Portland Holiday Poker Championship Results #PNWHolidayPoker

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All images via NW Poker Facebook group

maxMax Young takes it down in the first series coordinated between Portland Meadows Poker Room and Final Table Poker Club. Max picked up 36 points with a win at Final Table’s $30K guarantee on Friday night, and another 22 points in Saturday’s Portland Meadows $30K, for a total of 58, edging him ahead of the 54 points James Porter and Tony Strayer won during the series.

The four events had nearly 1,100 entries total, with a combined prize pool of over $125,000, well above the $80,000 in guarantees. Thanks to all of the dealers and staff at both rooms for making a great series! (I even cashed in the first event before taking off for the coast to celebrate an anniversary.)

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See the NW Poker Facebook group for final point totals.

I’m planning to plug Portland poker in an interview I’m recording Wednesday on High Roller Radio, you can listen to some of the past interviews they’ve done on YouTube, including the ever-entertaining Limon, and big-shot poker author James McManus.

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 30 November 2016

Portland Poker Holiday Championship Series

It’s time! Tomorrow is the start of the first series in Portland since the closure of Encore Club this summer. Encore ran eight incarnations of its EPS 4-tournament series (the last of which was in April). Then there was a week-long series for the opening of Portland Meadows Poker Room in May. Both of those series featured $100K guarantee tournaments. The Portland Poker Holiday Championship Series (four events total alternating at Final Table Poker Club and Portland Meadows) doesn’t shoot quite that big, but it’s a sign that both rooms are healthy.

I’d expect all of the events to reach capacity (I know a couple of guys betting on the turnout for the $30K at Meadows), Angie Lynne Schulz at Final Table posted in the NW Poker Facebook group on Tuesday night hat they were taking pre-registration because of a 230-player cap on the Friday night $30K (call 503-719-5457 for details).

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The #nitcast Cometh

Deal of the Week: Last Chance at the Bike

 

My travel schedule has been a bit constrained since I got back from working at the WSOP this summer, and for one reason or another (mostly a job), the only trip out of town that I’ve managed since then has been to Chinook Winds, which didn’t go so well. I’ve even had to miss some of the bigger special events here in town, and the same thing’s going to happen with the Holiday Series this weekend, because I’ll be at the coast.

And I didn’t make it to EPT Prague, my target for six Decembers.

So, with schedules winding down for the holiday season and still a lot of family stuff happening before the end of the year, is there any (cheap) way to make a big hit and maybe stash something in the old Christmas stocking?

What about the last event of the WSOPC series at the Bicycle CasinoEvent #20 is a 2-day tournament with 14 entry flights (2 each day for a week from 13–19 December). There’s a $500K guarantee, and the buyin is $200+$40 (yes, that’s 16.67% rake, actually 19.17% once 3% of the prize pool is taken out for “administration fees”). 10% of the field passes through to Day 2 (on 20 December). If you make it to Day 2, you immediately get $400.

You can enter and re-enter through level 6 (25-minute levels), and you can enter multiple flights. Players who qualify for Day 2 more than once play the biggest stack they qualify on Day 2, and the other stacks are removed from play, with the player getting another $1,600 for each removed stack ($2,000 total, including the $400 qualification payout).

There are still some inexpensive flights to LA from PDX for that weekend, less than $400 including two nights in the Quality Inn across the street from the casino (I stayed there on my way back from Vegas this summer). It might seem counter-intuitive to spend $500 to fly to LA to play a $240 tournament, but there will be six qualifying flights for a $500K prizepool between Saturday at noon and the end of Monday. A similar $500K event in the summer of 2015 (with a somewhat different buyin structure) drew 2,318 entries, making a prize pool of $796,564, with about half of that divvied up between the last 10 players. (26 players qualified twice, 6 players qualified three times.)

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 23 November 2016

Thanksgiving

There have been a few goodies left on the doorstep of Portland poker this week, and here at Mutant Poker we just want to say thanks for all of it, even if we are having to admit defeat in our attempt to get to the final EPT Prague next month. Just not gonna happen.

Portland Poker Holiday Championship Series

As we’ve already announced, the Final Table Poker Club and Portland Meadows Poker Room are running a 4-event series the first four days of December, with $80,000 guaranteed between the four tournaments, and a trophy for the player with the most points through the series. Decompress from the T-Day family arguments over politics with some poker.

