#PNWPokerCal Planner for 21 March 2018: SPRING INTO POKER

Pacific Northwest Leaderboard

There was a late (late) report from the Chinook Winds PACWEST Poker Classic that showed up in this week’s collation for Oregon players on The Hendon Mob: Eugene’s David Holder, who took 2nd place in the Main Event. It was his largest reported cash—and the first one in nearly five years—thogh he had a string of four-figure cashes for several years in LA and elsewhere, and was the winner of the 2011 TJ Cloutier Choctaw Poker Challenge.

Ian Johns made it to 10th in a field of 1,533 at the LAPC25 #48 $1M GTD NLHE Double Stack, another number from mid-February that just posted this past week (I reported on Belliga Flores getting 8th in the same event last week). Out in Atlantic City, Max Young is still cranking them out, just missing a third WSOP Circuit Ring in Event #4 NLHE Double Stack. He lost to a guy older than me! So there is hope! max is already qualified for this year’s Global Casino Championship via his Main Event win at Lake Tahoe earlier last fall.

This Week In Portland Poker

Nothing special going on that I’m aware of, but next weekend…

Only a Day Away

Would you believe we’re less than two months from the beginning of the Las Vegas summer series season? The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza III starts 14 May; and Planet Hollywood GOLIATH starts 24 May.

  • I somehow missed the announcement of the Atlantis All In Poker Series in Reno (which started last Thursday). It runs through this weekend, so if you were heading down a couple days early for Run It  Up Reno, you might check in on the $200K NLHE Main Event with $1,100 buyin on Friday and Saturday at 11am.
  • The Bicycle Mega Millions XVIII with a $1M GTD for a $160 buyin has entry days through Monday, with two $160 entry/$100 addon flights each day at 11:30am and 4pm, and $550 flights (a higher percentage of players make it to Day 2) Friday–Sunday at 2pm. Tuesday (Day 2 of the $1M event) is the first of six flights for a $245 tournament with $250K GTD.
  • The World Series of Poker Circuit is back in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood tomorrow with an opening $150K ($365 entry) this weekend, PLO on Monday, and the Main Event next weekend.
  • The $40K/1st tournament at Lucky Chances is Sunday at 9:30am.
  • Run It Up Reno is at Peppermill Casino starts Monday. It has a reputation as an extremely fun series, and while the events aren’t particularly large (with a $600 buyin $150KGTD Main Event), they do have a range of games, includiing PLO, HORSE, and 8-Game 6-Max.
  • Monday is also the beginning of Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza II which kicks off with a $200K GTD $1,100 entry tournament for the non-weekend-warriors: starting days on Wednesday and Thursday next week, offset from the Planet Hollywood Main Event.
  • Next Thursday is WSOPC Council Bluffs.
  • The Heartland Poker Tour return to  Las Vegas at the Westgate next Thursday. The Main Event ($1,650 entry) on the first weekend of April has a $500K guarantee; there;s an opening event with a $350 buyin (flights 29–31 March) with $100K GTD.
  • Also starting next Thursday is WPTDeepstacks Thunder Valley. It opens with two $100K GTD tournaments (a multi-entry-day event with $160 buyin during the week with Day 2 on Friday and a single-day tournament on Saturday with $460 buyin) and wraps up next weekend with a $500K GTD event ($1,100 buyin).
  • The Wildhorse Spring Poker Round Up is coming up in just over two weeks with a slightly reconfigured schedule that puts the High Roller up front on the first weekend rather than mid-week. Adjust your plans accordingly.
  • Mid-States Poker Tour Colorado is in Black Hawk two weeks from today, starting with a $150K GTD, $350 buyin and wrapping with a $1,100 buyin on a $300K GTD event.
  • Deepstacks Poker Tour Edmonton runs 6–16 April at Casino Yellowhead. The capping event is a C$300K tournament with C$1,100 buyin (US$230K and $845, respectively). Flights bracketing the Main Event are going for about $300RT.

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 14 March 2018

Yeah, that’s right, it’s been a year since I won the trophy as the best poker player in Portland!  And now that I’ve won my first five-figure score I’m going to be insufferable!

This week’s edition of the Planner is going to be a short one; I need to go and soak my swelled head.

The PACWEST Saga—Now With Hendon Mob!

We’ve had the results of the PACWEST Poker Classic posted for a couple of weeks now, but for those of us who live and die by numbers, the real question was when were they going to show up on The Hendon Mob?

Like an idiiot, I was checking them obsessively—sometimes several times a day—even though you can have (and I do) Hendon Mob alert you when a change is made to your results. Angela Jordison took time out of her busy schedule of playing poker and drinking in LA at the WSOPC/Mega Millions series to text me Saturday afternoon when they weren’t showing up yet. I checked again early Sunday and there was my latest cash, but they were still entering them in; while all of the events were listed for the serie, only the first event had a link when I first checked it. A couple of hours later, all were up. You can find them here.

I put together a points spreadsheet for the series, using the WSOP Circuit point system for Ring eventsTam Nguyen was the overall winner with a first-place in Event #7 NLHE Seniors and final table in Event #1 $100K NLHE, for 67.5 points. For “open” events (non-restricted by age, in this case), the crown would go to TJ Amhaz, whose technical 2nd in Event #1, final table in Event #13 $50K NLHE, and min-cash in Event #16 $200K NLHE Main Event, got him 62.5 points, just enough to edge ahead of Richard Chouinard, who also had two final tables (Event #3 and the Main Event) and a min-cash for 60 points. Two more players with two final tables tied for the next spot with 55 points: Kris Monteith and Calvin Le. With wins in one event and a min-cash in another, Angel Farrington and Dan Beecher got 52.5 points, putting them ahead of everyone who won an event but didn’t cash anything else (50 points): Angela JordisonJacob Dahl, Kao Saechao, Matthew Jacks, Paul Nguyen, and Paul Thomas.

