Locking It Down

Lock Poker $1,000 Guaranteed Deepstack NLHE (T5,000)

I haven’t been playing online except in spurts in recent months. Haven’t had great results overall, but I’ve been plugging away at a single buy-in level on Lock the past couple weeks. My last “big” win online was a couple years back at Full Tilt, when I came in second in a field of over 400 but today marked a relatively significant win. I apologize in advance for the length of this recap even without every hand; it’s a long way to the money.

Hand 1. 74 UTG
Blinds 10/20. Fold.

Hand 2. 72 BB
Raise and two callers ahead of me. I fold.

Hand 3. 9T SB
A significant hand.  There are two limpers ahead of me and I call out of position. BB checks and four of us go to a flop of 778. This is pretty decent for me. I bet 35 into a pot of 80 and get calls from UTG1 and CO. 6 onthe turn makes my straight and I bet another 100. UTG1 calls. The river is just 3. There are several full house possibilities on the board (and the quad 7s possible). My opening bet is 20, a measly 5%of the pot, but that seems to make UTG1 go wild. He shoves all-in with just over a full starting stack. I call and he’s just got 9K, a complete bluff on the third hand. The win puts me over 10,000 chips (but I’m still in something like third place; apparently there were idiots all around). UTG1 is down to 170.

Hand 4. 72 BTN
Twice in my first four hands? It’s OK, I’ve got twice the starting stack. One raise ahead of me and I fold.

Hand 5. 9Q CO
A raise from UTG. I fold.

Hand 6. 83 UTG
New table. I fold.

Hand 7. 3J BB
UTG2 raises to 60, SB calls, and I’ve got chips, so I call. The flop is 557, it’s checked to UTG2, he raises to 60, SB calls and I fold.

Hand 8. 3K SB
Raise and a call, and I fold.

Hand 9. 72 BTN
Third time in nine hands. I fold.

Hand 10. 83 CO
OK. Seven-deuce three times and eight-three twice. In ten hands. Fold.

Hand 11. 36 HJ
Blinds to 15/30. Fold.

Hand 14. QQ UTG1
Raise to 60 and three calls.  Flop of 578, I bet 100, one caller drops out. Turn is T, BB checks, I check, UTG3 bets 308, BB calls, and I fold my nice pair. Likely flush for someone other than me with K on the river and I’m glad I’m out of it.

Hand 15. AA UTG
The tide of less-than-premium hands turns? I min-raise to AA. Only the blinds call. 98K flops, the blinds check, I make a pot-sized bet of 180 and get a call from BB. Turn is 9, we both check. River makes me a full house with 9. BB bets 540 and I figure that unless he’s got the 9 or a pair of kings I’m good and I’ve still got a regular starting stack if I’m wrong. I shove and he folds.

Hand 16. 2A BB
CO limps, SB raises after losing a big pot to me, and I fold.

Hand 17. 32 SB
HJ limps again. BTN raises again. I fold, despite my penchant for the deuce-trey.

Hand 18. 87 BTN
HJ limps, CO raises (again). I fold.

Hand 19. 42 CO
Blinds to 25/50. Fold.

Hand 20. K7 HJ
UTG3 raises (again). I fold.

Hand 23. QA UTG1
I open to 125, three callers, blinds fold. Flop is Q33. I’m first to act and bet 500 into a pot of 575. Everyone folds.

Hand 25. J3 SB
Two limps and I call out of position again. Flop’s 644. I check, BB bets, and I’m finished with this one.

Hand 26. 8K BTN
Blinds to 30/60. Fold.

Hand 27. QK CO
Only seven players on the table at the moment. UTG1 raises to 210. I call and we’re HU to the 73J flop. He bets 255, which I call. 8 for the turn. He puts out another 1,020 and I fold.

Hand 31. AQ UTG1
Back to nine players. I open to 200 and get called by UTG3 and CO.  7K3 on the flop and a c-bet of 400 takes it down.