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Pac West Poker 

As if that wasn’t enough of a present for all of you good little girls and boys, the great folks at Chinook Winds Casino have already released a preliminary schedule for February’s Pac West Poker Classic, with a week-long schedule of events starting with a $330 $50K guarantee NLHE 6-Max on 18-20 February and culminating in a $550+$200 $100K guarantee NLHE Main Event, with no re-entry. Show your appreciation for the gang down there by playing in the new poker room over the holidays.

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The Decision

The Oregon Supreme Court recently published its affirmation of an Court of Appeals judgment on a case covering Portland poker. A lawsuit brought by MT & M Gaming Inc., the owners of Last Frontier Casino in La Center,

judgmentThe case made its way up from Multnomah County Court to the Court of Appeals, which found that since MT & M wasn’t covered by Oregon law (as it operated in Washington state and under Washington gaming laws), it couldn’t invoke Oregon laws in its attempt to claim Portland was allowing poker rooms to steal its former customers. The Supreme Court’s interpretation was somewhat different, but it had the same effect, and it’s worth a read to see the arguments that the City’s attorneys put up in defense of the status quo, whether that’s because they’re protecting the city’s poker clubs or just because they don’t like getting pushed around by some guys from La Center. It makes for some interesting reading.

Deal of the Week: Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza

The  next months is a little slow for series as everyone hunkers down for the holiday season, but if you’ve got some time coming up around the new year, the Venetian in Las Vegas has been running a series that spans Christmas and New Year’s for several years now (though, seriously, with every month having a mid-month “Weekend Extravaganza” and four month-long Extravaganzas each year, it’s getting hard to find time when there’s just a regular schedule running for more than a couple of weeks).

None of the events in the New Year’s Extravaganza have buyins of more than $400 (most are in the $200 range). There aren’t any enormous guarantees—the largest is near the end of the series for $150K on a $250 buyin—but there are a lot of solid events twice a day that will likely be in the 60-100 entry range for the single-flight tournaments.

The three big events of the series are a $125K, $100K, and $150K, for buyins of $250, $400, and $250, respectively. The first is two days after Christmas, the second starts New Year’s Day, and the last begins 4 January. Presumably, in addition to some tournaments, there should be some action from a surge in visitors to Vegas during the holidays.

And sometime around the end of January, the first of the 2017 Extravaganzas should get going.

This Week in Portland Poker

I haven’t heard of anything out of the ordinary for Thanksgiving weekend (what with the Holiday Championship Series coming up next week), but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a late announcement of something, Keep an ear out and watch @pokermutant on Twitter.

Only a Day Away

  • Speaking of the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza, the last day of the current series is tomorrow.
  • It was on and off my schedule because of an error on my part (I had links to last year’s event), but the Ante Up NorCal Classic got going Tuesday. It runs through Sundaty at Thunder Valley outside of Sacramento, and the Main Event this weekend is a $200K guarantee with a $555 entry. The 2-day event finishes Sunday, with starts on Friday and Saturday.If you get done with turkey, get someone else to handle the drive down before the l-tryptophan kicks in.
  • The WPT/Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic Starts Friday, with five low buyin events, including a $560 on the Sunday, and a Shot Clock tournament Tuesday.
  • Deepstacks Poker Tour’s Championship series at the Grey Eagle Casino in Calgary starts Saturday. Pairing with Run It Up, they’re offering a C$550 buyin C$100K guarantee with two entry days at the beginning of the series.
  • Tulalip Casino north of Seattle has a Last Sunday of the Month $75K guarantee tournament with an $820 buyin at 11am 27 November. Muckleshoot Casino has a game the same day at noon, with a $150 buyin (8K in chips) and a $100 addon (10K in chips, with 2K if you buy them both at the same time; how’s that for incentive?)
  • The World Series of Poker Circuit shows up at The Bicycle Casino next Thursday, with a $50K Circuit Ring event and a $350 Survivor tournament leading the way. See last week’s Deal of the Week.
  • On 7 December (the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor!) the Venetian holds the December edition of its Weekend Extravaganza, featuring a $100K guarantee tournament with a $340 buyin.

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

Worth a Post of Its Own

One of the things about adversity is it can sometimes bring people together, and this summer’s uncertainty over the direction of poker clubs in Portland would seem to be one of those times.

I’ve anguished in the past when venues in the Northwest scheduled series against one another—by design or by accident—because the pool of NW players is relatively smalland because we only get a limited number of series in the first place. Having to choose between one or the other really sucks, especially if you end up with some other conflict.

