#PNWPokerCal Planner for 17 January 2018

Out From Under the Radar

photo: Sam Cosby

Ali Imsirovic has been mentioned here a couple of times in the past few months—the first was at the end of November when a 4th place finish in the WSOPC Planet Hollywood Main Event brought him to my attention—but as I’m an idiot, I had no idea of what he was doing, despite the fact that he’s based in Vancouver, Washington.

According to a comment on NW Poker by Preston Jarneski, Imsirovic has “been crushing ACR [America’s][Card][Room] for a few years now.” Imsirovic’s Hendon Mob profile shows a string of three- and four-figure cashes going back to the 2015 Punta Cana Poker Classic, cashes in the Czech Republic, Austria, with a couple of bigger numbers posted in Las Vegas and Florida last year. Then, in November, Imsirovic kicked into 4th gear in Vegas with the WSOPC main Event, a 4th place cash in a small $10K at Bellagio’s WPT Five Diamond, and 4th at the Venetian in the $3,500 December Extravaganza Main Event. Then he went  to the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

I got a message from the fantastic Mr. Sam Cosby on Sunday afternoon that “Portland resident Almedin Imsirovic just won 10k hyper turbo spade at PCA.”  Imsirovic inserted himself into another $10K buyin (just a couple of days after min-cashing in a $3.3K event) to best a field of 55 in a 15-minute blind structure, at a final table that included Sam Greenwood, Stephan SchillhabelMustapha Kanit, and Benjamin Pollak, beating out WSOP Main Event Champion Ryan Riess heads-up for the $160,050 prize. Not bad for seven hours work. In the past eight weeks he’s climbed from 202nd to 40th on the Washington all-time money list at Hendon Mob.

You can see a lot more of Imsirovic (or at least hear him) in strategy videos he’s done over the past couple of years for Gripsed Poker Training including analysis of a 2014 win in a $200K guarantee on Bovada.

Estacada Community Foundation Benefit

There’s a benefit poker tournament in Estacada on 27 January for the Estacada Community Foundation. Entry is a $40 donation and prizes include a 55″ flat screen TV, a live-feed video drone and a number of other fine items.

The tournament is limited to 100 players (entry includes appetizers, beer, and wine). The event will include blackjack tables, and registration starts at 5pm at the Estacada Community Center (200 SW Club House Road), with the game starting at 6pm.

#PNWPokerLeaderboard

Ali Imsirovic pretty much walked away with the leaderboard this week, but Max Young was part of the Northwest gang down at WSOPC Choctaw, where he racked up another Ring (his third) for Event #8 NLHE 6-Max. That’s after winning a side event and making the final table of Event #7, but before he got into the top 5% of the Main Event.

Anyone else? David Mallet—who won the Seniors event at Wildhorse in November—came in 2nd/509 in Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza Event #18 in what looks like a three-way deal.

Kevin MacPhee and Darren Rabinowitz both min-cashed in the PCA Main Event. And Baptiste Chavaillaz made the final table of Event #9 at Choctaw.

This Week In Portland Poker

I spend a lot of time looking at poker room web sites and griping here or to myself about how they’re not updated or that info is hard to find. I’m not going to have that excuse any more with Final Table Poker Club, because I just did a web site re-design for them, so if I have or hear any complaints I only have myself to blame. The next few days’ tournaments are on the right, it’s designed to be easily updated by the staff, it’s readable on mobile devices, and there’s a two-month event calendar. Check it out and let the staff know what you think works (or doesn’t)

This week’s big events are the Friday night $10K at Final Table and the Saturday noon $10K at Portland Meadows. It’s your last chances to pick up some big money before next weekend’s Wild West Poker Tour at Meadows.

As mentioned above, The Game  is trying to get 2/5 PLO shootouts running Thursday nights. They also have After Hours Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, from closing to 8am.

My Time Is Coming

Just a couple of hideous sessions of PLO on Ignition this past week (I’m looking forward to playing live PLO at The Game Thursday evening if Sajru manages to round everyone up). Played a couple of Thousandaire Makers, made zome money playing NLHE Zone, cashed a $30 Jackpot Sit & Go then watched a $75 5x slip away from my early lead. Got about halfway through the Final Table Friday night $10K GTD before I slammed top pair on the flop with A?Q? into a set of sevens. And I took second place after a rebuy in the home game. A down week, but still positive for the year so far. I’d hoped to make it up to Tulalip for the $100K GTD this coming weekend, but I’m not sure yet…

 

Only a Day Away

  • The Tulalip Poker Pow Wow $100K GTD Main Event has its first flight tomorrow, with another on Friday and the last on Saturday, $520 gets you in and the dealer addon.
  • Los Angeles Poker Classic 25  at Commerce Casino has a $250K GTD tournament this weekend with just a $175 buyin. Flights through Saturday at 5pm.
  • Thunder Valley’s World Series of Poker Circuit, has a $500K GTD Main Event ($1,675 buyin) with entries on Friday and Saturday.
  • The Venetian January Weekend Extravaganza has flights for a $250 buyin $250K GTD tournament through Saturday.
  • The $250 Muckleshoot Big Bounty is Sunday at noon in Auburn. Next Sunday Sunday is a Deepstack with a $300 buyin.
  • Saturday is the Ontario Poker Room Team Tournament, with a $125K buyin and $100 rebuy.
  • The Wynn Signature Weekend is coming upa week from today. The highlight is the $250K GTD $600 buyin tournament (3 entry days). There’s also a $300 buyin Survivor tournament on 28 January, with a $2.5K payout.

Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 10 January 2018

In the Money

It was four years ago this month that I wrote In the Money, a little screed on long-term profitability for poker tournament players, which led to me writing for PokerNews for a couple of years, as well as my one foray into live reporting at the WSOP. It sparked a small amount of controversy, its own thread in the Two Plus Two News, Views, & Gossip forum, and a couple of podcast interviews. There was a lot of pushback from poker pros, and a few high-fives from cash game specialists like Limon (who is once again been hounded off of Twitter, sadly).

But last week, Daniel Negreanu put up a year-end post with a collation of his results from the past five years, casually dropping that he had losing years for 2016 and 2017. In fact, it it hadn’t been for the enormous Big One for One Drop payout for 2nd place in 2014 ($8.3M), only two of the five years would have been profitable, making him an average of about $89K profit per year on more than $2M in annual buyins. And that’s Daniel Negreanu we’re talking about, not mildly-talented tournament grinder.

The Calendar

I’ve put a lot of work into the #PNWPokerCalendar over the past few years. Did you know that you can sort the events by region? There are buttons at the top of the calendar that will select just the series and events for a speciific area: Southern California, Nevada, Portland, etc. You can also view events for just a single week. And over the past few months, I’ve been adding in entry information for specific events in brackets, just in case you haven’t already figured that out: [125e100b] means entry is $125 and rebuy is $100. An a is addon, natch. Where possible, I include any fees or dealer addons in the entry value.

Oh, and there’s an Expedia flight search link (you can also find hotels and cars) at the bottom of the page if you see something you like.

WSOP Millionaire Maker Qualifiers at the Beach

If you’re in Eugene on Tuesday or Thursday nights, the Beach Poker Club is running qualifying tournaments to their 26 May Final Tournament, a 100-seat event where the winner gets a seat and travel money to the WSOP Millionaire Maker. Playing five of the semi-weekly tournaments gets you a seat, and the more tournaments you play, the more chips you get for the final tournament, plus there’s a Main Event Satellite entry up for raffle.

#PNWPokerLeaderboard

One big result out of the other end of the continental US: Beaverton’s Nathaniel Anderson cut a deal for second place in the 197-entry Seminole Hard Rock Fun In the Sun Main Event just before the New Year. He was out-chipped 2 to 1, and he didn’t get the nifty guitar trophy, but he did get nearly twice the 3rd-place money.

My Time Is Coming

I’ve been picking my poker action back up since the lull of the holidays. I played two Thousandaire Makers mid-week (busting within ten minutes of the second after entering more than an hour into the tournament), then logged into a $15 Jackpot Sit & Go, picked up another 5x ($75) payout but couldn’t close it out. Played a few sessions of PLO and PLO8 online, then it was the Final Table First Friday $20K Guarantee. I was out before the break and managed to make a faux-pas.

Saturday, though, was my first Thousandaire Maker cash of the year. Even losing a couple buyins in PLO the next day it was still a profitable week.