Hand 34. A6 BTN
UTG2 limps in and gets raised byHJ to 200. I call and both BB and UTG2 are in. I get top two on the 4A6 flop. Action’s checked to me and with nearly 900 in the pot and a flush draw out there, I bet 600. BB folds, UTG2 raises me to 1,954, and HJ is out. UTG2 is about even in chips with me, although I have him covered by a bit. Everyone else is about half my size. I raise him all-in and he folds. The win puts me over 13,300, with about 6,000 between me and anyone else at the table.

Hand 46. A4 UTG2
Blinds are 40/80. UTG1 opens to 180 and I call, with both the blinds following along. 7Q2 on the flop and I fold to a pot-sized bet of 720 from UTG1. Heck, I would have gone away from that flop for 80.

Hand 54. K8 HJ
Blinds are 50/100. I call a raise to 225 from UTG1. BB comes along. Catch middle pair on 8Q5 flop. UTG1 overbets the pot with 1,000, I raise him to 2,000 out of cussedness. BB folds and he shoves for over 60% of my stack. So much for cussedness. I fold. Down to 10,700.

Hand 59. 6K BB
UTG2, HJ and CO limp in. I check. I get a gut-shot with 547 and donk-bet 250.  UTG2 raises to 725 which is called by CO. I call. The turn is a Q. I check, UTG2 checks, CO bets 500 into a pot of over 2,600 and we both call him. 7 on the river goes nowhere for me. It’s checked around to CO again, he bets 900 and I get out of the way with my nothing-burger. UTG2 calls with 88 but CO had a flush draw and made a set on the river with 67. I’m down to under 9,400.

Hand 60. 72 SB
Again. Fold. By this time, changes to the table have brought in a couple players with bigger stacks. BB on this hand has over 14,000 and there’s a stack of more than 18,500 on the other side. Even HJ had more than me, so I’m just table median.

Hand 63. TT HJ
Blinds 75/150/15. Open-raise to 500. Blinds fold.

Hand 66. 88 UTG1
Open to 400. Called by HJ. Raised to 1,960 by CO. Blinds are out. HJ has only another 1,400, but an all-in loss to HJ would cut me below starting stack. I just call, rather than re-raising, which leaves me with 7,600. HJ is all-in for less. The flop isn’t good: TK9. I check-fold to the expected shove from CO, who has KA. HJ has some potential life with 34, but no more spades come (and no eights). Now I’m actually the third-smallest stack at the table of eight.

Hand 85. TQ UTG
Blinds are 125/250/25. I’ve blinded off 1,500 chips waiting for a playable hand. I limp in with The Butcher and to my surprise, find myself HU with BB. Flop’s 8QK, 850 in the pot, BB bets 425 with 4,800 behind and I raise him all-in. He folds. Back up to 7,100.

Hand 88. JT BTN
UTG1 open-raises to 675. I call and we’re HU. The flop makes me open-ended with 4QK but we’re both playing it cautious and check. 3 on turn. Checks again. 3 river does nothing for me (or him, apparently), we both check, he shows 88 and wins. Down to 6,000.

Hand 91. TJ UTG3
Action folds to me and I raise to 600 (10% of my chips). Jack-ten can’t always lose, right? I get one call, the flop is ugly for me: 2K7 but I take a stab at it anyway with a bet of 1,000 and HJ folds. It’s just that easy. Back over 7,000 for a little while.

Hand 95QJ BB
UTG raises to 600, action folds to me, and I call. 6Q2 on the flop, I check it, UTG c-bets 675, I raise to 2,000 (4,400 behind, he’s got me covered by 600), he calls. Turn is 6 and I shove. He folds, and I’m nearly back up to 10,000.

Hand 96. 72 SB
At least it’s suited. Maybe it’s some sort of divine retribution for winning that hand. I’m going to check the deviation from norm of this when I get done.

Hand 99. T9 HJ
Blinds are 150/300/30. UTG opens to 600 and I call, along with BB. BB’s big stack at the table with about twice the 9K the other two of us have. K4J on the flop and everyone checks. 5 on the turn and everyone checks. Q on the river. It’s checked to me, I bet 1,000 with my bottom-end straight and take the pot. Finally over 11,000 again.

Hand 103. 87 BB
HJ (big stack) opens to 600, BTN, SB, and I call. Flop is T82. Both us blinds check, HJ bets 1,760, and I decide to fold after everyone else is out, too. Still over 10,600.

