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Slow Playing Queens with John Racener

John Racener

John Racener discusses slow playing pocket queens in no-limit holdem in a hand from the WSOP Main Event Final Table.
We’re 7 handed and blinds are 400k/800k with a 100k ante. I picked up {q-Hearts}{q-Clubs} in the small blind and, even with the Grinder on the button, it folded around to me. I decided to just limp in. I had about 15 big blinds, and Filippo Candio was in the big blind with a big stack – about 35 million. I thought that with the money jumps being so big, and with my play being tight, he’d surely raise it. Unfortunately, he didn’t, so we took a flop of {q-Spades}{7-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}.

I flopped top set. Normally I bet here, but with Filippo probably going to try to push me off a hand I check to him. He checked back, though, which I obviously didn’t like.

The turn brought the {a-Clubs}.

I was 100 percent sure he didn’t have an ace, but I figured if I led out, he’d raise me knowing that I didn’t have an ace since I didn’t raise preflop. So I led out for about half the pot and he decided to float me and just call.

The {2-Clubs} fell on the river.

I didn’t know what he had at this point, but I thought he was probably going to make a move on the river. So knowing that, I bet again, about half the pot, maybe a little more, wanting him to make a move on me, which he did, putting me all in.

Most people instantly call here, and I normally would too, but given what’s at stake I wanted to think for a minute. The only hand he could really have here is a double gutter – needing a six or two on the river for a straight. And, at the same time, I figured he was trying to push me off a hand, which was my game plan all along anyway.

So I made the call and win my biggest pot of the night and finally got some chips to work with.

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John Racener

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