Celebrity Apprentice: Joan Rivers on Poker Players

by , Apr 27, 2009 | 7:18 am

I almost missed Celebrity Apprentice last night until I got a text from a poker pro friend:

I’m watching the bitch on the apprentice

… to which I responded:

you mean the woman who would be impressive to you if she were a man?

I didn’t really like her response to the Hitler jokes last week, nor her gratuitous blowjob promotion. (Strong means weak.) But now I think I understand why she’s not just brushing off comedic comparisons to the historical model for evil tyrants. After all, whether you like her or not, she is poker’s biggest ambassador right now … and when Joan Rivers let her have it this week, it wasn’t just an assault on her, it was an attack on all the poker people she represents:

Hmm, interesting … though one might refute the blood-money comment by looking at Joan Rivers’ love for African diamonds vs. Annie’s work for Darfur, the question it really raises: So what poker player did Joan Rivers sleep with in Las Vegas in the ’70s? Because that’s what she’s really saying here, right? She thought she was falling for a sexy badboy — it was so much fun while he was winning! — but then he explained the concept of a bad beat, she fronted his next couple buy-in, and poof! … he suddenly disappeared. I think I recognize the storyline from 2+2.

For the a little more context around Joan Rivers’ anti-poker tirade — and to hear Annie get called, essentially, a “Nazi pit viper piece of shit whore scum” — check out the extended clip here.

(And be sure to check out the non-pokery YouTubers’ comments as a reminder of how many still see her/us.)

48 Comments to “Celebrity Apprentice: Joan Rivers on Poker Players”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    According to her wiki, she was opening act for Helen Reddy in the 70’s. Joan seems to think poker player = mobster for whatever reason. Is it safe to say we could blame Sailor Roberts for this?

  2. Ken

    I’ve often heard poker players and comedians bashed in the same vain for their late night, underground and oft times seedy relationships. I don’t buy any of that but found it interesting that a truly washed up comedian would lash out at someone who didn’t have to dive so low during her career learning curve. Don’t you just love personal attacks when they can’t come up with something legitimate to say?!

  3. DanM

    I wonder what we’d be saying and the only quote the video showed was Annie saying “poker players are the most awesome people in the world.”

  4. Ed

    Kevin, we can blame “Tilt”. 🙂

  5. California Jen

    I am almost left speechless by Joan and Melissa, the latter for her immaturity and Joan for her venom and irrationality. Unreal.

  6. G-Squared

    I think the worst part of Joan’s tirade is that there are a lot of non-poker playing viewers who probably still believe that poker = organized crime. It makes it so much harder to get legislation passed in support of poker when you have to overcome people’s closed-minded perceptions. For that to be aired on a popular show like Celeb Apprentice is a set back when you consider that most of the viewers probably don’t watch any televised poker where they can see the skill level and game explained by Mike Sexton, Gabe Kaplan, Lon McEachern and Norman Chad. I have to give kudos to Annie though for maintaining her cool after all the vicious personal attacks.

  7. Uncle Ray

    Joan dissed all poker players last week. What really got me was how sore losers they are.

    1) It’s a GAME!!!
    2) It was the same thing last week when Melissa defended her mother and her mother’s team even though they were supposed to be competing AGAINST each other.

    Melissa was more concerned with Joan surviving than protecting herself and when it jumped up and bit her she had a tantrum.

    And you can see where she got it from. Why should Trump keep Joan if she was walking out because her daughter was eliminated.

    How many people before this were eliminated, yet none of them had that kind of fit when they were kicked out? Nobaody was that much of a baby!

  8. Marvin C

    First, Reality shows are not real. They are edited and although might not be scripted, they are encouraged. They are like wrestling. Did anyone see the Hulk Hogan divorce coming?

    The celebrity appentaice players are all C-List or worse. Annie is completely unknown outside the poker world. Of the two shows, the two smartest business people lost early; last year Gene Simmons and this year Dennis Rodman.