Hand 111. A6 UTG
I open to 700 and get a call from BTN. BB re-raises to 1,945 with 6,300 behind. I call and have 8,300 left. BTN goes all-in for 2,566, which gets called by BB and myself. 8,100 in the pot pre-flop. The flop is 562. BB goes all-in. I call, thinking he might be trying to shove me off with ace-king. BTN has A2, BB has me over a barrel with QQ. The turn is no help with J, but the classic A on the river gives me top two pair and more than 21,000 chips, second at the table.

Hand 116. KK UTG1
Blinds 200/400/40. New table. I do the classic limp, wait for BTN to go all-in for 6,840, watch the blinds fold, then call. He catches a pair for his TA on the turn, but K on the river makes my set and I’m at nearly 29,000.

Hand 117. QA UTG
Min-raise to 800. A call from the only other stack with more than 20,000 at the table in SB. 62K flop, he checks, I c-bet 1,000, he folds.

Hand 118. 22 BB
I’ve been discarding my small pairs as a matter of habit, and even though there was just a limp, min-raise, and call ahead of me in BB, I tossed these only to see a flop off 2T6. Never know when there might be a better set out there with deuces, though.

Hand 119. 88 SB
Eights, on the other hand, are a different kettle of fish. UTG moved all-in for just 3,800 which, though small, was 20% of anyone else at the table’s stack. Action folded around to me and I called. BB folded and I was HU  against 3Q. The board ran out A2A35, proving that it wasn’t just me getting lucky that day. I was still over 26,000.

Hand 127. 99 BB
Another middle pair fared poorly against the same player not long afterward. He was UTG1 and raised to 865. I called and was HU. We flopped TQ5, I checked, he bet 915, and I called. T on the turn and I bet 2,000. He had 5,800 remaining and shoved it in. I called, he flipped KK and the river 8 (and my own stupidity) dropped me down to just over 18,000.

Hand 135. 8T UTG
Blinds 250/500/50. I raised to 1,000 and everyone folded.

Hand 136. 9K BB
Everyone folds to SB, who limps in. I check, the flop falls 7QT. He bets 725 and I call with my gut-shot draw. A for the turn. He bets 1,500 and I fold, preserving my stack of 17,600.

Hand 138. QQ BTN
Big hand. HJ opens for 1,325, with 10,600 behind. I raise all-in for 17,262, more than either of the blinds behind me. HJ calls with A9 and doesn’t catch anything on the board: J7J67. The knockout puts me over 30,000.

Hand 141. 55 UTG1
Seven-handed. The fives are still out of my preferred range, but I’m more than 10,000 chips ahead of anyone at the table. I raise to 1,000, get re-raised to 2,695 by CO (12,000 behind), then think better of it and fold when action gets back to me.

Hand 143. JT UTG
Eight-handed. I raise to 1,250. UTG1 shoves for 9,205. Without any more money in the pot, I fold.

Hand 144. AJ BB
HJ opens for 1,000 with 17,400 back. I just call. The flop is 3T3 and we both check. I check the J turn, so does he. 8 for the river. I bet 2,000, he calls, and I win against A8. Caution, caution.

Hand 148. 9Q HJ
I open for 1,250 and take the blinds.

Hand 149. KA UTG3
Open for 1,500. Everyone folds again.

Hand 157. T8 HJ
Blinds at 300/600/60. Seven-handed. I open to 1,500 and BB calls. The flop isn’t particularly good: just 566. We both check. Q for the turn. BB checks, I check. The river is 8. No flush for me, but it’s a little something. BB checks again, I bet 2,000, he calls and his TQ is the best. This player would eventually take second place in the tournament; he started this hand with less than 9,000 chips, so I can blame myself for that. No serious damage to me, still above 28,500.

Hand 159. TA UTG
Open to 1,450. Apparently I’ve still got some cred, even without the table lead, because everyone folds.

Hand 160. 55 BB
The player I just lost to bumps it up to 1,560, so naturally I call him with my fives (about which I already had something to say). This time, the flop falls 42A and we both check. 3 on the river and I check, he checks. I wait to see the river 6 to make sure there’s no ugly flush waiting for my straight, then bet 3,000 into the 3,800 pot and he folds.

