2018 PACWest Poker Classic Event #1 $100K GTD NLHE Day 2 and Final

If you want to read about Day 1 of this event, start here.

I came into Day 2 in a resonable position; solidly in the middle of the chip counts as 23rd with 54 players left. I noted to friends that I missed my first chance to suck out with what would have been an otherwise playable hand in a three-way pot just 15 minutes into the game, then knocked a player out with A9 v JxJx to make it up to 250K about 20 minutes in. Before a half hour was gone, we’d lost a full table’s worth of players, we were down to 45. Pay jump!

Not long after that, I lost 100K when I fliopped top-top with AxTx and folded to a big raise of my donk bet, which turned out to be kings. Got back up to 220K, then back down to 160K (16bb) and that was all in the the first hour of play.

I opened A8 in middle position with a raise and got called by the big blind. We both checked the Tx5x7x flop, and when he bet big on the 4x turn I had to fold; a call wiould have left me with no fold equity. I shoved 78 on the button and took the blinds and antes. We were down to 39 players seventy minutes in. I had 145K on the button five minutes later, just before the first break (we played the remainder of the last level of Day 1 and the first level scheduled for Day 2, then took the break rather than breaking after 30 minutes).

Blinds went up to 6K/12K with a 2K ante and after going through the blinds in the first three hands of Level 17, I had just 118K. I shoved Kx8x from late position and got it through. 18K in antes, 18K in blinds and my stack grew by 30%. I shoved AxKx on the next button, raised TxTx from the cutoff then folded to a c-bet from the UTG player on a Qx5x4x flop. I’m a wimp. Down to 31 two hours in.

Ten minutes later, I got all-in with K9 v 9x9x and hit Broadway for a much-needed double up (no, I don’t remember who started it but I probably went all-in over ta raise or something stupid like that). There were 27 remaining as the blinds went to 8K/16K/2K, and my stack was at 286K.

I raised 9T in the hijack and ttook another hand to bump up to 322K two-and-a-half hours in.

AxQx was worth a raise, but I lost 50K when a caller went all-in on a JxTx6x flop. One the button fifteen minutes later: 240K.  Pay jumps at each of the first three tables to break (28th place to 54th) were all the same, but at 27 and below, jumps started hapening every three players. Once I broke 27th place, I was even for the trip! 23 left.

At the three hour mark I was down to 194K at 10K/20K/3K. Then we lost four players in the next 10 minutes of the new blind level. I had to shove Ax6x from UTG1, then pay the blinds and I still had only 143 on my next button. We re-drew to two tables at the half-hour mark. And my life for most of the rest of the tournament continued to be shoves. Ax[jx}][from][UTG1.][Open-shove][A5 from SM. Up to 209K just before the second break of Day 2, but blinds were going to 15K/30K/4K! I got jacks just before the break and shoved them from UTG1.

By my next button I had a measly 1/3 of the average chips stack. I shoved Ax2xway out of my normal range—UTG and it somehow got through. Then I folded pocket eights preflop to a bet and call that ended after the a bet on the Jx7x5x flop. 231K on the button with 15 players.

Blinds jumped up to 20K/40K/5K a few miniutes later and I was down to 139K on the button when I shoved Jx8x and got folds from the blinds. Even with 216K I had just 2% of the chips in play with 15 left.

We dropped another player, then my A9 went up against TxTx of Stephen Gilbert, the winner of the first $100K event at Chinook Winds, back when it was still part of the Deepstacks Poker Tour. I pulled out the nut flush (ace-nine forever!) and while he wasn’t out on that hand, he was gone the next. Now I had 462K, and some of the white 25K chips that had eluded me for hours.

One of the more incredible feats of poker luck happened just after the 13th player busted. Tam Nguyen lost a hand to another player with the same-sized stack and was all in on the small blind with a single 1K chip. There were only six players on each table, so Tam’s “main pot” was a whopping 6K. He won the hand with Qx5x, and while he had the ante covered on the button, he only had 1K behind. He stacked that on the button. I don’t remember what his cards were, but he came out of the hand with 33K. He won the next hand (109K) and the next. I broke the streak by shoving QT UTG1 and 9T UTG, but by then we’d lost two more players and he made the final table.

I had 477K, but blinds were 30/60/10, so I wasn’t exactly sitting east (yes, they went up 50% in one jump and people were talking about it; definitely not “Chainsaw-approved” but I’m not complaining).