So it’s great to see the two major clubs in town emulating the four-casino SoCal Poker Championship in LA by running the first series in town since the spring, with two events at Final Table Poker Club and two at Portland Meadows Poker Room.

The Poker Mutant is going to be occupied with a birthday and an anniversary most of the weekend, naturally, but congratulations to everyone at the clubs for coming together to make this happen.

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#PNWPokerCal Planner for 16 November 2016

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? Does Anybody Really Care?

With all the talk about how fast play at the 2016 November Nine table was compared to the previous year, I took a look at how many hands were played in each level of 2014, 2015, and 2016 and put together a chart for comparison. Take a look at the article and see how they compare.

Preview of 2014-2016 November Nine Hand-By-Hand Chart

The State of Portland Poker

With everything else going on last week (including a devastating blow to the Mutantmobile when a tree limb fell on the convertible roof), my plans to head out to the Pendleton Fall Round Up for the High Roller satellite on Wednesday fell through like—well—like a tree limb through the roof of a convertible. There was a fair amount of chip porn on Facebook. Word was the High Roller got 88 entries (with PokerMutant pal Steve Myers doing quite well), that Kerry Moynahan chopped the Friday event, and both Liz Brandenburg and Joe Brandenburg cashed in the Main.

As for me, I finally got a chance to play in the Saturday noon $10K at Portland Meadows. Didn’t cash, blew some money playing Big O afterward, and went home to make some money online in a Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Turbo. Prague is getting less and less likely.

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Portland Poker Facebook

There’s been a NW Poker Facebook group for a while now, and a newer Portland Poker Facebook group now exists. Not sure what differentiation there will be in the future, but one more thing to check out when you’re looking for info.

The Two-Hour Challenge

I’m waiting for either Final Table  or Portland Meadows to take up the mantle of seven-day-a-week poker tournament every two hours. Maybe the shootouts that are running at both places keep enough action going that other tournaments aren’t needed, but I miss those days.

Deal of the Week: Live at the Bike

The World Series of Poker Circuit makes its last stop of the year in Los Angeles at the Bicycle Casino from 1 December to 20 December. In addition to the requisite 12 Circuit events, there will be plenty of side action at The Bike, including the conclusion of the $3M SoCal Poker Championship (too late, all of the entrants have been determined) and a $240 buyin $500K guarantee event to wrap up  the series, beginning on 13 December.

There’s a little confusion about the events on the first day, with the first side event (#13) either being a $240 buyin $75K guarantee (according to the PDF schedule) or a $350  buyin Survivor tournament with a $3K payout for 10% of the field (according to the web schedule). I think it’s likely to be the Survivor, since they’ve done up structures  for that.

The Bike’s bringing their Quantum buy-in thing to the WSOPC, with the $250K guarantee $365 Ring event on the first weekend allowing direct buyin to Day 2 for $2,200, which gets you a stack of more than 65BB. You’ll be able to buy into Day 2 of the Main Event, as well, although you don’t pay any more and you don’t get any more chips.

There are only a couple of non-Hold’em events on the schedule, an Omaha 8 Ring event on 6 December and a mixed Pot Limit Stud 8 and Big O (non-Ring) tournament the next day.

This Week in Portland Poker

Nothing special coming up this week as of press time, although there’s an interesting thread on the NW Poker  Facebook group sparked by a post about specials at the Last Frontier Casino Poker Room  in La Center. Liz Brandenburg had this response to a proposal to ban posts about Last Frontier from the thread (for any part they might have had in working to shut down Portland poker rooms).

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Only a Day Away

  • The big event of the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza is this weekend, a $1,600 buyin, $400K guarantee. Monday and Tuesday is a $75K with a $400 buyin, and the series comes to an end on Thanksgiving (next Thursday!)
  • The Commerce Casino’s LA Poker Open wraps up this weekend, with a $1,650 buyin $100K Main Event.
  • The HPT Kansas City  $1,650 Main Event has three entry days starting tomorrow, with the final day filmed for TV on Monday.
  • Sunday, at Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn, there’s a $170 Big Bounty tournament at noon.
  • The WPT/Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic gets going the day after Thanksgiving, with five low buyin events, including a $560 on the first Sunday, and a Shot Clock tournament Tuesday, 29 November.
  • Deepstacks Poker Tour’s season is coming to an end with its Championship series at the Grey Eagle Casino in Calgary, with the first actual event on Saturday after Thanksgiving. Pairing with Run It Up, they’re offering a C$550 buyin C$100K guarantee with two entry days at the beginning of the series.
  • Tulalip Casino north of Seattle has a Last Sunday of the Month $75K guarantee tournament with an $820 buyin at 11am 27 November. Muckleshoot has a game the same day at noon, with a $150 buyin (8K in chips) and a $100 addon (10K in chips, with 2K if you buy them both at the same time; how’s that for incentive?)
  • There will be a little bit of a slowdown in the number of tournaments over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, but don’t worry! The Poker Mutant will be here to keep you updated. Unless he’s in Prague.

