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A Hand from the WSOP with Liv Boeree

Liv Boeree

In just three years, Liv Boeree has accumulated more than $2 million in tournament winnings, including a title in the EPT San Remo Main Event last year, and a win in the Sunday Warmup on PokerStars. She spoke to PokerNews about a hand that baffled her during a $1,500 no-limit hold'em event at the 2011 World Series of Poker.

Blinds: 100/200 with a 25 ante

Preflop and Flop Action: Liv Boeree opened to 500 with {a-}{q-} offsuit. A player behind her called, the button called, and the big blind called. The flop came {q-}{6-}{2-} rainbow. The big blind checked. Boeree bet 1,300. The next player folded, the button called, and the big blind folded. It was heads up to the turn.

This is a pretty safe board to bet for value. How did you choose your bet size?

When you open with ace-queen off, and you get a bunch of callers preflop, you normally hate it, but this is a dream flop for me. I don't want to bet too much to fold out pocket eights, nines, tens, etc. I guess I could bet half pot there, but I really thought I could get a lot of value from the particular players in the pot. I thought they'd call 1,300 decently wide.

Turn Action: The turn was a {6-}. Boeree checked and her opponent checked.

Why did you decide to check?

I was trying to decide if there was a six in my opponent's range. When the card came, he shifted a lot. He seemed like he was a bit of a live "tellbox" [someone who gives off tells]. He seemed quite happy about it. It was possible he could have six-seven or six-five, but I really didn't think he'd call such a big bet on the flop, though, with a hand like that. I decided to check, and when he checked behind, I thought I definitely had the best hand. I thought he had to have a middle pair or a worse queen that he was trying to pot-control with.

River Action: The river was a {2-}. The board was {q-}{6-}{2-}{6-}{2-}. Boeree bet 2,600, and her opponent called.

I bet pretty big for value, and when he just called, I was sure I had the best hand. He showed five-six for sixes-full-of-twos. He said, "I didn't think there was much point in me raising because I didn't think you'd call if I shoved [laughs]."

Is this a bet-fold for you on the river?

If he would have shoved, it would have been absolutely agonizing. Obviously, with the power of hindsight, it would be a bet-fold. Looking back though, I think it is actually a bet-fold because I don't think he would do that with a hand worse than ace-queen.

Pros talk a lot about the low skill level in the small buy-in no-limit hold'em fields. What advice would you give to players who are playing against amateurs?

If you make a hand, get value. Really, that's my best advice. Hope you make hands and just go for value because people do not fold in these tournaments. People come up to me and say they should have hero-folded queens with 30 big blinds because they put their opponent on aces or kings. If you run queens into aces, oh well, it happens.

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Kristy Arnett

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