That’s Why It’s Called the Better Hand

Lock Poker $1,500 Guaranteed Deepstack Turbo (T5,000)

Another tournament where I held the chip lead—for quite a while, in internet time—before dropping down. Still managed to grab a little profit, but not the big payout.

Hand 1. T4 UTG
Came in at the 50/100 level. Only seven-handed, but I wasn’t playing it.

Hand 2. 2Q BB
Button and SB limped in. The flop was 743, we all checked. 6 on the turn gave the board better straight potential than my hand, and I folded to a pot-sized bet from SB.

Hand 3. JK SB
CO and BTN limped in and I just came along for the ride; BB checked to the T76 flop. Everyone checked and a 7 hit the turn. I checked here along with BB, CO made a small bet of 100 and everyone folded.

Hand 4. 3Q BTN
UTG2 raised to 300 and everyone folded.

Hand 5. 56 CO

Hand 6. J7 HJ

Hand 7. J6 UTG2
Blinds at 75/150. Folded. As the hand played out, I would have won against the only two players who stayed in: BB with 66 and UTG with 45 on a board of 4JQ8T.

Hand 8. Q7 UTG1

Hand 9. TJ UTG
Limped into the pot, then BTN raised to 413. SB called and so did I. Flop dropped 8KA, it was checked through to BTN and he bet half the pot, which took it down.

Hand 10. 62 BB
Down about 15% from the starting stack after one-and-a-half rounds. This gets min-raised by UTG1 and nobody contests it.

Hand 11. 63 SB
I fold.

Hand 12. 59 BTN
A walk for BB.

Hand 13. QA CO
One limper ahead of me and I just call. SB calls and BB checks. Flop’s 663 and the blinds check to UTG2 who min-bets 150. I call it and the blinds fold. T on the turn and 900 in the pot. Another min-bet from UTG2 and I call him again. The river is 7. He shoves. A call would leave me 500, and I fold.

Hand 14. KK HJ
Blinds are up to 100/200. I open with a raise to 400; SB is my only caller. A safe-looking J63 on the flop. He checks and I check to hopefully represent an ace. The turn is 7and he bets 610. I counter with 1,500 and he calls. The 5 on the river complicates things a bit but when he checks I shove for 1,800. He owns almost half the 4,000 pot, but a loss would leave him with less than 5bb. He folds.

Hand 15. 3T UTG2

Hand 16. Q2 UTG1

Hand 17. TJ UTG
I min-raise with this hand and am heads-up with the largest stack at the table as BTN. I get an open-ended straight draw on the 5KQ flop and bet 750 into an 1,100 pot. BTN probably sees it as a c-bet and calls. There’s a useless (to me) 2 on the turn, but I shoot a second barrel, for 1,000. UTG calls again. The straight comes through with a river A. I check to see if he’ll stick something in without any prodding, and he shoves his entire stack of nearly 6,000, with is great. I call and he’s got a good pair with a busted flush: 8K. Fortunately, the right black ace came out. I pop up to nearly 12,000.

Hand 18. 86 BB
Blinds are 125/250/20. My stack is nearly double the size of anyone else at the table; three of the eight players have less than 3,000. I fold to a UTG1 min-raise.

Hand 19. Q2 SB
The first of the small stacks in order (UTG1) goes all-in, the other two (HJ and CO) follow, and BTN shoves for 4,000+. I’m not getting involved with this, and neither is BB. It’s (in order) TA v 99 v 55 v 77. I can maybe understand the short stacks with 10bb getting involved but not BTN with the sevens and 16bb. Then again, the board runs out T3T72 and a full house means the sevens are now the big stack at the table by 1,000 chips. Results-oriented!

Hand 20. 43 BTN
We’re only five-handed but I fold to an UTG min-raise.

Hand 21 3Q CO
We pick up some new players to fill the holes the massacre left behind and get another stack with nearly 14,000 in BB. Everyone folds for a walk.

Hand 22. 65 HJ

Hand 23. QK UTG2
I open for 600 and everyone folds.

Hand 24. KK UTG
Just ten hands later, and kings again. I decide to do it traditional this time with a full table. HJ shoves for 4,350, with what I assume is a (probably lower) pair. Everyone folds and I unleash my kings on 64. He’s dead by the turn of the 9Q774 board, and I’m table leader with 16.8K.

Hand 25. 93 BB
Blinds to 150/300/30. Nobody challenges my blind and I walk.