    This aggresive side of Annie is not what we have seen before. Remember, this is the same Annie that cried when she knocked Howard out of the “Million Dollar” tournament while trying to dump.

  9. BJ Nemeth

    Dan said: “I didn’t really like her response to the Hitler jokes last week, nor her gratuitous blowjob promotion. (Strong means weak.)”

    Enthusiasm counts for a *lot* in sex, especially when it comes to the sexual act that made my name famous. I’m inclined to take Annie at her word on her skills.

    Marvin C. said, “First, Reality shows are not real. They are edited and although might not be scripted, they are encouraged.”

    Hollywood doesn’t call them “Reality Shows.” That’s what the viewing public calls them. In Hollywood, shows like this are called “Unscripted.” The primary benefit, of course, is that you don’t have to pay screenwriters, or their residuals.

  10. BJ Nemeth

    Marvin C. also said, “Of the two shows, the two smartest business people lost early; last year Gene Simmons and this year Dennis Rodman.”

    I think you are mistaking “making money” with “smart businessman.” The two are not the same. I don’t know much about Simmons, but Rodman is a horrible businessman.

  11. Marvin C

    You are taking his public persona. In reality, he is a very successful businessman owning several successful companies.

    By the way, when he was playing basketball, Phil Jackson always said that Dennis not MJ was the smartest palyer on the court.

  12. xyandz

    this is the best video since nancy kerrigan crying.
    beyond white trash… so true.
    i mean how bland do you have to be to take up that hobbie.
    and for joan rivers to call someone white trash….
    loves it

  13. Jason B

    I have to admit I never watched celebrity apprentice before this season, and I only started watching mid way through the season just to see the tirade between Joan Rivers and Annie Duke. I personally never seen any of Joan Rivers’ work except a few times while she was on Hollywood Squares back in the 80’s. Same as Annie, I don’t really know her accomplishments except for what is televised on ESPN and her relationship to Howard Lederer.
    But how can anyone not enjoy seeing nepotism at work with the Rivers’ clan, a poker player manipulating all the players with tasks, fund raising, and gratituous blowjob comments!!!

  14. joel the lift parker

    yah a poker players mind would have helped her ~ she left money on the table.. she had annie beat and the blonde chick could have beaten her but might not have.. jessie is the man btw

  15. DanM

    ***Rodman is a horrible businessman.***

    BJ, I briefly thought you knew what you were talking about. Rodman may not be the best person, but he’s definitely a decent businessman.

    Perhaps you’re not familiar with Rodman Excavation? They pretty much laid the foundation (literally) for all in North Texas that has been built since the mind-90s.

  16. Anonymous

    Let me say I find Joan Rivers to be a disgusting lunatic and her daughter a pathetic over 40 narcisisst with apron strings issues. I lost respect for Joan 30 yrs ago when her husband committed suicide (because of Joan) and her behavior afterwards. She IS the epitome of white trash. her daughter is a sad sad pathetic person.

    I hope Annie wins and wins big. I am a woman in the poker world many years. I like her agreesiveness, I don’t like her crassness and over the top arrogance but I do understand it. You need to be strongwilled in a comp like this. In real life she is full of herself but hey none of us are perfect.

    The cameras are on them the whole time, they forget they are there. Annie said the BJ remark as a joke and didn’t even think about it being on tv though I admit it’s not something i’d say even in private to a friend. But she didnt’ expect that to be aired.

    FYI,for those who don’t know, I see someone posted that Annie is the biggest ambassador for poker. Actually that couldn’t be further from the truth.

    In reality, in the poker world, she is nobody.. she is Howard Lederer’s sister. She won one (controversial) pokwer tourney over 15 yrs ago and then while 8 months pregnant (yrs ago) she made it to the final 10 of the wsop- which is the biggest most prestigious poker tournament in the world. The main even wsop draws thousands of palyers now but back when she made it to 10th place it was a mere few hundred.

    Since then she’s been a mom and busy marketing herself claiming to be a great poker player. She does not play in the high games and she does not play at the tables. she plays tournaments here and there that ultimatebet.com pays her to play in. She’s one of the promoters of that online poker site. Her name is well known but she is not a respected poker player nor in any way shape or form a ambassador for poker.