Pacific Northwest Leaderboard

The winner of the Chinook Winds PACWEST Poker Classic, Portland’s Paul Nguyen, was the top new name on the leaderboard, with his only recorded cash in Event#16 $200K NLHE Main Event putting him in 299th place on Hendon Mob’s Oregon listings. Event #1 $100K NLHE 4th-place finisher William Tinoco was the second newbie (ir was also his first cash) in the big money for the week’s reports.

Meanwhile, down in Los Angeles, James Romero took first place in the WPT/LAPC #59 $200K GTD $5,250 NLHE 8-Max, besting 57 others. Portland’s Andy Su grabbed 4th in the Wynn Spring Classic $1M NLHE Championship in Las Vegas. Glenn Larson of Olympia was the second Larson at the final table of the WPT Rolling Thunder $3,500 NLHE Main Event at Thunder Valley, making 8th place (the event was won by a David Larson from San Jose). Out of Seattle, Belciga Flores took 8th at the LAPC #48 $1M NLHE Double Stack

Calvin Le from Portland was the big money-winner at the PACWEST Poker Classic after Paul Nguyen, with 4th-place finishes in Event #13 $50K NLHE on Friday and Event #16 $200K NLHE Main Event, just edging out TJ Amhaz, who was a co-winner in Event #1 $100K NLHE, took 6th in Event #13 $50K NLHE, and 33rd in the $200K Main Event.

Dylan Wilkerson got a 6th in the Wynn Spring Classic $3,150 NLHE (with a $385K prize pool), then headed north to THunder Valley for a small cash the WPT $3,500 NLHE Main Event.

Portland’s Richard Chouinard was one of a handful of players to cash three (or more) times at the PACWEST Poker Classic. He had a min-cash in Event #1, lost the heads-up batrtle to Angela Jordison in Event #2, and made 7th place in the Main Event. Event #1 co-winner Kao Saechao went down to Thunder Valley and made the unofficial final table of WPT Event #3 NLHE Knockout.

Bryce Schnellenberger of Portland got his second Hendon Mob record for 3rd place in the Main Event. Olympia’s Chris Hinchcliffe got his 88th with 13th place at the WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event.

Kris Monteith of Gresham was another three-cash winner at PACWEST, making final tables in Event #9 Omaha Hi/Lo and the Main Event, and a small cash in Event #11 Big ORobert Mitchell from Corvallis was another PNWer who cashed in the Wynn $1M NLHE, taking 15th.

Daniel Magdalen (Milwaukee) got 5th in the PACWEST Main Event, which was just enough to pull ahead of me (3rd place in Event #1) for the reporting period, but I still jumped 300 places on Hendon Mob’s Oregon All Time Money List.

Poker Time With Tedder

There’s a new session of 2 Poker Guys’ Poker Time $1K Sit & Go that features Elizabeth Tedder. Liz is in both 442nd (as Liz) and 69th (as Elizabeth) positions on the Oregon All Time Money List. If she got those combined she could get out of the 69 position (and move up to 61).

This Week In Portland Poker

It’s the big St. Patrick’s Day $50K GTD NLHE at Final Table this Saturday. There’s a $160 buyin with 1 live rebuy and $80 addon (with $15 daily membership fee). 12K chips for buyin/rebuy, and 10K for the addon. Expect the plaques to come out for this one!

Lucky Chances Battle of the Bay

The Cardroom, a magazine and website covering the Northern California poker scene, announced that Lucky Chances Casino (south of San Francisco) has scheduled their annual Battle of the Bay. The series runs from 22–30 April, and features guarantees for first place ranging from $10K during the week to $40K on opening weekend, and presumably $100K for first place in the Main Event (it’s not specified in the article but it appears elsewhere). Buyin for the $40K/1st event is $630 (with staff appreciation) and the Main Event is $1,110. Lucky Chances has a $40K/1st on 25 March (also $630) at 9:30am.

Only a Day Away

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 7 March 2018

Bilzerian PNW-Style

Stepping Up The Game

Over in SW Portland, The Game is splashing shootout pots with half the membership fees every three hours from open to close on Sundays. They’re also advertising 20/40 at noon on Monday and Thursday, though it;s not specified in anything I’ve seen whether it’s LHE or NLHE. I’m, uh, guessing limit since the calendar says the game’s full kill, but then again you might want to bring $20K along with, just in case. Discount entry fees before noon, 2/5 NLHE running three days a week, with 2/5 PLO and 1/2/5 PLO on Thursdays and Saturdays, respectively.

Portland Meadows DASH Tournament

I was busy getting my ass walloped in the Final Table $20K last Friday, but the Portland Meadows DASH/CRYPTO 20% Overlay tournament—the first brick-and-mortar tournament with buyins and payouts in cryptocurrency—got a respectable turnout, with some players reportedly re-entering four or five times (note: this is never even remotely profitable).

At the time of the tournament, DASH was selling at about $610 (the buyin for the tournament was 0.1D). It dropped a little bit on Monday and is about $580/D as I write this.

DASH tournament final table courtesy Brian Sarchi/Portland Meadows Poker Room


This Week In Portland Poker

It appears as if the most recent addition to the Portland poker scene, Room 52 is no longer in operation. You might keep an eye on the NW Poker group on Facebook to see if there’s more info.

Downtown at the Rialto, they’re trying to get a mixed game shootout running on Mondays, though they’re using the Monday MIx moniker popularized by Devin Sweet, which caused a little dustup in the Facebook announcement.

Just before last weekend’s $20K, Final Table announced a $50K GTD tournament on St. Patrick’s Day.
This week looks like a regular old week of poker in Portland,

My Time Is Coming

Life since the PACWEST Poker Classic has been hideously poker-free. I played a single $10K and a short (losing) microstakes cash game on Ignition Casino because I had an overdue freelance project, the schedule of which was not helped by me spending two weekends in Llincoln City. Then I dropped two buyins at Final Table’s $20K on Friday night in just under 70 minutes. Almost got to my target number in the Saturday night Thousandaire Maker but lost a flip (I had only gotten there by sucking out with nines vs. kings) and busted half-way through; late-regged the $4K 6-Max and busted 49/125; was the first one out of an O8 Turbo, Just missed winning a Jackpot SnG, and dropped my buyins in PLO and NLHE Zone (the Ignition equivalent of PokerStars’ Zoom cash tables). The Black Diamond Poker Open is running online through the end of the month, so I may hit that a little, if I can get this project off my desk.