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

“Time Is Relative” or “Was the 2016 November Nine Actually Faster?”

“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”

—quote attributed to Albert Einstein,
The New York Times, 1929 March 15

NOTE: There’s a cool (well, cool for a chart) chart that goes with this post, click here if you want to see it before we get around to it later in the article. -PM

After Qui Nguyen’s hat, one of the things commentators have noted about the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event November Nine was the speed of play (“people were acting insanely fast,’ said TwoPlusTwo PokerCast’s Adam Schwartz), particularly in comparison to the slow pace of last year’s final table, when Ofer Zvi Stern took heat (and time) from just about every onlooker.

That got me to wondering: just how much faster was this year? And when I started looking at the numbers from this year, last year, and 2014, there were some rather surprising details in the data.

First, a few caveats. This year’s Main Event used 50,000 chips as the starting stack for the first time, and even though the blind schedule was also adjusted, there’s no direct mapping to previous years. Then, because each poker tournament is a bit different (varying numbers of starting players with every hand at every table through seven days being unique), the events reached the November Nine at different points in the tournament, though, remarkably, not that different. They all reached nine players in Level 35, with a little over 90 minutes remaining in 2014, just short of an hour left in 2015, and with 32:50 remaining in the level in 2016.

Level 35 (Partial)

The players this year zipped through 12 hands in that first half hour; about 2:45 per hand on average. In 2015, Patrick Chan was eliminated on the second hand; the remaining eight players finished only 14 more hands in the level. The average time per hand in the level was over three-and-a-half minutes. In 2014, nobody was eliminated in the first level of the November Nine, but they got through 36 hands, at an average pace of 2:30.

Two minutes is about as fast as a live game hand ever plays, even if there are only two players. There are basic physical constraints, from handling the deck and dealing, to players looking at their cards. At a full table, players can be looking at their cards at the same time, so even if more cards have to be dealt, some of the decision-making is made while other action is happening. Even an auto-shuffler takes some time, and even if it’s working during another hand cards need to be gathered to put into the shuffler when action is over, and the shuffled deck needs to be removed. 60 hands per hour isn’t a maximum, but it’s pretty fast.

Level 36

The first full level of each of the three years was level 36, which saw the first eliminations of 2014 (Mark Newhouse) and 2016 (Fernando Pons), and the second elimination in 2015 (Federico Butteroni). 2015 was once again the slowest of the three 32 hands (3:45 average). The 2016 players got in a total of 40 hands (3:00 average), but once again the 2014 players had set a high bar of 46 hands in the two-hour level,.

Level 37

The stories of the three years diverge on this level, although all three lost two players. By the start of the level, the 2014 players had played for approximately four house including breaks, with only about three hours of play in the subsequent years. 82 hands were played before Level 37 in 2014, as opposed to 48 and 52 (respectively) in 2015 and 2016.

Bruno Politano was eliminated on Hand 100 in 2014, with Dan Sindelar going out six hands later. With a diminishing number of players, the table whips through 52 hands of play, at just over 2:15 per hand.

In 2015, Pierre Neuville was eliminated on hand 72, at which point play ended for the day. Thomas Cannuli busts on the second hand (74) of Day 9 in 2015. The time per hand is down to 2:40, with players getting in 45 hands despite Zvi Stern.

By comparison, even with the eliminations of Jerry Wong and Griffin Benger in the first half of the level, the 2016 players only played 42 hands. By this, the second full level of the November Nine, the speed of play in 2016 is actually slightly slower than in 2015.

Level 38

The first day of the 2014 November Nine continued through Level 38, the third full level of the night. It began with six players, but Adoni Larrabe was eliminated on the fifth hand of the level (the only player to leave the table in this level in 2014). The speed of play increased to just 2:06 per hand on average, with an amazing 57 hands played in the level, the most hands of any level at the final table of the three years we’re examining.

