Personal Best

Bovada $1K NLHE Rebuy (T2,000)

Bovada’s thing is that their poker tables are anonymous. You can’t tell who you’re playing against unless you know the number assigned to another player for a particular cash session or tournament. Their hand histories are even more anonymous, because the session identifiers don’t carry over; players are only identified by seat and position. Perhaps because of that, Bovada shows you everyone’s hole cards, which makes for some interesting reading, particularly in cases where you bluffed someone off a hand (or vice versa). It wasn’t the biggest amount of money I’ve ever won by any means, but I think it was the biggest ROI I’ve ever posted.

Hand 1 A8 HJ T2,000 10/20
If I have a poker superstition, it’s the ‘poison pot’ — winning the first hand of the tournament that dooms the winner to not finishing. I think I may be over it. We started the hand with everyone equal except for BTN, who did a rebuy. UTG1 called, I raised, and we were HU to the 64Q flop. Ended up checking it all the way to the river and  he had 78, giving him a gut-shot straight draw but my high cards held the day.

Hand 4 9T UTG1 T2,090 10/20
This is one of the hands in my range that I play a lot harder than some people would, though in this case, I was well-justified. I opened to 60, getting a call from BTN and a re-raise to 280 from BB. I called, and BTN dropped out. The 7TA flop was just about all I could ask, and I called the BB bet of 220. J for the turn made my third nut flush and gave me outs for a straight flush. BB went all-in for 1,400 and I called against KQ. Just a Q on the river and I was safe with 4,080. BB rebought.

Hand 11 TT UTG3 T4,050 20/40
This is where things really started to get crazy for me. UTG2 made a standard raise of 120, which I called. HJ went all-in for 2,080 with—let me say it ahead of the showdown—4J. CO and SB called with a more reasonable 66 and A4, respectively. UTG2 went all-in to call (55)and I, of course, called. I get top set with 94T. I go all-in, the sixes call, the bottom pair and ace kicker calls, a 6 hit the turn and a K is the river, nobody has a flush, and I end up with over 16,000 chips and move to first place in the tournament.

Hand 20 AJ UTG3 T16,080 30/60
Another hand where crazy play on the part of the $2 rebut crowd runs into the meat grinder of my good hands. UTG1 limps, I raise to 180, and HJ shoves for 4,000 (after having rebought a few times already). UTG1 is all-in to call. I’m risking less than 25% of my stack in the call. I’m behind UTG1’s KA, but the HJ shoved his stack in with 52. The board runs out Broadway for me and I take it all.

Hand 31 KA UTG1 T23,795 40/80
The craziness continued, although in this case (some of) the hands justified action. UTG min-raised with QA and I  called. UTG2 shoved for 4,545 with…J3. HJ goes all-in for 4,000 with JJ. BB has 1,800 and 99 and is all-in. UTG1 has about 9,000 and called, but I shove and he’s forced all-in to call. The board runs out 28K7K. Neither of the pairs boats up, so my trip kings knocks out four players and pops me up to 43,000, three times any other stacks in the tournament at this early stage.

Hand 33 TA SB T43,100 40/80
My first losing hand! UTG limped, then UTG1 shoves 25BB with 9A. I call, and BB goes all-in for 4,120 with T6. I call the extra and the board throws out a six, so I lose 10% of my stack with the best hand. I can live with it.

Hand 38 KK UTG1 T38,980 40/80
Raise to 240, get two calls (6Q and A6, what are they thinking?), hit top set on flop of KJ9, bet 600, get one call, turnQ, bet 1,800, and win.

Hand 43 QQ CO T40,000 50/100
Lost chips here but only because of a bad runout. Got it in good. UTG2 limped JT and HJ came along with 46. I raised to 500, BB with AT raises to 900. Both UTG2 and I call. I get middle set on a 5QK flop, BB goes all-in for 1,020, UTG2 calls with 80 behind, I go all-in, and the board runs out a straight for BB. I lose a couple thousand.\

There’s a break of about ten minutes here in the hand history from Bovada. Apparently, I picked up some chips in the interim.