    Now don’t get my post wrong, I like Annie! I’m just trying to clear up some incorrect assumptions for people who aren’t familiar with the poker world.

    Most famous players known all over the world are:

    Phil Hellmuth known as the Poker Brat because he markets himself, won 11 WSOP bracelets (more than anyone- Johnny Chen has tied him) – Phil insists he’s the best player in the world, he’s known for his bravado and he’s just funny if you knew him- if u first see him in a tourney you’d hate him.. but you have to know him.. he is very wealthy, very smart marketing himself and a great poker player.

    Next would be Doyle Brunson- he’s in his 70’s and the big daddy of poker- he was playing before there was a WSOP, he was playing when the WSOP consisted of just one table of players- he’s still a very sharp player and highly respected-

    Next Daniel Negreanu- known as Kid Poker is well liked and amazing at reading what other players have holding in their hand- he has a great table manner fans like.

    Others highly respected and known are Jennifer Harman, John Juanda, Johnny Chen, Phil Ivey (by many think he’s best in the world), Erick Lindgren, Mike the Mouth Matusow, Phil Laak and many more.

    Just wanted to clear that up. Annie’s personality isn’t perfect but she’s smart, a go getter, and playing the game, she’s in this competition to win. She took her moment of limelight in the poker world (which was many yrs ago) and she’s turned it into a marketing tool to make a income off- can’t blame her for that kinda smarts- She’s profitted off her notoriety, but no, she in no way shape or form is the ambassador of poker.

    If You ever want to check out the big names and watch some poker- check out the game show network for a show called “high stakes poker” and also espn for reruns of old wsop events.

    I’ve played many yrs and I liked it better before tv started making poker so main stream- and now every tom dick and jane thinks they can play..

    Anyone who watched CA closely, you could see Joans opinon of Annie change the minute she found out what Annie does. You could see it. Joan has absolutely no clue what the poker world is all about and she is using her misinformed prejudice of it to judge annie.

    By the way people, poker players are big big donors to charities and that’s for real.. and yeh, when you win a big tournement the first thing they hand you is a tax form to fill out- thought I’d clear that up too!

  17. Poker Shrink

    The best part of this is I don’t have to watch the show at all. You guys do a great job of summarizing and criticizing. My only comment again is: The Rivers girls can act and The Donald must love it.

  18. BJ Nemeth

    Why is all of Dennis Rodman’s business success missing from his Wikipedia page? Or are you referring to his reality TV show or his position as Commissioner of the Lingerie Football League?

    Being a smart basketball player, again, does not make someone a smart businessman.

  19. DanM

    i’m really not defending dennis. back when i was with the lodge, we paid him $15k just to come party there and do some media promos. (part of which was supposed to include a poker game.) he did the minimum required, and while getting super-drunk and hitting up strippers for coke, he eventually forgot that he was “on the clock” and made a loud announcement that he and his posse were heading down the street to another strip club.

    but with that said, he was at least smart enough when he had big big money to give a bunch of it to the white oklahoma farm family that took him in as a youngster … and with that, he guaranteed a certain level of comfort for life … or at least afforded him the opportunity to fuck around and be a beyotch everywhere he and the cameras go.


  20. J White

    The fact that The Donald Trump owns a casino makes me wonder how far Joan Rivers can get now with such a negative comment about gamblers, wow.

  21. BJ Nemeth

    Okay, I watched what seem to be the relevant sections of the Rodman Companies’ “About Us” movie, and it sounds like Dan described the situation accurately.

    A white Oklahoma farm family took in Dennis Rodman when he was 18 or 19, and he was treated like a member of the family. Later, when he had some money (playing for the Detroit Pistons), he gave them the start-up capital they needed to start their own company (for a 52% share), and that company went on to become a great success.

    All things considered, this sounds like the *opposite* of a smart businessman. Loyal? Yes. Lucky? Yes. Honorable? Yes. But making a business deal based primarily on childhood/family relationships in an industry that you yourself do not fully understand? Not smart.