This is the level when Ofer Zvi Stern busted in 2015. Though he went out more than halfway through the level (in terms of the number of hands played), the speedup continued on this final table, as well, with 47 hands played at an average time of 2:33.

By contrast, the number of hands played in this level in 2016 stayed about the same, at 41. The first day of play ended on the third hand (number 97) of the level, with Kenny Hallaert’s elimination. Vojtech Ruzicka went out early on Day 9, on hand 104. The remaining four players played another 30 hands before the next break. Overall, the pace of play was just under three minutes per hand.

The purportedly fast 2016 table played fewer hands—with fewer people—than even a table with Zvi Stern (though folks did remark that he picked up his pace after the first level). What goes unmentioned is that while Level 38 ended with four players in 2015 and 2016, there were still five players at the end of level in 2014, and they played each hand in about 70% of the time it took in 2016. One difference in perception might be that Level 38 was played early in Day 9 in 2015 and 2016, but the decision in 2014 to play down to three players on Day 8 meant Level 38 didn’t begin until almost midnight that year.

Level 39

Despite being the Slowest Poker Tournament Evar™, 2015’s Day 9 ended just three hands into Level 39, with the elimination of MaxSteinberg. Neil Blumenfield went out after 26 hands of Day 10, with Joe McKeehan finishing off Joshua Beckley on Hand 184, not long before what would have been the end of the level. Counting the three hands from the end of Day 9, the level went 44 hands and just about 115 minutes, which is a little over two-and-a-half minutes per hand.

This year, Michael Ruane went out on Hand 155—almost halfway through the 46-hand level, then the end of day was called on Hand 166. Another 15 hands took place on Day 10, making it the fastest level of multi-player action this year.

And once again, the 2014 players, starting the level after 2am with five players (van Hoof, Jacobson, Pappas, Stephensen, and Tonking), were the ones who set the pace, with 53 more hands before the end of the level and the finish of play at 4:30 in the morning. Billy Pappas and William Tonking hit the wall before the end of the first day of play on Hand 244. By contrast, all three days of the 2015 contest had played out by then, and this year, Qui Nguyen and Gordon Vayo were three hours into their lengthy heads-up battle.

Level 40

Jorryt van Hoof, Felix Stephensen, and Martin Jacobson all played through level 40 in 2014, racking up 43 hands in the two hours, slowing the pace of play a bit as they jockeyed for the $10 million first place prize.

In 2016, this was the level where Cliff Josephy went out on the first hand, leaving Nguyen and Vayo to play for heads-up as in a battle as long as the rest of the final table. They played 40 hands this level.

Level 41

It was the last level for 2014. Van Hoof only made it five hands, going out on Hand 293, then Jacobson finally got the best of Stephensen on Hand 328. A total of 41 hands were played in about 100 minutes, at an average of less than 2:30 per hand.

It was another fast level for Nguyen and Vayo, with 45 hands in the two hours (2:40 per hand).

Levels 42 and 43

These were the only late-night levels played in the 2016 November Nine. The first level went much the same as the previous one, with Nguyen and Vayo putting in 43 hands, but the last stage of heads-up between the two was blisteringly fast, with 55 hands in about 90 minutes, about 1:40 per hand.

What Is Fast?

If you look at the accompanying chart (click to see the whole thing), each row represents a hand of that year’s November Nine. Each of boxes in a row represents a player, and the levels are color-coded. Hands where players were eliminated are noted, along with the ends of level and ends of days. Since levels are two hours long, the more rows in that level (i.e. the more hands that were played during the level) the taller the level will be. Individual hands may have taken longer, but the overall speed is visible.

relative-preview

Looking at Level 36, for instance, it’s easy to see that the pace of play in 2015 was slower than 2014 or 2016, as the stack is shorter. But it’s also evident that after Level 36, the speed of play in 2015 is not significantly different than 2016, and in some cases it was actually faster. Then again, neither year holds a candle to the pace set during the marathon Day 8 of the 2014 November Nine.

Why people feel this year’s contest was so much faster than previous year’s is an open question. It certainly wasn’t faster than 2014, and for the most part wasn’t appreciably faster than 2015. It lasted twice as long as last year’s November Nine—just this year’s heads-up lasted as long as the entire sweep by McKeehan—but people view the contest as having been more exciting than anything since Jamie Gold’s victory a decade ago.

