#PNWPokerCal Planner for 18 January 2017

#PDXPokerTroubles

Rain is actually falling again here in the River City, which seems to be signalling the end of the latest chapter of Poker On Ice.

Snow started coming down late last week, leading to Final Table and Portland Meadows running games without guarantees on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and Aces Full running with a $500 guarantee on its noon game (rather than $1,000). Friend of the blog Brad Press reported that the prize pools at Meadows on Saturday and Sunday noon games easily exceeded what would have been guaranteed.

Final Table ran Monday without guarantees (Meadows had guarantees, as well as a new noon structure), then Meadows closed on Tuesday in expectation of and early afternoon freezing rain deluge that never materialized, while Final Table operated without guarantees.

There’s still two more months of winter.

The Jackpot That Wasn’t

If you weren’t aware of it, there is a “Portland, OR” thread on the 2+2 poker forum. Not very busy, but something to keep an eye on. Last Friday, nebluefc had an interesting post:

The story, based on a press release from Vancouver, BC-based Jackpot Digital said that the company “has signed a licensing agreement with Portland Meadows Horse Track and Poker Club (“Portland Meadows”) after Portland Meadows received approval from the City of Portland to install Jackpot’s PokerPro electronic table games (ETGs).” It went on to relate an “initial rollout in February.”

While ETG’s might at first seem to be a possible solution to the issue of paying dealers that has aroused the interest of the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries, a big hurdle would be how the licensing fees for these types of machines could possibly be afforded, given the relatively low door fees paid by players. You’d need to have enough of them on hand to handle a large tournament, but like tables, most of the time they’d be sitting unused. Unlike tables, poker rooms still have to pay for the machines if they’re just sitting there.

A day later, a comment on NW Poker from Jerry Camelleri said that Brian Sarchi at Meadows refuted the story, then Monday a news release from Jackpot “clarified” the story by saying “the transaction announced on January 10, 2017 will not proceed.” That de-escalated quickly.

It might be noted that for an e-gaming vendor the Jackpot Digital website is remarkably short on images of their products in action (and no videos). The product shots that are shown appear to be composites rather than live photos. This can be for of a number of reasons: the LCD screens may not show well in the photo from all angles, attempts to clarify the screens may make them look less realistic, etc., it’s the same reason you see a disclaimer about simulated pictures in ads for TVs and computer monitors, but it’s odd that there aren’t more live shots.

Jackpot’s PokerPro ETG technology was acquired when they bought the PokerTek unit of MultiMedia Games, Inc. in 2015. At the time, the tables were reportedly in 82 venues, most of them being cruise ships. MultiMedia bought PokerTek in 2014 for $13.5 million; Nine months after that deal closed, Jackpot bought PokerTek for $5.4 million, with an earn-out that could increase the sale price to $7.5 million. Last month, Jackpot applied for an upgrade in the status of its OTC Pink ‘penny stock’ securities, which are currently selling for 0.6¢/share. According to otcmarkets.com, the company has a market value (as of 17 January 2017) of $175,286.

If you’re interested in knowing more about OTC Pink stocks, check out David Dayen‘s 7-part series at The Intercept from last September.

Reading Material

What’s 25 years old and not Donald Trump’s fourth wife-to-be? Trumped! The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump—His Cunning Rise & His Spectacular Fall, a memoir by one of the guys who ran Trump’s casino operations in Atlantic City for several years in the 1980s. Poker tells expert Zach Elwood review the book in a blog post he put up just before Christmas. It sounds like an interesting read, and Zach’s review is enlightening in and of itself.

One of the main points Zach bring out about the book is Trump’s seeming inability to understand the variance of the gambling world (i.e. that even in an upward trend there are temporary setbacks). On the same note, Robert Wooley (aka ‘PokerGrump’) has three pieces at PokerNews on regression to the mean, and what it means to poker players. There’s a part 1, part 2, and a follow-up.

Vegas Summer Poker Schedule

2016 WSOP Main Event 6th-place finisher Kenny Hallaert has already posted the first installment in his annual summer poker tournament series schedule, which got a little more flesh on its bones this week with the release of dates for the big weekend events at the WSOP. The Colossus III, Millionaire Maker, Seniors & Super Seniors, Monster Stack, Crazy Eights, and Little One for One Drop starting dates have been announced, along with the Main EventCasino Employees, and Ladies Championship. Those dates are all on the #PNWPokerCal.

Deal of the Week: LAPC $1M Guarantee

A month from today is the last of four entry days for a two-day tournament at the LAPC with a guarantee of $1M. Entry is $1,100 for 15K in chips (150bb) and 40-minute levels through Level 12. One re-entry through the first six levels, and you have the option to try to qualify more than once for Day 2, getting the lowest payout from Day 2 for any stack removed from play due to multiple qualifications. There are $175 satellites starting 13 February (Monday).

This is a new event for the LAPC. Last year, they had a $500K Guarantee with a $1,650 buyin that ended up with a prize pool of over a million, though similar guarantees in the spring and fall last year were smaller. Presumably, that’s what led to the reduction in the buyin.