Hand 62 JT CO T42,935 75/15
There was one stack at the table over 20,000, a couple around 17,000, and everyone else was below 10,000. UTG1 put in 5,000 chips, leaving just 85 behind with KQ. I was the only caller. The 25T flop paired me and UTG1 shoved the rest of his stack in. Easy call for me. I ended up with two pair and the win.

Hand 73 A7 UTG2 T47,945 100/200
Opened to 600, got called by HJ (78) and BB (Q5). Flopped 424 and bet 1,000 to take the pot.

Hand 74 88 UTG1 T49,245 100/200
Called a min-raise from UTG (QK), and four others came along. I checked the flop, then folded when CO went all-in for 4,480 and SB re-shoved for 6,000. SB won the hand with a pair of aces, but I would have had a set of eights on the river. Annoying.

Hand 78 T9 BTN T48,395 125/250/25
HJ opened to 550 and I called, along with BB. The flop was J45 and I folded to a c-bet of 1,000, as did BB with his 29. A pair of eights took it.

Hand 85 6A BB T47,660 150/300/30
I wouldn’t normally do much with this low of an unsuited ace, but UTG1 and CO just limped in. The flop was 996 and I bet 900 to take the pot from 27 (moron) and TA, respectively.

Hand 86 55 SB T48,650 150/300/30
Limped in along with four others only to fold to a 15,000 all-in from BB (with 2T). Life on the edge.

Hand 109 TA UTG2 T46,030 250/500/50
I’d gone through an entire level with checks and folds, and some of the other stacks were beginning to catch up. I was in seat 5. Seat 2 had almost as many chips as me and I think a stack at another table had passed me up. Five of the stacks at our table were below 13,000, though, so there wasn’t much danger around. UTG1 min-raised for about 10% of his stack with AQ. I called and we were HU to the flop of 599. We checked it down to the river, with another five hitting the turn and splitting the pot, which must have been unsatisfying for the short stack with the better hand.

Hand 129 8Q BB T43,500 400/800/80
Action on the table had been fast over the past few hands, with seat 9 doubling up to over 67,000 and seat 8 doubling to 55,000, with seat 2 passing me up to 58,000. Fortunately, aside from antes and blinds, none of the damage had been at my expense. Everyone folded to SB (25,000 chips) who limped in with 96 and I checked. The flop was 6Q4 and SB over bet the pot for 2,320. I called with top paid. A and J on the turn and river just got checked, and my queens won.

Hand 134 A5 UTG2 T46,540 400/800/80
Opened to 2,400 and everyone folded.

Hand 140 JQ CO T46,560 500/1,000/100
HJ limped in and I raised to 3,000. BB and HJ called. The flop was 578 and it was checked to me, so I bet 5,000, getting a call from BB (with JK). The turn was T and was checked. A 6 hit the river and I folded to a 3,000 bet.

Hand 142 77 UTG2 T38,360 500/1,000/100
I don’t normally trust anything as low as sevens on a nine-handed table, but this is one time I’m glad I was feeling a little frisky. I opened to 3,000 and got called by BB, hitting bottom set on a flop of J87. He checked, I bet 4,200, he re-raised to 8,400 with JQ, and I shoved, getting a call. T hit the turn to make his chances better than they were, but the 7 on the river made my quads and I took a pot of nearly 78,000, which put me back on top of the leader board.

Hand 143 A7 UTG1 T77,820 500/1,000/100
I opened to 3,000 and SB (9A) called. He checked the KK2 flop and I c-bet 4,200 to take the pot.

Hand 157 99 CO T83,000 600/1,200/120
UTG2 opened all-in to 22,344 with 5A. With almost 20BB, that just seems a bit loose to me. I called with my pair and we were HU. His ace never showed and I won the hand.

Hand 161 KA UTG1 T107,624 600/1,200/120
UTG limps, I raise to 4,000 and get called by CO, SB, and UTG. The flop is J22, I make the first action post-flop and bet 8,000, everyone folds.