We lost three players in 15 minutes, including one of the three enormous stacks of white chips (it looked like the cliffs of Dover in seats 7 to 9). Kerry Yoon got in an altercation with Will Tinoco and surrendered his massive chip stack, giving Tinoco what I approximated as two-thirds of the chips in play. There were three short stacks, of which I was the least short. Tam busted, and we were down to 6 going into the next break. I’d shoved Kx9x on the button and KxQx UTG1, a player busted on the last hand before break, and I had 337K. 5.5bb when we came back.

I shoved 4x4x and got called by Ax9x a little after we came back. The flop had an eight and I was standing up to grab my bag when I made an 8-high straight. Blinds went to 40K/80K/10K on the next hand (my button) so I still had only about 7.5bb.

Will on the remaining big stack at the table was on my right, and he consistently raised every one of his small blinds. To be fair, he raised a lot of everyone’s big blinds. I folded 2x2x to a raise, then got AxAx in my small blind, nobody put any money in, I shoved, and TJ Amhaz folded. I shoved J9 on the button with 6bb.

Another player busted just before the seventh hour of play ended. 445K at 50K/100K/15K. An all-in and call there would have tripled me up. I had KJ on the button, and normally I would have gone all-in myself, but because of the payouts I chickened out. Would have flopped the nuts.

It was all okay, though because I shoved UTG with Q5 and Will called with 64 from the big blind. I only had 4bb, but I had the suit and I hit the queen on the flop for a double up (or more, really). Then he raised my big blind again and I shoved Ax9x and doubled again, which put me in second place and made the first significant dent in his wall of chips. And I got a couple elusive salmon-colored 100K chips!

I was up to 2.2M after don-betting into an open-ended straight draw on the flop, then laid down AxJx to a bet on the turn after an unfulfilling flop. We lost the fifth player at 6:30pm after seven-and-a-half hours and the blinds went to 60K/120K/20K. Nobody was that deep.

TJ had twice proposed an ICM chop and Forrest Auel and Devin Sweet ran the numbers while Will had an overwhelming chip advantage, but no deal was reached. I held steady for a level (blinds went to 80K/160K/25K), then we ran the new numbers after both TJ and Kao Saecho had both made gains.

For me, this has been a long haul. It’s my largest cash in the decade since I started playing poker in the home game I was invited to by my cousin’s husband. That led to playing small games (and a few large games) without any money (getting into poker when you’re unemployed and broke can pass the time but it’s not conducive to good bankroll management). I reconnected with my old colleague (and WSOP bracelet-winner) Toma Berda, I worked as a reporter for the WSOP, and most importantly, I started this blog.  Thanks to everyone who’s provided encouragement and support (Angela JordisonMark Humphreys, and many more), and I’ll see you at the beach for the PACWest Poker Classic Main Event on Saturday!

2018 PACWest Poker Classic Event #1 $100K GTD NLHE Day 1

This was probably the least well-planned trip out of town for a poker tournament I’ve ever made, despite the fact that this entire blog is about planning and scheduling (see also my PokerNews article on planning from a couple of years ago).

The decision to come down for the opening event of the PACWest Poker Classic at Chinook Winds on the beach at Lincoln City wasn’t made for me until the day after Valentine’s Day, which was less than 48 hours before cards were in the air. A long weekend for a lot of people (President’s Day) the weekend after Valentine’s—it was kind of a perfect storm of the wrong time not to book a room at least a couple weeks in advance.

Speaking of storms, the weather

My long-time poker travel buddy, David Long, wasn’t able to make the weekend, and poker reporter Sam Cosby—who’d been talking about driving down with me—decided to drive on his own. So I was solo when I headed to the coast. As you can see from the tweet above, I met up with Sam at the casino and got the chance to catch up a little on his  travels.

I started off at table 44 and took a quick downswing of 30bb from my 85bb starting stack (17K with the dealer addon) in the first half hour. Then I was moved to a new table, continued to slide down to 7.5K (still in level 2 at 150/300). I called a late-position raise from the blind with 7x7x, flopped top set, got it all in against JxJx, and he hit his set on the river. 70 minutes from start to finish for the first bullet.

Much as I’m opposed to the idea of rebuying, I’m not going to beat myself up for getting it in good and losing. I’m also not a fan of driving two hours, waiting another couple hours, and playing poker for an hour only to drive back home. So I kicked in another $290 (255 buyin + 25 fee + 10 dealer appreciation bonus).

