Player gets played

Bad-boy Romeo stakes ev­ery­thing on a turn of the cards.

TV Plus (South Africa) - - SCANDAL! -

Cocky Romeo’s go­ing to be cut down to size. Week­days e.tv (*194) 19:30

Spoilt rich kid Romeo (Hun­gani Ndlovu) seems to have the devil’s luck when it comes to keep­ing his hands clean and his pock­ets full. And on Fri­day 22 July, he struck it rich when his mom Grace (Batha­bile Mashigo) gave him a 25% share in the lux­u­ri­ous New­to­nian Ho­tel for his birth­day. He could be set for life! But Romeo’s men­tor and tor­men­tor, his mom’s lover Lu­cas (Sello Maake Ka-Ncube), has been keep­ing tabs on Romeo’s ap­petite for gam­bling since Mon­day 11 July. So on Tues­day 3 Au­gust, when Romeo forces his way into Lu­cas’s “friendly” poker game with glam­orous Yvonne (Kgomotso Christopher) and the mys­te­ri­ous Mr X (An­thony Frid­jhon), some­one has a card up their sleeve…

MR X IS NO EX­PERT

Romeo goes into the seem­ingly ca­sual game con­fi­dent of a win. “When he first meets Romeo, Mr X says that he came to play poker with adults, not with lit­tle kids. To Romeo, it’s al­most like Mr X is try­ing to re­as­sure him­self that he’s a good poker player,” re­veals Hun­gani. “Romeo’s im­pres­sion of Mr X is that he’s a wannabe tough guy.” But it slowly be­comes clear that Romeo’s badly mis­read his suave op­po­nent.

BET HIGH, LOSE BIG

In the fi­nal hand, a glance at the ta­ble shows that Romeo has been cleaned out while Mr X gloats over a pile of his win­nings. Then, in one last turn of the cards, Romeo re­alises that he could win it all back – in­clud­ing his pride. “His ego is very, very bruised and he thinks that he could win with the hand he has. So he bets as big as he can,” says Hun­gani. But with his cash gone, Romeo’s got just one thing left to gam­ble with: his fu­ture. So that aw­ful mo­ment that Mr X re­veals his hand on Wed­nes­day 3 Au­gust hits Romeo “al­most like be­ing shot but not be­liev­ing it just hap­pened. Like in a movie where some­one gets shot and they look at where the bul­let went through to make sure that they were shot,” says Hun­gani.

OH NO, ROMEO!

And af­ter shock, comes fear. “He just re­ceived this chance at a great fu­ture and now it’s gone within, like, two sec­onds,” ex­claims Hun­gani. Hav­ing taken one “bul­let”, Romeo has to bite another – telling his mom the truth. Romeo knows that he’s go­ing to be on a short leash the mo­ment he con­fesses. “He won’t be spoilt and get what­ever he wants be­cause af­ter los­ing so much, how can his mother trust him again?” But thanks to Lu­cas’s ma­nip­u­la­tions, Romeo will have no choice but to own up al­most im­me­di­ately. “There is no way he can get out of it in such a short space of time with­out his mom find­ing out. He just tries to let her know be­fore she hears it from some­one else, which would make it worse,” says Hun­gani.

Romeo’s putting it all on the line.

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