Hand 162. KK BTN
A player with twice my stack of 32,000 chips has been moved to my immediate left, which is just great, but this hand does help even things up a bit. UTG raises to 1,333, then UTG1 shoves for 15,300. Action folds to me. Aside from the big stack in SB, BB has 22,000 and UTG has about the same, but unless they’ve got aces or catch a card, I should be good. I shove to force them out and they fold. UTG1 has AK, nothing shows up for him in the board, and I’m near 50,000.

Hand 173. JK UTG1
Blinds were 400/800/75. I opened for 1,750, My nemesis in SB shoved 11,314 and I brazenly called, only to be dominated by KQ. I was incredibly lucky when the board double-paired: 32355 and we split the pot.

Hand 178. Q7 CO
Seven-handed, this was on the edge of my range. I raised to 1,700 and took the blinds.

Hand 180. K7 UTG1
I was the second limper into the pot, and we both saw the flop along with BB. 445, a bet of 1,000 from BB, and a call from UTG and I was finished with the hand.

Hand 181. AT UTG
Blinds 500/1,000/100. Raised to 2,000, BB called. Flop was 9K2, we both checked. 7 turn. Checked through. 6 river, he smells my weakness and bets 5,200, I fold.

Hand 192. QK CO
UTG2 (the nemesis) is all-in for 11,600. Things have leveled out over the past 30 hands, and while I’ve gained 10,000 chips, the big stack on my left if BTN has lost 20,000. Still, I’ve got him covered by only about 750. SB has half my stack of 41,200, and BB has 36,700. I just call. Then BB shoves. I could fold and maintain nearly 30,000, but I call with just 3,500 behind. UTG2 has AA. BB has JJ. The flop hits me hard: Q4K. The A turn starts to lock up at least some of the pot for UTG2, and a 3 river triples him up, wipes out BB, and earns me a profit of 14,400, putting me around 55,700.

Hand 200. 9J BTN
Blinds are 600/1,200/120. CO opens for 3,600 and I call. I get a beautiful 786 flop, CO bets 6,600 into a pot of about 10,000. I just call. The turn 8 gives me the flush as well as the up-and-down straight flush draw. CO is all-in. I have to call; even with only 19,400 behind. He’s drawing thin with QQ hoping for a queen or another eight. 9 on the river and I’m at 89,000.

Hand 201. TA CO
UTG1 is all-in for 9,900. I call and we’re HU. He has JQ, catches a Q on the flop and wins.

Hand 202. KA HJ
I open for 4,000 and take the blinds.

Hand 209. QT CO
UTG min-raises to 3,200 (76K behind), HJ calls (54K), and I call (76K). Flop T56. UTG checks, HJ bets 3,200, I raise to 10,000. They both fold and I’m over 92,000.

Hand 210. AT HJ
I open to 4,000 and BB calls. I’ve got him out-chipped by about 17K. The flop is 8J2, he checks to me, I check back. Turn is 9. Checked again. 5 on the river, we both check, and his 44 take the pot of 10,000. This player would go on to win the tournament.

Hand 211. QK UTG2
UTG1 opens to 3,200, I call, then HJ shoves for 29,800. Action folds around to me and I call against KQ. We’re chopping by the turn card.

Hand 217. A9 CO
We’re eight-handed and I’m in late position, so I play a hand I might not normally go with and raise to 4,000. The short stack at the table in SB shoves for his remaining 15,500 and I’m the only caller. Up against AQ. I nearly get a straight with T67JT but I get cut down to 72,600.

Hand 222. TA BB
Blinds are 800/1,600/150 and we’re seven-handed. Action folds to the SB, who flat-calls. I raise him to 5,000, he three-bets to 10,000, and I shove right into his KK. Not the smartest move in the world. I have him covered by about 25,000, but that’s not a lot at this level. The tables turn in my favor with a 86A flop, the T turn and 3 river don’t help him and I’m over 118,000.