I’d like to point out here that the fee/rake Chinook Winds took on this tournament was less than 10% at a time when tournament rake is approaching 20% for a lot of similarly-priced tournaments. It’s 12% if you include the dealer gratuity ($35 fee and dealer/$290 total entry), but if you factor in the $100 addon, it’s under 9%. It’s not rake-free Portland poker, but the dealers get paid, they got new dealer chairs this year, and the surroundings are beautiful even in a storm.

My third table of the day was where I spent most of Day 1. I continued to drop chips until I got into a three-way hand where the flop was AJ9x. I wasn’t going anywhere with the straight flush draw and ended up all in when the player with top two pair jammed. The other player in the hand had 45. I missed the ten and another spade, but runner-runner kings gave me trips. I was standing up as the river was being dealt, but sat back down to 42K.

I was hovering around 30K about four hours in. The player who’d had top two in the previous hand had chipped back up nicely. He and a couple of others limped in and I made it 3K (at 400/800/100) from the button with KJ. That got a couple calls. The flop was ace-high with two diamonds. I don’t remember the action, just that we ended up with all our chips in the middle on the flop, he had an ace and I had, uh, KJ. That was kind of embarrassing. What was more embarrassing what that runner-runner diamonds gave me the nuts. So I doubled up again through the same guy.

We went to break (the second of the day) and just after we got back, the player in seat 5 who’d been running over the table, plopping uncounted stacks of 1K chips out over anyone’s attempt to raise did it when I’d opened with AxKx. I shoved on him with over 60K (50bb at the time) and he called with AT. And lost. That made me the chip leader on the table for a bit.

I had one more run-in with the guy who’d doubled me up. He raised, I three-bet QQ and he called. The flop was three hearts under the queen. I made a largish bet which he called, then another heart rolled off on the turn and he had a few choice things to say about how lucky I was and that he had kings before he folded.

I rolled into the dinner break with almost 200K, more than three times the chip average.

Post-dinnr didn’t go as well. I took out a player with AxAx and flopped a set, but another pair of aces went south on a 7x6x5x flop when the other big stack on the table jammed on me and I abandoned my c-bet. Then Stifler—who’d been at table when I got there but was moved then moved back—hit a set of deuces on a Tx8x2x flop when I had 9x9x and I ended up down to 100K, below which I stayed for a long time before the hand that made me hated by yet another player.

Micah Bell raised UTG and I shoved from the button with ATx. Micah called with AxKx and the board ran out another diamond flush for me, which did some serious damage to his stack and put me almost up to where I’d been at dinner.

No more theatrics for me the rest of the night. we got down near the money about 11pm, but it took 45 minutes of hand-for-hand to reach the money.

We bagged, then I had to go look for someplace to sleep. Art  had offered a space in his RV, but it was midnight and I wasn’t exactly sure where he was at. I could theoretically have made it home by 2, but I was concerned that snow in the Coast Range might make getting back difficult (and I didn’t want to drive to Portland and back. So I headed into town to see if I could spot someplace with a cancellation. I did—at a price that’s going to require me to make 27th place to make a profit on the trip—ate too many Taco Bell tacos, and slept like the dead until the fire alarm went off at 4am. Rested and ready!

Read about Day 2 here.

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 13 December 2017

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

Portland On TV

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

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

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


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

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

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

Have a Poker New Year

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

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

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

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

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

My Time Is Coming

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

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

This Week In Portland Poker

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

Only a Day Away

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

Carloose On the Loose

Everyone who reads this blog (both of you) knows that I’m a fan of the Ignition Casino Thousandaire Maker tournaments. I had the opportunity the other day to play most of my time in the tournament along with poker celebrity and renowned nit Carlos Welch. Despite the anonymous play on the tables at Ignition, Carlos posted the screen shot above so I knew his player number in the game (which is assigned in the order of sign-up). I only lasted 81 hands total, but because I was at the same table as Carlos and Ignition’s hand histories (released 24 hours after the tournament ends) include folded hands, you can get a small peek at the mind of the master at work.

I started the tournament as Player 9, and we were six-handed for the first eight hands of the tournament as other players joined up. By the time Carlos joined our table on hand 13 (as the result of table balancing when a third table was created), we’d been up to nine players, but were back down to six. Carlos (Player 13) came in with almost a full starting stack of 2,500; I’d already been up to 2,800, then lost 900 on a draw to Broadway and the second nut flush (neither of which came in) in the previous hand.

