"I pushed all-in, but it didn't work out for me," were the last words Jean-Robert Bellande would utter on Survivor: China, the CBS reality show. After eight weeks of ups and downs on the island, poker player Bellande finally headed home after his over zealousness, conniving and overall annoyance sealed the deal.
Jean-Robert Bellande was born in Long Island, New York, but considers himself international because he was raised in Asia and is the son of French-speaking Haitian immigrants. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing from Azusa Pacific University, and is a nightclub owner and professional poker player. Bellande promoted some of L.A.'s hottest nightclubs to include The Roxbury, Tatou of Beverly Hills and the Gate. He also opened up his own place, Sky Sushi. He was chosen to be a contestant in the 15th season of Survivor and immediately made waves when he burst onto the poker scene. In 2005, he held the distinction of being the Number 6 Card Player in the world. His hobbies include playing tennis, playing pool, basketball, playing poker of course, going to nightclubs and he loves soccer.
His first bout with fame was during a World Series of Poker Circuit Event in March 2005 when he finished in 3rd place winning $210,900. That very same week Bellande went heads up with John Phan, eventually defeating Phan to win first prize at the 2005 Winnin o'the Green Tournament scoring $148,000. More recently, Bellande took 21st place this summer in the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha WSOP Event and 19th place in the WPT $9,700 No Limit Holdem Championship Event Foxwoods Poker Classic.
Known for his aggressive table banter, fast play and vigorous personality, Bellande isn't always the most loved player at the table, and this same attitude followed him to China where he battled with other contestants to win the $1,000,000 grand prize. In the beginning he seemed to get along with his teammates and kept a pretty low profile. As time progressed, Bellande made quite a name for himself. By week three he was one of the most disliked players in the game. Was it because he was super lazy? Maybe it was because he was conniving and sneaky? At any rate, it was obvious that Bellande wasn't taking the game very seriously because he never even lost any weight. While everyone else worked their butts off and had sunken in faces, Bellande somehow managed to keep a nice healthy figure which is completely suspect.
The most surprising aspect or the game was when the whole cast knew that James Clement found the immunity idol, but Bellande was still in the dark and had no clue. If he would have just stayed quiet, he might have made it another week.
The immunity challenge involved trying to remain seated on a barrel filled with water as the water was released from it. It was a matter of balance and concentration, and Bellande decided to use his "strategy" of being the most annoying person still on the team to distract the other players. The result was his own distraction, and he was the first one to topple from a barrel. Yates, Bellande's archenemy at camp and the second-most annoying person on the show, managed to remain rock solid as all the rest took their turns falling into the swamp.
Unfortunately, his aggressiveness didn't work out so well because he was sent packing this week. Jean-Robert Bellande can kick some butt at the poker table, so he definitely shouldn't quit his day job because reality T.V. competition certainly isn't his thing!
*Image courtesy of Survivor China