Pacific Northwest Leaderboard

Results from the Chinook Winds series still haven’t posted to Hendon Mob! What? It’s only been a week and a half since the end of the series? Aaaaaagh! They haven’t updated my photo, either.

Matt Affleck made the Main Event final table of the Rio Las Vegas WSOPC stop, though he was out in ninth.

Powell Butte, Oregon’s Bryce Clark picked up 3rd place in Event #43 of the Venetian Deepstacks Extravaganza. It’s his best-ever score.

Stephen Schumacher from Lewiston picked up his second five-figure cash, getting to 14th in the same WSOPC event as Affleck., then cashed the next day in 12th at the Venetian in Event #44, a $150K GTD tournament.

Back at the Rio, Seth Davies picked up a little cash in the $2,200 High Roller, then went for the long green at an Aria High Roller ($25K buyin) getting heads-up with David Peters in a 15-entry tournament.

And, not to leave out the WynnAaron Thivyanathan (Renton) took 4th place in the 227-entry field of a $100K GTD tournament.

Recognize Anyone?

image via Dion Hunt on NW Poker

2018 Summer Schedule

The last couple of weeks have seen a spate of schedule releases for summer tournament series (believe it or not, the first of them—at the Venetian—opens in just 68 days).

As usual, the first place you should look for info to compare series is Kenny Halleart‘s comprehensive spreadsheet. Hallaert has been putting this together for a number of years, well before he got to the WSOP Main Event Final Table, and as a tournament director in his own right, he’s meticulous about getting all of the info.

The World Series of Poker schedule was announced weeks ago, of course. and it’s easy to find. Structure sheets are linked underneath the name of the event.

The schedule for the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza III has been released (last Thursday) but it’s not linked from the poker room’s blog yet. Between Labor Day and the Fourth of July, events for the series will take place in the Venetian’s Sands Convention Center, to accommodate an expanded schedule.

The Planet Hollywood GOLIATH schedule is still in working status, but you can get a good idea of its scope. It features events with both $1M and $2M guarantees.

The Grand Poker Series at the Golden Nugget only has a draft schedule out, as well, but it features two $250K GTD events and a $500K GTD Main Event which aren’t likely to change.

The Aria/WPT500 schedule is out (sans structures), on the WPT site.

That leaves the WynnBellagio, and Binions schedules yet to come (and finalization on a couple of the above). All of the above are linked through the Calendar.

Only a Day Away

  • Muckleshoot Casino has one last $125 Wednesday satellites (7pm tonight) for packages to the Spring Classic coming up next week. Each package has the option of entry into the $500 $10K Added tournament on Saturday, 17 March and two of the Wednesday–Friday tournaments or entry into the $750 $20K added Main Event and one of the weekday tournaments. There are Mega Satellites Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday for tickets to all of the NLHE events, then Wednesday is the opening $2K Added NLHE Shootout ($300 entry) at noon, with a $200 entry O8 at 7pm (not included with anmy of the satellite packages). That builds up to the $10K Added NLHE  next Saturday ($500 entry, last year Portland’s Allen Oh won). A week from Sunday is the $750 buyin Main Event, which had a $142K prize pool last year.
  • The Wynn Classic’s $600 buyin $250K GTD NLHE has three noon flights starting tomorrow.
  • The Bicycle Casino WSOPC/Mega Millions XVIII has the WSOPC Main Event this weekend, with entry flights on Saturday and Sunday at noon (you can also buy direct into Day 2 on Monday, with the original starting stack). Tomorrow is their $10K GTD Big O tournament ($240 entry) and there’s a $3K Survivor tournament tomorrow at 4pm ($365 buyin). The event I’m really sorry to miss is the return of the $100K GTD HORSE game ($350 entry), with six entry flights between Saturday and Wednesday. Next weekend is the beginning of Mega Millions XVIII $1M GTD.
  • The Venetian March Extravaganza runs next week, with twelve events, including a $200K GTD with flights next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday ($600 entry).
  • Coming up in just over two weeks, the World Series of Poker Circuit is back in Las Vegas (pace yourselves, guys!) at Planet Hollywood this time.

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 28 February 2018

More from the PACWest Poker Classic

Portland Meadows DASH Tournament

This Friday evening is what Portland Meadows is billing as the first cryptocurrency-only live poker tournament. Here are some questions and answers about DASH (the currency sponsoring the 20% Guaranteed Overlay event) and the tournament itself (from the NW Poker Facebook group).

To any/all planning on playing the guaranteed overlay Dash tournament at Portland Meadows this coming Friday who do not yet have a Dash-compatible wallet on their phone, please download the Edge wallet from the Android/IOS playstore in advance. It will speed your sign-up.


Q: What do you do after you download the Edge wallet?

A: Open the App. You should be queued to choose a username, password and PIN (similar to any web service you’ve ever signed up for.).

(At some point in this process, the app may ask for permission to access your phone’s camera. You must agree to this for reasons that become obvious later when you are sending Dash to someone else.)

Once this is complete, your main screen should display a line that says “My Wallets”. Click on the “+” sign to the right on this row to generate a pull-down menu.

Scroll down to “Dash” and click on it.

This action should then queue you to select a fiat currency. Scroll down to USD and click that.

This should advance you to the “Create Wallet” screen. Click “Next”.

This advances you to a screen where you doublecheck your previous selections. If they are all as you intended, click “Create Wallet”.

If all went well, this will kick you back to the home screen where a new wallet called “My Dash” should now appear.

Mission accomplished.

Q: How do I get money into the wallet?

A: Portland Meadows has a bi-directional Dash ATM (you can buy Dash with cash or sell Dash for cash).

In order to buy from/sell to the ATM, you must go through a brief registration process. YOU MUST HAVE YOUR CELL PHONE AND A GOVERNMENT-ISSUED PHOTO ID to register.

