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Full Tilt Poker's Doubles Poker Championship

A Look at the Episode Six Matchups


Chris FergusonGSN’s broadcast of the FullTiltPoker.Net’s Doubles Poker Championship continued this week with teams trying to make it past the second 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 for the teams, 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 18, 2010 -– This episode features the conclusion of the third round of play as the remaining players battled for enough individual points to earn them a spot at the two semi-final tables. Pairings for the show’s first match included cash-game specialist and mathematics whiz David Oppenheim and Chris Ferguson, 2010 World Series of Poker bracelet-winner Gavin Smith and online ace Andrew “LuckyChewy” Lichtenburger, New York City poker scene veterans Nick “Takeover” Schulman and eight-time WSOP bracelet winner Erik Seidel, and online wunderkind Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond and two-time WSOP bracelet winner Greg Mueller. As one might expect, the diversity of the teams fueled table action once play got under way with plenty of fireworks happening early in the match.

The first big all-in confrontation featured Oppenheim and Seidel versus Galfond and Mueller. Pre-flop, Mueller completed the small blind with 7Diamond Suit 5Diamond Suit for 800 and was raised to 4,800 by Ferguson who woke up with 2Heart Suit 2Diamond Suit to 4,800. Banking on his partner’s strong post-flop play, Mueller made the call and the flop came 4Diamond Suit 4Club Suit 3Diamond Suit. Galfond quickly checked the flop only to be popped by Oppenheim who made it 6,200 to go. The uber-aggressive Galfond showed he wasn’t intimidated by Oppenheim’s bet by moving all-in with a gut-shot straight draw and a flush draw. Puzzled by Galfond’s move, Oppenheim called a time-out to discuss the hand with Ferguson who commented that he was comfortable with Oppenheim’s read that they held the better hand. After returning to the table and a little more deliberation, Oppenheim made the call, much to “Jesus” approval. Unfortunately for the pair, the move backfired and they were eliminated when the ADiamond Suit fell on the turn and gave Mueller-Galfond a flush.

The match’s second elimination came when Smith and Lichtenburger moved all-in with KHeart Suit JSpade Suit only to find themselves dominated by Shulman and Seidel’s ASpade Suit JDiamond Suit. The flop offered Smith’s team several additional outs when the board came QClub Suit 10Diamond Suit 6Club Suit, giving them the open-ended straight draw, but unfortunately for Smith and Lichtenburger, variance didn’t go their way when the board bricked and gave Shulman and Seidel the win with just ace-high.

Down to heads-up play, Galfond and Mueller made the first move by winning a monster hand that crippled Schulman and Seidel. After waking up with AHeart Suit QSpade Suit, Galfond raised 7,000 preflop and was called by Schulman. The flop fell QSpade Suit 9Club Suit 7Heart Suit, giving both teams Queens, with Galfond’s team holding the higher kicker. The often-conservative Seidel checked his hand, possibly recognizing that his opponent’s might be strong. Mueller then bet 8,500, and despite hesitating, Seidel made the call. The turn brought the 5Spade Suit, helping neither team. Unlike his partner, Schulman decided to play the hand much more aggressively by betting 17,500 sending Galfond into the tank forcing him to use the team’s only time-out to get Mueller’s read on the hand. After conferring with his partner, Galfond moved all-in and Schulman insta-called only to see himself dominated. The river blanked, giving Galfond and Mueller a monster chip-lead heading into heads-up action.

Despite being the underdog, Seidel and Schulman held steady and managed to double-up after waking up with Kings versus their opponent’s pocket Queens, but it simply wasn’t meant to be for the duo. The final hand saw Mueller move all-in preflop holding 4Spade Suit 3Spade Suit. Shulman quickly made the call holding QClub Suit 9Club Suit. Schulman’s bad luck in heads-up play continued when the flop came ASpade Suit 8Spade Suit 2Club Suit, giving Mueller’s team plenty of outs. One of those outs landed on the turn when the 5Heart Suit fell to the felt, giving Mueller and Galfond the victory in Match 11.

Match 12 featured a table full of players with diverse styles looking to exploit their various strengths to score big on the felt. The teams seeing action included Howard “The Professor” Lederer and David Chiu, former MIT blackjack whiz Andy Bloch and Justin “BoostedJ” Smith, French poker export David Benyamine and WSOP POY winner Erik Lindgren, and a pair of action-junkies in Gus Hansen and Vivek Rajkumar.

The match’s first elimination saw Bloch and Smith eliminate Hansen and Rajkumar when their aggressive tendencies backfired. Having previously laid down a big hand in what some might call a conservative play, Hansen had no problem getting his chips in the middle after Bloch bet 5,600 and Benyamine called. Unfortunately for Hansen, Bloch had no problem matching aggression with aggression insta-calling Hansen’s move. Bloch and Smith won the hand when their pocket Queens held against Hansen and Rajukumar’s ASpade Suit 10Club Suit when the board failed to bring one of the pair’s three outs.

Several hands later, Prof. Lederer and his sidekick, Chiu, made their exit courtesy of Benyamine and Lindgren. After waking up with pocket Jacks preflop, Lindgren raised to 7,000 preflop. That’s when things got interesting as Chiu, who could easily be considered one of the “old school” players featured on the show, made a move that would suit many of the young guns who show no fear when holding a weak hand before the flop. Despite implying that he had a solid hand, Chiu ignored Lindgren’s bet by coming over the top and moving all-in. Lindgren willingly obliged Chiu and company, scoring the win when the board bricked for Lederer and Chiu.

The final hand of the episode featured the all-in clash between Bloch- Smith and Benyamine-Lindgren after Lindgren set a trap by betting 8,000 preflop with a pair of nines. Smith didn’t hesitate to ship his and Bloch’s chips after looking at his hole cards and finding a pair of pocket eights receiving a insta-call from Lindgren. The board came AClub Suit JHeart Suit 7Heart Suit 6Club Suit KHeart Suit, giving Benyamine and Lindgren the win.

Make sure to tune in to GSN next weekend for more exciting Doubles Poker action brought to you by FullTiltPoker.Net.