Full Tilt Poker's Doubles Poker Championship
A Look at the Episode Seven Matchups
GSN’s broadcast of the Full Tilt Poker’s Doubles Poker Championship continued this week with teams trying to make it past the fourth round of action to earn a spot at the coveted final table in this $50,000 buy-in event series. In case you missed previous episodes, the Doubles Poker Championship pits 16 randomly selected two-player teams against each other in a unique format that features one member of the team playing preflop and the turn, while the teammate sees action postflop and the river. To make things even more challenging team members can’t share information during a hand unless they call a 30-second timeout and then switch roles after each hand.
Saturday, September 25, 2010 – The line-up for the first match of fourth round offered plenty of action with three of the players needing a win to make it to one of the two semi-finals tables. Teams seeing action included the mellow Huck Seed and aggressive former Apprentice star Annie Duke, Toto Leonidas and game-theory maven Chris Ferguson, cash-game ace Jennifer Harman and 2010 World Series of Poker bracelet winner Gavin Smith, and David Oppenheim teamed with WSOP 2008 Player of the Year Erick Lindgren.
Although action moved quickly during the first match, the true battle taking place seemed to be with the frayed nerves of some players. In one hand, Duke made Ferguson lay down a made pair versus her draw by correctly recognizing that Ferguson had too much on the line to call her aggressive all-in move with a weak hand. During another hand, Oppenheim and Lindgren confronted one-another after Lindgren disagreed with Oppenheim’s play in a hand with Harman and Smith in which Oppenheim only looked at one card. On the opposite end of the leader board for individual points, Lindgren didn’t hesitate to call out Oppenheim intimating that Oppenheim didn’t care about the results because there was no way he could advance.
Despite bickering early in the match, Oppenheim and Lindgren put their egos behind them and began working as a team when eliminating a short-stacked Seed and Duke team. During the hand, Seed-Duke moved all-in after Oppenheim tried to steal their big blind preflop. Unfortunately for Seed-Duke, Oppenheim didn’t hesitate in making the call and despite holding a monster hand with A K versus 10 6, Seed-Duke hit the rail when the river paired the board for Oppenheim and Lindgren.
The next pair on the chopping block was Harman and Smith courtesy of Leonidas and Ferguson. After having lost the prior hand when Harman pushed with A/Q only to run into Leonidas’s A/K, Smith got his chips in the middle holding K 3 receiving a call from Ferguson who held pocket sevens. The board bricked, failing to improve Smith-Harman’s hand knocking Smith out of contention to make the semifinals and putting Harman in serious jeopardy of just missing the cut.
The final hand of the first match saw Oppenheim eliminated and the potential advance to the semifinals by Leonidas and Ferguson who helped their chances of making the semis by eliminating Oppenheim and Lindgren. After waking up with Q 10, Leonidas decided to take advantage of his team’s sizable stack by moving all in preflop. Lindgren paused for several seconds but then made the call with Q 9. The board came 7 6 4 K 10 giving Leonidas and Ferguson the win.
The second match proved just as interesting as the first thanks to the eclectic mix of pros partnering. The lineup included Tom Dwan and Mike Matusow, two of poker’s more calculating players Phil Ivey and Allen Cunningham, two online aces in Andrew Lichtenberger and Justin Smith, and David Benyamine and Annette Obrestad.
The match’s first elimination came on the first hand, which clearly demonstrated Dwan’s penchant for making sick plays regardless of what he holds. In what may very well be the sickest hand of Doubles Poker to date, Dwan raises to 2,500 after looking at only one card (7), most likely banking on the fact that several of the players behind him needed to score big in the match to move ahead. Unfortunately for Dwan-Matusow, “LuckyChewy” found himself with big slick and decided to pop Dwan with a raise to 7,500. Dwan then decided to look down to see his second card, finding another seven and enough gumption to move all-in. Lichtenberger insta-called, much to the delight of Ivey who actually cracked a big smile thanks to all the quick action.
The flop nailed Dwan-Matusow, giving them trips and Lichtenberger-Smith a pair of aces after the cards fell A 9 7. Despite holding a monster edge, Dwan-Matusow’s luck began to head south when the turn brought another ace, giving Dwan-Matusow the boat and Lichtenberger-Smith trip aces. Unfortunately for Dwan and Matusow, the river brought one of their opponent’s kings, giving them the higher boat much to the dismay of Dwan and Matusow who both looked like they had been hit by a truck after their bad beat.
Although Ivey was excited about the fast paced action, his smile quickly disappeared when he moved his team all-in preflop holding A 3 versus Lichtenberger and Smith’s pair of sixes. The flop brought another six for LuckyChewy and BoostedJ, giving them trips. The board bricked for Ivey and Cunningham, eliminating them from the match.
On the final hand of the episode, Obrestad raised 9,500 preflop with pocket eights and found herself in good position when Smith came over the top all-in holding K 10. Obrestad made the call for her team, and once again, a set fell on the flop as another eight hit the felt to seal the fate of Lichtenberger and Smith who failed to pull some of the earlier runner-runner magic. The turn and river brought meaningless cards for Lichtenberger-Smith, and the match was over, vaulting Benyamine and Obrestad to the semifinals.
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