Hand 223. QA SB
Six-handed. HJ (eventual tournament winner) raises to 4,000. I call. We see 972 HU. I bet 5,000 and he calls. 7 turn. I check when I probably should have bet a chunk into the 21,200 pot, and he checks. 4 river. We both check again, he shows JQ and I win. 130,000 chips.

Hand 229. JT SB
Blinds 1,000/2,000/200. Five-handed. UTG limps in, I call, BB shoves for 31,400. UTG folds and I call with nearly 96,000 behind. He has AJ and we both hit top pair on the flop of 3J9. Nothing saves me, and I lose the hand.

Hand 230. JK BTN
UTG raises to 5,000 with a slightly larger stack than mine. I shove. Everyone folds. Now I’m the big stack again.

Hand 231. JQ CO
I open to 5,000. Everyone folds.

Hand 232. AK UTG
Raise to 6,000. Both blinds call. The flop is 3T6 and everyone checks. 4 for the turn, SB checks, BB bets 11,500, and I fold.

Hand 237. TT HJ
Blinds 1,250/2,500/250. Back at a full table. Action folds to me, I shove and everyone folds, putting me back over 100,000, which isn’t so much any more.

Hand 246. T7 HJ
We’ve lost a couple of players and I’ve blinded down to 98,000. I open-raise to 6,000. CO calls. The flop is 649. I make a small c-bet of 2,500 and get a call. The A on the turn slows both of us down. The river is 3. We both check and were going for ten-high gut-shot straight draws; his T8 has me out-kicked. Back down under 90,000.

Hand 255. KK UTG
Blinds 1,500/3,000/300. Seven at the table. The hand that put me into the top five for the end of the tournament. I min-raise to 6,000. UTG1 calls. Everyone else folds. The flop is JT4. I bet 12,000, UTG1 (who has me covered) raises to 24,000. I could be beat here, but…I shove for a total of 77,400. UTG1 calls with the flush draw: 68, but the next two cards are both spades and I double up.

Hand 264. 88 SB
Five-handed. BTN raises to 9,000. I shove for just under what he has in his stack. Everyone folds.

Hand 266. JT CO
I raise to 10,000. Everyone folds.

Hand 271. 7T CO
Yes, this hand burned me just half-an-hour before, but I open to 7,500 and take the blinds.

Hand 276. A8 CO
These regular CO raises are going to get some push-back one of these days. Raise to 9,000. Take the blinds.

Hand 280. 9A BTN
Blinds 2,000/4,000/400. Down to four. Raise to 9,000, take the blinds.

Hand 281. JJ UTG
Raise to 9,000. BTN calls. SB re-raises to 34,000 with 125,000 behind. BB folds. Smart move here would be to fold and preserve my 175,000 behind, which would still leave me in third and just a few thousand behind second, but I shove, BTN folds, and SB calls with QQ. His win leaves me with just 24,000 and probably makes the tournament for him.

Hand 282. 72 BB
You’ve got to be kidding.

Hand 286. 9T BB
Only 4bb left. BTN raises to 8,000, SB raises to 22,400, and I’m all-in for 15,938. BTN calls and they check it down. A8 v JQ, with SB pairing his queen on the river.

VPIP for this tournament: 22.30%. I had combinations of seven-deuce (suited and unsuited) eight times: 2.8% of my hands. Standard distribution is 0.6% so that’s more than four times as frequently as average. It was the hand I had more often than any other. Then again, I had kings three times, and that’s twice as often as average (plus, they all held up). Went to the flop more than 17% of the time and earned chips almost half the time I saw the flop. Went to showdown about half the time I saw the flop and earned chips more than half the time I showed down.

A look at the online stats for the top two finishers revealed some interesting comparisons. The second-place finisher has a truly remarkable ITM of nearly 52% over more than 270 games, while the winner has a still-respectable 23% (on 500 games). The winner is far more profitable, however, with an average profit of nearly +90% versus the runner-up’s +23% ROI. Even though the winner only makes it to the money half as often as the runner-up, it looks like he cashes for eight times as much on average: +395% on each cash versus +45%.

Four-and-a-half hours, 286 hands. 4th of 152 entries. +1,144% ROI (first paid +3,180%).