You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now: Don’t blow your lead.
I was in second place in the bottom level of the PokerStars EPT Steps ladder—15 Frequent Player Points to buy in—and the game had been going for about forty minutes. There were only about 18 players left (out of 111 starters) and the top nine positions all got the same ‘Step A’ prize ticket. I had over 11K in chips and got a Q♣K♦ in the cutoff position with the blinds at 300/600/50. The first player to act put in 1,330, the player between us folded, and I called instead of just riding things out. The button and small blind folded, with the big blind making the call.
The flop showed Q♥T♦T♥, giving me two pair but making trips for anyone with a ten. The big blind bet out 1,800 into a pot of 4,950, and UTG called. I had them both covered by more than 7K, so I went all-in. They both called and the cards went over. The big blind only had J♥Q♠ but sure enough UTG turned T♠J♠. Three of the queens were exposed; getting the case queen for a full house was a long shot. The jack I needed for a straight would give UTG a full house to beat me. No flush possibilities. I needed that queen (which would give me a chop at best) or a couple of kings (which was an even longer shot than the single queen). Didn’t happen, though. The turn and river were 4♣5♠ and I dropped out of the elite, ending up in 14th place.