Pocket Queens on the Last Hand of the Day

Pocket Queens on the Last Hand of the Day

Today I want to share an interesting tournament hand that illustrates a number of important concepts you'll want to understand in order to succeed at tournament poker.

It was the very last hand of Day 1. The blinds were 400/800 with an 800 big blind ante, and a tight-aggressive player in early position raised big to 3,500 from his stack of about 50,000.

With about 70,000 in my stack, I was next to act with {q-Spades}{q-Hearts}.

The combination of the player's TAG image, the oversized early-position raise, and the fact that this was the last hand of the night — players at neighboring tables were already starting to bag their chips — all suggested the player was very strong.

In the video below I talk a little about how these last-hand-of-the-night hands sometimes go and how some players can be affected by the prospect of making it to the next day, even though they shouldn't. After all, as in this case, making it to Day 2 makes you nothing extra.

I just called the raise, and with 9,000 in the pot the flop came {j-Spades}{j-Hearts}{2-Diamonds} and my opponent checked. Opting for pot control (and sensing my opponent actually liked that flop), I checked behind, and the turn brought the {k-Diamonds}. My opponent checked again, and this time I checked knowing I now had a marginal made hand that probably wouldn't be called by worse.

The river was the {q-Clubs}, giving me queens full of jacks, and my opponent led for 6,000. Now I know I want to raise, but how much? Should I shove all in? Should I take into account that this is the last hand of the day, when many players do not want to go broke?

I'll stop there and let you think about how you'd proceed, then watch below to see what I did and how things played out.

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $7,000,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at JonathanLittlePoker.com. Sign up to learn poker from Jonathan for free at PokerCoaching.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

  • Do some players change their strategy when it's the last hand of the night? @JonathanLittle explores.

  • Hand review: @JonathanLittle has Q-Q on the last hand of Day 1 vs. a TAG opponent showing strength.

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