This Week In Portland Poker

No announcements as of yet, but I expect a lot of pent-up poker frustration to explode this weekend once people dig themselves out of the ice.

Only a Day Away

  • The Heartland Poker Tour East Chicago Main Event starts tomorrow in Indiana. Entry days through Saturday with a $1,650 buyin and final table on Monday (live-streamed rather than televised, HPT has announced they’re going to more on live streaming than television). You can still get a RT ticket for Friday and four nights at the host casino for less than $1,000.
  • Commerce Casino‘s LA Poker Classic starts its second weekend with a $250K Guarantee. Two flights each day through Saturday with a $250 buyin. There are PLO, PLO8, and Survivor tournaments early next week, and a $300K Guarantee with a $350 buyin starting Wednesday.
  • The Tulalip Poker Pow Wow has a $50K Guarantee this weekend and $100K Guarantee next weekend.
  • Poker Night in America at Thunder Valley outside Sacramento just started up, this weekend is the $425 buyin $250K Monolith (with the final on Sunday) and there’s another $250K next weekend that’s a 3-day, $1,100 buyin. Lots of smaller events packed in-between.
  • The Venetian January Weekend Extravaganza starts  today and runs through Sunday. The biggest event is a $150 buyin $60K Guarantee, but there’s a $9K Guarantee $250 PLO Bounty tournament on Saturday evening, which looks like fun. The month-long Deepstack Extravaganza I gets going just a week after its done, on 30 January.
  • If you head up to the Seattle area for the $100K at Tulalip but bust out on Day 1, you might wander down to Muckleshoot Casino for their 5th Sunday $3K Added tournament ($330 buyin).

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

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 11 January 2017

It’s been a quiet week in Lake Woebegon…wait, those are the wrong old man notes….

#PDXPokerTroubles

The billionth ice storm of a winter less than a month old caused yet more havoc for poker players in the Portland region. The Game opened up Friday, only to be greeted with sheets of ice across the city that evening. Out in North Portland, Portland Meadows was closed both Saturday and Sunday because of the storm, and even though things were beginning to thaw in the city on Monday, their capacious but exposed parking lot was a sheet of ice and the building’s operators kept it closed Monday. Final Table was able to open up on Monday after weekend closures; fortunately, they got their First Friday $20K in under the snow front. Rialto, as mentioned last week, is closed for several weeks after a fire in the building.

It snowed here Tuesday evening (as if you didn’t know that already), so it’s likely there are more weather closures this week.

My own poker week was short. I played a tournament with the group of guys who got me back into poker. Not exactly high stakes, you can see from the numbers below (as well as my new nickname above the notation for the quad kings high hand I made that took a bunch of the host;s chips. But that was the only money I made during the night, I lost three big hands after being chip leader and went out in fifth place. Afterward, I went to the only other home game I’ve ever been to, where I met a very nice young woman who told me she read the blog every week—before she took all of my chips in a Big O cash game. And then I switched tables to play some 7-Card Stud before a) realizing it was Stud 8 and b) was Pot Limit. Not a good night overall for me.

 

Deal of the Week: Tulalip Poker Pow Wow $100K

 

There are only a limited number of $100K Guarantee (or events with prize pools that large) events within a few hours drive of the Portland. We had three of them in town last spring, but there’s nothing that big on the immediate horizon here for the moment. That leaves Wildhorse (where the Spring and Fall Main Events are $170K to $200K and more without guarantees) and Chinook Winds (where the Main Event next month has had a $100K guarantee). Muckleshoot’s Main Events. And Tulalip, north of Seattle.

The 2017 Poker Pow Wow starts Saturday, but the big events are next weekend (a $50K Guarantee) and the last full week of the month. The Main Event  is a $500 buyin with $20 dealer appreciation tournament. There are entry days on Thursday (26 January), Friday, and Saturday, with the final day of play on Sunday (29 January). All days of the Main Event start at 11am. The drive is roughly the same as to Pendleton for distance, but usually a little slower due to Seattle-area traffic.

No online structure sheets, but what do you need to know? It’s a 2-day $100K for $520 bucks! Go get ’em!

This Week In Portland Poker

No announcements for anything special this weekend that I’ve seen so far, but a lot is going to depend on the weather. If the snow hangs around for a while, we could all be cannibalizing out rolls in no time, if you know what I mean. Have you ever considered a Caribbean poker cruise?

Only a Day Away

The poker world is ramping back up after the holidays!