    Dennis Rodman was on this show for ratings, and ratings only. Say what you’d like, but it’s obvious that Annie Duke wasn’t invited for the same reason. (Though she may ultimately be responsible for the show’s drama and ratings, they couldn’t have foreseen things between Duke and the Rivers bitches playing out the way they did.)

  22. DanM

    ***and it sounds like Dan described the situation accurately***

    LOL, BJ, it sounds like you are shocked that I would do such a thing!

  23. DanM

    And I dunno, BJ, if some rich musician or athlete wanted to give us a bunch of money and a 48 percent stake to start a twittering and facebooking and tournament reporting and podcast bickering company … I’d say he’s pretty smart!

  24. BJ Nemeth

    Why did the long post by “Anonymous” just show up? I hadn’t seen it before.

    I guess I’d like to thank “Anonymous” for coming to this humble site and informing all of us rubes about the poker world. You do realize what website this is, right? (Don’t let this specific topic fool you.)

    I think you also left out Annie Duke’s two biggest accomplishments in terms of her marketability — nobody gives a crap that she finished 10th in the WSOP Main Event way back when. What matters is that she won a WSOP bracelet in 2004 in a televised event, and then parlayed that into an invite in the 2004 WSOP Tournament of Champions, where she won $2 million and a great title for her book. Since then, she has marketed herself extremely well, and is one of the most visible poker players in the non-poker world even though she rarely plays tournaments anymore.

    And whether or not poker players want Annie Duke to be an ambassador for the game, she is because of her visibility. Regardless of her position within the poker world, to the mainstream world, she has become one of the most famous. (Neither Brunson nor Negreanu ever got an appearance on “The Colbert Report” or nearly as much time on Network TV.) Regardless of her role in the poker industry, a lot of people are forming their opinions of the poker world based on what they see of Annie Duke’s appearance on “Celebrity Apprentice.” Is it fair? No. But that’s the reality.

    But reading your comment, I think you found this link from a Google search or something, and thought you’d inform these Celebrity Apprentice fans what the world of poker is really like — not realizing that this is a poker website for people who follow the game pretty closely. Thanks for a good laugh though! (It’s funny to have somebody explain to us who Doyle Brunson and Daniel Negreanu are.)

  25. DanM

    ***FYI,for those who don’t know, I see someone posted that Annie is the biggest ambassador for poker. Actually that couldn’t be further from the truth.***

    Anonymous, yes, that was me. And I respectfully disagree with you — and your insinuation that we are just a bunch of forum know-nothings ranting unintelligently. She may be “nothing” at the tables (you know, other than one of the most successful women in the game) … but that has nothing to do with being an “ambassador”.

    An ambassador is someone who represents poker, and without a doubt, Annie is currently the game’s most public face. Am I overlooking anyone? I can’t think of anyone who comes close. And she’s not just doing commercials, she’s defending the game and a virtual race of players against vicious attacks against their honor.

    She also testified before US Congress on behalf of online poker a couple years ago … that’s pretty “ambassadorial”.

    And she’s raised probably more than $1 million for the plighted in Darfur … plenty ambassadorial … and in doing that has built valuable relationships with Hollywood celebs.

    BTW, this is not pure Annie ass-kissing. As an ambassador, she has her flaws — most specifically that anyone who does a little research about her will find two things first and foremost:

    1) her divisive presence on the Apprentice.
    2) her semi-direct connection to the biggest cheating scandal in history.

    Seriously, these are obstacles. Why do you think she’s not out their publicly lobbying these days (like Greg Raymer)? We know she speaks well in front of all audiences, and has a large following … so there has to be some other reason … hmmm.

    Still, she’s doing a lot with what she’s got and putting herself out there in a way that I know so many other poker pros could never handle. (Again, read the non-poker-player YouTube comments.)