Wild West Poker Tour

The schedule for the Wild West Poker Tour showed up on NW Poker the afternoon I posted last week’s Planner, so I didn’t get a chance to say anything about it, but I guess I’m going to have to take a day off work if I want to play the 6-Max at noon on Friday, 26 january.

There are a few things that aren’t entirely clear about the Warp Speed to the Final Table: I get that everyone at the table is all in on the first hand and everyone who wins gets to go to the final table, but does that mean the number of first tables is limited to 9 or 10 or that there’s going to be a 15-seat final table if they get a lot of entries and re-entries. I’m guessing that the final table beginning two hours after the start means they’ll just be running a couple of first tables at a time in sequence. But I want to play that and the Bounty

I am eager to be either on the YouTubed High Roller final table or commentating on it, but I’m pretty sure neither is happening.

And the Sunday night Survivor; it should say right up front for clarity that 10% of the field is going to get $650. But I’m liking it.

Only a Day Away

  • The Tulalip Poker Pow Wow is under way. There is a satellite tonight and next Wednesday, with the 4-Game Mix on Thursday (1pm) and two entry days to the $50K GTD weekend event on Friday (1pm) and Saturday (11am). Monday is the 2-Game Mix, Seniors on Tuesday, then the $100K Main Event has three starting days on 18 January.
  • Heartland Poker Tour is at Ameristar East Chicago with the Main Event ($1650 entry) starting Thursday.
  • Los Angeles Poker Classic 25  at Commerce Casino in Los Angeles has their $1M GTD Kickoff tournament this weekend, with a $350 buyin and entry flights through Sunday morning.
  • Friday is the beginning of Thunder Valley’s World Series of Poker Circuit, the closest approach the WSOPC makes to Portland.
  • The $250 Muckleshoot Monthly Special is Sunday at noon in Auburn. The next Sunday (21 January) is the Big Bounty, and the last Sunday is a Deepstack.
  • The Venetian January Weekend Extravaganza runs 16–21 January, with five flights for a $250 buyin $250K GTD tournament at its backbone.
  • 20 January is the Ontario Poker Room Team Tournament, with a $125K buyin and $100 rebuy.
  • The Wynn Signature Weekend is coming up 24 January. The highlight is the $250K GTD $600 buyin tournament (3 entry days). There’s also a $300 buyin Survivor tournament on 28 January, with a $2.5K payout.

Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 3 January 2018

Bicycle Town

The World Series of Poker Circuit is back at Bicycle Casino in March, padded out by the Bike’s own Mega Millions series. There are a number of interesting items on the docket, apart from what is usually one of the largest WSOPC Main Events of the year (starting 8 March) and the Mega Millions itself, with 11 starting days and buyins ranging from $160 to $4,300.

First off is the $100K GTD HORSE tournament running from 10–16 March. There are five starting flights (two at $240 and three at $350), and you can also enter directly into Day 2 for $1,700. At the lower-level buyin, you get 10K chips and 10% of the field makes it to Day 2. Pick the higher number and you get 15K in chips and 15% of the field gets through. If you make it to Day 2, you get $450; make it more than once and stacks taken out of play get an extra $1,350. (Entering into Day 2 directly gets you 100K in chips).

Second is the plan for 8pm single table Mega Millions satellites with no rake. All of your $430 buyin goes to the prize pool, and if you win you have direct entry into Day 2 of Mega Millions. $3000 of the Day 2 buyin does go to rake, but you don’t pay double rake on both the tournament and satellite. Only one per night and they’re going to be first-come-first-served.

Third, there are four Survivor tournaments with payouts between $3K and $10K. These could have been run as satellites, but they’re just my favorite form of tournament with a minimum of 820% ROI. You’re not going to get that in most tournament.

$20K GTD to First

Lucky Chances Casino south of San Francisco has an ad in the 3 January edition of Card Player for a 28 January tournament with $20K GTD for first place but there’s no info on what the buyin is. A similar tournament that ran in November had a $350 buyin.

First PokerTime of the Year

#PNWPokerLeaderboard

Mostly quiet until the new year begins, but there were a couple players whi made some moves.

Marvin Smith from Nampa, Idaho had one Hendon Mob cash on his record at the start of December. By the end of the year he had five—all of them during the Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza. He placed 38th in Event #3 on the 22nd, then was runner-up in Event #7 on Christmas Eve. He made the final table of the 95-player Boxing Day Bounty, then grabbed first place in a field of 117 two days later in another bounty event.

Another Idahoan, Michael Stewart from Boise, won Event #1 at the Venetian, beating out 251 others.

It was four-and-a-half years since Sunil Aggarwal of Portland last had a recorded Hendon Mob cash, but he took down the AJPC High Roller in Inchon, South Korea in the middle of the month, beating 25 others in the KRW5.5M buyin event.

The Other Oregon

If you’re out on the east side of the state and hankering for some poker, the Ontario Poker Room has their monthly schedule posted on their web site. It says they’ve got a $20K GTD $215 buyin tournament on Saturday at 1pm, and a Team Tournament coming up on the 20th, on top of their regular schedule.

My Time Is Coming

After not playing real poker since mid-December, my last foray of the year was to the $10K GTD at Final Table last  Friday night. I didn’t get there until about 7:30. I was down a bit after a bad call, got up to starting stack plus a little, did the addon at break, then ran a bluff on the last two streets with 5?5? in the big blind on a board of J?Q?4?T?6? that at least gave the original raiser with A?T? and twice my stack at least a little bit of a pause before he called the last bet. After that, I headed over to Room 52 for some $0.50/$1 shootout action and was doing reasonably well until Drew and Alan, both from the old Portland Players Club days, started running the table.

The New Year started off a bit better. I signed up for the Ignition Casino Thousandaire Maker on New Year’s Day, and while I was waiting for it to start, I joined a $15 Jackpot Sit & Go (a 3-person tournament winner-takes-all tournament), and when it spun up the prize pool (which range from $30 to $18,000 for that buyin), it came out at $75. 28 hands later I’d profited $60 for the first score of 2018. That was good, because by the time it ended the Thousandaire Maker was under way, and it didn’t go as well. I went too far out on a draw with a flush draw and bottom pair, and by the river I was down to 15bb. I managed to last another 20 minutes and it looked like I might be about to double up back into contention when I shoved 10bb with A9 over a raise and got called by A3 but the trey paired on the flop and that was the end of that.

So I jumped into a 6-Max that started before the Thousandaire Maker, with the starting stack down to 25bb, was down to 10bb in 15 minutes, then got an incredible double up from a player who called my bottom-pair with an ace all-in on the turn with ten-high and a gut shot to a king-high straight. After that I went on a little bit of a rampage, that was brought to a bitter halt when I bubbled the final table with KK cracked by QA making a wheel straight on the river. Still, The year was off to a profitable start with 37% ROI.

Only a Day Away

  • There are three more Wednesday 1pm satellites for the Tulalip Poker Pow Wow (including today’s). The satellites are $60, with 1 out of 10 entries winning a seat into the Main Event, with an extra seat added to each tournament. Saturday is the first event of the series, a $120 buyin $10K GTD, with a $20K on Sunday ($240 buyin with $50 bounties). The weekend events start at 11am. Monday is a $7500 GTD Limit Omaha 8, with $10K PLO on Tuesday (both weekday events begin at 1pm and have $175 buyin). The satellite is Wednesday, then Thursday is a 4-Game Mix ($175 buyin) with $7500 GTD: PLO, Pot Limit Hold’em, PLO8, and PL Hol’em Hi-Lo, if you can believe it. The $50K GTD ($330 buyin) has entry days on Friday (1pm) and Saturday (11am) with Day 2 on Sunday. A week from Monday (Martin Luther King Day) is a 2-Game Mix featuring PLO8 and PL 5 Card Holdout (discussed here a couple months ago).
  • The Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza ends Sunday. Thursday through Saturday are entry days for a $150K GTD tournament with just a $250 buyin. There’s a $400 buyin Seniors tournament on Thursday at 11am with a $25K GTD, and one or two other events each day through the end apart from the big tournament.
  • The Gardens Poker Championships has a Limit Big O/Stud 8 tournament Thursday at noon (structure sheet here), with a buyin of $340. Friday at 4pm is a $175 (with $100 addon) tournament with $100K GTD, there are according to the structure sheet, this is a one-day tournament. Sunday is a progressive bounty tournament ($175 buyin with $100 addon) where the bounty chips are worth $50 until players are one table from the money, after which point each bounty chip is worth $100. This system seems a little like it’s rife for cheating, with players holding bounty chips passing them to friends still in the money to reap an extra $50, but I suppose if they pay out the bounties right away it could work.
  • Heartland Poker Tour is at Ameristar East Chicago Thursday, with a $200K GTD opening event (starting days 4–6 January at 2pm, with just a $350 buyin. They’re also running an 8-Max 7-Game Mix event on Sunday (HORSE, PLO, NLHE) with a $200 buyin.
  • Los Angeles Poker Classic 25 opens Tuesday at Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, spanning nearly two months with 67 tournaments. There’s a $1M GTD Kickoff tournament, with a $350 buyin and six days of entry flights.
  • 11 January is the beginning of Thunder Valley’s World Series of Poker Circuit, the closest approach the WSOPC makes to Portland.
  • The Venetian January Weekend Extravaganza runs 16–21 January, with five flights for a $250 buyin $250K GTD tournament at its backbone.

Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 27 December 2017

Coming in February

Devin Sweet has posted the schedule for February’s PACWEST Poker Classic at Chinook Winds in Lincoln City.

Los Angeles Poker Classic

The LAPC is one of the few series that rivals the WSOP in scope, if not in sheer scale. Running through most of January and all of February, there are a total of 67 events with buyins ranging from $175 for a $250K GTD,  in the middle of January to a $25K buyin High Roller to a WPT $10K buyin Main Event with a $1M guarantee for first place. Last year’s Main Event had 521 entries, with champion Daniel Strelitz taking home just over a million.

Daniel Strelitz, winner of the 2017 WPT/LAPC Main Event. Photo via WPT.com

The series is made up of several large-guarantee signature events leavened by a large number of small-field mixed-game tournaments. For instance, the $570 Big O tournament  (30 January) drew just 52 entries in early February 2017 (with Joe Brandenburg taking 2nd in a 3-way deal and Bryce Burt getting 6th). Even the $350 PLO8 only drew 103 entries, with less-common poker games like 2-7 Triple Draw only getting 40 entries (though it was $1,100 entry). Nearly 30 of the events are non-NLHE (with one of them being a mix of PLO and NLHE).

Wynn Signature Weekend in January

The Wynn just announced a weekend series coming up in the second half of January.

PokerTime X 2

I missed posting the first episode of the fourth PokerTime session last week because it wasn’t out before I finalized the Planner, so here are a couple to catch you up.

#PNWPokerLeaderboard

Not much happening out there in the poker tournament world, but you can be sure that if something is happening in poker in 2017 it probably involved Max Young, who took fourth place at the Colorado Poker Championship Main Event in Black Hawk, a $1,100 buyin with just over 300 entries.

My Time Is Coming

OK. Zero sessions is definitely the least amount of poker I’ve played in a week since I started my tracking database in May of 2011, and that includes previous Christmases.

Only a Day Away

  • The Wednesday 1pm satellites for the Tulalip Poker Pow Wow run through 17 January. The satellites are $60, with 1 out of 10 entries winning a seat into the Main Event, with an extra seat added to each tournament. There’s another satellite on Saturday at 3pm with a $120 buyin, 1 Main Event seat for every 5 entries and 2 added seats.
  • The Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza runs through 7 January. The big tournament of the series starts today (with entry days Thursday and Friday), a $250K GTD with a $400 buyin. Day 2 is 30 December and you can get home with your winnings for New Year’s Eve!
  • The Muckleshoot 5th Sunday tournament is New Year’s Eve at 10am. $400 buyin with $3K added. Note the early start for this tournament.
  • The Gardens Poker Championships starts Monday at The Gardens in LA. There’s a $550 buyin PLO 6-Max on 2 January, a (limit) Big O/7-Card Stud Hi-Lo tournament ($340 buyin) two days later, and a single entry day $100K GTD on the first Friday of the new year ($175 buyin, $100 addon).
  • Heartland Poker Tour is at Ameristar East Chicago starting next Thursday, with a $200K GTD opening event (starting days 4–6 January at 2pm, with just a $350 buyin. They’re also running an 8-Max 7-Game Mix event on 7 January (HORSE, PLO, NLHE) with a $200 buyin.
  • Saturday, 6 January is the beginning of more than two weeks of tournaments at the Tulalip Poker Pow Wow, starting off with some smaller events and ending mid-month with a $100K GTD $520 buyin (including dealer addon) with three entry days.
  • Los Angeles Poker Classic 25 opens 9 January at Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, spanning nearly two months with 67 tournaments.
  • 11 January is the beginning of Thunder Valley’s World Series of Poker Circuit, the closest approach the WSOPC makes to Portland.

Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 20 December 2017

Molly

Molly’s Gameabout the woman who ran high-stakes poker games for the Hollywood elite—opens Christmas Day here in Portland at Fox Tower (and in other selected markets). Full release across the country on 1 January.

Spring Run It Up Reno Dates

Run It Up Reno hasn’t put out their schedule yet, but they always have a variety of budget buyin non-Hold’em events queued up! It is, unfortunately, scheduled at the same time as the World Series of Poker Circuit at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas

#PNWPokerLeaderboard

After a week without any big action, Pacific Northwest players hit the World Poker Tour Five Diamond in a big way.

On top of the list is Couer D’Alene’s Dylan Linde, who started off with a 3rd-place finish in the $5,200 buyin Event #13 at Bellagio, made it to the unofficial final table for 10th in another $5,200 buy-in (Event #21), then wandered over to the Venetian/Card Player Poker Tour Main Event to nab 6th place. Cashing just ahead and behind of Linde in Event #21 were Dylan Wilkerson from Seattle and Mercer Island’s Darren Rabinowitz (who also took 17th in the Venetian tournament).

Finishing a couple of spots ahead of Linde at the Venetian was Vancouver, Washington’s Almedin Imsirovic, following up on a 4th-place finish at the WSOP Circuit Las Vegas reported here a couple of weeks back. It was his second-largest recorded tournament cash.

Garrett Garvin (Eugene) and Artem Markov (Everett) took 51st and 78th respectively in the WPT Five Diamond Main Event

Moving out of the Las Vegas scene to Los Angeles, Matthew Rosanbalm (Oregon City) wraps up a year of cashes that only goes back to the WSOP Monster Stack this summer, with a 3rd-place finish in at the Bicycle Casino WSOP Circuit Event #7.

Have a Poker Holidays!

One Table to Rule Them All

There’s a trend for big buyin, live sit and go tournaments happening.

Stones Gambling Hall near Sacramento has an $1,100 buyin single-table tournament 26 January and 23 February (the fourth Friday of each month) at 5pm. Players start with 100K in chips (100bb deep), no chops allowed (Angela…), with $6K to first, $2K to second, and $1K to third. Best of all, it’s live-streamed.

I have less info on the $3K SIT N GO scheduled for 3 January on Live at the BikeBart Hanson is the scheduled commentator; if the payouts are similar, first prize should be over $16K.

My Time Is Coming

Family matters kept me busy most of the week; I played a couple of Thousandaire Makers, an online $25K GTD and a $3K GTD. It feels like the least poker I’ve played in years, but my tracking software tells me it’s not.

Only a Day Away

  • There are satellites every today and next Wednesday at 1pm for the Tulalip Poker Pow Wow coming up just after the first of the year. The satellites are $60, with 1 out of 10 entries winning a seat into the Main Event, with an extra seat added to each tournament. There’s another satellite on Saturday the 30th at 3pm with a $120 buyin, 1 Main Event seat for every 5 entries and 2 added seats.
  • The Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza runs from Thursday through 7 January. Opening weekend is a $100K GTD with a $340 entry fee. It wraps up on Christmas Eve after two entry flights on 22 and 23 December. The big tournament of the series starts 27 December, a $250K GTD with a $400 buyin. There are three entry days, Day 2 is 30 December and you can get home with your winnings for New Year’s Eve!
  • The Muckleshoot 5th Sunday tournament is New Year’s Eve at 10am. $400 buyin with $3K added. Note the early start for this tournament.
  • The Gardens Poker Championships starts 1 January at The Gardens in LA. There’s a $550 buyin PLO 6-Max on 2 January, a (limit) Big O/7-Card Stud Hi-Lo tournament ($340 buyin) two days later, and a single entry day $100K GTD on the first Friday of the new year ($175 buyin, $100 addon).
  • Heartland Poker Tour is at Ameristar East Chicago starting 4 January, with a $200K GTD opening event (starting days 4–6 January at 2pm, with just a $350 buyin. They’re also running an 8-Max 7-Game Mix event on 7 January (HORSE, PLO, NLHE) with a $200 buyin.
  • Saturday, 6 January is the beginning of more than two weeks of tournaments at the Tulalip Poker Pow Wow, starting off with some smaller events and ending mid-month with a $100K GTD $520 buyin (including dealer addon) with three entry days.

Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 13 December 2017

Heads up at the 2016 World Poker Tour Five Diamond Poker Classic: Ryan Tosoc (left, and the winner of the 2017 event) and James Romero (right). Photo via WPT.

Portland On TV

The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic closed out on Sunday, with Chicago’s Ryan Tosoc—last year’s 2nd-place finisher—coming in first this year in a record-setting field. But if you were watching the live stream on PokerGo, you might have missed the fact that the first episode of last year’s Five Diamond—won by James Romero of Portland—was airing early Monday morning on Fox Sports. Igor Yaroshevskyy, Justin Bonomo, Alex Condon, Jake Schindler, and, of course, Tosoc. Worth watching again or catching it for the first time if you missed it’s first run.

And if you happened to have a bunch of last summer’s WSOP Main Event live coverage  from ESPN recorded that you were watching in the background, you might have seen a familiar face, though Lon and Norm seemed to think he was from the other Vancouver.

And while it’s technically not TV, there is the last episode of the third session of PokerTime:

PokerLeaks

The summer WSOP schedule has been released earlier every year that I’ve been paying attention, but Barry Carter at pokerstrategy.com wrote an article on Friday about an accidentally-published version that showed up on the ClubPoker forum before it was put back under wraps.

Then, on Tuesday, the official schedule was released, and plans for the summer kicked into high gear. There are 78 bracelet events on the docket, with more than a dozen of them kicking off after the Main Event, which has typically come close to the end of the list. New events of particular interest to the Poker Mutant are Event #11 $365 GIANT PLO which runs on five consecutive Sundays, with a Day 2 in July; Event #47 $565 WSOP.com PLO 6-Max in late June; and Event #67 $1,500 PLO oogle D just after the Fourth of July. Of course, there’s lots more stuff but as usual it’s going to come down to a race between what I can afford to play and how much time I can get off from work!

Kenny Hallaert has already posted the Google Sheets link for his combined 2018 Las Vegas summer series schedule with the WSOP events.

Have a Poker New Year

The next couple of weeks are kind of quiet for poker tournament series—even in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza runs through the Christmas season (see below), but most of the other venues just have regular schedules running until 2018. That’s only a couple of weeks away, though, so let’s look out a couple of months at what the new year brings for Northwest players.

At Gardens Casino in LA, the week-long Gardens Poker Championships start on New Year’s Day. I hesitate to mention them, because there was a bit of a scandal there just a couple of months ago, when they added flights and pushed out Day 2 of a $1M GTD tournament. There’s a 12-day HPT series in Chicago stqarting a couple of days later, then two weeks of tournaments at Tulalip Casino north of Seattle starting the first Saturday of January.

On 9 January, the Los Angeles Poker Classic starts it’s 25th run, with events all the way through to 1 March. The WSOP Circuit Thunder Valley is north of Sacramento two days later. Tulalip, the LAPC, and Thunder Valley are all running the third week of January when the Venetian January Extravaganza plays for six days.

Near the end of the month, Oceans 11/Card Player Poker Tour has a weekend in San Diego. Then it’s just the LAPC running until 7 March, when HPT Golden Gates returns to Colorado. The middle of February has a WSOPC at the Rio in Las Vegas starting a day before the Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic at the beach in Lincoln City.

That’s not to mention stuff here in town like the 12th Annual NW Deaf Poker Tournament in lat3e February and a hinted series at Portland Meadows next month.

My Time Is Coming

Just not this week. I didn’t play anything live or online most of the week due to some emergency family business, then got to Final Table’s impromptu $20K last Friday just vbefore the end of entries, did a rebuy and addon, and promptly started a decline, then misclicked trying to put out an amount easier to make change from that ended up being just enough to trigger a raise (should have said “call”!) After that it was a fast slide and out the door in 35 minutes. Missed out on an overlay of more than $2K.

I played a bit online over the weekend, in-between other projects,making it about two-thirds of the way through both a Hundredaire maker and a Thousandaire maker, profiting in some PLO cash games, and cashing 6 of 15 Jackpot Sit-n-Gos (including a couple 5x multiple jackpots). Sunday, I came very close to cashing one of the Ignition 12 Days of Turbo events, a $15K GTD tournament with 222 entries, after making a royal flush at a critical point when I was short-stacked. Buuuut, 41st place with 36 paying.

This Week In Portland Poker

There is an announced $25K guarantee freezeout tournament for Saturday, noon, at Portland Meadows.

Only a Day Away

Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 6 December 2017—ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Seven Years A Poker Blogger

It was almost exactly seven years ago that I started up Mutant Poker. I was talking to Brad Smith—owner of Hot Pepper Studios, a local website and mobile application development shop; a long-time colleague; and currently my boss—about my own struggling freelance software development business and my interest in poker, and he was the person who suggested I start a poker blog, knowing that I had run a personal blog on multimedia programming and politics for several years.

Brad didn’t give me any direction on what to write. He didn’t write a blog, read poker blogs, or play poker, he was too busy with work and with running the WebVisions series of conferences in Portland, Chicago, New York, Berlin, and Barcelona. But I took the advice and ran with it, at first obsessively breaking down every tournament I played on Full Tilt, PokerStars, and Cake Poker.

Then, about four months after I started, Black Friday happened, and I started playing live tournaments more often, including the first live game bigger than a couple of tables that I ever won. In the first days, I kept extensive notes which enabled me to do more complete write ups and reviews than I’ve done for live games in a while. I was already using the original version of my Professor Frink card cap by that point. Production took a dive, though, both from having to take notes and being away from the computer: I wrote an average of nearly 20 posts a month between January and April, but was down to six a month for most of the year.

Winning a $10K at Encore Club in November kicked me back into production as I briefly held the title of the largest single prize in a regularly-scheduled Portland poker tournament at the end of 2011 and was doing my best to get to EPT Prague for my 50th birthday (Surprise! It wasn’t good enough).

This was about the time I started to do my own crude statistical analyses, including Why Not Rebuy?, one of the more popular pieces on my site over the years.

Only one article per week average in 2012, and that was mostly front-loaded by a prolific February. I headed down to Las Vegas in June for my first extended poker trip, shortly after publishing another long analysis piece: How Good Is Good Enough? The data there was derived from the long-dormant but still informative wsopdb.com, which lets you do a search by name to find all of a player’s buyins at the WSOP for 2011 and 2012. That was the year I (briefly) played my first bracelet event, starting at a table with Kevin Stammen and Ivan DemidovWheeee! Apart from spending a lot of time (and playing a partner tournament with) WSOP bracelet-winner and programming colleague Tomer Berda, it wasn’t a great trip (shoutout to fellow Reed alum Mark Humphrey for putting me up for half of that run!) I didn’t write anything for a month-and-a-half.

Played out at Wildhorse Casino for the first time that fall, after winning a Main Event seat at Portland Players Clubround-up of Oregon players at the WSOP the night before my wife had a heart attack (not a joke). I also did a by combing through the entry data, which was sort of the initial start on the path that led to the blog becoming a sort of clearinghouse for news about Pacific Northwest poker tournaments. A follow-up to that post, showing the progression of Oregon players through the various days of the 2012 Main Event is the first time Angela Jordison’s name appears on the blog, several years before I’d heard of her.

2013 was the year I coined the term potmonkey, which has yet to catch on. Nothing to do with cannabis, everything to do with Omaha. Not much else was going on, though, and I barely eked out a post per month. I did, however, publish Sweet Spot, an examination of tournament payout structures. It was the year I had my first outside-of-Oregon cashes, at a Caesars Palace Seniors tournament and in a Bounty tournament at the Venetian 

(that was after Grand Sierra Resort cancelled the remainder of a series after missing a couple of large guarantees, without sending out notices to, say, registered guests who’d already checked in for a flight the morning they cancelled). A week later I cashed in the Deepstacks Poker Tour/Chinook WInds Oregon State Poker Championship Main Event, where I first met Toma Barber. 

