Hand of the Week: How to Bust an EPT Main Event in 3 Minutes


It costs €5,300 to play in an EPT main event. Or at least in Malta it does.

When you only see four hands in said main event, that means you spent over €1,300 per hand.

If you only actually play in one of those four hands, that’s, err, more.

This week our hand of the week comes from a guest, Twitch poker superstar Jaime Staples, who explains how his main event went at PokerStars EPT Malta.

Hint: It didn’t go very well.

Jamie Staples Busts in 3 Minutes

Jaime Staples: It all started out very good. I had a good sleep, good breakfast, was feeling great. The weather was brilliant; I was ready to go.

Jaime Staples
So it started well ...

I sat down with the blinds at 150/300, folded the first three hands and then found pocket jacks under the gun. I raised it to 700.

In retrospect I’d say that was probably a mistake and I should have made it a little bigger. But anyway.

UTG+1 calls, UTG+2 calls, the cut-off calls, the button calls, and then the action is on the big blind with five players already in the hand.

The player in the big blind had about 17 bb and pushed all-in. I didn’t know the player but I had picked up that he was a bit of a gambler, so I was pretty sure I was ahead most of the time with my jacks.

I was more afraid of the guy to my left who had called my raise with six players still to act after him. I eventually decided to call.

The three players to my left folded. Now the action is back on the button and he moves all-in!

I Should Probably Mention ...

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I should probably mention here that the player on the button was Eugene Katchalov, and he had about 10k chips more than me.

Now Katchalov is a very accomplished player and I found it very tough to allocate a range to him. I ruled out aces and kings, as I think these hands would have re-raised pre-flop to avoid being up against five opponents.

I thought there was a small chance he had queens, but even for queens this would have been a very unconventional play.

You also need to consider that, on the one hand, I wouldn’t want to put in 100 big blinds with pocket jacks at the beginning of a tournament. But there were 17 big blinds pretty much dead in the pot.

By the way, the big blind turned out to have ace-ten. I was thinking about this for quite some time.

The only way I was getting away from my hand, I thought, was if I could convince myself that Eugene was thinking that the big blind would make a move and thus played a very big hand very slow.

But then if the big blind was going to do that, he would also call a raise from Eugene so it wouldn’t really have made any difference.

And now back to Twitch ...

No Miracle Ace

Eventually I called and, much to my surprise, Eugene really had queens. The board went out clean, no miracle ace for the big blind and no miracle jack for me. 

And that was my main event. I lasted about three minutes.

It was the fourth hand I saw and the only one I played. I spoke with a couple of good players afterwards and almost all of them said I had to go with my jacks, so I don’t feel too bad about my decision.

I still did feel bad in general, though. This is now three days ago and I haven’t played any poker since.

I think that Eugene might have thought that he didn’t want to 3-bet and then have to call a shove, but on my level of poker – and I’m not as accomplished as he is – you would always make more money by 3-betting queens instead of just calling because it’s a strong hand but there are still a ton of bad flops for queens.

Other players have confirmed to me that they would have raised the queens pre-flop, but that’s how Eugene played. He’s tricky.

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Wes Fazzani 2016-11-04 03:39:54

Bad luck dude, it's a shame that you busted so early, but this is one of the things that makes poker the game it is. You can be taking $8,000,000 at one end of the spectrum and busting out four hands into a €5300 buying at the other. Still feel bad for you though bro. Best of luck in the future, and don't let it warp your love of the game.

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