Queens All Around

Bovada $10K NLHE

Making it into the top three percent of a tournament with more than 1,200 players takes a fair amount of good luck, as well as some skill. The stats for this run are pretty great, even though there were a couple of setbacks. I can look at this to console myself after making what may have been one of the worst a calls ever last night in the Final Table $20K, just a few spots from the money.

Hand 2 77 D 9,990 10/20
UTG opens to 60 with JK and UTG2 calls with 67. I call, and SB comes along with A2. The flop is 835, I’m in the lead, but UTG bets his open-ended for 150. I call, SB calls, UTG drops out. 5 turn gets checked around, as does the 9 river, which makes UTG2’s straight. I’m such a wimp.

Hand 6 JQ UTG2 9,780 20/40
I open to 120, getting calls from HJ (TQ) and SB (AA). I check the 36[ td] flop, then fold after a bet from HJ and check-raise from the aces (which win the hand).

Hand 7 88 UTG1 9,660 20/40
I open to 120 and get called by HJ and D (KT and KJ, respectively). The flop is low and clubby: 372 and I get my c-bet of 200 through.

Hand 18 9K BB 9,900 40/80
UTG1 min-raises with QA, I call, the flop is 7Q7 and I call a c-bet of 180. Probably a good thing the turn is 3, because a heart would have gotten me into lots of trouble. I check fold to a bet of 440.

Hand 29 J8 D 9,370 50/100
UTG limps with A8. UTG 1 is down to 690 and goes all-in with KQ. I call because I’m on the button, and UTG calls. The board gets checked to the river: K53K7, the short stack triples up.

Hand 36 6T BB 8,680 75/150
UTG raises to 376 (yes, it’s one of those) with QA. UTG1 has 9Q and calls. CO calls with AJ, and they let me see a cheap 4-way flop with crap when I’m relatively deep-stacked: 44K. UTG bets 573 and I’m the only caller. A on the turn and I bet 1K just to throw him off, which he calls. 9 on the river. I check it to see what he does. He just checks, and I’m finally up over starting stack.

Hand 37 JT SB 11,456 75/150
Action checks to me, I open to 450, and BB raises to 1,050 with KK. I fold.

Hand 50 99 UTG3 10,706 100/200
I open to 600 and get called by CO and SB. We all check the J3A flop, CO has AA. SB, with 65 bets 1,200 with an open-ended straight draw on the 4 turn, I fold, CO calls his set and hits quads with the A on the river. He check-raises a 2,200 bluff from SB, leaving him with half a starting stack.

Hand 55 QJ D 9,606 125/250/25
UTG2 min-raises with 44, getting calls from me and BB with 9A. The flop is 5A6, gets checked around, and after a 6 on the turn, UTG2 bets 925. I fold, BB calls, and wins on the river 8 with the better two pair.

Hand 61 9J UTG1 8,976 150/300/30
I open for 900 and get a call from the button’s TT. The flop is 948 and he’s more cautious than me, because he folds to a bet of 1.5K.

Hand 64 KJ SB 10,206 150/300/30
UTG1 raises to 700 with 99, I call, and BB is in with QJ. The flop is checked, but after the 7 turn, BB goes all-in for 2.8K. UTG1 and I both fold.

Hand 69 AJ UTG2 9,346 200/400/40
UTG min-raises with KJ and I call. BB is in with Q8. Both have me well-covered. I call a bet of 800 after the KK22 turn, then another 1.6K on the deceptive A river and lose to the full house, naturally.

Hand 72 QQ BB 6,026 200/400/40
UTG1 raises to 950 with 77, off a 7.5K stack. There are big stacks at 19K, 26K, and 40K; everyone else is below the 10K starting stack, and I’m second-shortest. D calls with A9; he has the 26K stack. I shove my remaining 6K. UTG1 calls (?) leaving just 1.5K back, then D raises to 11.4K and he has to go all-in to call. The board runs out dangerously but ends up okay for me: 88842. UTG1 gets a side-pot of 3K.

Hand 75 A7 CO 18,198 200/400/40
We”re seven-handed at the table and I call a min-raise from UTG1 (TJ). D calls after me with 69. The flop is T48, UTG1 shoves for 17K and takes the pot.

Hand 80 JA SB 16,658 250/500/50
UTG limps with JA, CO raises to 1.5K with TK, I call, and UTG shoves for 13K to win the pot.

Hand 82 77 CO 15,058 250/500/50
I open to 1.5K and BB comes along with TQ. He folds when I c-bet 393 for 2K.

Hand 83 KK HJ 17,158 250/500/50
I open to 1.5K a second hand in a row, D 3-bets to 3.9K with a slightly larger stack, I 4-bet to 8K, and he calls. The flop is 636, I shove my remaining 9.1K and he calls with slim odds. The turn and river are 99 and I double.

