If you haven’t already watched the KGW-TV piece that aired last Wednesday evening, take a couple minutes and give it a spin. I’ll wait.
I wouldn’t call it the worst piece of reporting ever done, but to flatly allege poker rooms that have been operating in the full light of day are “illegal” seems a bit odd, to say the least. And given that Portland Meadows has been running ads during the very same news broadcasts, it seems a bit hypocritical to be taking their money. The lawyer for the La Center rooms certainly looks trustworthy, doesn’t he?
Finally, the B-roll footage they use for the poster shot (also appearing at 1:12 in the video): they do know that’s not a good hand in any games currently in vogue, don’t they? Nice five-card draw hand, but nobody plays that.
The State of Portland Poker
I got there about 90 minutes after start time, determined to stick to a single buyin. Got my second hand but just won the blinds, and that was the only large pair I had the entire tournament. I was down a bit at the break (there were three shootout tables running), didn’t do the live rebuy or addon, and eventually got lucky with against to double up to about 20,000. From there, I didn’t turn back.
Five hours in, we were just under 50 players left and I was below average but chugging along. We hit the money (20 players) a little before 3am, and we were at the final table a bit after 4. Finally got to play with the plaques Final Table got for their $100,000 guarantee. By the time we were down to 5, the chip leader was David, a reg from the club formerly known as Encore, Rich and Paul (both from Encore) were on his left, then me, and Jack, a reg from the 11am game at Final Table. Paul busted and I played the short stack for another 30 minutes before shoving two hands in a row from the small blind and the button. I had about 15 big blinds left and shoved . Jack, in the small blind, had just doubled up through David and had , he called, and I went out in 4th place for almost 1,600% ROI after leaving a tip.
Gave some of it back to the ecosystem on Monday, at the old home game (5th of 8 after a rebuy and playing every hand for the first three rounds, though I did pick up the high hand bonus) and a quick post-tournament stop at The Game, where I ran into Gypsy, one of my housemates in Las Vegas, and talked to her after she cashed out for longer than I lasted at the table.
Deal of the Week: SoCal Poker Championships
The Los Angeles area has been the innovator in the world of low buyin mega-multi-entry day tournaments with large prize pools, something that’s possible because of its large population and therefore large player base. The Mega Millions series at the Bicycle Casino is just one example.
Now, four LA casinos have teamed up to offer the 2016 SoCal Poker Championships this fall, a five-day $3,000,000 guarantee tournament ($350 buyin for 12,500 chips) that has a grand total of 64 entry flights, with two flights over eight consecutive days at each of the four casinos. The flights are staggered from mid-September through early November, with the final stage of the tournament set for mid-December at the Bicycle.
The Gardens Casino kicks things off, with entry flights from 18–25 September. The top 10% of each entry flight receives $600, the top 8% gets $700, and the top 6% gets $800 and advances to Day 2. A Day 2 follows the last entry day at each casino (26 September for the Gardens), Players can register directly for Day 2 for $4,500 to get 210,000 chips.
Day 2 plays for 12 40-minute levels and is followed immediately by a Day 3 at each location (27 September at the Gardens), which plays down to 6% of the Day 2 field (0.36% of the starting field). Days 4 and 5 are at the Bicycle in December for all of the remaining players. If you make it to Day 4, you get a partial payout of $10,000.
Like most of these multi-entry day tournaments, if you qualify for Day 2 multiple times, you receive money for your abandoned stack above and beyond what you would get for just making Day 2 ($800). To encourage early participation, you get more for the earlier flights: an extra $2,200 at Gardens, $1,700 at the Bicycle, and $1,200 at Hustler (no bonus for a second qualification at Commerce).
And that’s not all. There is a $100,000 freeroll tournament for the 50 players who earn the most for participation in the series. Again, early participation is awarded, with twice as many points going to players in the Gardens flights (12) as those at Commerce (6). And you get 33 points for each Day 2 qualification.
First place is guaranteed $500,000 and a Mercedes Benz C Class car.
The Gardens and Bicycle qualifiers are scheduled during other tournament series at the casino, so they’re not the only reason to be there. If you’ve got other business in LA during the next few months, this is a series to look at.
This Week In Portland Poker
Once again, nothing special at press time. Tuesday, Final Table announced a 5pm Bounty tournament with a $500 guarantee, and it’s on their weekday schedule now, but I don’t know how well-attended it is.
Only a Day Away
- Tonight at 7pm is another satellite for the Muckleshoot Summer Classic series.
- There is a one-day $100,000 guarantee NLHE and $30K PLO tomorrow at the Bicycle Casino/WPT Legends of Poker. The Mega Millions event beat its $1,000,000 guarantee. Saturday is the first entry flight for the WPT Main Event, a $4,000 buyin.
- The Atlantis Resort in Reno is host to the WPT Deepstacks tour through 29 August. The series ends with a 3-day $250K $1,100 buyin Main Event this weekend.
- Sundays at noon through 4 September, Chinook Winds is hosting 1-seat guaranteed satellite tournaments for their Fall Coast Poker Classic Main Event ($550 buyyin, $200 addon) on 10 September. The satellites are $40 to enter (including fee and dealer appreciation), with $20 rebuys and a $20 addon.
- San Jose’s Bay 101 Casino has the Bay 101 Open starting Monday. The Main Event next weekend is also a $1,100 buyin, but it’s likely to be more heavily stacked with pros from Northern California than the Reno event. There were 432 entries last year, making a $432K prize pool (less juice than the WPTDeepstack event, apparently)
- Thursday is the start of HPT Indiana at Ameristar Casino Hotel, East Chicago. The opening weekend has a $100K guarantee Monster Stack ($300 buyin),
- Also starting tomorrow is WSOP Circuit event at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, also kicking off a week from Thursday. The first event ($365 buyin) has six entry flights from Thursday through Saturday and a $150K guarantee.
- The Last Sunday of the Month, Tulalip Resort Casino is holding a $5K added tournament with a $230 buyin.
- Sunday is the start of the Pure Poker Summer Showdown at Casino Yellowhead in Edmonton. Five events ranging from C$220 to C$1,100 buyins (no guarantees.
- A week from Thursday is the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza 3.5,
- Thursday the 1st of September is also the opening of the Commerce Poker Series in Los Angeles.