Hand 174 KA BTN T115,904 800/1,600/160
Got caught in the crossfire on this one. CO opened to 2/3 his stack with 11,680. I shoved all-in. SB goes all-in for 45,898 and CO pumps the rest in. It’s KK (CO) v QQ and my lone ace. Nobody improves, but I lose a chink, and drop to the low 30s on the leader board.

Hand 175 77 CO T69,046 800/1,600/160
Nothing if not tenacious. I open to 4,800 and take the blinds and antes.

Hand 186 KQ SB T66,606 1,000/2,000/200
BTN limps in and I call. Flop is A83, BTN bet 4,491 with 33 and I fold. He goes on to stack UTG with 3A with a set against two pair. It’s the last elimination at our table before the money.

Hand 196 AK HJ T57,906 1,250/2,500/250
Most of the table is in the 45,000 to 65,00 chip zone, with one stack at 100,000. I open to 7,500 and everyone folds.

Hand 201 KT UTG T62,856 1,500/3,000/300
I open to 9,000 and again, everyone folds.

Hand 213 AK BTN T62,356 2,000/4,000/400
HJ min-raises with 4?4 and I call. The flop is 5A4 and he c-bets 16,000. I shove, and for some reason he puts in his last 15,000 and goes out in 26th place.

Hand 216 KK UTG2 T109,133 2,000/4,000/400
I open to 12,000 and everyone folds. Hard to believe, because UTG3, with only 41,000 chips, had the other two kings.

Hand 228 AQ BTN T101,533 2,500/5,000/500
I’m at a new table with three stacks bigger than mine by significant amounts and BB down to a single blind. UTG2—the second biggest at 238K—opens to 10,000 and I call. I hit two pair on the flop with 9QA and re-raise his 10,000 c-bet to 40,000. He lays down 22 and the board runs out to give me a full house against BB, who’s all-in.

Hand 229 AK CO T130,637 2,500/5,000/500
We’re down to six players at our table. Two with more than 200K, a stack of 170K, me, and 80K and 27K. The 170K stack in UTG2 opens to 15,000 and I call since I’m being hit with the deck at the moment. The flop is K96, and he hits bottom pair with his 6A, but I re-raise his 5,000 feeler bet to 20,000 and he folds.

Hand 238 AA HJ T146,637 2,500/5,000/500
Always a dangerous hand at this point. So many things can go wrong. I opened to 15,000, getting calls from CO and BTN. The flop was 95J, and they both called my c-bet of 30,000. On the 2 turn, I shoved 101K into a pot of more than 130,000, and got called by one of the big stacks with JA. The win put me back at the top.

Hand 251 22 SB T329,074 3,000/6,000/600
Seven-handed. UTG1 limps in and I follow along. The flop is 56T, UTG1 bets 12,000 with 88, and I fold along with the BB.

Hand 269 84 BB T294,274 3,000/6,000/600
I’m in a close third place at the table, with both the bigger stacks on my immediate left. UTG and SB limp in. I make bottom pair on the flop, then an open straight draw on turn and call a 13.5K bet from SB with J3 on a board that runs out 2Q535, then fold to a river bet of 24,000.

Hand 288 KQ UTG T227,222 4,000/8,000/800
I open to 24,0000 and everyone folds.

Hand 291 8T CO T228,822 4,000/8,000/800
I open to 24,000 and BB calls with 7T. We check the flop (he hits bottom pair), and I fold when he bets 28,800 on a board of 7JKQ.

Hand 295 QK BB T201,622 4,000/8,000/800
First hand of the final table. I’m in seat 7. Seat 1 has 540K, seat 8 has 465, seat 3 has 360K, and seat 4 has 238K, so I’m in fifth place to start. UTG1 goes all-in with 69K and A4, gets called by CO (33, 238K) and me. The flop is 6TK and I shove, pushing out CO. The board has a pair of tens and puts a four out, but my two pair is better and I eliminate the first of the final 9.