Hand 26. J2 UTG
Fold. This hand saw another questionable shove. BTN shoved over a min-raise with 4,120 and 87, which seems like a maybe, but BB called with 2T and less than 3bb behind. Both were in trouble when the original raiser put them all-in to call with AA and took them both out.

Hand 27. 89 BB
No SB because of the previous hand’s action and I got another walk for the antes.

Hand 28. Q4 SB
I called a min-raise from HJ and was HU to the flop. The cards were 3AJ and I put the other stack at risk with a bet that put him all-in to win a pot half the size of what he had left (or double up). He called with AK, which held out, dropping me back down to 12.9K.

Hand 29. 29 BTN

Hand 30. J3 CO
Uncharacteristically, I limped in with this after everyone else folded. I shouldn’t have. SB called but BB bet 1,000 and I folded.

Hand 31. K5 HJ

Hand 32. 6J UTG2
Blinds to 200/400/40. Folded.

Hand 33. 5J UTG1

Hand 34. K8 UTG
Opened with a min-raise to 800 and took the pot.

Hand 35. A3 UTG (moved to new table)

Hand 36. AJ BB
Of the nine players at the table, six were at or below the starting stack (12bb or less), one had 11,000, I had 13.2K, and the biggest was 15K. The big stack in UTG2 min-raised, SB called, and I went along. The flop was a truly horrible 322 and everyone checked. There was a 4 on the turn; everyone checked that, too. 9 on the river. SB bet half the 2,760 pot, but I didn’t believe him and called. UTG2 dropped out. Each of us had the other end of the straight, but his K5 didn’t give his pair of deuces the better kicker and I took the pot.

Hand 37. 73 SB
I folded. UTG min-raised to 800 with 4K back, the guy who’d just lost to me shoved for 2,300 and it was JQ (UTG) v 4Q in another one of those “position” moves I don’t quite understand. The better hand won, as usual. That’s why it’s called the better hand.

Hand 38. JA BTN
Ace-jack again? It’s not suited this time. Blinds to 250/500/50. Action folds to CO with just 6.5bb, who shoves. I call, and SB calles for 25 more, which I put in. It’s me v 44 v TA. The flop pairs my ace with 86A. The club flush isn’t coming, I’m a favorite to win and the 5 turn and 2 river make it so. I’m up over 23K.

Hand 30. 48 BTN
BB gets a walk.

Hand 31. 23 CO

Hand 32. 7K HJ

Hand 33. 95 UTG2

Hand 34. JT UTG1
Uncharacteristically folded. but as it turned out, BB shoved over small blind’s call, SB called, and it was 47 v 2Q, with SB doubling up with a flopped four for a pair, and I wouldn’t have won.

Hand 35. 8T UTG
Blinds are 300/600/60. I fold!

Hand 36. 47 BB
What am I? A short stack? Fold to min-raise and call pre-flop.

Hand 37. 92 SB
BTN goes all-in. I fold. BB calls with A4 and wins with ace high. My hand would have won with a pair of deuces!

Hand 38. 2J BTN
An all-in from UTG1 for 3,700 and a call from HJ. I fold, along with other prudent players.

Hand 29. TJ CO
HJ goes all-in for 5,577. I fold, but SB calls and ends up HU with QK v 22. THe deuces stand up, but my jack would have won it on the 669JA board.

Hand 30. K3 CO
HJ is the only limper ahead of me but I decide to fold. There’s a king on the flop.

Hand 31. T4 HJ

Hand 32. 22 UTG1

Hand 33. 3Q UTG

Hand 34. 46 BB
Blinds are up to 400/800/80. There’s a min-raise and a call. 5,000 in the pot, I’m nearly 10K over the other two in the hand, and with 6:1 pot odds I call. I get incredibly lucky with a 66K flop. I check it to see who will run with it. UTG1 checks, but HJ decides to put out 2,400. I call and UTG1 folds. The turn is T. I go all-in pre-maturely, and HJ folds. Still, I win some chips and I’m up to 28K.

Hand 35. JA SB
The other players at the table range from 5K to 16.4K, with the median about 11K. Action folds to me, BB has 11.8K and I just call. With 6A2 on the flop, I check and he checks behind. The turn pairs the board with 2, I bet 2,000 and take the pot.

Hand 36. 6Q BTN
With a raise UTG and 3-bet from middle position, I fold this. The original raiser goes all-in and gets a fold (and would eventually go on to win the tournament).

Hand 37. 49 CO

Hand 38. 4T HJ
Folded. Blinds are 500/1,000/100.