  • Friday is the last of four entry days into the Hustler Casino Poker Players Tournament $250K Guarantee that closes out the series this weekend. If you can get to LA, it’s $250 for the buyin, and there are two flights (12:30 and 5pm) each day, with 12% of the field going to Day 2 (Saturday) and 15% in the money.
  • The Heartland Poker Tour East Chicago series starts tomorrow with a $300 buyin $100K Guaranteed tournament. There are three entry days, with Day 2 on 15 January. The first of three Main Event flights in on 19 January. It’s still possible to get flight/room packages at the hosting casino for either tournament for less than $600 total. Last year’s opening $100K had a prize pool of $298K, and the $1,650 Main Event prize pool was over $900K, with a top prize of $211K.
  • Commerce Casino‘s LA Poker Classic  begins a seven-week run on Friday.  There are a total of 60 events, with eleven of them having guarantees of $100K or more, plus the $10K buyin WPT Championship that caps the series. Structures have been posted for about half of the events so far. Of particular note for Portland players is the $570 entry Big O tournament on Groundhog Day (2 February).
  • The 2-week Tulalip Poker Pow Wow starts 14 January with a $10K Guarantee, then a week including O8, HORSE, and PLO, before the $50K Guarantee and $100K Guarantee events on succeeding weeks.
  • The $40K Guarantee Stones Gambling Hall Chip Amplifier is 15 January outside of Sacramento. Buyin in level 1 is $120 for 10K in chips, but the price and the number of chips go up for each level, with the last one being level 6 where $550 gets you 60K in chips.
  • It’s back to Thunder Valley on the 17th, with Poker Night in America.As they’ve done before, they’re running satellites to the $5,000 buyin televised cash game (filmed 28/29 January), as well as a slate of 12 tournaments that features two $250K Guarantees (the first for a $450 buyin and the second for $1,100). In-between, there’s 6-Max, HORSE, and lots of satellites to the second of the $250Ks.
  • If you’re in Vegas next week, the Venetian January Weekend Extravaganza starts  Wednesday (18 January) and runs through Sunday. The biggest event is a $150 buyin $60K Guarantee, but there’s a $9K Guarantee $250 PLO Bounty tournament on Saturday evening, which looks like fun. The month-long Deepstack Extravaganza I gets going just a week later, on 30 January.

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

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 4 January 2017

Happy Poker New Year from Las Vegas! I’m down here in a city with its own bagpiper blowing to announce the coming of…whatever.

I missed all of the New Year’s Eve shenanigans here (though I was at a party in Beaverton with an upside-down Christmas tree), catching an emptyish 8am flight on the 1st so I could take a shot at a $100K guarantee event at the Venetian. The first couple of levels were fantastic, and I almost tripled my stack. It was slower going after that, though I was still in good shape, knocking out three players from a table that included WSOP bracelet-holders Allyn Shulman and her husband Barry Shulman, who own CardPlayer Magazine, A little brush with poker media dynasty, that. Allyn started at the table, Barry showed up several levels in as tables were consolidating, then Allyn busted and I ran qxqx into Barry’s kxkx and was severely crippled before I went out two hands later after I limped axjx got called by 2x2x in the big blind, and jammed into him on a kxjx2x flop. That was it for me in the $100K.

If you look closely, you’ll see Kao Saechao in the standings with a decent stack. Day 2 starts with 74 and pays 54. It’ll all be over by the time you read this.

Played a little PLO, went back to the room and got into a WSOP.com $20K where I did well for a while but was hobbled by the fact I hadn’t realized it was a rebuy and addon (it pays to look at the structure before you buy in at the last minute!) then was playing catchup and was crippled (again) when I called a 15bb late-position all-in from the big blind with ahqs and qdtc hit a ten right on the flop. That left me in the small blind with 1bb behind. I managed to quadruple up with a flush on the next hand but ran into quad queens just five hands later.

Monday morning I took a shuttle to the Orleans (free from the spot under the Linq) and waited around for a table to open up. For the unacquainted, the casino is full of very old people. I mean, even older than me. And it’s the place to go for Limit Omaha games. They had several tables of O8 at 4-8 and 8-16 (both with kills) running on a Monday morning. Admittedly, it was the Monday after a holiday, but there were 16 cash game tables running, more than anywhere except Bellagio at that time of day. Even as I write this at 2am on Tuesday, Aria has 19 tables, Bellagio has 16, and the Orleans has 12. The Venetian has 9. The wait, though, was long enough that I considered getting off the list to just play the noon O8 tournament, but I late-regged that instead and made it partway through.

There was one amusing hand in the first hour or so, where I was dealt acadahas, which is about as bad a hand as you can get in any version of Omaha, but I limped in just to see what would happen. I had another hand where I bluffed that I had a flush with the nut low draw on the turn (with 2s counterfeited by the flop) and not only made my low against an all-in player but bet another player off and took the high with a paired 4. Lost a big pot when my own low was counterfeited on the river and it was down from there.

Played a smaller WSOP.com tournament and made the money, though it was only about enough to cover lunches for the days I’m here.

