Falling Down (On the Job)
The week I’m busy at work and don’t get things together early in the week and there’s actually stuff to mention in the Planner! On the other hand, some of it I didn’t get wind of until after my usual Wednesday morning post time, so hopefully all’s good. A couple people mentioned they were wondering what had happened when there wasn’t anything new on the site the other day; I’m touched and pleased that people actually look for this little blog on a regular basis. I will try hard not to let it happen again!
Omaha By Way of Chicago
One thing my late post gives me great pleasure to be able to report on is Joe Brandenburg’s World Series of Poker Circuit win at Horseshoe Hammond, in East Chicago Friday night. Joe’s a mixed-game player, who holds his own in hold’em. I’ve played with him a fair amount over the years, and as a computer programmer myself (though less accomplished both there and on the poker field) I have to admire his skill, not to mention the fact that he and his daughter Liz Tedder can crush tournaments. Did my best this summer to give them both a little notice in the live reporting.
Is There Still Live Poker In Portland?
Last week, I asked this question when I mentioned not having had the opportunity to play much off-line poker for the past couple of months. My first game after the Fall Coast Classic Main Event lasted four hands. Last week, I got out to Portland Meadows for the first time since August (more on that below) and got through a whole level! Then last night I played the weekly Friday night $10K Guarantee at Final Table, and it sure seemed as if things were running just the same (from a player perspective) as they were before the summer mishegas.
I got there about 45 minutes into the tournament and noticed first thing that there are new “2 Hour” designations on most of the parking spaces in their lot. Parking has been less of a problem for Final Table than it was for Encore, but their customers do tend to soak up lot space in front of other businesses, like Pizza Baron and O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, as well as the rest of the strip mall. I meant to ask how that affects daytime customers.
First hand I played, , I raised over a couple of limpers and got four callers, flopping , c-bet, got raised by one caller, went all in and he called with . on the turn for quads and a good start to the night. Hit a set of tens shortly after that, got up to three times the starting stack in less than half an hour. Twenty minutes later, after losing a chunk with a pair of tens, then a flopped set of nines where I somehow let get to the river to catch a flush, I was back just above start.
For several hours, I was playing just upstream from Lisa Meredith, the 3rd-place finisher in this summer’s WSOP Millionaire Maker. She was unaware of the Pacific Northwest Poker Calendar (#PNWPokerCal), but when she said she was looking for value in large poker tournaments, you know I spent some time plugging the site. Vicarious Living Through the Success of PNW Poker Players™.
Got up to 90+K at one point—about 150% of the average stack at the time—but ran into on a flop of and lost half my stack, never to recover. Went incredibly card-dead sub-10bb, and busted along with another player on a confrontation with v v , with the big stack taking it all after a king showed up on the board. Almost made a straight.
Had a nice chat with Brian Sarchi, the man behind the Portland Meadows Poker Room the other night (after busting a tournament and cash game in short succession). He said things are moving along well there, with weekday noon games more than doubling guarantees. The evening game I played had a $1K guarantee and $1,780 in the prize pool.
Brian mentioned that Meadows hasn’t got any big events in the immediate plans (but there is a $20K at noon on Sunday, 23 October) but they have been settling into their operation. The poker room has taken over the food and drink operations from Portland Meadows proper, and Brian said they’re planning to bring in a chef.
There were three tables running in the live section on a Thursday night. Things seemed to be humming along much the same as they were in the first part of the year, but then I probably spent more time talking to Brian than I did actually playing poker that night.
Just a Reminder
I’m still looking for that angel investor to send me to the last EPT Prague.
The Devil’s Bargain: Wildhorse Fall Poker Round-Up High Roller and Satellite
When most people plan on their trip to Pendleton for the Fall Poker Round-Up at Wildhorse Resort and Casino—the largest series in the Pacific Northwest for many years running—they plan for the $545 Main Event on the closing weekend, with maybe an opening shot at the $335 tournament the day before.
Last year’s Main got 379 entries, with a prize pool of $190K and made a nice bundle of $42K for Minh Leadao, who’s spent the year since taunting his Facebook followers from exotic locales in SE Asia and Australia. But like with most other large-field tournaments, if you didn’t make the final table, you probably didn’t even even triple your money. Thirty-six places paid, and 18th got $1,351for a profit of only about 150%.
The High Roller, with a $1,400 buyin and only 43 entries, only paid $18,585 up top, but the smallest payout in 6th place (the same Joe Brandenburg from up above) got $4,575, 200% ROI. This is just a feature of the top-heavy graduated payout structures in tournaments. (If this had been run as a Survivor-style tournament with payouts equal to ten times the player prize pool contribution of $1,400, there would have been four $14,000 payouts—more than 2nd place paid, and one payout of $1,190. Just saying.)
The cost of the High Roller has been dropping since the first one three years ago. They started at $2,000, went down to $1,500, and this year they’re at $1,100, presumably to capture a larger number of players.
Even better, Wednesday night during the series (9 November), there’s a $225 Super Satellite for the High Roller, so you can potentially get a seat in the High Roller with 1 in 5 players in the satellite getting a ticket. Head out Wednesday with the money you could have spent on the Main, play the High Roller satellite, and if you don’t get a seat, play the $225 noon event running concurrently with the High Roller instead. And save on weekend hotel rates. That’s high-rolling!
This Week in Portland Poker
Only a Day Away
- The SoCal Poker Classic hits the Hustler Casino next Friday as part of the Liz Flynt Fall Classic. The Main Event is a $240 buyin $200K guarantee with eight starting flights beginning the day before Halloween.
- The Beach Poker Club in Eugene has its last two events for its Grand Opening tomorrow, with a $49 NLHE Battle of the Sexes Freezeout at noon and an $89 buyin, $25 addon Turbo event at 5pm.
- The next Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza starts Monday and runs through Thanksgiving. It opens with a $150K guarantee $250 buyin and has a total of 56 events.
- The World Series of Poker Circuit holes up at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe on Thursday, 27 October. It’s one of the smaller-turnout venues for the WSOPC.
- By contrast, St. Louis is a big destination for the HPT, and its first event is the same day, a $100K guarantee with a $350 buyin.
- There was a late announcement of the Rio Final Table Festival at the home of the WSOP over Halloween weekend. Friday has $500 and $300 NLHE events, with a $1,100 satellite into the 2-day $10,000 main event on Monday (Halloween). Several other satellites to both the Main and smaller events that are running through the weekend.
- 30 October at Muckleshoot Casino is the Fifth Sunday special, a $330 buyin with $3K added to the prize pool. Game starts at noon.
- An hour earlier on 30 October (11am) is also the Tulalip Casino LSOM tournament. It’s $345 with the dealer toke, and has $5K added to the prize pool.
- The Mid-States Poker Tour wanders west to Golden Gates Poker Parlour in Blackhawk, Colorado. Satellites start Halloween, but a $360 buyin $100K guarantee starts Thursday, 3 November, with the $1,100 buyin $200K guarantee Main Event (though I hate seeing asterisks after that number when I can’t find what it’s for) kicking off 10 November.
- The Wildhorse Fall Poker Round-Up also begins 3 November. Individual tournaments are listed on the calendar.
- The final leg of the SoCal Poker Championships is at Commerce Casino’s LA Poker Open. The first event is 4 November, followed by eight days of starting flights for the $350 buyin $3M guarantee SCPC. The LAPC Main Event has $100K guaranteed for first place with a $1,650 buyin.
- The HPT moves across Missouri to Kansas City on 10 November art the Ameristar Casino. Seven events, with three entry days for the $1,650 Main Event.