Hand 39. 28 UTG3

Hand 40. 32 UTG2
Much as I might love deuce-three,  I wasn’t opening it for at least two-thirtieths of my stack from middle position. Folded.

Hand 41. 7K UTG3

Hand 42. 95 UTG2

Hand 43. JT UTG1

Hand 44. 8T UTG

Hand 45. 47 BB
Fold to UTG raise and UTG1 call.

Hand 46. 92 SB

Hand 47. 2J BTN

Hand 48. TJ CO

Hand 49. K3 HJ

Hand 50. T4 HJ

Hand 51. 22 UTG1

Hand 52. 3Q UTG

Hand 53. 46 BB
UTG1 min-raised and HJ called and I was in on a lark. The flop was perfect for me: 66K. I checked, UTG1 checked, and HJ bet 2,400. I just called, then UTG1 bowed out. T on the turn. I tried to make it look desperate by going all-in but HJ was too smart to fall for it and folded. O profited over 6,500.

Hand 54. JA SB
Action folded to me as the biggest stack at the table (and near the top of the leaderboard). I just called and BB checked. I checked the 6A2 flop and so did BB. After the 2 on the turn, I bet 2.,000 and got a fold.

Hand 55. 6Q BTN

Hand 56. 49 CO

Hand 57. 4T CO

Hand 58. 28 UTG1

Hand 59. 32 UTG2

Hand 60. KQ UTG1
I opened for 2,250 and everyone folded. It put me over 30,000.

Hand 61. 98 UTG
Might have played it elsewhere; glad I didn’t. BB was very short, with only 3,365 left after paying blinds and antes. UTG2 (the eventual tournament winner) min-raised, getting a call only from BB. The flop was 73K, so that would have been 2K down the tibes for me. BB went all-in and UTG called with AA. BB just had 3A. 8 on the turn and 7 for the river and SB was gone.

Hand 62. 37 BB
An all-in from the shortest stack left at the table (7,600) won my big blind and a limper’s thou.

Hand 63. KJ SB
Normally, I’d like to see a flop with these, but an all-in bet of 12.5K from BTN put a brake on that. Fold.

Hand 64. 7A BTN
Two limps and I put my kicker issues aside to call. Four players seeing the flop of 84A, BB and UTG checked, then UTG1 bet 2,000 with just under 10K behind. I had almost 29K left to call with. so I did, and the checkers folded. The turn was 3 and didn’t change my plans. UTG1 bet what I think was supposed to be a suspicious-looking 1,000 into a pot of 9,300, and I called. J on the river could have made any number of things possible—all anyone needed was an ace and a higher kicker—but UTG1 put another 1,000 into the pot and I had to call it at 12:1. He only had JK, and ended the hand with just 8K.

Hand 65. 4A CO
Blinds were 600/1,200/120. I folded to a min-raise by tens who were eliminated by the king-queen of the tournament winner, which put his stack on par with mine.

Hand 66. 2A HJ

Hand 67. KA UTG2
UTG raises to 2,525 with 12.6K behind. I re-raise all-in and everyone folds. Over 43K.

Hand 68. A7 UTG1
I call on the high from the previous hand. Action folds to SB, who calls, and BB checks. The flop is 58T, BB bets half the pot and I don’t want to play any more.

Hand 69. TT UTG1 (table balancing)
UTG shoves for 8.4K. I call from my stack of 41.6K and we’re HU. He has KA. The flop is bad: 56K. Then the turn is great: T and the river is irrelevant. 52.9K.

Hand 70. 26 BB
Blinds up to 800/1,600/150. UTG2 limps, HJ shoves for just 2,995, and I have to call. So does UTG2. The flop’s out of my range: T95 and I check it to UTG2 who does the same. The turn 6 gives me some hope and I check it to UTG2 again. Q on the river doesn’t do me any good. I check to UTG2 again and he does the same. Three players and nobody had a spade (apparently they were all on the board), it’s my 26 v short-stack’s A3 and tournament champ’s [two-pair][with][9Q. The other big stack at the table is pacing me.

Hand 71. T3 SB
Folded. BB shoved with sevens for 8K, got called by tourney winner who’d limped with J9, and a jack on the flop did in the short stack.

Hand 72. Q8 BTN
No SB. Action folded to me and I made it 5,000 to take the blind away.