I stepped up a little bit in 2014, but what really kicked things off was In the Money, a sort of culmination of the analytical articles I’d been working on and the analysis I’d been running of my own experiences, not to mention a quote from Bryan Devonshire. A shorter version appeared at PokerNews—which led to me writing pieces for them for a couple of years—and then Deadspin published the piece in its entirety (for which they still have not paid me). That actually led to a 2+2 News, Views, and Gossip thread, then some podcast interviews with Limon. I got busted by a gazillionaire at the Wynn. That November, I did my first round-up of upcoming tournament series in the West and started up the Pacific NW Tournament Calendar.

2015 saw a return to volume. I wrote an expansion of a PokerNews article on WSOP Main Event Payout structures. That led to a couple of mentions on the 2+2 Pokercast.  I also did a piece on the profitability of the top players in the World Poker Tour. It was my first year as a media observer at the WSOP, then I did a day-by-day collation of Pacific Northwest players in Las Vegas series for June and much of July (more work than I can even imagine doing at this point). The Planner started up shortly thereafter. That’s been the bulk of posts for the past two-and-a-half years, aside from the summer of 2016, when it was on hiatus while I was working as a live reporter at the WSOP.

Thanks to everyone who’s provided encouragement and feedback since I started up. I hope some of you find some of this info useful or at least mildly amusing! If nothing else, it keeps me off the felt Tuesday nights.

My Time Is Coming

Considering my usual schedule, I hardly played over the past week, but I did reasonably well. Saturday, I was at Final Table for the $50K GTD tournament, along with the three other guys who make up Poker Team 1 (our grandiose name for an instant messaging group). Two players fell short of the money, but I got down to 20th (almost felted on a race between KT and 9?9? with 11bb) and Daryl Vogel—one of my buddies from the home game that got me into the age of modern poker—made the final 7-player deal for his biggest-ever cash. Then on Monday night I crushed the home game and made almost as much profit as I had at Final Table (i.e. not a lot, but still a profit),

Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard

There was some serious Portland player action going on down at the WPTDeepstacks Championship at Thunder Valley the other day. Angela Jordison managed to come in third in the Player of the Series standings, despite playing only three of the none qualifiers, then she made a deep run in the Main Event, in spite of a Day 2 starting table with Bryan DevonshireUpeshka DeSilva, and Cord Garcia (in addition to Angela herself). She missed the money, but Jeff MItseff took 17th, working a diminished stach for hours after losing some big hands. Those results won’t be up on Hendon Mob‘s leader boards until next week.

Upeshka DeSilva,, Angela Jordison, Cord Garcia at Table 9 of the WPTDeepstacks Championship (via WPT.com)

Dirk D’Hooge of Walla Walla was at the Belgian Poker Challenge NLHE 8-Max Championship for a second place finish as the only US player to cash. It’s only his third recorded cash (all have been since this summer) and the largest by far. Closer to home, Vancouver’s Ali Imsirovic jumped across Las Vegas Blvd. from Planet Hollywood’s WSOP Circuit event to the Bellagio to play the first event of the WPT Five Diamond series, a ($10K High Roller), after his run at the WSOPC Main Event final table the week before; he came in 4th once again, though in a much smaller field of 28. Also at the Five Diamond, Scott Clements took first place in a field of 56 in Event #5, the $1,100 PLO.

Poker Time Session 3 Episode 5

Portraits In Poker

Kendra “Gypsy” Hurteau has done a series of paintings that include her visions of three area poker faces (including Jake Dahl). She and I were neighbors for much of the summer  I was working in Las Vegas. You can see her work at her web site.

This Week In Portland Poker

No special events announced so far this week except for a double guarantee ($2,400) this morning at Final Table’s 11am game. Probably because it’s my birthday.

HOLD YOUR HORSES! Double guarantees Thursday night and Friday night at Final Table!

There is an announced $25K guarantee freezeout tournament for Saturday, 16 December, at Portland Meadows.

Only a Day Away

  • The Main Event of the WPT Five Diamond at Bellagio started yesterday (the last-minute Day 2 Turbo satellite is probably over by the time you see this). There are still a couple of events remaining, including a $5,200 buyin tomorrow, a $25K buyin High Roller on Friday with another on Saturday, and a Turbo $1,100 tournament on Sunday.
  • HPT St. Charles’ $2,500 entry HPT Championship Open starts Friday, with flights through Sunday and three total days of play.
  • The  WSOP Circuit Bicycle Casino has a $240 buyin Big O (pot limit) tournament today iof you can get there by 2pm. The Main Event ($1,675 entry) has flights Saturday and Sunday. There are also two Survivor tournaments this weekend: Sunday’s $390 game pays $3,250 to the top 10% and Monday’s is $565 for a $5,000 payout. $3,250 is—oddly enough—the buyin for Monday’s High Roller, a Circuit Ring event.
  • Monday was the beginning of the Venetian December Extravaganza. The $3,500 Card Player Poker Tour $500K GTD starts Friday.
  • There are satellites every Wednesday through December at 1pm for the Tulalip Poker Pow Wow coming up just after the first of the year. No info yet on the price or the package you win. Tulalip also has a $10K Added $230 entry tournament coming up on Sunday, 17 December at 11am.
  • The Medford Poker Room Holiday Tournament is Saturday at noon.
  • The Muckleshoot Tournament of Champions is 17 December at noon. It’s a $400 buyin if you haven’t already qualified (and if there are seats left in the 250-player limit).

After that, there’s not much through the holidays except the Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza on 21 December.

Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 29 November 2017

Alex Goulder at the 2013 WSOP (via Sky Poker)

GTO

If you’ve been looking to step up your NLHE game, you’ve probably heard of the latest software advances for studying game theory optimal play, particularly PioSOLVER. Before you plunk down $1K+ for the package, though, you might want to learn a little more about what GTO means and how the software works. PlasticElephant on the 2+2 forums posted a YouTube video from Alex Goulder in a News, Views, and Gossip thread the other day that’s helpful in learning about the subject. Watch the video and read the comments for extra enlightenment.

PNW Players Swarm WSOPC Las Vegas Main Event Final Table

845 players ponied up the $1,675 to play the WSOP Circuit Main Event at Planet Hollywood a little over a week ago to play for the $1.27M prize pool, and only 6 of the 90 players who made the money were from the Pacific Northwest, but three of them made the unofficial final table, with Bellingham’s Harjinder “Sunny” Gandham placing 10th, Danny Elmore of Sherwood coming in 8th, and Vancouver, Washington’s Ali Imsirovic making it all the way to 4th place. It was the second WSOP cash for Elmore and Gandham (and Imsirovic’s 4th), with all cashes for the three players coming this year.

My Time Is Coming

A bit of a downswing week for me, with six bricks in the Ignition Casino Thousandaire Maker. The last couple were particularly brutal, when I flopped bottom set on my sixth hand and ran into top set Sunday night, then sat through an hour of crappy hands only to get KJ in the small blind just before the break, have everyone fold to me, and jam my 12bb into the big blinds’s AA.

pokermutant
Starting off @PDXmeadowspoker $30K w Baptiste, star of @2PokerGuys #PokerTime and @WSOPC LA Main Event ringbearer
Nov 25, 2017 at 12:22 PM
pokermutant
And now Jake “Sheep Shirt” Dahl is on my right twitter.com/pokermutant/st…
Nov 25, 2017 at 12:39 PM

Saturday’s Portland Meadows $30K GTD went about the same for me. I slowly slid downhill until just after the first break, busted, re-entered, then two hands after I get re-seated, I make a play with A?8? from the small blind, flop top two pair, get most of my chips in on the turn, and put the rest of them in on the river only to have J?J? call me down to river a set. At least nobody can accuse me of slowplaying that one.

I played a number of Ignition Jackpot Sit-and-Gos, won a couple of the 5x payout $15 entry games, crushed a couple of PLO and PLO8 tournaments until I didn’t. 46 tournaments (32 Jackspot SnGs, they only last about 10 minutes, tops) and four online cash sessions. Would have been more, but Thanksgiving, you know?

