$150,000 Guaranteed

I took 13th place of 1387 entrants in the $150,000 guarantee during last week’s Twitch session, where I play live online tournaments and commentate on each play (5:30 EST every Sunday). Today I’ll cover the hand that I was knocked out on.

We were seven-handed and the action started with Under The Gun+2 (UTG+2) moving all-in for $720K. This may seem like a lot, but because the blinds are $40K/80K, this is only a 9 big blind all-in. A 9 big blind all-in from his seat could be any Ace, any pocket pairs, and hands like K-Q and K-J. Some players will move all-in with even weaker hands like J-10. I had Ah-Qh sitting in The Cutoff+2 (TC+2), a hand that should be dominating many of the hands that a 9 big blind all-in represents.

I had 1.2M in my stack, still a small stack according to The Poker Model because it is less than 20 big blinds (15 to be exact). Because A-Q should be beating most of the hands my all-in opponents will play, I move all-on over the top of his all-in. I choose to put all of my chips in to isolate the action and deter others from also joining the pot behind me. This play ensures that others players must have a big hand to play, which is unlikely.

Unfortunately the player to my immediate left calls both of our all-ins. As stated above, this call will only be made with a strong hand that’s most likely beating my A-Q. The rest of the table folds and we flip our cards.

The original all-in player flips, 7s-7c, a hand that I’m 50/50 against. As expected, the player to my left shows a very strong hand, Q-Q, one that dominates A-Q (70/30) and 7-7 (80/20). The cards run out and I do not improve, knocking me out of the tournament. Even though I was not in a dominating position against either player, I would still have made the same move regardless. This is because I will be up against an inferior hand in front of me with all folds behind me in many future situations. It was unfortunate that the original all-in had a pocket pair and that a player behind me picked up Q-Q.

I finished 13th and won $1,026 for a $162 buy-in. Winning doesn’t feel that great when 1st place was $24,000, but consistently getting deep in tournaments like this is what it takes to become a profitable poker player. There will be times when you win hands like this and make it to the big money. The most important thing is to not expect players behind you to pick up these big hands. Expect them to fold. You must use the information in front of you to make the correct play. The money will come in the long run. 


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