Does the fact that much of the even-faster action in 2014 happened in the middle of the night influence the perception? Was it the fact that except for Billy Pappas the final five that year were hardened poker pros, with the last three being Europeans? That wouldn’t seem to be the explanation, since McKeehan, Beckley, Blumenfield, and Steinberg— the last four in 2015— are all from the US.

I’m not ready to call the reason for this one, but I’m open to suggestions!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 9 November 2016 – APOCALYPSE EDITION

Short

Lots of stuff happening the past seven days, and I’m not going to try to explain or recap the week apart from saying that I played just awful during the Final Table $20K last Friday and due to other circumstances, I’m not going to make the High Roller at Wildhorse tomorrow, so everyone can have at the money I would have won.

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Main Event Ages

I updated my chart of WSOP Main Event November 9 player ages to show the final placement of this year’s contestants.

This Week in Portland Poker

No announced special events as of way-too-early Wednesday morning.

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 2 November 2016: MAIN EVENT EDITION

The Main Event

In case you’ve been living under a rock since 3:20am. Speculation on Twitter is that Qui Nguyen’s WSOP Main Event win might finally draw Vietnamese immigrants to the world of poker.

@ 2016 WSOP/Jayne Furman

@ 2016 WSOP/Jayne Furman

The Main Event?

Yeah, I somehow forgot to mention in last week’s Planner that Sunday was the start of World Series of Poker Main Event final table coverage. I’m an idiot. I remembered to DVR it, at least, and Reading Poker Tells author Zach Elwood invited me over to watch some of the broadcast with him, so after the trick-or-treaters tapered off on Monday, I caught some of it with him. Seriously, though, maybe they could have waited until a weekend after both Halloween and the election.

Separated at the Poker Table

Final Table tournament director Heath Bloodgood pointed out a similarity in chip stacking:

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The State of Portland Poker

Last week was a busy one for Portland players, following on the success of Portland Meadows’ $20K guarantee with the regular $10K events at Final Table on Friday, the Saturday $10K at Meadows, and a special $15K freezeout on Sunday at Meadows.

The freezeout reached a prize pool of more than $22K, with 171 entries. I was only able to make the first of the three events, and six players (including yours truly) chopped the $12K+ at Final Table for $1,600 each.

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Final Table $10K, 28 October 2016

Even though I didn’t make the Saturday $10K at Meadows ($13,700 prize pool), I did go out to catch the 7pm—thinking it might be juiced a bit by busted players from the noon game—and chopped that three ways, then promptly dusted off a third of my profit playing Big O with Jeremy Harkin. That did free me up to have some drinks with River Rich, who had just finished taking down the $10K.

Combined with rumors of an impromptu 10/20 NLHE shootout running at Final Table last Tuesday night, there might be some life in the old beast yet.

Deal of the Week: Big Entry, Small Field at Tulalip

As anyone who’s read this blog for a while (I pity the fools!) knows, I have a thing for small-field tournaments because of their relative value (ask Fedor Holz about that). It’s why things like the High Roller at Wildhorse next week are attractive. This month, on the weekend after Thanksgiving, the Tulalip Casino north of Seattle is turning their Last Sunday of the Month game into one of those events by making it a $75K guarantee with an $820 buyin (including dealer addon). 30-minute rounds, 15K+3K in chips. Alternates, late entry, and re-entry for the first 4 rounds.

The monthly calendar doesn’t specify how much of the buyin goes to the prize pool, but I think we can assume about $750, so the field is expected to be something over 100 entries, but you’re probably not looking at more than 200. 11am on 27 November.

This Week in Portland Poker

It’s a new month, which means the Final Table First Friday $20K is upon us. That’ll be at 7pm on 4 November. $80 buyin with a live rebuy and $40 addon.