New Hand History Style

I’ve been meaning to update my codes for entering hand histories for a while. There are surprisingly few options for typing cards into the WordPress content management system used by nearly everyone on the Internet (event the WSOP uses a customized version), but there are only a few freely-available tools out there and most of them haven’t been updated in years. The one I’ve been using is Cards poker, developed by the French player Hesiode, but the last update is more than four years old, an eternity in both poker and internet terms. So I finally got around to modifying Hesiode’s code, replacing the bitmap images with text and icons that should make everything cleaner and easier to read.

Late Breaking

Down at the WPTDeepstacks Championship at Thunder Valley last night, Angela Jordison got heads-up in the $10K GTD Omaha Hi-Low tournament.

https://twitter.com/angelajordison/status/935760462175711232

The Visitor

Prolific poker author Lee Davy writes this week in an otherwise unrelated piece on cryptocurrency and airlines for CalvinAyre.com that “I’m stuck in the world’s smallest queue waiting to check in for a flight from Burbank to Portland.” He has his 13-month0old daughter with him (likely not a poker trip), and another article posted the same day mentions he had his first Thanksgiving dinner in the US last week. So…Portland relatives?

Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard

Other than the final tablists at the WSOP Circuit, how did other PNW players do this week? Well, Dan martin from Klamath Falls cashed three times at the RUNGOOD Poker Series in Tulsa, including 1st place in the $100K GTD $675 Main Event. Washington’s Rafael Reis got to 5th at the Seminole Hard Rock Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open’s $250K GTD Event #6Seth Davies made it into the money down in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, with a 55th place in the partyPoker Millions $5M GTD Main Event. And Dan Barker from Poulsbo notched a first-place finish at a Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza IV $25K GTD Rebuy, for his largest-ever recorded cash; he took down a similar event this summer at the Venetian.

Max Young was profiled in an article Tuesday at PokerNews, along with a couple of other up-and-comers.

Session 3 Episode 4

 

This Week In Portland Poker

Final Table has a $50K GTD NLHE tournament Saturday at noon. $160 entry with a $160 live rebuy, and $80 addon. Pre-registration started Monday.

Omaha shootouts are becoming more popular at venues like Rialto and Claudia’s, which is a good thing for those of us who pine for the old Portland Players Club mixed games. I haven’t had the chance to check them out myself, but I hear Friday and Saturdays are the times. I heard from David Long on Saturday that Claudia’s 7pm tournaments are switching over to Omaha as of next Monday, so check with them.

Only a Day Away

  • The WPTDeepstack Championship is running at Thunder Valley. Thursday is the last entry day for the $560 $100K GTD Action 8 tournament; Saturday and Sunday are entrys for the $1M GTD $2,500 buyin Championship.

  • This weekend at the WPT Five Diamond at Bellagio in Las Vegas will hopefully be a bit calmer after Tuesday’s poker cage robbery (the guy didn’t even wait for the big money to get into town). There are $25K buyin High Roller events Thursday and Friday, and satellites to the Five Diamond all weekend ($10,400 entry). Day 1 is Tuesday.
  • The Aria Fall Poker Classic runs thoroughSunday, with a $250 buyin Turbo event Thursday, and $400 buyin tournaments Friday through Sunday.
  • The Wynn Signature Weekend starts today with a $25K GTD Seniors tournament, followed by three days of entry into a $600 $250K GTD tournament (Thursday through Saturday, with Day 2 on Sunday) and a $2.5K Survivor game on Sunday at noon for the save ($300 entry).
  • Back in Missouri, it’s HPT St. Charles, with a $100K GTD event starting Thursday (three entry days), a $500 entry Seniors Championship next week (7 December, Pearl Harbor Day), and the $2,500 entry HPT Championship Open starting 8 December. Last year’s Championship (held at Thunder Valley) had a $500K GTD prize pool of more than $900K. This year there’s no guarantee. One-way flight that Friday to St. Louis International (just a few miles from the casino) is about $220.
  • The last West Coast WSOP Circuit stop is at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. It gets under way on Friday with a NLHE Bounty Ring event, then there’s a $300K GTD $365-entry Ring tournament the first weekend of December. The Main Event ($1,675) starts 9 December.
  • The Ontario Poker Room Veterans Fundraiser is Saturday.
  • Sunday at 2pm at Eugene’s Beach Poker Club is their $135 buyin Monthly Big Tournament. 30-minute levels and a catered lunch. Call early and register for bonus chips.
  • Monday is the beginning of the Venetian December Extravaganza. The first event is a $400 buyin $40K GTD, and Tuesday is the first entry days for a $600 $150K GTD tournament. The $3,500 Card Player Poker Tour $500K GTD starts next Friday.
  • The Medford Poker Room Holiday Tournament is 8 December.
  • The Muckleshoot Tournament of Champions will be held Sunday, 17 December at noon. It’s $400 for any open seats if you have not otherwise qualified.

Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 23 November 2017 — THANKS FOR PORTLAND POKER!

Happy Thanksgiving!

What am I grateful for? Rake-free Portland poker clubs and especially the players who volunteer to deal because my ability to shuffle and deal is crummy..

Safe travels and best wishes for your holiday weekend (and before you head out to your regular game on Thursday, call your club to see if they’re closed!).

Ernie Haugen

According to a post on the NW Poker Facebook group, former La Center card room floorman Ernie Haugen passed away last week. According to Kasey Sutton, a viewing is scheduled for 1 December at Longview Memorial Park, with another viewing and service on 4 December. See the post for details and to leave remembrances. 

Holiday Tournaments and Other Announcements

Out on the east side of the state, the Ontario Poker Room is putting on a potluck fundraiser tournament for veterans of Oregon and Idaho on 2 December at 1pm. Buyin is $60 with unlimited $10 rebuys for the first hour and a $10 addon. Prospective players are requested to RSVP by 29 November.

On 9 December at noon, Medford Poker Room is having their $120 buyin Deep Stack tournament. They also suggest you reserve your seat.

The 12th Annual Northwest Deaf Poker Tournament returns to its new home at Portland Meadows Poker Room, 23 & 24 February, 2018 with three tournaments (one on Friday evening and two on Saturday). See the Facebook announcement for more info and contact information.

That Guy

My Time Is Coming

A decent week overall here at Poker Mutant Central. Not a Max Young kind of week, but decent. I cashed in last Wednesday’s Ignition $5K GTD Thousandaire Maker (falling a little short of the Thursday game and not getting anywhere in Saturday’s or Wednesday night’s). Dropped a little money in the PLO cash games there, then took a whack at the Jackpot Sit & Go Ignition has begun to offer, where you play a 3-person game that has a variable payout, from double the buyin to 1200 times the buyin. So far I’ve played 11 $7 jackpot games. Most have had $14 payouts—one had a $35 payout—and I’ve won 6 (but not the bigger one). I’ve also played 11 of the $15 Jackpots (two of which were $75 payouts), and cashed six of the standard $30 pots.

Friday night, I was in a five-way chop at Final Table’s $10K GTD, with everyone getting between 3rd place and 2nd place money. Monday was my long-time home game (where I met Jim-Jim the Poker Cat); I dropped two buyins, busting the second time just before break, then headed over to The Game for some 1/2 NLHE. I waited about an hour before I got a seat at a new table, then left an hour later after playing back against the reckless straddler who sat on my left resulted in a double-up.

Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard

The Wildhorse Fall Poker Round Up puts lots of big numbers up in the leaderboard this week as the results hit Hendon Mob.

Brian Son of Meridian, Idaho is the big name in the new money. Going into November, he had two small cashes recorded, but he hit the money three times in Pendleton, taking 4th place in both the Shootout and the Main EventMatt L’Hommedieu has exactly one recorded cash, but it was for 2nd place in the $330 Friday night tournament just before the Main Event. Colfax’s Ryan Christopherson had just a min cash from this summer on his record before winning Event #1Mel Hoelzle came from Boise to pick up his first cash, a win in Thursday’s Event #9Pogo Hyde from Salen opens his Hendon Mob page strong with 2nd place in Event #1, and Douglas Reiper bested his only other cash by a factor of twenty, taking second place in the High Roller.

Out at Mid-States Poker Tour Denver Poker OpenJason Beasley won the Main Event, Beasley lives in Colorado now, but he’s from Salem (and his Hendon Mob entry still lists him from there).

Even farther away, Calvin Lee (Mercer Island) won the 2017 Japan High Roller Festival Main Event (Japan only recently legalized casinos, so national poker championships have been held elsewhere, much like the Norwegians hold theirs in Dublin).