Hand 84 AJ UTG2 35,366 250/500/50
On a bit of a roll, something you need to make it deep. There are eight players seated. Two of us are in the mid-30K range, the other big stack is in BB on this hand. UTG and UTG1 have 20K and 6K. HJ has only 4K, and CO is down to his last blind-and-a-half after doubling me up. On the button is a stack of 9K, and SB has 17K. So there’s some variety, and it’s nice to be on the top of the heap for a bit. UTG min-raises this hand with A9. I call and we’re HU. We both check down to the river: 36T27 and my kicker clinches it. Three in a row.

Hand 87 T9 BB 37,346 300/600/60
I call a raise to 1.8K from UTG with 66, hit top pair against a set on a 496 flop, don’t bet it, and thank my lucky stars afterward that I didn’t have an ace when I fold to a bet on the A turn. I’m a genius.

Hand 88 K8 SB 35,486 300/600/60
Action folds to me, I raise, BB folds his J5.

Hand 89 86 D 36,506  300/600/60
BB is all-in for his last 377. UTG2 raises with 9J. I’m the only caller. I fold to a bet after the 4T4 flop, the turn and river are KA, BB has 6Q, nobody has a pair, BB ends up with 1.9K.

Hand 91 87 HJ 35,186 300/600/60
I open to 1.8K and win.

Hand 92 QK UTG2 36,506 300/600/60
I open another hand, D calls with JT and hits bottom pair with J2A. I c-bet 2K and he calls. We check through to the river (79) and he takes the hand.

Hand 96 2A BB 32,446 400/800/80
UTG goes to 2.4K with 99. I make kind of a loose call, and whiff the flop of 6K3. The Q on the turn is tantalizing: I check-call 2.9K, but lose when the river is Q and we both check.

Hand 98 AJ D 26,566 400/800/80
UTG1 opens AQ to 1.6K, HJ has KT and calls, and I’m in, in the worst shape of the three hands by far. Fortunately, after a bet from HJ of 2,450 on the 26[9k] flop, I fold, as does UTG1. Aggression wins the day.

Hand 102 QQ UTG1 24,646 400/800/80
BB calls my raise of 2.4K with A5, calls the c-bet of 3K on a TJK flop, then check-folds to a bet of 6K when I hit the straight on the turn with 9.

Hand 105 KT SB 32,026 500/1K/100
A pivotal hand. HJ raises to 2K with 48. CO calls with TQ, I call, and BB is in with 63. The 5J4 flop gives a little bit to almost everyone: I have the best flush draw, HJ has bottom pair, and BB has the open-ended straight (and thinks he has the flush, most likely). It checks to HJ, who bets 4.4K. I call, along with BB. 8 on the flop makes my flush, gives HJ two pair, and makes an inferior flush for BB, who’s drawing dead at this point. I check, BB goes all-in for 11K, HJ calls with less than 6K behind, and I shove. HJ folds. The river is a J and I pick up a sizable pot that more than doubles me up.

Hand 111 AQ UTG 68,946 500/1K/100
I open to 3K and SB calls with 8K. BB is all-in for 65. The flop is 976, SB goes all-in for 16.2K with his open-ended straight draw and I fold. BB has 2Q, a K hits on the river, and SB wins the pot. The A turn would have given me the pot.

Hand 128 A9 UTG1 59,826 800/1.6K/160
I raise to 4.8K and everyone folds.

Hand 129 QK UTG 63,506 800/1.6K/160
I open another hand and everyone folds. I have the best hand, but in an 9-way all-in, I’m actually a few points behind J6. The power of suited. The two player to my right (in the blinds in this hand) both have me covered by 30-50K. The two players on my left are below me, but have enough to cripple my stack. Three seats to my left is another stack that covers me, but by less than the blinds. There are a couple of <20BB stacks, and on the button is another potentially-crippling stack.


Hand 140 QA SB 60,906 1K/2K/200
UTG1 now covers me and raises to 5,555 with 55, natch. I’m the only caller. Flop is 564, I check-fold to a bet of 8,888.

Hand 145 QQ UTG2 54,201 1.25K/2.5K/250
I open to 7.5K and win the pot.

Hand 151 JA CO 54,951  1.25K/2.5K/250
On the button to my left is a stack 10K smaller than me (17BB). The blinds both have me covered by at least 8BB. UTG is a short stack with just 5BB, UTG1 has about the same as the button, and the table leader is in UTG2 with almost 60BB. Another short stack in UTG3 (8BB) and HJ has me covered with 36BB. Action folds to UTG3, who shoves A7. I re-shove and the blinds fold. The board  runs out Q[hs]JA8 and I win the pot.

Hand 161 J9 BB 72,361 1.5K/3K/300
UTG ships 5K with just under 2.5BB and it folds to me. I call with a hand I would have played anyway and lose on the K8Q35 board.

Hand 168 QA UTG1 61,283 2K/4K/400
Hopefully, the diamonds will do me better than the hearts in hand 140. I raise to 12K and everyone folds. Not a pair among them.