The ATM and/or its managers will walk you through the registration process which should take no more than 2 minutes to complete.

A few minutes will pass after you walk away from the ATM before you receive a text message saying your registration is complete.

Now you can return to the ATM with cash in hand to buy your Dash. You no longer need your ID, but do (obviously because your Dash wallet is on it!) need your cell phone. Within minutes the Dash should be in your phone wallet. You should buy at least .10001 Dash so that you are equipped to cover the minimal transaction fee associated with sending the 0.1 Dash tournament entry fee.


Q: How do I use the wallet to pay for entry into the tournament?

A: This will be the easiest step. Like any other tournament, go to the registration desk.

While in line, open your Dash wallet and go to the “Send” screen. This should activate your phone’s camera which is eagerly awaiting a QR code to scan.

Once you get to the desk, tournament staff will have their wallet open and you will scan the code that they present you.

This will advance you to a screen where you choose the amount to be sent, which will of course be the entry fee of 0.1 Dash.

Q: How do I cash out of the tournament?

A: Congrats! Open your phone Dash wallet and navigate to the “Request” or “Receive” screen. This screen should feature a QR code. Present the code to the desk tournament staff for them to scanning.

Your Dash prize should instantly appear in your wallet as “pending”. Without getting into much technical detail as to why, it may take 1-10 minutes for the “pending” status to disappear, at which point your receipt of funds is confirmed.

If you desire to convert Dash back into cash, you may proceed back to the ATM and sell it back there.

ATM managers will be available to walk you through any issues, but this process will involve letting the machine know how much cash you want to receive. (Obviously this should not exceed the value of the Dash in your wallet otherwise the transaction will fail.)

The ATM will then print you out a receipt. On this receipt is a QR code which you will scan to send Dash to the machine in a manner similar to when you registered for the tournament. DO NOT THROW AWAY THIS RECEIPT AFTER YOU HAVE SENT DASH TO THE ATM.

The ATM will then send you a text message when it is ready to dispense your cash.

Return to the ATM and you will be prompted to scan the QR code again and your cash will be dispensed.

This Week In Portland Poker

Thursday is the first day of March so it’s the week for Final Table’s First Friday $20K GTD tournament at 7pm ($80 buyin with 1 live rebuy and $40 addon). There’s also the aforementioned 20% overlay guarantee at Portland Meadows on Friday night at 7 (buyin 0.1 Dash, ~$61 as of Tuesday night).

Pacific Northwest Leaderboard

Results from the Chinook Winds series haven’t posted to Hendon Mob yet, so they haven’t been picked up in the state-by-state ratings. I will, however, report that Rep Porter had a good couple of weeks at the LAPC, taking 2nd place in both Event #41 2-7 Triple Draw and Event #50 NLHE Bounty Championship. Eugene’s Garrett Garvin grabbed third place at LAPC’s Event #53 PLO8.

Only a Day Away

I’ve made a small formatting change to the calendar that should make things easier to read.

  • Muckleshoot Casino has $125 Wednesday satellites (7pm tonight and next Wednesday) for packages to the Spring Classic coming up in two weeks. Each package has the option of entry into the $500 $10K Added tournament on Saturday, 17 March and two of the Wednesday–Friday tournaments or entry into the $750 $20K added Main Event and one of the weekday tournaments.
  • The Wynn Classic’s $1600 buyin $1M GTD NLHE has three noon flights starting tomorrow.
  • The Great Canadian Freeze Out is at Calgary’s Cash Casino. The C$660 buyin Main Event has the first of four entry days today.
  • WPT Rolling Thunder  $3,500 entry Main Event has entry days Friday and Saturday; there’s a two-day $100K tournament ($1,100 entry) with flights tomorrow and Friday.
  • Friday is the Bicycle Casino WSOPC/Mega Millions XVIII, running until the end of March, kicking off with a $365 entry $300K WSOPC Ring event and including a $100K GTD HORSE tournament (starts 10 March) and the $1M GTD Mega MIllions (with entry as low as $160).

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 21 February 2018

Just a short post this week. Too much going on. I wrote up my experiences on Day 1 and Day 2 of the PACWest Poker Classic $100K NLHE opening event already this week. There aren’t any results posted from there to Hendon Mob yet and there’s nothing else big on the leader boards, so you can check these winner photos out.



Poker Time Kicks It Up a Notch


My Time Is Coming

Yeah. It sort of came this week.


Only a Day Away

I’ve made a small formatting change to the calendar that should make things easier to read.

  • Los Angeles Poker Classic 25  finishes off this week. There’s a $200K GTD NLHE 8-Max Thursday with a $5,250 buyin. Saturday is Day 1 (of 6) for the WPT NLHE Championship ($10,000 entry). $1M Guaranteed to first place.
  • The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza has its last flilght for the $1M GTD NLHE today at noon ($1,600 entry).
  • The MSPT Canterbury Park Main Event ($1,100 entry) has $300K guarantee. Two entry days, on Friday and Saturday.
  • The WSOPC Rio Las Vegas at the Rio runs through Tuesday. The Main Event (starting Saturday and Sundat) is $1M GTD. There’s another WSOPC stop in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood next month.
  • The Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic runs through Sunday. Tomorrow is $20K GTD Big O, Friday is a $50K GTD NLHE, and there’s the $200K GTD NLHEMain Event on Saturday (one entry only $550 with a $200 addon). There are ME satellites Thursday and Friday nights and a Turbo Satellite on Saturday morning.
  • The Wynn Classic has a NLHE Survivor tournament with $5K payouts ($400 entry) today at noon. There are separate $100K GTD tournaments on Friday and Saturday with $550 entry.
  • The Great Canadian Freeze Out is at Calgary’s Cash Casino until 4 March with six events., including a C$660 buyin Main Event with 4 entry days (28 February to 3 March) and Day 2 on 4 March.
  • Early events at the WPT Rolling Thunder kick off on Saturday with a $100K GTD NLHE One Day ($440 etnry). The $3,500 entry Main Event has entry days 2 & 3 March. with numerous satellites.
  • And coming up on 2 March at the Bicycle Casino WSOPC/Mega Millions XVIII, running until the end of March, kicking off with a $365 entry $300K WSOPC Ring event and including a $100K GTD HORSE tournament (starts 10 March) and the $1M GTD Mega MIllions (with entry as low as $160). And if you’re in LA, it’s a great time to stop into the current Batman ’66 exhibit at The Hollywood Museum!


