The second Labors of Arlie challenge is over and this time its protagonist was forced to take on multi-table expert and PokerStars pro Randy Lew.
After slaying the proverbial Dutch Lion Lex Veldhuis in his first challenge, Arlie Shaban was put to the test again on September 24. In line with the mythical story of Hercules, Shaban was pitted against poker’s version of the Hydra.
Multi-Table Like a Madman
In the original tale, the beast would grow two new heads each time Hercules’ decapitated one from its nine necks. The closest thing PokerStars had to a nine-headed Hydra was Nanonoko, aka Randy Lew.
“Thank god you figured out I’m the multi-table beast faster than you figured out the obvious Dutch lion! Let the challenge begin,” Lew tweeted on September 24.
Known for playing more than 20 tables at a time, Lew was pitched as the ultimate test for Shaban’s multitasking skills.
When the action got underway on September 25, Lew initially registered for nine heads-up sit and go tournaments. The twist, however, was that the PokerStars pro would open up two more games each time he lost.
With minutes, Shaban was registering for a wave of new games while still trying to maintain focus on his bets. At one point it looked as though it was becoming too much for the semi-professional grinder.
Finally, Shaban found his groove while Lew ran into technical troubles. Not wanting to waste a gift from the poker gods, the challenger pressed his advantage and eventually 2-0 in his 12 labors challenge.
Shaban Sticks it to Lew’s Multiple Heads
As before, the event was streamed on Twitch and the subsequent highlights (see video above) are as much a recap of the action as two minutes of entertainment. However, what the latest also challenge highlighted were the skills needed to play poker like a pro.
Although the 12 Labors of Arlie is a fun way of tapping into Twitch culture and promoting online poker, there’s also an educational element to the videos. In among the taunts and animated reactions, viewers get to see how players like Lew approach the game.
Multi-tabling has become a skill in its own right over the last decade and Shaban’s second Labor demonstrates just how tricky it can be to master. By offering a valuable lesson via an accessible format, PokerStars is not only pushing its own product but helping enthuse and education a new generation of gamers.