I know, I know. This whole poker thing seems really similar from the Friends episode where Chandler made up a game, Cups, so Joey could win money from him.
How this story line differs is the absurdity of the game. A shield card! I have to say I found the tidbits funny, it's just hard to believe that someone would think this was a fictitious game. But, after all, it's Joey.
The magic moment, when you realize that this show has something worth watching: Alex lets Joey walk away to 'spend time' with another woman. A part of me wanted her to tell him how she felt, but she was worn out from the lies she told that she must have thought her meddling should stop.
Bravo Alex! And bravo writers on making this suspiciously familiar episode one-of-a-kind.