Hand 172 QQ D 62,883  2K/4K/400
SB has 64BB and leads the table. BB has 8K. UTG is sitting with almost 50BB, UTG1 has 22BB, HJ has 28BB, and UTG3 and CO both just have me covered with 18BB. One of those spots you’re hoping nobody with a big stack decides to blast off with an ace before it gets to you. The second chip leader folds 37. UTG1 makes a bit more than a min-raise to 9K with QK. three covering stacks ahead of me fold J7, 38, and 44. I have 15BB, there’s 4.5BB in the pot and a minimum 3-bet leaves me with less then 10BB, so I shove. The big stack has 37, the short stack makes a tight fold of AJ, and the original raiser lets it go.

Hand 179 QQ SB 72,855 2.5K/5K/500
This has to be some kind of personal record. If you’re keeping track, this is the third time I’ve had queens in less than 35 hands. It’s the fifth time in the tournament so far. As I’ve said before, the distribution of starting hands only equalizes in the long run. I’m sure I’ll pay for this later. The short stack is UTG, and he shoves 6BB with AJ. Big stacks in UTG1 and UTG2 fold. UTG3 has JQ and folds with several covering stacks behind. There goes one of my queens. HJ ships a stack slightly smaller than mine with TT. CO folds my other queen with KQ, he’s got 25BB. D has 12BB and folds 63. BB is the table chip leader, with a stack four times my size, but I can’t really worry about that with the queens. I shove, and he calls with 22. The board is 53794, and I win a massive pot. Bizarrely enough, preflop odds with the dead cards taken into consideration had me more or less even with the other three players. If the queens aren’t dead, then my equity preflop is 78%.


Hand 180 JJ D 241,950 2.5K/5K/500
Seven-handed after I eliminated two players (we’re now in the money) with the queens. I’m suddenly the table chip leader, by 6BB. One of the bigger stacks, with 35BB, limps in UTG with 77. It folds to the shortest stack, in the CO, who shoves 12BB with 4A. SB folds. I rip my jacks in for 48BB and UTG calls off. The runout is 8T9A5. The short stack finds his ace and triples, but I take a substantial side pot that still gives me more chips.

Hand 194 8A BB 279,650 3.5K/7K/700
Action folds to SB, he min-raises with KA and I 3-bet to 50K. He 4-bets for a total of 142K, I call, and get very lucky with a straight on the 9J6T7 board. No spade! Life is ugly and he goes out 93rd.

Hand 200 88 UTG2 418,845 3.5K/7K/700
My turn to be on the wrong side of queens. I open to 21K, it folds to BB who goes all-in for just under 200K. I call, he has QQ and I ship almost half my stack to him. Just arrogance.

Hand 203 JJ BB 216,599 4K/8K/800
UTG min-raises with A7, HJ has just 30K and shoves holding TK. UTG has more than I do; I shove from BB, thenUTG folds. It looks good at first, but the run-out is 5J9Q8 and he pulls off a straight.

Hand 205 QK D 180,779 4K/8K/800
UTG2, one of the two stacks under 100K goes all-in with 99. Intermediate positions fold to me and I shove, with two bigger stacks behind.  The biggest stack —UTG3 with 5x the shover’s chips—folded AT. The blinds fold, the board is 6T3K7 and I knock out a player in 75th.

Hand 211 QT UTG 283,659 5K/10K/1K
The Portland Nuts. How can I lose? I open to 30K and everyone folds. They know.

Hand 217 QA UTG3 285,659 5K/10K/1K
Open to 30K. Folds all around.

Hand 219 AA UTG1 307,659 5K/10K/1K
Sort of a dangerous spot to get this, early in the pecking order, I’m not about to slow-play it at 30BB. Fortunately, UTG goes all-in for about 100K, so there’s some profit to be made if the aces hold up. I shove over the top, everyone folds, he has 88, the board is 69KKJ and he’s out in 59th.

Hand 220 68 BB 428,029 6K/12K/1.2K
I get a walk.

Hand 228 97 BB 426,829 6K/12K/1.2K
I call a min-raise from D, hit top pair on the 629 flop, check-call 24K on the turn when K hits, and we both check the K river. He whiffed with JQ.

Hand 238 JQ SB 450,829 8K/16K/1.6K
D has the most chips at the table with 736K, but I’m in a tight race for 2nd place v BB. Action folds to me and I open to 32K. BB calls the min-raise, maybe because nearly every other raise I’ve made has been 3x or all-in. The flop is 999. I c-bet 35K, which he calls. 6 turn. I check-fold to an all-in, he has KJ and has me dominated.

Hand 241 TT HJ 343,229 10K/20K/2K
I open to 45K and win.

Hand 244 A7 UTG 383,229 10K/20K/2K
I open 60K and UTG1 raises to 138K. Everyone else folds and I call. He has KQ, hits top pair on the K6J flop, and I check-fold to his delayed c-bet of 158K on the 4 turn.

Hand 251 TT UTG2 200,329 12.5K/25K/2.5K
I’m all-in with tens and 8BB, SB has AQ and has me covered by just over 1BB. I’m good to the river: J526A.

Five hours and ten minutes. 251 hands. 36th of 1,219 entries. +309% ROI. VPIP: 19.5% (49/251). Won 35.5% of hands played that did not go to showdown (11/31). 36.7% of hands played went to showdown (18/49). Won chips in 66.7% of hands that went to showdown (12/18).