Over the weekend, the second semifinal of the Full Tilt Doubles Poker Championship aired on GSN. Four teams took to the felt, with the top two moving on to the finale this Saturday at 9:00pm ET. MacPoker.com watched all of the action from the Golden Nugget in Downtown Last Vegas in case you missed it.
Each two-man team received 5,000 chips for every point accumulated during the regular season. As a result, Phil Ivey and Chris Ferguson began with 350,000, Tony G and David Benyamine began with 410,000, Annette Obrestad and Phil Galfond began with 530,000, and Erick Lindgren and Johnny Chan started with the chip lead at 630,000. The latter team included the overall regular season champions.
The action on Doubles Poker features teammates alternating decisions by street. Players cannot discuss strategy at the table while they have cards and instead receive two timeouts to converse away from the felt. The first place team in the finals will pocket a healthy $1 million prize, while the fourth place pairing will take away $100,000. Full Tilt’s David Tuchman and Brandon Adams have the call of the action, while Lacey Jones provides commentary from the sidelines. Each episode runs for one hour.
After a series of double-ups, the first team was eliminated from the Full Tilt Doubles Poker Championship’s second semifinal. A short-stacked Obrestad moved all-in before the flop with a meager 10-7 and Ivey auto-called with A-5. The flop came ace-high and, needing to catch a five on the river for a chopped pot, Obrestad and Galfond watched in dismay as a king hit. The pair received $10,000 for their troubles in the $50,000 buy-in poker tournament, but fell short of the final table.
Then, Lindgren raised to 60,000 before the flop with K-Q and Ivey once again put his opponents to the test, this time shoving with A-9. Lindgren called all-in for his team’s tournament life and the board ran out 10-J-10-7-8. Lindgren and Chan, the chip leaders entering the eight-player semifinal, were vanquished in third place and did not survive to see the final table.
Although the two remaining teams officially stamped their tickets to the Full Tilt Doubles Poker Championship finals, there was still plenty to play for. The winning team from each of the semis starts the finals with 600,000 in chips, while the runner-ups begin with just 400,000.
In the final hand of the second semifinal, Benyamine raised to 110,000 before the flop with A-J of diamonds and Ferguson pushed all-in over the top with a wired pair of tens. Benyamine called to put his opponents at risk and an ace on the turn was all Tony G and he would need to advance to the finals in first place. The PartyPoker pro triumphantly yelled “Ace from space” when the money card hit.
Allen Cunningham and Huck Seed, who won the first semifinal, will also come armed to the final table with 600,000. Howard Lederer and Phil Gordon, by far the tallest team left in the field, will begin with 400,000 after finishing second to Cunningham and Seed. Others who played, but did not reach the post-season, included Tom “durrrr” Dwan, UB.com pro Annie Duke, newly minted bracelet winner Gavin Smith, and Victory Poker’s Antonio Esfandiari. Each player coughed up a $50,000 buy-in and GSN aired the series over the course of 13 weeks.
You can catch the dramatic conclusion to the Full Tilt Poker Doubles Poker Championship this Saturday at 9:00pm ET on GSN.