Sunday, December 19, 2010

PokerStars’ SuperStar Showdown Debuts Tonight

PokerStars SuperStar ShowdownIt was not quite two weeks ago that PokerStars announced they had signed the mysterious “Isildur1” as a Team Pro.

Won’t be long, of course, before we will all start omitting that “mysterious” adjective when referring to young Swede. Word is he’ll be playing in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, scheduled for January 6-16, 2011, where he’ll be taking a seat in the $10,000+$300 main event. Who knows... perhaps he’s going to be one of the few to play in that $100,000 buy-in “Super High Roller” event as well. In any case, he’ll be there at the Atlantis Resort and Casino, all patched up, confirming his real identity once and for all.

When PokerStars first announced the signing, a new “SuperStar Showdown” series involving Isildur1 was announced as well. The series will consist of heads-up matches in which Isildur1 will be taking on challengers in 2,500-hand sessions. The combatants will play four tables at once, with the game being either no-limit hold’em, pot-limit Omaha, or some combination of the two, and blinds will be $50/$100 at minimum.

Read the full “SuperStar Showdown” rules here. Additionally, there is a chance for players to qualify to participate in a lower-stakes “Showdown” versus Isildur1 as well (see here).

Although the stakes probably won’t be rivaling those we saw Isildur1 playing on Full Tilt Poker around this time last year -- when he was regularly engaging in $500/$1,000 PLO matches versus Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius, and others -- I have to say I’m still intrigued to see what will happen in these “Showdowns.” Four-tabling 2,500 hands should only take a few hours, as well, so unlike what has happened in those long, drawn-out “Durrrr challenges,” a “winner” and “loser” should be determined in relatively short order.

I put those words in scare quotes -- “winner” and “loser” -- because 2,500 hands is obviously much too small of a sample size to determine definitively who is the better player. Still, I think the format is set up in such a way that the matches will surely create a lot of buzz, with players perhaps coming back for rematches down the road, depending on how these first few go.

Isildur1The first “Superstar Showdown” takes place this evening over on PokerStars with Isaac “philivey2694” Haxton being the first to take on Isildur1. I believe the pair is going to be playing no-limit hold’em only tonight, which given both players’ reputations probably suggests Haxton has the edge. But obviously anything can happen.

Pretty savvy, I think, for PokerStars to line up these “Showdowns” -- sort of like little heavyweight poker fights. If these first few involving Isildur1 are at all successful, I wouldn’t be surprised to see other Team Pros perhaps getting involved in something similar, too, by hosting their own matches on the site.

The match gets underway at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time. Gonna have to take a peek later, I think, at least for the start of the sucker. I have a feeling there will be a number of others there on the virtual rail with me when it does.

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