Carlos folded 32 to a raise, on the button his first hand at the table. On his small blind, we were eight-handed and UTG (full stack and on his third hand) raised with 57. The button called with 5A, Carlos folded K9 and the board ran out with UTG betting every street and shoving on the river with three cards to a flush and Broadway on the board. The button called and they chopped 60 chips.

Four hands later, Carlos was HJ with JQ and a stack of 2,400. There were seven players and UTG1 raised 87, with Carlos colding and SB calling with KT. The flop was Q7K, about as good as SB could ask for. He check-called an 8bb c-bet. The 7 on the turn flipped the script, but SB check-called a 12bb bet, leaving him about 40bb. The river 8 completed UTG1’s full house but SB couldn’t get away from the top pair and called off another 24bb.

At this point, Carlos’s fortunes and mine hadn’t changed much. He had 60bb (2,400) and I was down to a little under 45bb.

Another three hands and I have 22 in CO. Carlos is BB with KQ. UTG1 raised AK to 140, I set-mined, and both blinds came along (K3 for SB). The flop was J29 and with position I bet 250 after three checks. The 420 chips I won made a nice boost.

The next hand, Carlos had 55 in SB. UTG opened to 140, getting a call from 74 (Player 17 on the button, with almost 72bb at the new 30/60 level). Carlos folded his pair. The flop came 824 and UTG bet 210 on the overpair, getting a call. UTG (Player 14) continued for another 410 on the 6 turn, then check-snap-called all in on the T river. The two players essentially swapped chip counts.

Carlos had been at the table for about 25 minutes and we were in essentially in the same boat when he had his first big break. Blinds were 40/80, I had 1,930 and Carlos was down to 2,140. There were a couple stacks at the table in the 5K range, but everyone else was between 1,700 and 2,500. Carlos min-raised with KK UTG and got called by BB with T9. BB donk-bet 360 on the 4J9 flop. Carlos just called. The turn was 7 and BB lead all-in for a bit more than Carlos’s stack. Carlos snapped and the river A changed nothing, doubling up Carlos.

Forty minutes in, action folded to SB. He limped in with 89 and Carlos raised to 5x with QK. SB folded. The next hand, I raised QQ 3x and Carlos folded 92 from SB. BB folded 2K.

A couple hands later at 50/100, UTG1 raised to more than 11bb (more than half his stack) with AK. Carlos had 66 and was next to act. He folded. Nitty. My 73 didn’t look so good; I folded.

Carlos had the Mutant Jack (suited ace-jack: AJ) and raised to 300 to take the hand. On the 60th hand I was at the table, he folded 8A preflop—actually the best hand of the seven players at the table. I lost my BB to a SB raise with 5K (I had 25 and only 18bb).

On the next hand (with seven players at the table), Carlos opened to 300 from UTG with AT. BB called with K9. BB bet 430 on the 249 flop and Carlos folded. (I had Q5 on the button, thanks for asking.) Carlos was still just over the 4,000 mark; I was down to 1,635.

I raised AQ from UTG1 a few hands later, nobody called the 300, including Carlos on the button with the only other ace: 6A. UTG1 raised to 250 on the next hand with AT and Carlos gave up his 22 in CO.

Carlos raised TJ UTG a few hands later, getting past K7, A3, and K7 in SB.

A limp from a middle position player with 9T and SB with 6T led to a small pot with Carlos involved from BB holding 8K. The flop of 66Q elicited a pot-sized bet from SB, with Carlos and the original raiser folding. Carlos folded his 9K in the SB on the next hand, facing a raise from a short stack with QK. Next to act after the raise, I folded 3A.

Carlos took a bit of a hit on the button the next hand with J9. HJ raised with JQ and Carlos called 230; it was heads up to the flop of K3T. The raiser check-raised Carlos, who put in 300 on his gut shot, but he folded to the all in bet for more than half his stack.

He wasn’t deterred, however, raising 24 from CO on the next hand. Was it a spite raise? I don’t know, but it did work.

I jammed Q8 all in from BB against a call from the shorter stack in SB (he had Q3 and folded). On hand 80, HJ raised 99. Carlos folded the Portland Nuts (QT). On the button!

My time with Carlos ended on the next hand, after a couple of hours of playing with him. I shoved 11bb with QK UTG1 and SB had QA. Carlos folded 35 in CO, which would have made two pair on the flop: T357J. But he made the $1K payout anyway. Me? I had to wait for another day.

