Can Mariano's Queens Hold Up in This Massive Hustler Casino Live Pot?


Mariano has been making a name for himself in the poker vlogging streets over the past couple of years. This hand is one of the biggest pots he has ever played!

The hand took place on the Hustler Casino Live stream where they were playing an usual $5/$5/$100 BB Ante game. A huge hand took place as two players, Mike X and Francisco, had ace-king and Mariano was sitting in the middle with pocket queens!

Francisco gave off a huge live tell in this hand as he decided to pick up his cards and show his opponent after sighing when Mariano called Mike X's all-in!

The hand kicked off with Mike X raising to $800 with {a-Diamonds}{k-Clubs} and Mariano three-betting to $2,400.

I like Mike X's big raise here given that the massive ante is in play. Over to Mariano, I think this is an easy three-bet and he can get it in if Mike X comes over the top.

Francisco then cold-called on the button with ace-king and he was in a dicey situation. If he four-bets and Mariano shoves all-in, ace-king is actually not in that great of shape against most players' five-bet shoving ranges. But calling is not a great option either because Mike X could go all in and Marino could call. I think it could go either way, but I probably would have four-bet the ace-king.

Mike X then four-bet jammed for $13,880 and Mariano was left with another decision with Francisco behind him with a stack of $43,990. Francisco gave off a tell by showing his hand to the player next to him, something he probably wouldn't do with aces or kings.

Jonathan Little
Jonathan Little reviews a hand played by Mariano on HCL

If he can remove these hands from Francisco's range, Mariano can just call to keep in Francisco's worse hands. Mariano will want to call with his best hands like aces, kings and queens and may want to make an exploitative shove with hands like jacks or nines to get better hands to fold.

What would you do in Mariano's situation?

  • Call
  • Raise
  • Go All In
  • Fold

Mariano took some time to call and Francisco then quickly moved all in for $43,990. If Francisco is confident Mariano doesn't have aces or kings, I think shoving is the right play. If he can ever get Mariano to fold, that is excellent. That said, I don't think Francisco should have snap-raised all in since he probably wouldn't do that with aces.

Mariano called just as quickly, which I don't fault him for given the way this hand went down. After some discussion, the three players agreed to run it once and Mariano had to hope his queens would hold up.

The flop of {4-Hearts}{6-Hearts}{7-Clubs} kept Mariano ahead but gave Francisco a chance to scoop with a backdoor flush draw. The {8-Hearts} increased his odds before the {7-Hearts} peeled off on the river to win him the massive pot.

The best hand doesn't always hold up and Francisco scooped a big pot while delivering a tough beat to Mariano.

For more on this hand check out my breakdown in the following video:

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 Sign up to learn poker from Jonathan for free at You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

  • Check out a brutal pot that rising live-stream star Mariano played on Hustler Casino Live.

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