This episode is a fine example of what I've always felt was the major fault that kept this show from being wonderful. It claims to be about six friends, treated as equals on the show, but in reality it's not and it never has been. This episode is just one example out of many.
In this episode we see the gang playing poker. Or, rather, we see Ross and Rachel playing poker. None of the others are ever seen really raising the stakes and going two on two. Only Ross and Rachel. The episode is ABOUT Ross and Rachel. And so has the whole show been, from day one. I for one never favoured this couple, and one of the reasons were that the two characters were so blatantly pushed forward and shoved down our throats. I liked the balance they had in the episodes were they were all equal, all six of them.
Sure this episode has some wonderful moments. Chandler's line about how "the fifth dentist caved and now they're all reccomending Trident" is one of the show's best! And yes, Chandler gets his screentime, as do Phoebe, Monica and Joey. But there's a difference in screentime and plot time. This episode clearly isn't about these four, and far too many episodes are not. They have to stand back to be overshadowed by Ross and Rachel. For Pete's sake, even when Chandler and Monica were getting married they had to step back to Ross and Rachel (first in Vegas, then with the pregnancy storyline).
This episode could have been really good. Instead it's just good. For someone not interested in the R&R storyline it is actually rather boring at times; I couldn't care less about their banter. Of course there are those who do, and you can't care for all the storylines. But I've always been bugged by how four characters claimed to be equal to R&R have to step back.
Not an episode I view over and over again.