Hyper Drive

I’ve played a lot of Turbo tournaments online over the years but I can’t remember ever actually sitting down into a Hyper (Turbo). I play fast enough, but the aggressive speed of the blind structures is far more subject to variance. A couple of weeks back, though, during a Wild Wednesday promotion on Ignition Casino, I jumped in and two-tabled their $12K GTD NLHE 50K Chips Hyper while I was playing my usual $5K GTD NLHE Thousandaire Maker.

Ignition’s Hyper games have 3-minute blind levels, meaning two or three hands at the most at each level; between three and four levels per circuit of the table.

Hand 2 QQ SB 40/80 49,920
It’s already level 2! UTG raises A3 to 400 and UTG2 calls with 99. I three-bet to 960 and both of the others call. We flop TJ9, I check, UTG2 checks, and UTG2 bets abut half-pot (1,640) on his set. I call. 8 turn is a great card for me. I check again, UTG2 bets 3,120 and I call. The river is 5, I bet 6,000 and he calls with the set. So I’m off to a pretty good start.

Hand 8 99 UTG1 100/200 62,680
I’ve got about 9K more than any of the other players at the table, but nobody’s down below 40K yet, even though a couple of levels have gone by already. I open to 600, the big blind calls with 32. The flop is AJQ and I misclick, betting just 200 instead of my more typical half-pot. It must look fishy, because he calls. The turn is Q, and he check-folds to another bet of 800.

Hand 15 44 BB 200/400/40 63,055
Another hand, another level! I’ve been bounced to a new table, though I’ve got the chip lead here, too. UTG2 has JJ and opens to 1K. SB calls with T7 and I come along. The flop is 938. SB and I check, UTG2 bets 1,720, SB has an open-ended straight draw and calls. I dump the hand and they both check to the river after an ace hits the turn, with the jacks holding out.

Hand 24 A8 SB 500/1K/100 60,215
Blinds are moving up rapidly; I’ve gone from more than 300bb to 60bb in 15 minutes and I haven’t even really lost much in the way of chips. UTG3 opens QQ to 3K, getting called by the button 7A and both of us in the blinds (BB has K5). The flop is 947 and UTG3 makes a bet of 9,900 getting folds from the rest of us.

Hand 32 55 SB 1K/2K/200 54,515
UTG calls with 8K, HJ raises to 6K KQ, the button calls with A9, and I defend my low pair, followed by a call from the limper. I fold after a c-bet of 7,700 on the flop of KA8 from the original raiser and a call from the button, then UTG jams his bottom two pair and wins the pot.

Hand 34 QJ CO 1K/2K/200 48,115
Wow. Playing two hands in the same level! HJ min-raises with T7 and I call. Both the small and big blinds (KT and K[jd[,][respectively)][come][along.][It’s][a][Q98 flop and HJ bets 8K for his open-ended draw. I just call, but both the blinds fold. The turn is 2. HJ checks this time, I overbet the pot with an all in, and HJ puts another 36K in with his draw. He misses with the 3 on the river, and I more than double.

Hand 39 TK BB 1.5K/3K/300 104,330
UTG1 raises to 9K with JJ, I defend, then check-fold to a 14K c-bet when the flop is 224.

Hand 40 9T SB 2K/4K/400 95,030
Action folds to me and I just call with a hand I’d usually raise with, particularly since BB has about a third of my stack. The flop is 457 and I check fold when BB jams the remaining 29K into the pot with 4Q. He is ahead, but I wouldn’t be loving it if it was me.

Hand 46 KA UTG 2.5K/5K/500 88,330
I raise to 15K and everyone folds. I pick up more than 10K.

Hand 47 AJ UTG 2.5K/5K/500 98,830
Everyone folds. Nobody has less than 10bb, but that changes so fast in hyper.

Hand 50 KQ CO 3K/6K/600 100,130
HJ min-raises with A8. I call and so do both the blinds (55 for SB and 69 for BB). The flop is QQ7, it checks to me and I bet about half-pot. Everyone folds.

Hand 53 TQ UTG1 3.5K/75K/700 138,930
I raise the Portland Nuts to 21K and everyone folds. I’m the only player on the table with more than 80K.

Hand 55 J9 BB 4K/8K/800 153,530
UTG limps in with KA, SB is along with A4, and I check. We all check a flop of 676, then I chack call ona 16K bet from UTG when the turn is 9 (SB folds). We check the 3 river and my top pair holds for a tidy result.