Tuesday was the $300 bounty tournament at the Venetian. It got 139 entries but I only made it through the first three levels, losing small amounts on a couple hands (including laying down kckh on an ace-high board with two diamonds to a bet of half my remaining chips to a guy who showed the 6d2d he’d called my pre-flop raise with). awadI raised khjh in a hand and was called by Hani Awad, whose WSOP bracelet win I covered this summer. Awad ended up calling my bluff on a queen-high board with 7x9x and middle pair (the seven), but he’d already knocked out several players and had probably close to five times my stack. He took me out a couple hands later when I shoved axqx pre-flop, he called with 9xtx from the big blind, and he made two pair by the turn. Not my finest hour. The final numbers for the tournament were $20,850 in the main prize pool, with an extra $13,900 in bounties, and $5,842 scheduled to go to first place. I talked briefly to Awad after he busted me, and he showed me he was wearing his bracelet, so some people at least don’t just toss them in a box or hock them on eBay.

I’d been planning to play the 7pm tournament (a $200 bounty) but decided to force myself to play some cash game. I herded back to the Orleans, sitting in the back seat of the shuttle with some tweaker gal who had “something something HELL” as her tramp stamp complaining about how long her free ride to was taking, had some surf and turf for brunchinner (a single meal for the day), then got on some lists.

A $1/$3 NLHE game opened up relatively fast, and I sat down in seat 5. I was under the gun and raised the first hand I was dealt—th8h—then was reraised by seat 7 to $30. Two players called, and I put in the extra $20. The flop was 7c6h5c, I’ve got an open-ended straight draw for the ten, a backdoor flush draw, so I check it, then seat 7 shoves for more than my remaining stack of $170. The other callers fold, and it’s up to me. I called, the dealer put out a 6s on the turn and 8s on the river. I can only assume the guy shoved with axkx because my two pair ended up taking the pot. From there on it was a mostly upward trajectory for ninety minutes, then I checkout out to go call my wife for the evening before deciding whether to play the $75 PLO tournament at 7.

I got into the game late, just as the last level before the break was starting. There were only two tables and I had to wait as an alternate for a couple of minutes while a player who busted just as I was registering kept up a steady stream of complaints about having to go on the alternate list. A spot opened up for him by the time I got to my seat.

I lasted all of ten minutes. I picked up a hand with a pair of aces, raised, was reraised from the other end of the table, made a 4-bet (we weren’t particularly deep at this point, less than 40bb) and he went all in with pocket kings which made a set on the turn. Back to the cash games, after having evened up the day before the tournament.

It took about 40 minutes in the $4/$8 O8 game for me to make up the tournament buyin and a little more. Got on the shuttle bus, had an interesting conversation with a cigar distributor from LA who mentioned he comes up to Portland several times a year, and decided to see what the cash games at the poker room in the Flamingo were like.

The only time I’d played at the Flamingo before was in a late-night turbo tournament. The first thing I noticed after I sat down was that the place was a hotbox. I just about pulled up stakes and left after the first orbit, and had just determined I couldn’t stand it any longer when they finally turned the A/C on. Other than that, things went well and I booked a third winning cash session for the day, picking up another $50 in an hour before I told myself that I had to get to my room to get some sleep before a very early morning shuttle to the airport. No sleep before I wrote this for you folks, of course.

pm_survivor

Survivor

Portland Meadows ran the first Survivor-style tournament in Portland (that I’m aware of) on New Year’s Eve. I wasn’t able to make it myself because of other pre-Vegas commitments, but  it seems to have been well-received. It’s a bit difficult to make comparisons between this and similar tournament that don’t have add-ons, but thirteen players made as much as 1200% ROI on their buy-in (less if they did the addon or re-entry) in just over six hours, with a friend who made it through texting me the chop came at 6:09pm. Everyone got plenty of time to go out to celebrate the end of the year with their newfound cash.

If it had been a straight 10% payout for 10% of the players (with no add-on) that would have been $1,000 for a $100 buyin (assuming 130 players and a $13,000 prize pool). If the prize had been set at $1,000, there would have been 17 players paid $1,000 (13% of the field) with an 18th player getting $380. With standard payout structures, 10% of the prize pool is usually between 3rd and 4th place money in a field of 130.

#PDXPokerTroubles

Nothing new to report. No unexpected closures (a couple of early closings for New Year’s Eve). The Game should be re-opening tomorrow. Rialto’s been open, Aces Full ran a game on Monday for the holiday, and hopefully (I haven’t seen an announcement yet) Final Table will be running a $20K this weekend.

Limonless

Monday. tournament director Matt Savage asked the question that many in the poker Twitterverse had been wondering about for over a week: “Where is @limonpoker”? The best-known personality on Live at the Bike has been a constant presence on Twitter for years, but mentioned during a pre-Christmas #PokerSesh that some Trump supporters had ganged up to get the account suspended because of his rather outspoken anti-Trump posts (of which there were many).

In Monday’s #PokerSesh (for the uninitiated, his weekly freeform call-in show), Limon mentioned that he’s not going to bother returning to Twitter (sad!) or any other social media, and offered up his back catalog to anyone who want to select segments and post them on YouTube and promote them to try to make money. Crowdsourcing his promotional efforts, in other words. Not insignificantly, for someone to get access to the videos in order to watch them and pull out segments, they’d have to at least temporarily subscribe to Live at the Bike at $20/month…not really PNW news, but Limon’s an Oregon kid….