2018 PACWest Poker Classic Event #1 $100K GTD NLHE Day 2 and Final

If you want to read about Day 1 of this event, start here.

I came into Day 2 in a resonable position; solidly in the middle of the chip counts as 23rd with 54 players left. I noted to friends that I missed my first chance to suck out with what would have been an otherwise playable hand in a three-way pot just 15 minutes into the game, then knocked a player out with A9 v JxJx to make it up to 250K about 20 minutes in. Before a half hour was gone, we’d lost a full table’s worth of players, we were down to 45. Pay jump!

Not long after that, I lost 100K when I fliopped top-top with AxTx and folded to a big raise of my donk bet, which turned out to be kings. Got back up to 220K, then back down to 160K (16bb) and that was all in the the first hour of play.

I opened A8 in middle position with a raise and got called by the big blind. We both checked the Tx5x7x flop, and when he bet big on the 4x turn I had to fold; a call wiould have left me with no fold equity. I shoved 78 on the button and took the blinds and antes. We were down to 39 players seventy minutes in. I had 145K on the button five minutes later, just before the first break (we played the remainder of the last level of Day 1 and the first level scheduled for Day 2, then took the break rather than breaking after 30 minutes).

Blinds went up to 6K/12K with a 2K ante and after going through the blinds in the first three hands of Level 17, I had just 118K. I shoved Kx8x from late position and got it through. 18K in antes, 18K in blinds and my stack grew by 30%. I shoved AxKx on the next button, raised TxTx from the cutoff then folded to a c-bet from the UTG player on a Qx5x4x flop. I’m a wimp. Down to 31 two hours in.

Ten minutes later, I got all-in with K9 v 9x9x and hit Broadway for a much-needed double up (no, I don’t remember who started it but I probably went all-in over ta raise or something stupid like that). There were 27 remaining as the blinds went to 8K/16K/2K, and my stack was at 286K.

I raised 9T in the hijack and ttook another hand to bump up to 322K two-and-a-half hours in.

AxQx was worth a raise, but I lost 50K when a caller went all-in on a JxTx6x flop. One the button fifteen minutes later: 240K.  Pay jumps at each of the first three tables to break (28th place to 54th) were all the same, but at 27 and below, jumps started hapening every three players. Once I broke 27th place, I was even for the trip! 23 left.

At the three hour mark I was down to 194K at 10K/20K/3K. Then we lost four players in the next 10 minutes of the new blind level. I had to shove Ax6x from UTG1, then pay the blinds and I still had only 143 on my next button. We re-drew to two tables at the half-hour mark. And my life for most of the rest of the tournament continued to be shoves. Ax[jx}][from][UTG1.][Open-shove][A5 from SM. Up to 209K just before the second break of Day 2, but blinds were going to 15K/30K/4K! I got jacks just before the break and shoved them from UTG1.

By my next button I had a measly 1/3 of the average chips stack. I shoved Ax2xway out of my normal range—UTG and it somehow got through. Then I folded pocket eights preflop to a bet and call that ended after the a bet on the Jx7x5x flop. 231K on the button with 15 players.

Blinds jumped up to 20K/40K/5K a few miniutes later and I was down to 139K on the button when I shoved Jx8x and got folds from the blinds. Even with 216K I had just 2% of the chips in play with 15 left.

We dropped another player, then my A9 went up against TxTx of Stephen Gilbert, the winner of the first $100K event at Chinook Winds, back when it was still part of the Deepstacks Poker Tour. I pulled out the nut flush (ace-nine forever!) and while he wasn’t out on that hand, he was gone the next. Now I had 462K, and some of the white 25K chips that had eluded me for hours.

One of the more incredible feats of poker luck happened just after the 13th player busted. Tam Nguyen lost a hand to another player with the same-sized stack and was all in on the small blind with a single 1K chip. There were only six players on each table, so Tam’s “main pot” was a whopping 6K. He won the hand with Qx5x, and while he had the ante covered on the button, he only had 1K behind. He stacked that on the button. I don’t remember what his cards were, but he came out of the hand with 33K. He won the next hand (109K) and the next. I broke the streak by shoving QT UTG1 and 9T UTG, but by then we’d lost two more players and he made the final table.

I had 477K, but blinds were 30/60/10, so I wasn’t exactly sitting east (yes, they went up 50% in one jump and people were talking about it; definitely not “Chainsaw-approved” but I’m not complaining).

We lost three players in 15 minutes, including one of the three enormous stacks of white chips (it looked like the cliffs of Dover in seats 7 to 9). Kerry Yoon got in an altercation with Will Tinoco and surrendered his massive chip stack, giving Tinoco what I approximated as two-thirds of the chips in play. There were three short stacks, of which I was the least short. Tam busted, and we were down to 6 going into the next break. I’d shoved Kx9x on the button and KxQx UTG1, a player busted on the last hand before break, and I had 337K. 5.5bb when we came back.

I shoved 4x4x and got called by Ax9x a little after we came back. The flop had an eight and I was standing up to grab my bag when I made an 8-high straight. Blinds went to 40K/80K/10K on the next hand (my button) so I still had only about 7.5bb.

Will on the remaining big stack at the table was on my right, and he consistently raised every one of his small blinds. To be fair, he raised a lot of everyone’s big blinds. I folded 2x2x to a raise, then got AxAx in my small blind, nobody put any money in, I shoved, and TJ Amhaz folded. I shoved J9 on the button with 6bb.