  26. DanM

    ***Why did the long post by “Anonymous” just show up? I hadn’t seen it before. ***

    Our spam filter gets a little aggressive at times. There were a few other great comments today that went live a few hours after they were left, so they didn’t show up in our nifty “recent comments” in the sidebar.

  27. DanM

    I had forgotten about her appearance on Colbert Report. Here it is for those who hadn’t seen it before:

    The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
    Annie Duke
    Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Gay Marriage Commercial

    I do wonder, though, how the audience would react to her today. I’d expect it to be a race between loud whoops and some boos … with her being the slight favorite going in.

  28. scott diamond

    My only question is, Anonymous if your such an authority on Poker then why hide? We all use our real names here, but you chose to bash Annie behind a fake name and in my book I think your envious of Annie or jealous.

    Annie is playing the game to perfection. Whether you like her or not this cast of celebrities I am guessing is giving Donald some high ratings.

    Annie did control herself when Joan was trying to put her on Tilt and EVERYONE agrees the River’s have embarrassed themselves immensley and are going to have a hard time repairing their images.

    Also, Jesse james a reformed thug showed his true side the past few weeks and has coasted into the final four. He has not raised hardly any money and told us he is saving it for the end and himself, which is a smart move for this style of game.

    He also showed his ego when he bad mouthed Clint on his ad of right guard by saying He owns a magazine and he would never put an ad like that in it.

    He then shook Clint’s hand in the board room in front of the Trump after he was told Clint won.

    However Annie finishes in this show she most likely has opened some eyes in the business and marketing circas and one thing for sure she is showing the world Poker Players are intelligent and not just stupid pathetic losers as the Rivers tried to steretype us to the TV audience.

  29. BJ Nemeth

    I don’t really think “Anonymous” was bashing Annie Duke. “Anonymous” thought we were putting Annie Duke on a poker pedestal like she was the greatest who ever played, and was setting the record straight.

    If this had been Entertainment Weekly or TV Guide’s website, those comments would have been far more appropriate. But at a website for hard-core poker people? It totally missed the mark.

  30. Card Chucker

    I decided to watch the episode in its entirety so I went to HULU and the show ad was PokerStars. It made me pee my pants a little. Oh and to add to the forum pillaging: Anonymous, you suck (like Annie’s bj comment).

  31. scott diamond

    BJ if someone said they did not like YOUR crassness and arrogance, I would say they were bashing you. 🙂

  32. hs59

    Anymous: I suggest you read Annie’s autobio. Annie also has a wsop bracelett and the million that went with it. Because of Annie competition in poker it allows her to do what she has done so far on the Apprentice, keep her mouth shut, her face the same, and made the most money for Celebrity Apprentice. Annie is sitting on the River Card is this game. Please, Joan and Melissa said Annie was poker trash. Poker trash in the pac of all the great poker players you named. Be informed before you pen.

  33. Jason B

    Would we really be discussing the comments made by “anonymous” if they had authored their comments as “15 minutes of intern deep throat”? I applaud anyone who actually caught the intellectual pun of this comment =)

  34. Venita

    Something tells me Hellmuth is going to show up on a future edition of Celebrity Apprentice . . . fireworks for sure.

  35. sheila odea

    annie duke has a mental problem she is so manipulative and dasterdly and not a good hardworking person. for her to canive and get joan and melissa off the show was terrible she should have been the one to be long gone even before this. and she says she is a mom and acts that way. melissa or joan should have won and i will not watch the show any more because of annie and the playboy bimbo. annie should have looked out of the box and realized how she really acts from watching the seens she is going to be so ashamed when her kids r old enough and watch it. annie needs therapy….and to shut up

  36. sheila odea

    oops. i need to add something joan and malissa r fabulous. i hope they get everything they want in life because they r wonderful and honest and hard working.

  37. BJ Nemeth

    Sheila, I hope you haven’t left, because I’m curious to hear what Annie Duke did (outside of the normal game) to get Joan & Melissa off the show.

