There’s been a flood of poker shows broadcast on television over the past few years, from coverage of massive tournaments to nightly Sit’N’Go’s and even some cash games thrown in for a bit of variety. The latest and greatest show comes broadly under the format of a Sit’N’Go tournament, but there’s a pretty big twist. Whether you’ve been following along closely or not, the upcoming final of GSN’s Doubles Poker is a must-see tonight.

To say that Doubles Poker uses a strict Sit’N’Go format is a lie, as the tournament is actually much larger than that. There have been a number of four-handed Sit’N’Go tournaments held, each awarding a certain number of points for first, second, third and fourth. These points determined who qualified for the semi-finals, which consisted of two Sit’N’Gos, yielding the finalists. The first prize up for grabs is a cool million, with decent pay-outs going to everybody who made tonight’s finals, not to mention the $10,000 sweetener for winning any of the individual Sit’N’Gos thus far in the series.

There is, however, a twist. As mentioned, the action is four-handed, but when you turn on your television you’ll see eight players around the table.  Eight well-known professional players show up, and are randomly divided into teams of two. If we call the players in a given team Player A and Player B, then the action works like this: Each team is dealt a hand. For the first hand of the tournament, Player A is in charge of the preflop and turn action, and Player B is in charge of the flop and river action. Next hand the order switches, but the basic principle of the players taking turn-about to bet, check or fold stays the same. As you can well imagine there are many different pros with different styles, and being forced to sit idly by and watch their partner do something disastrous is a hard sell for some. The friction between teammates and teams alike is probably the main-selling point of the show, if the truth be told.

Since the player dynamics play such a large part in the show, it can add quite a bit to watching if you know the immediate history leading up to the team dynamics and table banter on each week’s show. If you’re worried about missing out because you didn’t manage to catch the semi-finals, here’s a brief run-down on who the teams were and how they went.

The first semi-final was of course between the four teams Howard Lederer and Phil Gordon, Andrew Lichtenberger and Nick Schulman, Huck Seed and Allen Cunningham and finally Greg Mueller and Vivek Rajkumar. It was Rajkumar’s turn to act for his team preflop as he shipped the chips in with KQ, to be called by Cunningham holding the dominating AQ. A KT9 flop flipped the odds entirely, and it looked like Mueller-Rajkumar were going to get their double-up with a K turn, but a J river completed the straight for Seed-Cunningham, eliminating the first team of the night and guaranteeing them their place in the finals. The second elimination came once again as Cunningham called a preflop shove, this time with pocket queens, as Nick Schulman moved in with A2. The board was no help to anybody, which sent Lichtenberger-Schulman to the rail, thereby gifting the second seat to the finals to Lederer-Gordon, who were knocked out in third place, which affects their starting chips moving into the final.

The second semi-final aired last Saturday, and featured some more exciting play and questionable spots, making for entertaining viewing. The teams were Phil Ivey and Chris Ferguson, Erick Lindgren and Johnny Chan, David Benyamine and Tony G and lastly Phil Galfond and Anette Obrestad. Galfond and Obrestad seemed to have no qualms about sending chips flying in all directions, and as evidence of this they were eventually eliminated in fourth place when their Ten Seven came up against Ivey-Ferguson’s Ace Five all-in preflop, their fate practically sealed by an ace-high flop. The second elimination was again undertaken by Ivey-Ferguson, this time sending Lindgren and Chan to the rail. Lindgren got it all-in preflop with KQ against Ivey’s A9, and needed to improve to win. The flop came JTT, giving Lindgren-Chan an open-ended straight draw to go with their pair outs and keeping things interesting, but ironically it was Ivey-Ferguson’s hand which would make a straight on the 7 turn and 8 river, sending their opposition to the rail. That left David Benyamine and Tony G assured a seat to the final along with Ivey and Ferguson, the former coming out victorious over the latter in heads-up play.

Obviously coming into the semi-finals teams were most interested in just making the top 50% of the field to assure their entry to the finals, but it was definitely also worth their while to be the last team standing, as the starting chip counts for the final Sit’N’Go are based on the results of the semi-finals, with teams that got first receiving a 600,000 starting stack compared to second-place getters only being given 400,000. With that all said, the line-up for the final is as follows:

Allen Cunningham and Huck Seed – 600,000
David Benyamine and Tony G – 600,000
Howard Lederer and Phil Gordon – 400,000
Phil Ivey and Chris Ferguson – 400,000

No shortage of great poker talent in that line-up, but the beauty of Doubles Poker is that it’s not just enough to be a talented individual, you’ve also got to be able to gel well with your teammate and stay on the same page throughout individual hands and the tournament as a whole. It’s sure to be a great final to an excellent show, so make sure you tune in at 9pm ET on GSN to watch the action first-hand.