Another player busted just before the seventh hour of play ended. 445K at 50K/100K/15K. An all-in and call there would have tripled me up. I had KJ on the button, and normally I would have gone all-in myself, but because of the payouts I chickened out. Would have flopped the nuts.

It was all okay, though because I shoved UTG with Q5 and Will called with 64 from the big blind. I only had 4bb, but I had the suit and I hit the queen on the flop for a double up (or more, really). Then he raised my big blind again and I shoved Ax9x and doubled again, which put me in second place and made the first significant dent in his wall of chips. And I got a couple elusive salmon-colored 100K chips!

I was up to 2.2M after don-betting into an open-ended straight draw on the flop, then laid down AxJx to a bet on the turn after an unfulfilling flop. We lost the fifth player at 6:30pm after seven-and-a-half hours and the blinds went to 60K/120K/20K. Nobody was that deep.

TJ had twice proposed an ICM chop and Forrest Auel and Devin Sweet ran the numbers while Will had an overwhelming chip advantage, but no deal was reached. I held steady for a level (blinds went to 80K/160K/25K), then we ran the new numbers after both TJ and Kao Saecho had both made gains.

For me, this has been a long haul. It’s my largest cash in the decade since I started playing poker in the home game I was invited to by my cousin’s husband. That led to playing small games (and a few large games) without any money (getting into poker when you’re unemployed and broke can pass the time but it’s not conducive to good bankroll management). I reconnected with my old colleague (and WSOP bracelet-winner) Toma Berda, I worked as a reporter for the WSOP, and most importantly, I started this blog.  Thanks to everyone who’s provided encouragement and support (Angela JordisonMark Humphreys, and many more), and I’ll see you at the beach for the PACWest Poker Classic Main Event on Saturday!

2018 PACWest Poker Classic Event #1 $100K GTD NLHE Day 1

This was probably the least well-planned trip out of town for a poker tournament I’ve ever made, despite the fact that this entire blog is about planning and scheduling (see also my PokerNews article on planning from a couple of years ago).

The decision to come down for the opening event of the PACWest Poker Classic at Chinook Winds on the beach at Lincoln City wasn’t made for me until the day after Valentine’s Day, which was less than 48 hours before cards were in the air. A long weekend for a lot of people (President’s Day) the weekend after Valentine’s—it was kind of a perfect storm of the wrong time not to book a room at least a couple weeks in advance.

Speaking of storms, the weather

My long-time poker travel buddy, David Long, wasn’t able to make the weekend, and poker reporter Sam Cosby—who’d been talking about driving down with me—decided to drive on his own. So I was solo when I headed to the coast. As you can see from the tweet above, I met up with Sam at the casino and got the chance to catch up a little on his  travels.

I started off at table 44 and took a quick downswing of 30bb from my 85bb starting stack (17K with the dealer addon) in the first half hour. Then I was moved to a new table, continued to slide down to 7.5K (still in level 2 at 150/300). I called a late-position raise from the blind with 7x7x, flopped top set, got it all in against JxJx, and he hit his set on the river. 70 minutes from start to finish for the first bullet.

Much as I’m opposed to the idea of rebuying, I’m not going to beat myself up for getting it in good and losing. I’m also not a fan of driving two hours, waiting another couple hours, and playing poker for an hour only to drive back home. So I kicked in another $290 (255 buyin + 25 fee + 10 dealer appreciation bonus).

I’d like to point out here that the fee/rake Chinook Winds took on this tournament was less than 10% at a time when tournament rake is approaching 20% for a lot of similarly-priced tournaments. It’s 12% if you include the dealer gratuity ($35 fee and dealer/$290 total entry), but if you factor in the $100 addon, it’s under 9%. It’s not rake-free Portland poker, but the dealers get paid, they got new dealer chairs this year, and the surroundings are beautiful even in a storm.

My third table of the day was where I spent most of Day 1. I continued to drop chips until I got into a three-way hand where the flop was AJ9x. I wasn’t going anywhere with the straight flush draw and ended up all in when the player with top two pair jammed. The other player in the hand had 45. I missed the ten and another spade, but runner-runner kings gave me trips. I was standing up as the river was being dealt, but sat back down to 42K.

I was hovering around 30K about four hours in. The player who’d had top two in the previous hand had chipped back up nicely. He and a couple of others limped in and I made it 3K (at 400/800/100) from the button with KJ. That got a couple calls. The flop was ace-high with two diamonds. I don’t remember the action, just that we ended up with all our chips in the middle on the flop, he had an ace and I had, uh, KJ. That was kind of embarrassing. What was more embarrassing what that runner-runner diamonds gave me the nuts. So I doubled up again through the same guy.

We went to break (the second of the day) and just after we got back, the player in seat 5 who’d been running over the table, plopping uncounted stacks of 1K chips out over anyone’s attempt to raise did it when I’d opened with AxKx. I shoved on him with over 60K (50bb at the time) and he called with AT. And lost. That made me the chip leader on the table for a bit.

I had one more run-in with the guy who’d doubled me up. He raised, I three-bet QQ and he called. The flop was three hearts under the queen. I made a largish bet which he called, then another heart rolled off on the turn and he had a few choice things to say about how lucky I was and that he had kings before he folded.

I rolled into the dinner break with almost 200K, more than three times the chip average.

Post-dinnr didn’t go as well. I took out a player with AxAx and flopped a set, but another pair of aces went south on a 7x6x5x flop when the other big stack on the table jammed on me and I abandoned my c-bet. Then Stifler—who’d been at table when I got there but was moved then moved back—hit a set of deuces on a Tx8x2x flop when I had 9x9x and I ended up down to 100K, below which I stayed for a long time before the hand that made me hated by yet another player.

Micah Bell raised UTG and I shoved from the button with ATx. Micah called with AxKx and the board ran out another diamond flush for me, which did some serious damage to his stack and put me almost up to where I’d been at dinner.

No more theatrics for me the rest of the night. we got down near the money about 11pm, but it took 45 minutes of hand-for-hand to reach the money.