    From everything I could see, Joan took herself off the show. If Joan Rivers was playing for charity, she just bailed on her charity. If she was playing purely for the game itself, she just disrespected the game by quitting early. The fact that Joan Rivers walked when Melissa was fired shows pretty clearly that she was there solely to support her daughter.

    Didn’t you find it a little “conniving” for two players on opposite teams (Joan & Melissa) to be openly colluding in the boardroom? Nobody else ever spoke up about who should be fired or saved on the opposing team.

  38. Poker Shrink

    I have just prescribed something for BJ, he will be better soon, unless he has recently kissed a pig or slept with anyone named Rivers.

  39. Karen Lee

    JOAN RIVERS and MELISSA were the best things on the Donald’s STUPID show. Without Melissa to pick all the jewelry & accessorize the models, ANNIE NEVER WOULD HAVE WON the Ivanka jewelry auction.

    Annie and Brande are two whores who have NEITHER CLASS nor brain cells. Melissa and Joan were BOTH right in their slams against the two bimbos/

  40. Karen Lee

    WELL SCOTT DIAMOND (FOA) friend of Annie’s …

    Contrary to what YOU THINK, the ratings are going to PLUMMET (that would be DOWN-ward) with just Annie and Brande to stab each other in the back.
    Jesse is also (along w/Joan and Melissa) the best marketing mind on that show. Everybody ELSE was just “window dressing.”

    Annie may know how to play poker –but she’s not going ANYWHERE ELSE outside those tables. She is ignorant and two=faced as only a WOMAN can be. As far as the weeks I have watched HER, she has no intelligence, zero redeemable traits and Lord knows, no class what so ever! Joan Rivers is a SEVENTY=some year old ICON in the entertainment industry. As such, she deserves RESPECT (SOMETHING which poker players seem to sadly LACK).

    Joan paid her dues for sixty years … raising more money and awareness for the IMPORTANT causes and charities. For THAT alone, her opinions matter –and R-E-S-P-E-C-T is the LEAST she deserves.

    I do not know from under WHICH ROCK Annie crawled and she may indeed be a VERY BIG “deal” in Vegas –but in the great scheme of things, Vegas ain’t MUCH!

  41. BJ Nemeth


  42. California Jen

    Ditto, BJ.

    Funny that people have come to this forum – a poker forum – to bash Annie Duke. You ladies aren’t going to find many sympathetic voices here, especially when your arguments are general and your views of poker players are baseless and merely an echo of something that a racist, selfish Joan Rivers said on a TV show.

    Oh, and when you CAPITALIZE so many words, some of the emphasis on your point is LOST. 😉

  43. DanM

    ***Funny that people have come to this forum – a poker forum – to bash Annie Duke.***

    A poker forum? A POKER FORUM?!? I know poker forums … I’ve been on the internet for 40 years!

    Jen, this is a blog. 2+2 is a forum. Did I not send you the welcome pamphlet?

  44. California Jen

    Oh, Dan, you know what I meant – a forum in the true sense of the word, not what it’s come to mean re 2+2. I’m aware this is a blog, but I would like that pamphlet.

  45. Card Chucker

    It has been one interesting blog/forum thread I must say.

    Karen – For all the love you have for Joan Rivers, I must commend you for it. There is one thing that I have wondered though after watching the episode with the jewelry auction. Donald ask her about getting donors for the charity auction and she said that all the people she knew (and Donald knew also) had turned her down. Mellisa even got offended by it, saying there’s some kind of issue with Joan and her “friends.” If she is so respectable, then why are all the people in her circle (and Donald’s) turning there back on her?

    I will now go let my inner-child cry for knowing so much about a realty show. On to real poker news…

  46. Ed

    Joan died years ago. She was replaced with an animatronic Real Doll. (visit http://www.realdoll.com to order your own Joan)

    I might pick one up and name her Moan Rivers.

  47. DanM

    Ed, I have so missed you and the results of your warped upbringing on these pages. So good to have you back from your World of Warcraft hiatus!

  48. Ed

    still doing the WoW thing. it is the online poker i stopped. tried to play some the past 2 nights and i remembred why i have not played since Jan.