Deal of the Week: Bay 101 Shooting Star Satellites

The WPT is coming back to Bay 101 for the popular Shooting Star bounty championship in early March, and it’s preceded by a week of daily mega satellites. $275 Satellites have been running since December, but the big ones start 18 February, with daily $550 satellites running 25 February through 1 March and $1,050 sattys for three days starting 2 March.

Bay 101 publishes the payout structures for their satellites, and you can see from the payouts on the $275 events that unless they get 48 players, no seat is awarded (with the money getting paid out on a standard curve), and with 48–79 entries, only one $7,500 seat is awarded, so the odds aren’t exactly good enough to travel to the Bay Area if what you want is a seat. But the $550 and $1,050 buyins are a good buy if you want to get into the Main Event (which begins on 6 March).

This Week In Portland Poker

The big game this weekend should be the First Friday $20K at Final Table.

Only a Day Away

The poker world is ramping back up after the holidays!

  • The Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza runs through Sunday. The last big event starts today with the first of four $250 entry flights to a $150 Guarantee. Evening games are a mixture of bounty, rebuy, and turbo tournaments.  You can get updates on current tournaments at their blog.
  • I missed it somehow, but the WPT California Swing Kickoff has a 2-day $100K Guarantee with a $250 buyin that starts today. Two flights tomorrow, with Day 2 on Friday. Saturday is a one-day $400 entry $100K guarantee, and Sunday there’s a WPT Rolling Thunder satellite with $400 entry that has 20 $3,500 Rolling Thunder Main Event seats guaranteed. I’d probably have gone there this weekend instead of Vegas if I hadn’t missed it on the schedule.
  • Another one that snuck past me is the Hustler Casino Poker Players Tournament (could they get any more generic?), which starts a $400 buyin $500,000 Guarantee today, with two flights each day through Sunday and Day 2 on Monday. I don’t know how that got by me. Progressively fewer people make it to Day 2 on each starting day (10% today, 9% Thursday, and 8% after that). Next week is a $250K Guarantee for a $250 entry, with 15% in the money.
  • Eugene’s Full House Poker has a Heads Up-Championship coming up, on 7 & 8 January. It’s a bracket-style elimination competition where you can buy 1 or more spots on the bottom bracket, at reduced rates. Seating is limited, so contact them for details and availability.
  • The Heartland Poker Tour East Chicago series starts 12 January with a $300 buyin $100K Guaranteed tournament. There are three entry days, with Day 2 on 15 January. The first of three Main Event flights in on 19 January. It’s still possible to get flight/room packages at the hosting casino for either tournament for less than $600 total. Last year’s opening $100K had a prize pool of $298K, and the $1,650 Main Event prize pool was over $900K, with a top prize of $211K.
  • Commerce Casino‘s LA Poker Classic  begins a seven-week run on 13 January.  There are a total of 60 events, with eleven of them having guarantees of $100K or more, plus the $10K buyin WPT Championship that caps the series. Structures have been posted for about half of the events so far. Of particular note for Portland players is the $570 entry Big O tournament on Groundhog Day (2 February).
  • The 2-week Tulalip Poker Pow Wow starts 14 January with a $10K Guarantee, then a week including O8, HORSE, and PLO, before the $50K Guarantee and $100K Guarantee events on succeeding weeks.
  • The $40K Guarantee Stones Gambling Hall Chip Amplifier is 15 January outside of Sacramento. Buyin in level 1 is $120 for 10K in chips, but the price and the number of chips go up for each level, with the last one being level 6 where $550 gets you 60K in chips.
  • It’s back to Thunder Valley on the 17th, with Poker Night in America.As they’ve done before, they’re running satellites to the $5,000 buyin televised cash game (filmed 28/29 January), as well as a slate of 12 tournaments that features two $250K Guarantees (the first for a $450 buyin and the second for $1,100). In-between, there’s 6-Max, HORSE, and lots of satellites to the second of the $250Ks.

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

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 28 December 2016: HAPPY NEW YEAR?

#PDXPokerTroubles

Following up on last week’s news,so far the only closure due to the actions by the city (that I’m aware of) has been at The Game. I’m updating the #PDXPokerTroubles page and posting on Twitter as I get info.

Tulalip Poker Pow Wow

The schedule for the Pow Wow is available now and it’s longer than ever, with over two weeks of tournaments starting 14 January. The first week features Limit Omaha 8, PLO, and HORSE, with PLO8 in the second week. There’s a $50K Guarantee NLHE event in the middle of the series, and it wraps up with a $100K Guarantee NLHE Main Event with entry days 26-28 January and Day 2 on 30 January. Buyins range from $120 to $520 (including dealer appreciation) for the main. No structures available online so far as I can tell; you can view the rest of their January calendar here.

pm_survivorThis Week In Portland Poker

I’ve been advocating for someone in Portland to run Survivor tournaments for a long, long time, and Brian Sarchi at Portland Meadows is finally doing it this Saturday at noon.

