If you’ve been reading MacPoker.com lately, then you know that the Full Tilt Doubles Poker Championship has been airing on GSN. This week, the first of two semifinals aired, kicking off the postseason. Eight players took to the felts on Saturday night, with each team’s chip stack determined by the number of points they accrued during the regular season.
Brandon Adams and David Tuchman had the call of the action. Full Tilt Poker’s Lacey Jones provided commentary and conducted interviews from the floor of the Doubles Poker Championship suite.
Howard Lederer and Phil Gordon entered the semifinals of the Doubles Poker Championship with the largest stack at 550,000. Sitting with the second largest total were Vivek “Psyduck” Rajkumar and Greg “FBT” Mueller, who had 510,000, while Andrew “luckychewy” Lichtenberger and Nick Schulman had 460,000. The low stack in the first semifinal belonged to Allen Cunningham and Huck Seed, who had just 395,000 chips. Players alternated action by street and each team received two timeouts to discuss strategy.
In the first major pot of the semifinals, Schulman raised to 35,000 before the flop with a wired pair of queens. Gordon 3bet all-in with just 8-6 of clubs and Schulman insta-called for his team’s tournament life. Schulman and Lichtenberger flopped a set and never looked back to become the chip leaders at nearly 700,000.
Then, Cunningham raised to 45,000 pre-flop with A-Q and Rajkumar moved all-in over the top with K-Q. Cunningham made the call, but watched in agony as the flop came king-high. Another king on the turn gave Rajkumar and Mueller trips, but Cunningham and Seed spiked a gutshot straight draw on the river to send their opponents packing.
Seed and Cunningham moved over one million in chips for a dominating lead three-handed following the bad beat. Adams noted, “That was a stinger potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.” The top two teams from each semifinal advance to the finals.
Schulman open-shoved all-in pre-flop with A-2 and Cunningham called with pocket queens. The board ran out 6-3-7-5-7 and Lichtenberger and Schulman were ousted in third place. The two remaining teams then jockeyed for who would receive the larger stack at the final table. The top team in each semifinal would start the finals with 600,000 in chips, while the runner-up in each semifinal begins with just 400,000.
Lederer and Gordon doubled up with Q-J against K-10 to take a 2:1 chip lead. However, Seed and Cunningham battled back. The former raised to 100,000 before the flop with A-4 and Lederer called with K-Q suited to spades. The flop came A-J-5, giving Seed and Cunningham top pair and Lederer and Gordon a straight draw to a 10. Gordon led out for 100,000 and Cunningham bumped the price of poker to 200,000. Gordon responded by moving all-in and Cunningham called for his entire stack.
The turn was an ace and the river was a deuce, giving Seed and Cunningham the double up with trips. Gordon and Lederer saw their stack dive to just over one big blind after the misstep. They were all-in blind on the next hand with J-6 of hearts, but were drawing dead when Seed and Cunningham flopped trip aces with A-2.
Next week, Phil Ivey, Johnny Chan, and others will take to the Doubles Poker Championship suite at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas for the second semifinal. The action airs on Saturdays at 9:00pm ET on GSN.