Airing in recent days on GSN were the finals of the $50,000 buy-in Full Tilt Doubles Poker Championship. Offering a unique team concept, the Doubles Poker Championship final table was down to three teams when the one-hour episode, which aired last Saturday, kicked off. Howard Lederer and Phil Gordon paced the group with a stack of one million, while Huck Seed and Allen Cunningham boasted a stack of 672,000 and were in second place. The low men on the totem pole were arguably the two most feared players at the final table, Chris Ferguson and Phil Ivey, who began with 324,000 in chips.
Gordon raised to 75,000 before the flop with A-5 and Ivey peeked down at A-6 and re-raised all-in for 214,000. Gordon made the call and was well behind in the hand. However, the flop of 3-7-4 gave Gordon and Lederer a gutshot straight draw to a deuce, which promptly hit on the turn to send Ferguson and Ivey to the exit in third place for $200,000. Ferguson told Doubles Poker Championship hostess Lacey Jones following his elimination, “We did a great job of avoiding confrontations. I thought we did a good job of surviving.”
Lederer and Gordon were up just over 2:1 in chips entering heads-up play against Seed and Cunningham. At stake were a $1 million grand prize and a $500,000 consolation prize; despite the stakes, the two teams went at it rather quickly. Cunningham committed his team’s chips with K-9 on a board of K-9-2-J for two pair, while an aggressive Gordon tabled K-4 for top pair. Gordon and Lederer were drawing to a jack on the river for a chop, but a six hit to double up Seed and Cunningham.
Then, on a board of 6-4-3-8, Seed led out for a pot-sized bet of 160,000 with A-4 for a pair of fours and Lederer shipped his chips in with Q-8 for top pair. Seed folded and told Cunningham that he meant to bet 80,000, or half of the pot, but accidentally put out double that amount. The hand marked the second “live misclick” for Seed, a heads-up guru, and his team suffered a setback as a result.
Then, disaster struck for Gordon and Lederer. Seed and Cunningham were once again all-in, this time with A-5 against Lederer and Gordon’s 10-9. After the first four cards came A-3-Q-Q, Lederer and Gordon were drawing dead to the river and fell to 2:1 underdogs in chips.
On the final hand of the inaugural Full Tilt Doubles Poker Championship, Cunningham slyly just called before the flop with pocket jacks and Gordon raised to 160,000 with A-K of hearts. Cunningham re-raised all-in and Gordon insta-called for his stack to set up the defining hand of the tournament. The board came 6-2-3-8-10 and Seed and Cunningham were crowned the victors. Each took home a Doubles Poker Championship trophy and banked a total of $1 million.
Cunningham told Jones and viewers at home that the heads-up match was far from a walk in the park: “They played aggressively and just kept us from being able to chip away at them easily.” All six players on the final three teams are sponsored pros at Full Tilt Poker, the industry’s second largest online poker site. No announcement has been made by GSN as to whether a second cycle of the Doubles Poker Championship will be shown.