We bagged, then I had to go look for someplace to sleep. Art  had offered a space in his RV, but it was midnight and I wasn’t exactly sure where he was at. I could theoretically have made it home by 2, but I was concerned that snow in the Coast Range might make getting back difficult (and I didn’t want to drive to Portland and back. So I headed into town to see if I could spot someplace with a cancellation. I did—at a price that’s going to require me to make 27th place to make a profit on the trip—ate too many Taco Bell tacos, and slept like the dead until the fire alarm went off at 4am. Rested and ready!

Read about Day 2 here.

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 14 February 2018

I ♥ Poker

If you’re reading this Wednesday, you and a loved one may still have time to get up to Muckleshoot Casino south of Seattle for tonight’s Valentine’s Day Doubles Tournament (7pm). 15K chips for $140 (per team), with each partner getting one optional rebuy of 10K ($50), and a $50 10K addon for the team at the end of round 3. Hop in the car, grab a burger for your V-Day dinner, and head up to Auburn!

Coming up next month at Muckleshoot is the Spring Classic (14–18 March). There are five noon NLHE events with a total of $55K added to the prize pools (plus a Limit Omaha 8 tournament with nothing added on the opening evening). It kicks off with a $2K added NLHE Shootout where two qualifiers from each table move on to the next level ($300 entry) and concludes with the $20K added two-day Main Event ($750 entry).

$225 Mega Satelllites to all of the NLHE events in the series are running at noon 18 February and 11 March (both Sundays), and at 7pm on the Monday and Tuesday before the first event (12 & 13 March). There are also $125 satellites running at 7pm on the next three Wednesdays that get you entry into two or three tournaments, depending on your choice.

This month’s Deepstack tournament at Muckleshoot ($300 entry), on 25 February, has had its starting time moved up to 10am from the usual noon, perhaps to get a jump on the 11am start time of the Tulalip Casino Last Sunday of the Month $20K GTD ($230 entry). If they start leap-frogging each other, poker players might figure going to church is better than getting up at 6 on Sunday morning…

Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic

The forecast for Lincoln City during the series is mostly showers with a chance of suckouts. Temperatures somewhere between freezing and fifty sound like good weather to be inside playing poker.

I went through most of the schedule in last week’s Planner, but just a reminder that there are a variety of Main Event satellites running throughout the week. Saturday night after Day 1 of the $100K there’s a 5-Seat GTD satty (6pm) with a $40 buyin, $30 rebuys and a $30 addon. Sunday evening is a $70 buyin satellite (5-Seat GTD), and there’s another one with that format on Monday. Tuesday and Thursday are reiterations of the Saturday format but Thursday has 10 seats guaranteed. Friday is a $150 Mega Satellite with 15 seats guaranteed (roughly 1 in four entrants should get a voucher). Your last chance for a discount is Saturday morning (24 February) at 10am, with a $60 buyin for 5 seats guaranteed.

Poker Time News


Seth Davies was the big winner for the Northwest (with the biggest number, anyway) even though he fell victim (6th of 44 entryies) to the Stephen Chidwick steamroller in Event #3 of the US Poker Open.

Dylan Linde picked up a win in the 125-entry Event #16 at Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza I. Down in Australia (it is a country) Matt Affleck was the lone American at the final table of Aussie Millions Event #23, taking fifth of 242 entries.

And out of WaldportKeith Kroeger picked up the two biggest wins of his career at the LAPC25 Events #20 (NLHE Triple Stack) and #38 (NLHE Shootout), making 5th and 3rd, respectively. Just 40 miles from Waldport to Lincoln City? Damn.

My Time Is Coming

Busted four Ignition Casino Thousandaire Makers (one in just three hands after late-regging—hate it—and running into aces). Practiced on an online 6-Max Turbo with no luck; regretted not doing the live rebuy on Friday’s $25K GTD special at Final Table. Monday’s home game was over with me in fourth place (out of six) when my turned and disguised two pair ran into my cousin’s husband’s disguised flopped set. I did late reg (hate it) an online $4K Turbo with 500+ entries and blast up from 9K (less than starting stack) to 90K in ten hands, reaching 2nd place on the leader board as we were getting into the mony, Couldn’t manage to stay up top and busted out in 19th place for a whopping 200% ROI!

Sten Ridgway, the poet laureate of thwarted ambition

Only a Day Away

  • Tonight is the Valentine’s Day Doubles Tournament at Muckleshoot Casino (see above for more info on that and other events this month at Muckleshoot).
  • Los Angeles Poker Classic 25  at Commerce Casino is coming into the final stretch and the event buyins are getting bigger as the WPT Main Event approaches (Day 1 is 24 February). Today is the first of four flights for a $1,100 buyin $1M GTD tournament. Sunday has a $1,675 entry bounty tournament and $1,100 O8/Stud 8. Next week’s events include $1,100 ($100K NLHE, PLO8, $100K NLHE Seniors, $50K NLHE Eternament), a $570 Archie 8/66 (5 Card Triple Draw Hi/Lo), $2,140 2–7 Triple Draw, and a $5,250 $200K NLHE 8-Max, Plus all sorts of satellites.
  • The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza has a $250K GTD NLHE tournament for $600 starting tomorrow, with a $1,600 buyin $1M GTD NLHE starting Monday (also Monday is a $12K GTD O8 for $400).
  • Heartland Poker Tour Colorado Main Event ($1,675 entry) has its first flight today, with the last flight on Saturday.
  • Tomorrow is the first day for MSPT Canterbury Park outside of Minneapolis. The Main Event there is $1,110 and has a $300K guarantee. Two entry days, on 23 and 24 February.
  • The WSOPC Rio Las Vegas starts Friday and runs through 27 February. The opening event has six flights over 3 days ($365) with a $250K guarantee. The Main Event (starting 24 and 25 February) is $1M GTD.
  • The Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic (see above) starts Saturday.
  • The Wynn Classic kicks off Monday and features a $1M GTD Main Event ($1,600 entry) starting 1 March. There’s a $25K GTD PLO 8-Max on Tuesday at 2pm, and a $400 Survivor on Wednesday with a $5K payout.
  • The Great Canadian Freeze Out is at Calgary’s Cash Casino from 22 February to 4 March with six events., including a C$660 buyin Main Event with 4 entry days (28 February to 3 March) and Day 2 on 4 March. Oddly enough, all of the Freeze Out’s events are reentry.