In short, a Survivor tournament is like a satellite.Players play to a pre-determined point, at which the prize pool is divided up equally.

There are some variations, but in many cases 10% of the field gets paid a pre-determined amount, and any leftover goes to the 10% + 1 player. So if you have a tournament with 83 players and everyone’s paid $100 (and a prize pool of $8,300), the 10% (8 players) get $1,000 and a ninth player gets $300. Since casinos take out fees from the entry money, the payout is less than 10 times the entry; a $300 Survivor tournament at the Venetian pays $2,500. The advantage to this, of course, is that if you make the money, you’re usually getting somewhere between 2nd and 3rd place money,

There’s a little bit of a twist to the Meadows tournament, in that there’s an addon and there’s no specified payout amount. Because Portland rooms don’t take anything out of the prize pool, everyone who gets into the money is going to make at least $1,000, but that amount is going to vary based on the number of addons, And it’s not specified what’s going to happen if “exactly 10%” falls somewhere between, say, 9 and 10 players.

This wouldn’t be an issue with a pre-determined payout, because then the number of payouts would simply increase as the prize pool increases, and the remainder payout for the +1 player is never less than a single buyin. With the the addons, and no pre-determined payout, the remainder is never going to be greater than $9. It’ll be interesting to see how this works out.

Casinos have been experimenting with the format. I’ve seen Super Survivor tournaments with two tiers of payouts, with the players making the top 10% getting a smaller payout and those getting to the top 5% getting a bump. At the LAPC (see below) the Commerce is running a version where the chip leader at 25%, 20%, and 15% gets paid immediately and their chips are removed from play.

If you have an ITM (in the money) of better than 10% in tournaments, you can make a killing in Survivors. No, you don’t make the huge score of a first-place finish, but you never min-cash when you make the money.

Only a Day Away

  • The Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza runs through 8 January. The big event this weekend starts Sunday, 1 January. It’s a $400 buyin $100K Guarantee NLHE tournament. Last year, the $400 tournament over New Year’s weekend had a $150K Guarantee and 663 entries with a final prize pool of $225K. You can get updates on current tournaments at their blog.
  • Eugene’s Full House Poker has a Heads Up-Championship coming up, on 7 & 8 January. It’s a bracket-style elimination competition where you can buy 1 or more spots on the bottom bracket, at reduced rates. Seating is limited, so contact them for details and availability.
  • The Heartland Poker Tour East Chicago series starts 12 January with a $300 buyin $100K Guaranteed tournament. There are three entry days, with Day 2 on 15 January. The first of three Main Event flights in on 19 January. It’s still possible to get flight/room packages at the hosting casino for either tournament for less than $600 total. Last year’s opening $100K had a prize pool of $298K, and the $1,650 Main Event prize pool was over $900K, with a top prize of $211K.
  • Commerce Casino‘s LA Poker Classic  begins a seven-week run on 13 January.  There are a total of 60 events, with eleven of them having guarantees of $100K or more, plus the $10K buyin WPT Championship that caps the series. Structures have been posted for about half of the events so far. Of particular note for Portland players is the $570 entry Big O tournament on Groundhog Day (2 February).

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

#PDXPokerTroubles

UPDATED 8 JANUARY

The Game was set to open Friday, 6 January, but it did so to the start of a winter storm that closed both Portland Meadows and Final Table on Saturday and Sunday. To top it off, the Alder Hotel on the floors above Rialto,  had an extensive fire on Wednesday that displaced 80 residents. The next day an announcement was posted on NW Poker by Sean Dalton that Rialto will be closed for several weeks for remodeling. It had been scheduled to close on Christmas Day, but new owners took it over and kept it running; they’ve said there was extensive water damage but the plan is to reopen.

UPDATED 27 DECEMBER

RialtoFinal Table, and Portland Meadows were all on regular schedules today and should be operating as usual until further notice. The Game is closed through 5 January.


UPDATED 26 DECEMBER

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Rialto was open over the weekend and will presumably be back at the deal today.

Ricky Lee at Aces Ful(now downstairs in BC’s Bar & Grill a block from Cleveland High School on SE Powell posted that there will be a $20 buyin tournament today.

Final Table and  Portland Meadows should both be back on their regular schedules today.


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Merry Christmas Eve!

Here’s the update on Portland poker as we know it:

Both Portland Meadows and Final Table were open for regular business on Thursday and Friday (with Final Table’s $10K running as usual Friday night). They are both closed for Saturday and Sunday.

The Game is closed until January 5th.

Rialto is open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day after 6pm.

Aces Full ran their regular Friday and Saturday noon tournaments.

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 21 December 2016: KRAMPUS EDITION!

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So This Is Christmas

After two weekends featuring forced closures due to icy conditions, both Portland Meadows and Final Table will both be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Then Monday, this showed up in the 2+2 thread for Portland:

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followed by a NW Poker Facebook thread on Wednesday where Chadd Baker posted a link to this brief piece in Willamette Week today.

