Stars of the TV sitcom Friends have spoken out about the importance of poker in the structure of their friendships, and pro poker player Anna Khait has been called ‘reality TV’s hottest new star’ after her appearance on the premier of Survivor.
Friends (cue the theme song).
For a decade, it was the show that placed human beings around the globe into a trance. It was a story of six friends sharing a Manhattan apartment. We wanted to be them, we wanted to sit with them, we wanted to sleep with them.
The show was nominated for 62 Primetime Emmy Awards and is recognised as one of the most successful television shows of all time. Cast members Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer, became global icons during those 10-years.
But how did it all click?
How did the six of them create the on-screen chemistry that made it all sizzle?
On Sunday, February 21, at 9 pm (ET), the five of them (Matthew Perry is in London working on his new play: The End of Longing), will feature in the Must See TV: An All-Star Tribute to James Burrows, and the game of poker will be mentioned as one of the primary factors.
“We would do anything for Jim Burrows because he really gave us the opportunity of a lifetime,” Aniston, 47, said during a highlight reel of the show. “We experienced friendship, family, heartbreak, babies, everything, together. And we also had a wonderful experience with the world loving us as well.”
Burrows directed 15 episodes, as well as the pilot, but it was his ability to get the cast to gel off screen that brought him notoriety.
Speaking in that same highlight reel, Kudrow, 52, said that Burrows encouraged them to play poker, and even gave them his bigger dressing room so they could make the most of it.
Aniston pointed out that those poker sessions in Burrows dressing room were the inspiration for the episode “The One With All The Poker.”
Anna Khait is The Star of Survivor Premier
Sticking with the poker/TV theme and professional poker player, Anna Khait, 26, has been called ‘reality TV’s hottest new star’ after joining the Beauty tribe in Survivor’s premiere on Wednesday night.
Khait, who originally told the show’s producers that she worked as a cocktail waitress at the Borgata because she didn’t want anyone to know about her experience playing strategy games, has emerged as one of the early front-runners for the $1m first prize.
It’s the 32nd edition of the vastly popular reality TV show. This year the action takes place in the remote Cambodian island of Kaôh Rōng, and the show’s producers have pegged it as possibly the most brutal yet.
Khait, a lifelong Survivor fan, very nearly didn’t make it. She told reporters that during her casting call in Atlantic City she waited in line for six hours, and then ‘froze up during the interview’.
Born in St. Petersburg Russia, and taught how to care for herself from an early age by her parents, Khait has been called a ‘natural’ fit to join the Beauty tribe. During her highlight reel, she explained that she wasn’t afraid to use her attractiveness to help her get deeper into the competition.
“If there is a male who likes females I will play the flirt card,” said Khait, “I will also play that card if a woman flirts with me.”
Khait is the third person from a poker background to feature in the show. Jean-Robert-Bellande and Garrett Adelstein have also featured in previous episodes.
The advantage that poker players have in these types of strategy games were brought to the fore after Vanessa Rousso took Big Brother by storm last year. Despite finishing on the money bubble, many experts believe she was the greatest Big Brother strategist of all time.
Khait will be hoping to use some of those same strategies to win the $1m first prize in Cambodia.