Hand 73. T2 BTN
Things were looking ugly as they got around to me. UTG went all-in for 6,630, UTG1 called with only 8K behind, and CO shoved for 27K. I’m not playing the Brunson hand under those circumstances. Then the BB (tourney winner) called with half his stack (his knockout two hands earlier had put him ahead of me, finally). UTG1 folded out to fight another day, and it was UTG’s QJ v CO’s 44 v BB’s AK. It was nearly settled on the flop with JK5, then 3 for the turn. The 2 river sealed BB as the tournament chip leader, with a 42K profit on the hand and nearly twice my healthy 51K.

Hand 74. A3 HJ
Some table balancing moved people around but I ended up with the chip leader, in more or less the same relative position. There were eight at the table, with three in the 10K range, one about 23K and two more around 35K. I folded this hand. Three players went to the river, one was knocked out with sixes and the tournament leader lost a chunk with a set of queens against a 68 flush.

Hand 75. 86 UTG1
Blinds to 1,000/2,000/200. I have 25bb. Despite the success of a suited 8x6x on the previous hand, I folded this to a 5,200 raise from UTG.

Hand 76. 3A UTG
Really? Again? Fold.

Hand 77. Q2 BB

Hand 78. A8 SB
Big stack min-raises. I call. BB shoves for 9,200, and we both call. T72 on the flop does nothing for me; big stack and I both check. 9 turn, check-check. 6 for the river makes me a straight, I miss it and fail to bet; I’m probably lucky because I don’t know if I would have noticed if the big stack had bet. He rolls 33, the short stack has KJ and I take a pot that puts me up to 68K.

Hand 79. 3Q BTN
We’ve picked up a third large stack at the table who’s got something between my stack and the tournament winner’s 77.5K. Three other players with 30-40K, one with 19K, ann one with just a BB. I fold this.

Hand 80. 7Q BTN
Blinds to 1,250/2,500/500. I have 27bb. Fold. We lose the small stack on this hand, and tournament winner’s stack drops below mine.

Hand 81. 36 CO

Hand 82. 5T HJ

Hand 83. [qh4c] UTG1

Hand 84. 92 UTG

Hand 85. 8J BB
Fold to an all-in from SB.

Hand 86. 7J SB

Hand 87. J4 BTN
Could this run of cards have any less suck? Fold.

Hand 88. 94 CO

Hand 89. T8 HJ
Blinds to 1,500/3,000/300. I have 21bb. Fold.

Hand 90. T8 UTG1
Deja vu. Fold.

Hand 91. 78 UTG

Hand 92. J6 BB
Tourney winner limps in, SB comes along and I check. The flop is nothing I want to see: KA3. I check, tourney winner makes a min-bet and takes the pot.

Hand 93. T4 SB
Fold. Two stacks in the mid-20K range go up against each other with AT against A7. Neither pairs up and my four would have won it.

Hand 94. 59 BB
Yay! The action on the table’s resulted in me being moved into the big blind on another table with the current chip leader. The new makeup has the chip leader with 114K, two stacks in the mid-50s (including me), two in the low 40s, two at 30K and one with 23K. Chip leader raises min-plus from UTG2 and everyone folds.

Hand 95. 79 SB
Another min-raise from chip leader, and I fold these out of position.

Hand 96. 77 BTN
How cool is it to get sevens on my seventy-seventh hand? Cool enough to call a 12.5K raise from UTG2. We’re heads-up, the flop is 4AJ, he bets 18K and I fold. I’m down to 38K. Not cool.

Hand 97. 23 CO
Fold. SB tries to raise chip leader’s BB and gets faced with an all-in.

Hand 98. 58 HJ
Blinds to 2,000/4,000/400. I have 9bb. Fold. CO goes all-in with A9 and gets called by chip leader in SB with KQ to make a double-up.

Hand 99. J4 UTG3

Hand 100. Q7 UTG2

Hand 101. Q5 UTG1

Hand 102. Q3 UTG

Hand 103. 2K BB
CO raises to 12,000 and wins the pot.

Hand 104. 58 SB
Big stack (UTG1) raises just enough to leave themselves with exactly 100,000. CO calls, I fold. Flop is 4T5 and UTG1 bets 16K to win.

Hand 105. JA BTN
Blinds are 2,500/5,000/500. I have just under 6bb. I go all-on over an 11K raise by the big stack. I’m heads-up to the flop against 99. The flop is JK7, putting me in the lead. J on the turn solidifies my chance for a double-up and a chance at the big money. But I’m two-outed with 9 on the river.

VPIP for this game: 23%. Five pairs. I saw 20 flops and won ten of them.

Ninety minutes, 105 hands. 16th of 169 entries. +92% ROI. (Top prize was +3200%)