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Other sources (dealer Charlie Levenson, included) say “hold your horses,” there’s still  some wrangling going on. I haven’t seen anything official from the clubs yet myself, but it seems likely that something is going to happen fairly soon. If I hear anything before the weekend, I’ll make sure it goes out on Twitter (@pokermutant) and post it here.

So the rest of my day, I discovered mold in the car that I’ve had under a tarp for a month waiting for an estimate on getting the convertible roof repaired and I broke my iPad screen just after dinner. How are you?

3-2-1 PLO

Just in case you missed it, here’s a photo that one of the PokerNews writers, Frank Op de Woerd posted of an official game that ran at EPT Prague. Are Portland’s Omaha players (I know there have been similar games played at the mixed tables here) be licking their chops at the chance to play this for big stakes?

Also from EPT Prague (and another sign of the impending apocalypse) WSOP motormouth gadfly William Kassouf talked his way into the winner’s trophy and photo by taking only 75% of the money Patrick Serda got for 2nd place in the last EPT High Roller. Not to worry, Kassouf still got €532,500 (about $556,000) on top of the $338K he won for 17th place at the Main Event).

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WSOP Schedule

With all the money you’ll be saving not playing poker if the clubs close, you can take it all away to Las Vegas for this year’s WSOP, running 30 May to 17 July.

The full schedule won’t be out for a couple of months, most likely, but the starting days for the Main Event are 8–10 July, the Senior Event starts 16 June, and Colossus III has starts on 2–4 June.

Only a Day Away

  • The Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza starts Thursday and runs through 8 January. The first five days feature one-day events with guarantees between $5K and $25K, then there are three entry days to a $125K tournament with a $250 buyin. A $400 buyin $100K event starts New Year’s Day, followed by a $250 buyin $150K guarantee that concludes on 8 January.
  • Eugene’s Full House Poker has another Heads Up-Championship coming up, on 7 & 8 January. It’s a bracket-style elimination competition where you can buy 1 or more spots on the bottom bracket, at reduced rates. Seating is limited, so contact them for details and availability.

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

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 14 December 2016

Portlander Wins World Poker Tour Five Diamond Main Event

I thought my little interview would be the most Portland thing in poker last week, then Sunday, Devin Sweet posted in NW Poker about James Romero’s first-place finish in one of the WPT’s premiere events at the Bellagio, for $1.938 million, a record prize for a WPT $10,400 buyin event.

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The second paragraph of the story leads off: “The Portland, OR resident was active early and often at the final table, opening the betting action more than any other player on the final day of this six-day $10,400 buy-in tournament.”

Romero also wins a seat in the $15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions, a big-ass Hublot watch, and some Monster headphones.

I have to say that I was completely flabbergasted when I saw Devin’s post. I can’t say that I’ve ever met James, and I’m not even sure if he plays here in town. He certainly isn’t playing large tournaments outside of Portland, his two previous Hendon Mob cashes came to less less than half my total, if that can be believed. In a WPT article published before the beginning of the final table:

Coming out of nowhere to reach the prestigious WPT Five Diamond Main Event final table, Romero told the WPT he has plays a little bit of online poker and that he doesn’t play much live poker.

“Mostly just a little bit of online play and running really well in a 10K,” Romero added.

https://twitter.com/pokermutant/status/808102781487697924

boardrider68According to his coaching profile at Drag The Bar from early in the decade, Romero (aka boardrider68) was raised in Orange County, CA, played lots of games as a kid, and was at the time studying finance and economics at the University of Oregon.He mentions he played Sit-n-Gos on PokerStars (and had a 46% ROI), and over a couple of years he produced several dozen videos at stakes between $4.40 and $20.

The boardrider68 handle is only tracked on PokerStars for three years at Official Poker Rankings, but racked up a decent $75K in winnings at stakes smaller than $20 for the most part (and rankings in the top 1.2% all three years), with nearly 1,900 PokerStars tournaments in 2010, then just 701 in 2011 before things were cut short by Black Friday.

Romero’s Facebook page lists him as living in Costa Rica (and there’s a brief endorsement from him at Poker Refugees—a company that sprang up to help players re-locate outside the US after Black Friday—but presumably he moved at least part-time to Portland after graduating from UofO.

I’m hoping that 10K he did well in was here in town; it’d be nice to think the seed money for the big win came from some locals. Congrats to the champ! The rest of Portland gets a whack at a WPT $10K buyin in February at the Commerce Casino’s LAPC!

Rialto Saved By Bell

According to a report in Willamette Week, the Rialto pool room is transitioning to new management who are rescuing it from a planned Christmas closure and say their plans are to keep it “the same but better,” which would be good news for poker players who like some downtown action.

High Roller Radio

Just in case you missed it. Last week’s interview with High Roller Radio. Seems a little mundane now….

Snow Days

Last weekend was kind of icy and Final Table announced there would be no guarantee on the Friday night game because of weather. Snow’s due to move in again this afternoon, so it might be another slow week for special events. Oh, and Christmas is coming. The Deal of the Week and This Week In Portland Poker sections will be back after Christmas, unless I get something special across the transom before then.

