OK, this week's summary may be a bit longer than usual, but bear with me.
This week, if the player was in live play at 5-box, they go on to play with a catapult, and have three targets to aim at: hit the biggest, they win a holiday; hit the middle one, they get to play the final round one box at a time; hit the smallest, they gety both; miss all three on all five shots, and the Banker gets to look in their box, giving him an advantage, but the swap in guaranteed.
Monday 23rd: Tash
Dealt at: 5-box
Highest offer: £45,000 (2-box)
Box value: £100,000
This week really has been a minefield of mind games. Tash got to 5-box, and thus went on the catapult, but failed all five shots, resulting in the Banker getting to look in the box. He claimed he'd seen a blue, before offering £15,000. Tash dealt, only to wipe out both remaining blues, leaving her with a final two of £10,000 and £100,000. Some say the Banker offered £15,000 because he knew £100,000 was there; however, he could just as easily have offered a high offer to make the player think they had a big sum, and coax them into a crash. It's complicated.
Tuesday 24th: Tony
Dealt at: 5-box
Highest offer: £24,000 (5-box)
Box value: £50,000
Another intruiging game. After turning down a generous 8-box offer of £13,000, Tony went for the catapult, but, again, missed five times. The Banker, again, claimed he'd seen a blue, before offering £24,000. Tony dealt, only to keep £50,000 to the end with £250. The Banker offered Tony the chance to give back the £24,000, and go for the £50,000. Tony sensibly turned this down, only for the big money to be on the table again. Still, perhaps the best, most exciting game of a sorry week.
Wednesday 25th: Agnes
Dealt at: 5-box
Highest offer: £26,000
Box value: £75,000
Agnes was certainly a lively character on the wings, but, after a torrid opening round, went serious, and never really livened up again. After another catapult failure, the Banker again claimed to have seen a blue, before offering £22,000. Agnes asked if he could raise it a bit, which, unsurprisingly, saw the offer drop to £21,000, and then £20,000. Agnes decided to bail out, only for, again, the Banker to not be telling the truth, and big money being on the table.
Thursday 26th: Ricky
Dealt at: 2-box
Highest offer: £26,000 (8-box)
Box value: £250
Ricky attracted high generosity offers early on, which led to a very decent £26,000 at 8-box with the £250,000 and the £100,000 higher. He played on, only to lose the £250,000, and then fail the catapult, resulting in another box peek for the Banker. He, again, claimed to have seen a blue, before offering £10,000. Ricky played on. Alas, this time, the Banker was telling the truth, and Ricky crashed to a final two of £250 and £10. He cut his losses at £120, only to see that go against him as well. Some are calling this a self-inflicted trainwreck; others are moaning at how someone finally went for it, only to crash. I say it was an unfortunate game for all involved (except the Banker, obviously!).
Friday 27th: Ann
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £10,000 (8-box and 5-box)
Box value: £250
Ann was certainly a character, and the show started with a great deal of chat between her and Noel. When the game began, it began badly, with the reds disappearing. Ann did manage to hold onto the top two, though, and did so long enough to reach a respectable 8-box offer of £10,000, which she dealt, meaning the catapult was not used. The £100,000 went in the next round, resulting in a stick offer of £10,000. And the £250,000 in the final round, resulting in a much needed 'Banker spanking'. A close second to Tony for the best game of the week, let down somewhat by the slow pace early on (which was no fault of Ann, or anyone else involved).
Sunday 29th: Mark
Opened the box
Highest offer: £199 (2-box)
Box value: £500 (swapped for £50)
Well, we've seen some horrendously unlucky games over the years, but this was just unreal. A horrendous start saw the entire power 5 wiped out by 11-box, resulting in the first even 10:1 split at 11-box, with just £5,000 remaining in the reds. And it went on, as poor Mark hit the £5,000, resulting in the first ever all-blue 9-box (worse than Chris Eager from March 2009, who had an all-blue 8-box, but still had a red at 9-box). Noel was optimistic that Mark would still have something to play for at 5-box, but the fifth catapult failure of the week saw the fifth Banker box peek of the week. Mark turned down the 5-box offer, and ended up with £50 or £500, which saw him recieve his highest offer of £199. The Banker then said that, if Mark won the £500 (which would've been the lowest tarriff 'Banker spanking' ever), he'd throw in a holiday; but if he won the £50, he wouldn't get it, and would go away with nothing. Mark no dealt, and swapped his box for the other remaining box, which was his lucky number. This proved the final bad move of the game, as Noel opened his new box to see £50, making him the EIGHTH player of UK DOND to leave with no money at all.
Well, true to say, it's been a pretty torrid week, as have most 'themed weeks', as of late. Tony's game was probably the best due to the dramatic value of the mind games, with Ann's a close second. Surely, it says something that the only player of the week to 'spank the Banker' was the only one who didn't attempt the catapult (though Mark would've 'spanked the Banker' as well, had he not swapped). I hope the producers do not bring the catapult out again for any future 'themed weeks', as it will not be well recieved by people now we know how impossible it is to do (only one person out of the fifteen who have attempted it has succeeded).
Anyway, time to put this week behind us, and start afresh next week. Rumours have it of a big game coming up some time this coming week, so we'd better keep an eye out for that.