Watch James and Joe take on the pros in the PokerStars Commentator Showdown

March 22, 2021inPoker

PokerStars Commentator Showdown

The first PokerStars Commentator Showdown is done. You might have heard how it turned out. If not, we won’t give spoilers regarding who won here — you can watch the show below — but we will give you an idea what to expect when you watch.

First, the quick, “How it started, how it’s going” meme-style summary.

When asked early on if he’d done any livestreaming before, Sam Grafton acknowledged he had.

“I’ve done a little bit,” said Grafton. “But never in such a prestigious line-up as this one,” he added with a grin.

A little while later, it was Nick Walsh providing the contrasting “how it’s going” half of the equation, also with tongue in cheek:

“It’s the stream that broke the PokerStars commentating team!”

Sam, Griffin, Maria, Nick, James & Joe playing for charity

The six players played a two-hour cash game, starting with 10,000 chips with blinds holding at 50/100. Unlimited rebuys were allowed when players busted, but each required the payment of a “forfeit” in order to receive it and stay in the game.

Incidentally, that’s where the cyberpunk kaleidoscope glasses, unicorns, and “time outs” came in.

Also, the game was played using the popular “Big Game” format — pot-limit preflop, no-limit postflop.

Here was the line-up, along with the charities for which they played:

  • Griffin Benger (“Flush_Entity”), Right to Play
  • Sam Grafton (“SamSquid”), International Refugee Assistance
  • James Hartigan (“J.Hartigan”), Cancer Research UK
  • Maria Ho (“Femmeonfelt”), Equality Now
  • Joe Stapleton (“JoeStapesUSA”), Care International
  • Nick Walsh (“Nicholas Walsh”), Mind

The final standings were derived from the net profit or loss each player realized during the game. Here is what was up for grabs for those charities:

  • 1st: $4,000
  • 2nd: $2,500
  • 3rd: $1,500
  • 4th: $1,000
  • 5th: $600
  • 6th: $400

Bluffs, bets, bad beats, and beaucoup balderdash

As we say, we won’t give away the ending here, but by way of preparing you, we can divulge certain details.

There was a Twitch poll partway through asking viewers to guess who would win. Alas, the poll only allowed five choices.

We should do a poll asking which of the six was missing.

PokerStars Commentator Showdown

Joe came ready to play, armed with a table of hand rankings and a cat-vatar. He also brought jokes about Sam Grafton’s beard, all of which he told despite the fact that Sam had shaved before the game.

James worried how his natural role as a commentator might have conditioned him to call out his hole cards and thus reveal his hand to others. This may or may not have ended up happening.

At one point Griffin gave Sam “flashbacks to 2012 when ‘Flush_Entity’ used to lord over me.” You should know there were plenty of “Grif Graf” battles during the two hours.

The Grif half of “Grif Graf” got involved in a hand with Maria in which there was a possibly fake misclick. Later came more Hollywooding with some “dinner theater” time bank.

And it was Nick’s birthday, duly celebrated with some crafty animation.

Speaking of, other highlights included:

  • appearances by the sevens klaxon, snowmen, pocket rockets, and the “Joe and James” (pocket jacks)
  • a ceramic Superman and a tiny violin
  • hero calls and hero fails
  • Joe getting rumbly in the tumbly before getting a hot dog
  • James getting a new nickname and possible idea for a new poker strategy series, “Tens-Plus Hartigan”

More strategy included players dropping valuable maxims such as:

  • “Always see a flop”
  • “It’s all about deception”
  • “You can’t lose what you don’t put in the middle”

Finally, stay tuned as there is one spectacular three-way all-in during the second hour proving crucial in affecting the final outcome.

Also, there’s a truly frightening “forfeit” during the final 10 minutes that had everyone in hysterics.

In the end a great time was had by all, players and viewers alike. Watch below and enjoy!


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