Monday, December 20, 2010

Haxton Takes First SuperStar Showdown

Haxton wins first 'SuperStar Showdown'Ended up following that “SuperStar Showdown” match between Isildur1 and Isaac “philivey2694” Haxton over on PokerStars fairly closely last night. Wasn’t sure it would keep my attention beyond the start, but I found myself checking in throughout the four-and-a-half hours or so it took to complete.

It was a fairly close match, with both players leading for stretches during the 2,500 hands of heads-up no-limit hold’em ($50/$100 blinds). About two-thirds of the way through it appeared the mysterious Swede was going to win as he held nearly a $30K advantage. But Haxton snatched the lead away, hitting a few hands while also making some big calls versus Isildur1’s bluffs.

They were still close to even with just 300 hands to go, then came the biggest pot of the night -- over $44,000. On that key hand, both players flopped top pair of nines on a 9-5-3 board, but Haxton had a king kicker while Isildur1’s other card was a jack. Isildur1 led the betting on all three streets after the flop, jamming all in on fifth street after the turn and river brought a couple of deuces. Haxton called the big river shove (a pot-sized bet of $15,000-plus) with the better hand, and was on his way to victory.

In the end, Haxton finished exactly $41,701 ahead -- a figure that represents his total winnings for the match, by the way. That is to say, there was no additional reward to the victor (as in the “Durrrr challenge”). Not officially, anyway. For an overview of the entire match, including details of all the key hands, check out Change100’s recap over on the PokerStars blog.

Like I say, I didn’t necessarily expect to keep following the sucker to its conclusion, but it successfully held my interest. Then again, I might have a slightly higher tolerance for watching people play online poker, given that I do it so much.

As I was saying yesterday, I think it’s likely we’ll be seeing a lot more of these Showdowns, perhaps involving other PokerStars pros. Wouldn’t be that surprised, actually, to see the stakes go up a bit as well in some cases, should the participants desire such. Kind of funny to consider how Haxton’s overall win compares to some of the pots that were being played by Isildur1 on Full Tilt Poker around this time last year. Or the stakes of the “Durrrr challenge,” in which Dwan wins an additional $500,000 if he comes out ahead, while his opponents could earn $1.5 million for doing so.

Something cool, though, about getting to see such a match play all of the way to its conclusion like this. I imagine Stars might come up with on-screen “scoreboard” or the like to keep a running tally for the railbirds, too, so as to make it easier to jump in and out and know instantly where things stand. Heck, they could even turn this into some sort of ongoing “season” or tourney or something, with cumulative standings and so forth.

It ain’t Johnny Moss versus Nick “the Greek,” of course. Or the “Corporation” versus Andy Beal. Still, fun stuff.

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