Only a Day Away

  • The World Series of Poker Circuit at The Bicycle Casino runs through Tuesday. This week is nothing but entry days to the $500K that has its Day 2 (and final day) on Tuesday. Two flights each day, at noon and 5:30pm with $240 buyins.
  • The Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza begins next Thursday and runs through 8 January. The first five days feature one-day events with guarantees between $5K and $25K, then there are three entry days to a $125K tournament with a $250 buyin. A $400 buyin $100K event starts New Year’s Day, followed by a $250 buyin $150K guarantee that concludes on 8 January.

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

High Roller Radio Interview

All I did was say I’d take the shirt Limon didn’t want.

Lots more great interviews and other stuff at High Roller Radio and HighRollerTV on YouTube!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 7 December 2016

Blogiversary

Today is the 75th anniversary of the “date which will live in infamy,” according to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. When I was a kid, it seemed like it was something that happened a long time before I was born, but in reality, I was born just one day before the 20th anniversary (you can do the math, presumably), and now 20 years doesn’t seem like such a long time.

Next Sunday is the sixth anniversary of the first post here at Mutant Poker, so if the amount of time between now and Pearl Harbor was a year, the blog would have been running for almost a month of that year, and that’s truly a weird thing for me to contemplate.

The early days of the blog were mostly self-analysis of online tournaments, on Cake and Full Tilt. Black Friday hit just four months after I started the blog, after which I started playing more live, at Aces Players Club and Portland Players Club (where I won my first live tournament of any size in May of 2011). The next month, I final-tabled the first $10K guarantee I played at Encore Club and I was kind of hooked, in addition to being at loose ends without any steady work. I won a noon game at Encore in July, which got me into the next month’s Champions Freeroll, where I took 2nd place for my first $1K payday. That was eclipsed in the fall when I won a $10K outright, flew to Vegas three hours after I won, and played in a $2,500 buyin Venetian Main Event to try to get to EPT Prague for a major birthday. (Didn’t happen and never will now, as you know if you’ve been reading the blog).

I’ve kept meticulous records all along the way (every buyin, every cash, every expense for nearly six years in an online database) and my attempts to analyze tournament poker profitability led to a post that turned into articles for PokerNews and Deadspin, as well as an NVG thread at 2+2. That led to interviews with Limon on his PokerSesh show, work as a live reporter at the WSOP this year, and this morning I’m going to be recording another interview with High Roller Radio, just a mont after WSOP final tablist and New York Times best-selling author James McManus was on the show.

So thanks everyone for reading and encouragement. I particularly want to thank Brad Smith at Hot Pepper Studios, who—in addition to being my employer for the past few months—was the person who suggested six years ago that if I wanted to get serious about poker, I should start a blog.

Jammin’ Jay

Jay Zeman was a fixture in the NW poker scene for years, both as a player and as a dealer, before moving to the East Coast last year. If you’d played poker in the Seattle area, particularly, you’re sure to have run into him. He still writes about the Pacific Northwest poker scene for Ante Up magazine. Tuesday, he got the biggest cash of his tournament life, over $33,000, for an eighth-place finish at the WSOPC Cherokee Main Event.

Portland Poker Holiday Championship Series

I played the first event in the series before heading to Pacific City for a weekend, got lucky in one spot, made it into the money, and then made a bad move with ax9x and about 11bb. A shorter stack on my left had just doubled up, thought about it for a second, then went all in to call with axkx, he flopped a king, I turned a nine, and he stayed ahead on the river, then I was out a few hands later. Min cash! I already posted the results from the series here.

Deal of the Week: LAPC

Time to look ahead to the new year. The LA Poker Classic at the Commerce Casino is always one of the first major events of the calendar year in the West, running from mid-January to early March. The dates (13 January–2 March) have been set for a while, but the schedule was just released last week.

Unless you’ve got the time and money to spend a months-and-a-half in Los Angeles, the LAPC is something you need to pick and choose from. Here are a few of the highlights I see for myself and other Portland tournament players.

Opening weekend there are three events with a total of $350K in guarantees. 13 January (Friday the 13th), is a 2-day $175 buyin with a $100K guarantee, only one entry flight at 5pm. On 14 January, there’s a $150K with a buyin of $570, also a 2-day event. Sunday, 15 January is a 1-day $100K tournament with a $350 buyin that includes a $100 bounty.

There are a number of non-NLHE tournaments throughout the series (mostly on weekdays) but of special note to Portlanders is the 2 February $570 buyin Big O tournament. No guarantee, but it’s two days (ending on a Friday). There’s a NL HORSE tournament on 19 February if you ever want to know what lighting $340 on fire feels like.

The series culminates with a 5-day WPT Championship event with a $10K buyin. Only one starting day (25 February) but there are lots of opportunities for satelliting in on Saturday nights throughtout the series and in the week leading up to the start.

Only a Day Away

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

 

Portland Holiday Poker Championship Results #PNWHolidayPoker

trophy

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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ft30k

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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.