The highly-anticipated CHOKER Cup match between Bill Perkins and Matt Staples saw Perkins win an amazing battle, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to snatch a 3-2 victory in a last gasp thriller…

By: Andrew Burnett

The ‘mixed mindsport’ game of CHOKER has seen massive interest in recent weeks as eight players vie for an inaugural CHOKER Cup final showdown with US Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura.

Last night’s poker-player battle pitched the highrolling Thirst Lounge boss against the young upstart Matty Staples, one of the finest poker grinders to emerge in recent years.

复古传奇sf First up, a brief reminder of the CHOKER rules before we launch into what proved to be an intense struggle…

  • Players are dealt 5 cards each, from a 44-card pack, with a chess piece on each card
  • The betting rounds occur after 2, 4 and 5 cards are dealt.
  • Once the betting rounds are completed (if neither you nor your opponent has folded) you place the chess pieces you have been dealt in specially-marked zones.
  • After that, it’s a traditional chess game, the winner taking down the pot, checkmate – or CHOKEMATE! – the ultimate goal, though not the only way to win.

With Perkins streaming the match from his yacht ‘Singularity’ somewhere in the Caribbean, the most enticing of the quarter-final CHOKER Cup matches got underway, Staples boasting a real chess set in the background of his stream.

Game 1:

复古传奇sf The opening salvo saw Staples push the pace, holding a clear advantage as the cards were dealt out.

Staples: Q Q R R B (the extra Q becomes a pawn)

Perkins: RPPNB

Pot: 20k

复古传奇sf Despite holding one of the weakest CHOKER hands, Perkins called Staples all-in, perhaps hoping he could outplay his foe in the chess phase.

This plan, however, was what backfired in English chess GM Simon Williams 3-0 loss in the opening CHOKER Cup match against Canadian IM Eric Rosen, and Perkins ran into the same problem.

He was hopelessly outgunned as Matty produced the biggest hand seen so far in the CHOKER Cup, and the Thirst Lounge boss compounded his error with an immediate blunder placing his knight.

The opening game was short-lived, Staples picking up the errant black pieces to win the first 20k pot and move into a 1-0 lead in the first to three wins encounter.

Well-known poker pro Jeff Gross and chess International Master Malcolm Pein were online to provide the commentary on the action-packed hybrid game.

“Matt’s gonna be a little more selective,” explained Gross of the starting hands strategy, although Perkins himself became a little more cagey after the rout of the first game.

With blinds at 500/1k and a 10k starting stack, Perkins soon found himself short on chips, leading to an all-in showdown where Staples once again landed himself a monster hand – a CHOKER ‘Palace’ with one of each piece - to take to the chess phase…

Game 2:

Perkins: R B N P P

Staples:复古传奇sf B N R P Q (Known as a ‘Palace’, the pawn promoting to another queen)

复古传奇sf However, just as Perkins was setting up his final piece, his time ran out!

复古传奇sf This, of course, is an occupational hazard for chessplayers, but for poker players it’s a less frequent occurrence, with time bank chips often in play in the biggest tournaments.

Unfortunately, that meant the 20k pot went to Staples yet again, giving him a 2-0 lead复古传奇sf – with Perkins on the verge of being white-washed by his younger opponent.

The third bout, however, gave Perkins a chance to get back into the match, Staples calling off his by now short-stack only to see his highrolling friend plonk a second queen down as his final piece.

Game 3:

Staples: R R B P P

Perkins: Q Q R P P

With a huge material advantage, Perkins had only one enemy, the clock, and try as he might to infiltrate his superior forces, he ran out of precious seconds before he could find a killer blow.

复古传奇sf In the very next hand, though, Perkins managed to land a lovely Chokemate using two rooks to stay in the match…

Back to 2-1复古传奇sf, the next game was a horrorshow for Matty, confused by Perkins double-knight defensive configuration and under pressure, he simply left his queen hanging…

…and Perkins snapped it up immediately to level the match at 2-2复古传奇sf and set us up for the CHOKER Cup’s first deathmatch, the previous two quarter-finals resulting in 3-0 whitewashes.

The final game started disastrously again for Staples, though fortunately for him his blunder only cost him the blinds in the unraised pot.

It was clear the pressure had gotten to young Staples复古传奇sf, another horrific blunder of his queen allowing Perkins to show excellent technique and bring home the overall victory in style, though not a little confusion as the clocks ran to zero.

Thrilling stuff that you can watch for yourself in full on the and Parkins now advances to the semi-finals where he will meet the winner of the clash between Canadian chess starlet Alexandra Botez and the soon-to-be-announced Wildcard contender.

Full results and updates on the CHOKER Cup are available at ... and a FREE Rules Download can be found .

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