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 7 February 2018

$500K of Guarantees at the PacWest Poker Classic

We’re less than two weeks away from one of the biggest poker events in the Northwest—and the closest to Portland—at Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City.

This year’s winter tournament series at Chinook promises to be one of the best, with what I believe is the biggest-ever guarantee in an Oregon poker tournament, $200K for the Main Event (by comparison, the Main Event for last fall’s series at Wildhorse had a prize pool of $200,475 with no guarantee; the two 2017 series at Chinook had prize pools just under $200K). It’s particularly ambitious as there are no re-entries into the $550+$200 tournament.

The biggest events of the series are the Main (with one entry day on 24 February and Day 2 on 25 February), the opening weekend $100K guarantee ($280 entry/re-entry with $100 add-on) on 17 February (Day 2 on 18 February). and a $50K guarantee on 23 February ($200 single entry, with $100 add-on). There’s a 6-Max tournament (moved from opening weekend to Monday) with a $30K guarantee and $330 entry/re-entry), plus two $25K guarantees and a $20K guarantee Big O tournament.

The John Hesp Chair

Jack McGiffin, a long-time fixture at Final Table before he moved to the east of England last year writes that his home club in Hull has upholstered a chair in the style of the jacket Hesp wore at the WSOP Main Event this past summer. He’s sent along some photos!

Now I can only dream about the chair I’d be honored with if I ever made it to the final table of the WSOP. My guess is they’d run a steamroller over the seat cushion to make it seem like I’d been sitting there a long time. Alternatively, it could be pristine to give the impression I was never seated long enough to make an impression.

photo by Jack McGiffin

photo by Jack McGiffin


Snohomish’s Larry Voeks had just a couple of lot three-figure cashes from past years in Las Vegas before he blasted into second place at the Tulalip Poker Pow Wow Main Event last month. Lyle Munday (Edmonds) took first place in the 366-entry event. and from the payouts it would appear that a deal was made among the top five finishers, with three players getting slightly less than Larry’s second-place money. They included Daya Patibandia of Seattle, who earned her biggest cash by far; Stone Samrith of Burien, who more than doubled his recorded tournament earnings; and I’m going to add in Wayne Harmon whose Hendon Mob profile says he’s from “Portland, CA, but I’m pretty sure that’s wrong. Harmon, by the way, took his biggest recorded win and hit the WPT Borgata Main Event for his second-ever five-figure cash (44th place out of 1,244 entries) just ten days later. Almedin Imsirovic made 74th, getting a small cash in the Borgata Almighty Stack side event, then heading back to the Venetian for some money in a bounty tournament this past weekend.

The $330 buy-in tournament at Tulalip also produced some big winners, with Carl Woodward taking first place. Woodward now has three recorded cashes on Hendon Mob. They all came in the Poker Pow Wow series over a span of 11 days and they included two final tables. Seattle’s John Hartmann chopped second place (he got 15th in the Main Event, as well) with Php Phan of Bellingham (listed by Hendon Mob as Maine, but whatever).

After making a final table at the Card Player Poker Tour Main Event in Colorado, Max Young took the long haul down to the Aussie Millions where he got sixth place in a Hyper Turbo tournament with a 10-second decision clock. Presumably, he then went looking for some surf.

Kevin MacPhee also made the final table of an event Down Under, taking ninth

My Time Is Coming

A big up when I cashed last Thursday’s Ignition Casino Thousandaire Maker, then a bust after four-and-a-half hours at Final Table’s $20K Friday night and a heartbreaking 30-minute run in Ignition’s $250K on Saturday afternoon. Blasted out of an online $25K, two more Thousandaire Makers, and a couple of Omaha Turbo tournaments (plus a couple of cash sessions). Still up for the week, but sets have been failing me and if you can’t trust sets, what can you trust?

Only a Day Away

  • Los Angeles Poker Classic 25  at Commerce Casino just completed a week of mixed games and moves back into NLHE mode with a $300K GTD tournament this weelkend ($570 buyin, entry flights Thursday through Saturday. There is also a $570 Dealers Choice tournament on Friday evening, with 2-7 Triple Draw on Saturday afternoon. The casino is sponsoring two events for the RealGrinders poker group on Saturday and Sunday. Both are $345 buying, with the first being a bounty ($200 per player). Sunday opens a week of $1,100 buyin tournaments with LHE and PLO on Sunday; O8 and a $50K GTD NLHE Action Clock tournament on Monday; HORSE and a $50K GTD NLHE Survivor(!) on Tuesday; then four entry flights for a $1M GTD NLHE on Wednesday through Friday.
  • At Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza this weekend is an 8-Max $1,100 tournament with $250K GTD. Next weekend is another $250K GTD with for just $600.
  • The Main Event of the Winter Super Stack at Calgary’s Deerfoot Inn starts Friday
  • WSOP Circuit Wisconsin Main Event has a $750K guarantee with entry days on Friday and Saturday.
  • Heartland Poker Tour hits Colorado at Golden Gates starts today. The first entry day (4 total) for the Main Event ($1,650) is Valentine’s Day (next Wednesday)
  • 8 February is the first of three entry days (four flights) For the Love of Money in Minneapolis at Running Aces. $350 buyin.
  • Also coming up in Minneapolis is the MSPT Canterbury Park. The Main Event there is $1,110 and has a $300K guarantee. Two entry days, on 23 and 24 February.
  • The WSOPC Rio Las Vegas starts 16 February. The opening event has six flights over 3 days ($365) with a $250K guarantee. The Main Event (starting 24 and 25 February) is $1M GTD.
  • The Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic (see above) starts 17 February.
  • The Wynn Classic kicks off 19 February and features a $1M GTD Main Event ($1,600 entry) starting 1 March. get there before they change the name!