It was a good series back in Pendleton for Idahoans, with Twin Falls’ Michael York taking first on the Main Event, after making the unofficial final table of Event #10 the night before and cashing in Event #9. And, from BoiseDavid Smith took 2nd in Event #2, 21st in the Seniors, and 3rd in the Main Event.

2nd-place Main Event finisher Dale Dietzel (Gates, Oregon) blew out his previous cashes and picked up 13th in Event #10. Angel Iniquez grabbed first in Event #10. James Morris of Seattle took the bracelet in Event #2, Jason Heiner got 10th in #10 and 11th in the Main, Carl Oman was the winner of the High Roller, and David Mallet won the Seniors.

Seattle’s Alexander Fitzgerald went deep at WPT Montreal, cashing 22nd of 606 entries.

Clark Watkins double-dipped in Event #2 at Pendleton (2nd) and #10 (23rd). And congrats to Astoria’s Troy Stinnett, with three cashes including two final tables (20th in the Shootour, 8th in Event #1, and 3rd in the High Roller)!

Schrödinger’s Laak On The Chip Race

If you’re not listening to the Irish poker podcast hosted by David Lappin  and Dara O’Kearney, you should be. Their first episode of season 4 features river-of-consciousness  poker personality Phil Laak, whose interview starts thusly:

Laak: Not to diminish my own accomplishments, I want to clarify even though it says $3.6 million won [reported][tournament][winnings][on][Hendon][Mob], I wonder how many millions I spent to get that $3.6 milllion? Like, it’s not like that—that’s uh—I don’t know the answer. I don’t know if I’m  ROI plus or minus. I have spent…probably if I’m plus, it’s gotta be like less than a million…I mean I…

Lappin: That’s (not?) a good ROI.

Laak: …spent a lot of…It’s probably like two hundred thousand…it might be minus, I don’t know! I’ve done so much…I’m not the best accountant. I could figure that out. I actually could easily figure it out because I have all my tax records, I could do the plus and minus, but I get…those kind of things make me anxious, looking at the…I’ve recorded, in fact I’ve recorded all my gambling since, like 1999 when I actually started gambling, but now this is the first reveal, okay? Now this is a fact, this is…I’m not making this up, and I wonder how this is possible…

Lappin: Chip Race exclusive.

Laak: And…maybe it’s some Freudian, weird, dark thing, but I don’t look at it, I don’t want to look at it, I have no urge to look at it, I know it would be relatively easy to look at it. I am…I collect the data and then I don’t analyze it.

In other podcast news, Limon was a guest on the Part Time Poker podcast the other day, He’s always worth a listen no matter where he shows up. You can turn it off after he’s gone.

Session 3 Episode 3

It it’s Tuesday it must be PokerTime! Well, after Tuesday, anyway…

New Game

The Tulalip Poker Pow Wow coming up in January has a couple of odd mixed game tournaments in it. The 4-game mix is PLO, PL Hold’em (PLH), PLO8, and PLH8 (Pot Limit Hold’em 8 or Better). That last one’s pretty strange, but the 2-game Mix is PLO8 and something called Pot Limit 5 Card Holdout. When my far more experienced poker traveling companion David Long and I were out in Pendleton the other week, I asked him if he’d ever heard of such a thing. Was it some oddball term for Big O? I mean, there’s five cards. He said he hadn’t heard of it, but having designed games of various sorts over the years, I was curious what it was.

It’s something being promoted by Omega Gaming USA, apparently. There’s a brief Reddit thread about it, but a more detailed description in the State of Washington Gambling Commission‘s letter of approval to Omega (which is addressed to Marysville, home of Tulalip Casino).

The game plays out like this:

  1. Small and big blinds are put out, as in Hold’em.
  2. Each player gets five cards.
  3. There is a round of betting (pot limit, starting to the left of the big blind).
  4. Players discard up to four of the cards in their hand, starting to the left of the button. All of the cards remaining in the player’s hand must play.
  5. If more than one player remains, the dealer burns a card and turns over two cards for a flop.
  6. Remaining players bet, call, or fold.
  7. If more than one player remains, the dealer burns another card and turns over two cards for the river.
  8. Remaining players bet, call, or fold.
  9. If more than one players remains, there is a showdown.

The twist to this game is that your five-card hand must include all of the cards you keep, plus enough of the four cards on the board to equal five. If you keep one card, you are playing all four cards from the board. If you don’t discard anything, you don’t get to use any of the community cards. If you discard two, you use the three in your hand and two from the board.

Running some sample hands for a couple of hours, it felt like the game had aspects of draw and stud games, as well as Omaha. I’m not likely to get a chance to play thr tournament since it’s midweek—and I’m not about to give away the strategic insights we came up with (except that players keeping four cards are very likely to make their flush)—but I am going to keep a look out for any chance to play it.

This Week In Portland Poker

Final Table announced a double guarantee for their Friday morning (11am) tournament just after I posted this week’s Planner. The $10K GTD for Friday night is also confirmed. Saturday at noon is a big $30K GTD at Portland Meadows!

UPDATE: Sally Jean at Room 52 says on Facebook they will be open Thanksgiving night from 8pm until 2pm for 0.50/1, $200 max! See their post for availability.

UPDATEDER: Also too late to make the original post (guys, you know I usually write these by Tuesday night, right?) Heath Bloodgood announced a $50K GTD tournament ($160 buyin with 1 live rebuy, $80 addon) at noon on 2 December. Pre-reg starts Monday.

I haven’t seen any announcements for specials on the day after Thanksgiving (there should be a $10K GTD at Final Table at 7pm, as usual), but Saturday at noon is a big $30K GTD at Portland Meadows! See you there if I’m not in some turkey-induced coma.

Only a Day Away

There’s a flurry of games over the next three weeks but a big gap in poker series activity (nearby, but there’s always Prague) starting in mid-December. So get your money in now!

  • It’s the last weekend of the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza IV in Las Vegas. Friday and Saturday have $340 flights for a $100K GTD tournament (finishing on Sunday), and there are some smaller events, including a $7K GTD Omaha Hi-Low tournament at 2pm Friday. The Venetian December Extravaganza starts 4 December; its centerpiece is the $500K GTD Card Player Poker Tour DoubleStack ($3,500 entry) on 8 December.
  • The WPTDeepstack Championship starts Friday at Thunder Valley. It opens with a $560 $100K GTD and closes with the $2,500 buyin $1M GTD championship next weekend.
  • Friday is the start of the WPT Five Diamond at Bellagio in Las Vegas. There are more than two weeks of tournaments (culminating in the $10,400 buyin Main Event) with a number of them at the $1,100 level. The first is just $560! Saturday features the first of two shot clock tournaments, there’s a Seniors game and PLO on Monday, and $1,620 NLHE 6-Max on Tuesday. Why do I have a job?
  • The last Sunday in November is a Deepstack tournament at Muckleshoot Casino. $300 buyin for 25K in chips, starting at noon. It’s a qualifier for their Tournament of Champions (17 December): free entry to the TOC for the winner, $250 for anyone who qualified by playing 5 TOC qualifying events and scored enough points, and remaining spots go for $400. Now they tell me.
  • The Last Sunday of the Month tournament at Tulalip is an $820 buyin with a $75K GTD. 11am on 26 November. There’s a satellite ($90 buyin) on Saturday at 3pm.
  • Sunday is the opening event of a smaller Las Vegas series, the Aria Fall Poker Classic, which kicks off with a $470 buyin PLO tournament. The other events in the week-long series are NLHE and they’re a mix of $400 and $240 buyins.
  • The Wynn Signature Weekend starts next Wednesday with a $25K GTD Seniors tournament, followed by three days of entry into a $600 $250K GTD tournament (Thursday through Saturday, with Day 2 on Sunday) and a $2.5K Survivor game on Sunday at noon for the save ($300 entry).
  • Back in Missouri, it’s HPT St. Charles, with a $100K GTD event starting next Thursday (three entry days), a $500 entry Seniors Championship the next week (7 December, Pearl Harbor Day), and the $2,500 entry HPT Championship Open starting 8 December. Last year’s Championship (held at Thunder Valley) had a $500K GTD prize pool of more than $900K. This year there’s no guarantee. One-way flight that Friday to St. Louis International (just a few miles from the casino) is about $220.
  • The last West Coast WSOP Circuit stop is at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. It gets under way on 1 December with a NLHE Bounty Ring event, then there’s a $300K GTD $365-entry Ring tournament the first weekend of December. The Main Event ($1,675) starts 9 December.
  • The Ontario Poker Room Veterans Fundraiser is 2 December and the Medford Poker Room Holiday Tournament is 8 December (see above).

Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 15 November 2017

Wildhorse Fall Poker Wrap Up

Results for all of the events at Wildhorse from last week have been posted, and they’re duplicated here. Entries were down for most events, despite the extension of the time for entry and re-entry. I don’t know what to make of that, in particular, though the series was up against two West Coast WSOPC events (Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas), a Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza, and the LA Poker Open overlapping either the entire series or one of the weekends.

Event2016 Entries2017 Entries2016 First Prize2017 First Prize2016 Prize Pool2017 Prize Pool2017 Winner
#1 $175 No Limit Hold'em - Fri612558$18,247$16,631$91,800$82,515Ryan Christopherson, Colfax, WA
#2 $230 No Limit Hold'em - Sat522503$20,102 $19,452$104,400$98,270James Morris, Olympia, WA
#3 $230 No Limit Hold'em Shootout - Sun240192$9,940 $7,710$48,600$39,980Michael Foti, Tigard, OR
#4 $230 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo - Mon228196$10,425 $9,911$46,320$40,240Cornelio McLean, Tacoma, WA
#5 $230 HORSE - Tue (2016)
#5 $230 Big O - Tue (2017)
122132$6,285$6,519$26,677$28,080Robert Mitchell, Salt Lake City, UT
#6 $125 No Limit Hold'em Turbo - Tue161190$4,995$4,762$ 16,465$19,050Jose Gomez, Grandview, WA
#7 $230 No LImit Hold'em Seniors - Wed324290$13,845 $13,625$64,800$58,100David Mallet, Point Roberts, WA
#8 $1,100 No Limit Hold'em High Roller - Thu8861$21,000$15,646$88,000$57,950Carl Oman, Vancouver, WA
#9 $230 No Limit Hold'em - Thu318326$13,696$13,975$63,600$64,940Mel Hoelzle, Boise, ID
#10 $340 No Limit Hold'em - Fri474441$29,443$27,778$142,200$130,685Angel Iniquez, Richland, WA
#11 $550 No Limit Hold'em Main Event - Sat431401$45,402 $44,943$214,725$200,475Michael York, Twin Falls, ID
#12 $175 No Limit Hold'em Turbo - Sat119107$4,651$4,225$17,957$16,247Randall Palazzo, West Linn, OR

As mentioned last week, the 2018 Spring Poker Round Up dates are set for 5–15 April.

My Time Is Coming

After busting out of the Wildhorse Big O tournament last Tuesday, I played one of the final Ignition Golden Spade Poker Open events, the $15K NLHE 6-Max, making it about half-way through the field of 400, then jumped into their  nightly $8K NLHE (338/815), a $2,500 NLHE Turbo (130/229), and a $3K NLHE 6-Max (31/48) before finally just playing some online 4/8 Omaha Hi-Lo and making a whopping $10 profit. Woohoo!

I started off Wednesday morning with an online $1,500 PLO Hi-Lo, and when I didn’t get very far, I went down to the satellite room and played two $43 NLHE Satellites, busting in the first round on bullet 1 and pulling out a tricky comeback on the second. I was short-stacked through most of the game, then sucked out with Q?J? against A?K? which managed to keep me alive into three-handed play, then I put a couple of brutal hits on the gentleman who was the big stack for almost the entire game and I ended up with two $100 vouchers for my entry into Event #7 NLHE Seniors.

I wish I could say more about how the Seniors tournament went. I had a good start, I know that much, with about three times the starting stack three hours into the game, with about half the field remaining. I spent a good portion of the first part of the game sitting next to Thomas Schultheis, who was the series champion a few years back, and who’s medium-distantly-related to me by marriage.

I went through something like six table changes during the course of the game—including ending back at the same seat in the middle of the room twice—and lost a third of my stack in a blind on blind hand to 2?4? just before dinner. We were in the money just before the 9pm (after a noon start and a 1-hour dinner break.

Went for two more hours, getting close to the final table when I shoved A?K? and got called by 9?9?. The flop of J?J?Q? gave me the dreaded too many outs, and I just missed the unofficial final table and a sparkly hat. The big stack in the picture above belonged to Hamid Siddiqui, who went out just before I did, after suffering some major losses following the two-table redraw.

My High Roller experience the next day was short and ugly. I lost some chips early on, battled my way back to near starting stack, then picked up A2 in the big blind and called a raise along with three others. The flop was K6?4 and I called a bet, then an even bigger bet on the 2 turn (I was heads-up with the original raiser by this point). When the 2 came on the river, I stupidly though I was good with the trips, but my opponent had 6?6? in his hand and I was out after just ninety minutes. Congrats to my poker buddy Steve Myers for cashing 6th place, after arriving late because of a terrible wreck on I84 on the way out.

I went on a little bit of a rampage (not the kind where you make money) after the High Roller bustout: dropped a buyin at 0.1/0.25 PLO on Ignition, Got to 30/130 in a $2,500 NLHE,  then 45/84 in a 4K NLHE 6-Max. Went downstairs and bought into the 10/20 Omaha Hi-Lo game, was almost felted, got quads that brought me almost even, then ran it back down. And that was all mostly before dinner.

After dinner, I went back to the room and bricked 6 tournaments, including the Thousandaire Maker.

My poker travel partner, David Long, and I decided to head back to Portland Friday morning —we both had stuff crop up at home. I played some more online cash PLO, with mixed results, busted the Thousandaire Maker and a $4K NLHE Turbo, then min-cashed a 77-player $500 PLO8 Turbo. Saturday I played (and busted) three online tournaments, and lost a buyin at 0.1/0.25 NLHE Zone. Sunday, I was out of the Thousandaire Maker in two hands (he did have an ace; J?J? no good!) and a $5K NLHE, then there weren’t enough people signed up for the Thousandaire Maker to get it started, and I played a 6-Max (briefly) before doubling my buyin at cash PLO. That is all.

Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard

Kevin MacPhee was over in Rozvadov last week, defending the title in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker Europe; he just missed making the final table after Maria Ho drew out to a king-high straight to crack his kings. The other big cashes for the week were down in Las Vegas at the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza IV, where Darren Rabinowitz got 3rd place in the $200K GTD NLHE and Marco Garcia grabbed 2nd in a $100K GTD NLHE.

Pendleton results hadn’t posted to Hendon Mob by Sunday when the leaderboards are run; hopefully they’ll be there by next week!

New Session

Every Tuesday!

 This Week In Portland Poker

Regular schedules.

Only a Day Away

Series are starting to thin out a bit before the holidays.

  • The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza IV weekend event is a $125K GTD tournament with a $250 buyin. Each of the three entry flights (Thursday–Saturday at noon) plays down to 5% of the field (10% of the field is paid, with $400–$800 paid to the players who don’t go through to Day 2). Monday and Tuesday are entry days for a $400 buyin with $100K GTD.
  •  The LA Poker Open Main Event ($1,100 buyin, $500K GTD) has entry flights Thursday–Saturday (1px, 1pm, and noon, respectively). It wraps up on Sunday.
  • The WSOPC Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood has a 6-Max ($365 buyin) tomorrow at noon, with flights to the $1,675 Main Event ($1M GTD) on Friday and Saturday,
  • The Lucky Chances 19th Annual Gold Rush finishes up this weekend with their $100K GTD to first place tournament ($1,080 buyin) at 9am on Saturday.
  • The Stones $100K Quantum has started. There are entry flights at 10am Thursday through Saturday, with a 6pm flight on Thursday.
    Stones is also running a $1K buyin Single Table Sit & Go on 22 November. First come, first served.
  • The last two Sundays in November mean the Big Bounty and Deepstack tournaments at Muckleshoot Casino. Both games start at noon on their respective weeks.
  • The Last Sunday of the Month tournament at Tulalip is an $820 buyin with a $75K GTD. 11am on 26 November.
  • The WPTDeepstack Championship starts the day after Thanksgiving at Thunder Valley. It opens with a $560 $100K GTD and closes with the $2,500 buyin $1M GTD championship at the beginning of December.

Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!