Hand 296 4A SB T350,310 4,000/8,000/800
I’ve moved up to 4th place. UTG limps with 87 and is followed by UTG2 (45). Against my better instincts, I call and BB (39) calls. The flop is 569 and I fold to an 8,000 bet and call ahead of me.

Hand 303 KT BB T336,310 5,000/10,000/1,000
Chip leader UTG1 limped in with T3 (UTG2 folded JA) and I called. 53K flop, I check, then call a bet of 10,000. Checks call the same on a 8 turn. Things stop on the A river and my kings win.

Hand 312 JJ BTN T350,310 5,000/10,000/1,000
CO opens to 30,000 with J9 and 180K behind. I re-raise to 100K and take the hand.

Hand 319 KK BTN T376,910 6,000/12,000/1,200
It’s down to six of us. Chip leader has over 800K and I’m in second. I open to 36,000 and done.

Hand 320 QT CO T400,910 6,000/12,000/1,200
I open to 36,000 and BB calls with A9, hitting top pair on the 52A flop. He donk-bets 48,000 and I fold.

Hand 326 AK CO T339,710 6,000/12,000/1,200
UTG has 88 and makes just over a min-raise for 10% of his stack. I re-raise to 100K and he folds.

Hand 327 AQ HJ T389,235 6,000/12,000/1,200
Open to 36K and everyone folds.

Hand 335 J6 BB T386,435 8,000/16,000/1,600
Big stack UTG1 limps in with TK. We check to the turn with 482K and I call a bet of 16,000 to see if I can make a flush but it’s not coming. The short stack UTG is probably kicking himself because he would have made a set of fours.

Hand 341 T9 BB T336,835 8,000/16,000/1,600
The big stack UTG1 has vacuumed up chis over the past ten hands, knocking out the short stack and blowing over 1.25 million, with me in a distant second. He limps in again, this time with T8, but I bluff him off the 632 board with a minimum bet of 16,000. I did have the better hand.

Hand 346 AA SB T336,835 8,000/16,000/1,600
Another player has bought the farm and there are just four of us left. The knockout didn’t go to the chip leader, so I’m in third place, though well ahead of fourth. The big stack limps in yet again. QT this time. I raise him to 48K and he calls, then I bet 50K on the 699 flop and he folds.

Hand 347 KT BTN T405,635 8,000/16,000/1,600
Open to 48K and win.

Hand 348 8A UTG T434,435 8,000/16,000/1,600
Another open/win with 48K.

Hand 355 AA BTN T405,635 8,000/16,000/1,600
Again with the aces. Open to 48K and win. We lost the 4th player on the previous hand.

Hand 356 93 BB T432,835 8,000/16,000/1,600
The big stack is on my right with over 1.5 million. Third place has 230K. SB limps in, there’s an ace and a nine on the flop. He has J3 and checks, I bet 16,000 on middle pair and win. The big stack takes out the small stack on the next hand.

Hand 360 AA BTN T415,235 8,000/16,000/1,600
Our third hand of HU and I get aces again. BB has 1.75 million chips, though. I raise to 48K, he re-raises to 80K, and this looks like as good a time as any to shove. He calls with KQ and a jack-high straight runs out on the board, giving him the better hand in the end. Whaddya do?

Not a bad result, despite the disappointing crack at the end. I feel like I could have had a good shot at first if the aces had held up.

VPIP for this tournament ~15%.

Five hours and fifty minutes. 360 hands. 2nd of 299 entries, with 295 rebuys and 197 addons. 5,725% ROI.

Good as this was, the next time I checked into my Bovada console, I had a ticket for their Lucky Draw Sweepstakes tournament, where 10% of the field gets freerolled into a Sunday $100K guarantee tournament. It was only good for one event, and I had a family get-together scheduled right before it, with dinner out a couple hours later, but I got home early, logged in with 10BB, picked up kings on my third hand and managed to stave off my hungry wife until only 8 of the 850-entry field was left to be eliminated. With my stack in the middle of the pack, we headed to dinner and I came back to a ticket for the $100K.