why Lex thinks this is different, in my view? Because of the amount of money involved. Ask yourself this: if they were playing for charity, and the charity of the winner got $100,000, but the actual winner only got a gift certificate for a steak dinner, do you think Lex would be so exercised, or do you think he would be able to see it as a game, just like poker or chess? Because I think he would. And if it's the presence of a million dollars that makes it not a real game, then again it's Lex, not Rob, who sold the friendship. For "greenbacks," you know. And a case of moonshine.

But anyway, they take a break, and when they return, Jeff is talking about how the game is complicated because they're dealing with relationships and so forth. Wait, I meant "relationships." Jeff makes the extremely apt comparison to bluffing in poker. He also starts to chip away at the utter hypocrisy of the Rob-resenters on the jury, starting by calling out Kathy on the fact that as she was talking about what to do about Rob's suggestion, she mentioned that she didn't want (strategically) to suffer Rob's wrath. Kathy acknowledges that they were hoping Rob would look favorably on them if they kept Amber. But she insists, again, that it was partly the friendship. Kathy smugly says that she knows Rob, and that she knows that one day he will be able to admit that the favor was requested outside the game.

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Survivor

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