Only a Day Away

  • The Liz Flynt Fall Classic draws to a close tomorrow at Hustler Casino with a one-day $20K deepstack tournament. If you hurry down to LA, you might be able to catch the last flight of the $200K guarantee tonight at 5pm. $240 entry.
  • At the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza this weekend, there’s a $175K guarantee bounty tournament with an $1,100 buyin, with entry days on Friday and Saturday. Entry days for a $250 buyin $150K guarantee are Monday through Wednesday.
  • The World Series of Poker Circuit at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Main Event has starting flights ($1,675 buyin) on Friday and Saturday. The last event starts on Sunday. One-way airfare to Sacramento early Friday can still be had for a couple hundred dollars and Reno’s about three hundred, but you’d need to get from either airport to Lake Tahoe.
  • HPT St. Louis Main Event at Ameristar Casino St. Charles has one entry flight on Friday and two on Saturday. $1,650 entry and there are plenty of satellites running as late as noon Saturday. Might be a bit spendy to get to St. Louis at this late date.
  • The Rio Final Table Festival starts tomorrow with a mic of has $500 and $300 NLHE events, and 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.
  • The Mid-States Poker Tour starts tomorrow at Golden Gates Poker Parlour in Blackhawk, Colorado with a $360 buyin $100K guarantee and an $1,100 buyin $200K guarantee Main Event a week from tomorrow.
  • The Wildhorse Fall Poker Round-Up starts tomorrow. 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 Friday, 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.
  • There will be a little bit of a slowdown in the number of tournaments over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, but don’t worry! The Poker Mutant will be here to keep you updated. Unless he’s in Prague.

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

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 26 October 2016

Quick Turnaround

Not a lot up top this week since the chock full late post on the weekend. I did want to mention that the $20K at Portland Meadows last weekend nearly doubled the guarantee (damn you, Sunday special tournaments!) with almost 300 entries.

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Photo via Portland Meadows post on the NW Poker Facebook group

The Christmas Present: WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic

If you (or someone you love) have always wanted to play a multi-day tournament with a good structure in a fancy environment, you might consider taking a flier on one of the nearly two-dozen events at this year’s (no longer Doyle Brunson) World Poker Tour Five Diamond at the Bellagio, starting the day after Thanksgiving and running through 10 December.

Sure, several of the events have buyins of $5K and $10K (though there are satellites into those) and there’s a $50K, but there are seven open non-satellite side events at $1,090 or $1,600, plus a seniors tournament at each of those buyins. The side events include PLO, a NLHE 6-Max, and a NLHE Shot Clock tournament, as well as a Turbo at the end of the series. There’s even a $560 buyin event.

More importantly, these tournaments don’t have particularly large fields. Last year’s $1,090 PLO tournament got just 135 players, and even the NLHE events only had a couple hundred players each. Aside from the $560 tournament (which got just over 300 entries last year), the biggest field was 233, which paid 27 places and $53,000 for first place.

You stand to make a little more for your cash in one of these fields due to their smaller size, and you’re paying less rake, so the buyin to prize pool ratio is better.

Live a little.

 

This Week in Portland Poker

You people are killing me! There’s nothing I love more than a freezeout tournament (except for a Survivor tournament). It’s one of the purest forms of tournament poker and I rue the day when someone added “re” in front of “buy.” But Sunday is one of those family days for a lot of us, so I’m going to be missing this one. No need for you to if you don’t love your family. This Sunday’s $15K Freezeout at Portland Meadows will be the last big event in town before the Wildhorse series in Pendleton starts.

Next week is the regularly-scheduled First Friday $20K at Final Table, which technically is after the start of WIldhorse, but it’s just conflicting with the first day. Last change to spin things up before the series.

Only a Day Away

  • LATE ADDITION! I somehow managed to let Run It Up Reno slip off my calendar, but its Main Event is this weekend, with $600 entry days Friday and Saturday to their $100K guarantee. Plus $125 O8/Stud 8, PLO/NLHE, and 8-Game (all 6-Max) running through Sunday, along with more. Nothing scarier than a Reno Halloween!
  • This weekend at the Hustler Casino is their Day 2 and Day 3 of the  SoCal Poker Classic. Sunday is the first of four days (two flights per day) of a $200K guarantee with a $240 buyin that’s the Main Event of the Classic
  • At the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza this weekend, there’s a $600 buyin NLHE bounty event (2 days, starting Friday and Saturday), and a PLO/PLO8 $9K guaranteeon Sunday evening. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are starting days for a $400 buyin $150K guarantee.
  • The World Series of Poker Circuit at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe has three entries days to their first big event on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Monday is the $365 6-Max, Wednesday is the Monster Stack. The Main Event starts next Friday. The Tahoe stop is one of the best for ring-hunters; last year their Main Event got fewer than 500 entries compared to the 1,300 that were in the Main at the Horshow Casino in Indiana this week.
  • HPT St. Louis is under way, with its  opening $100K guarantee ($350 buyin). The Main Event starts next Friday.
  • The Rio Final Table Festival starts tomorrow with a mic of has $500 and $300 NLHE events, and 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.

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