Hand 59 A8 UTG1 5K/10K/1K 183,730
I’m not sure why I didn’t call the jam from UTG (51K with 9K), but it’s probably because SB at the time had close to 150K and I didn’t want to get squeezed or called with this particular hand.

Hand 62 JA BB 5K/10K/1K 180,730
This hand momentarily put me in the top 20 players in the tournament, with about 100 remaining. Action just folded to SB, who limped his KK. I raised to 40K, he went all in for a total of 123K, and I decided to call. The board ran 92TA4 and he cracked in 90th place.

Hand 65 67 CO 6K/12K/1.2K 300,404
Three players at the table are under 50K (one has just a big blind remaining), then there are  another three in the 150K to 200K range. And there’s me, but even I’ve only got 50bb. UTG goes all in with A4 and just 23K. I call, and BB—one of the mid-range stacks—calls with 58. The flop is auspicious but the board is 228Q4 by the river, and the all-in wins.

Hand 69 KA UTG1 8K/16K/1.6K 271,604
I raise to 48K and CO goes all in for just 4K more. I call, he shows QJ, and the board runs out 8KA24; the wrong color black for him, fortunately. We’re down to 70 players.

Hand 70 Q[tdd] UTG 10K/10K/2K 350,804
I don’t know why I fold this hand here under the gun. In any case, It’s a mistake, although it may have cost me less. The fold may also have cost me more. One of the short stacks in CO goes all in with 8Q and 62K. I definitely would have called that if I’d raised to my standard 30K here. The tricky decision would have been when SB went all in with AK and 157K. Would I have called another 95K even with the Portland Nuts? If I had, I would have been nicely-rewarded, because the board was TK54T. SB won with two pair, but my trips would have picked up a pot of 250K.

Hand 78 A5 UTG1 12.5K/25K/2.5K 303,304
My first actual setback for a while. I raise to 75K, CO is all in for just 16.5K with TQ and BB calls with A8 from a stack about equal to mine. We check it down to the river with 272Q8 on the board, the short stack quintuples with two pair and BB get the side with a better kicker.

Hand 90 34 BB 30K/60K/6K 107,304
Yeah, you read that right: 12 hands and the big blind has gone from 25K to 60K! Worse, just after the last hand I wrote up, I was in the big blind, got moved to UTG at another table, and had to pay another big blind, so even though I was only down to 225K after the loss, I’ve lost another 115K just from blinds and antes in 10 hands. The ABC of Hyper: Always Be Chippin’. Anyway, I’m under 2BB here, we’re in the money, I’ve got suited connectors even if they’re crappy suited connectors. I’ll barely be able to pay the small blind and ante if I fold. UTG2 is all in for 176K with JJ, CO is the tournament chip leader with 810K and shoves with 66, and I’m all in with my last 41K. The flop is 4KK, so there’s almost hope, but the Q turn and 9 river give the chips to the best hand and I’m out in 41st.

90 hands. 90 minutes, +58% ROI.

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 23 August 2017

Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard

The undisputed champ of this week’s leaderboard is Max Young, who’s been crushing the national poker circuit this year after years of local crushing. His latest, biggest win comes at Philadelphia’s Parx Casino, in the Main Event of the series, a $1,600 entry (Max said on Facebook that he fired two bullets) with 447 entries and a prize pool of $650K. This is Max’s 21st recorded cash in 2017 (with four months and change left to go), his eleventh final table and  fourth five-or-better figure cash this year, plus he won a World Series of Poker Circuit ring in Florida in February. Maybe I’ll stop holding a grudge against him for sucking out on me in an Aces $25K guarantee four years ago and just say I knew him when!

New on the list this week is David Froyalde from Federal Way. David’s very first Hendon Mob cash is a doozy: first place in the Venetian August Weekend Extravaganza Event #1, with a buyin of $250 and 618 entries, with a prize pool of $126,690.

Down in Florida at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, Mill Creek, Washington’s Charles Coultas notched first in Event #15 PLO, with a $2,650 buyin and 99 entries, while Scott Clements placed 24th in the $5,250 NLHE Championship.

Poker for the Cure

The annual poker benefit for the Susan G. Komen Sleep In for the Cure fundraiser is Friday. Top prize is a trip for two to Las Vegas. It’s a $50 buyin, at the iHeartRADIO Portland Lounge in Tigard, with proceeds going to fight breast cancer.

Portland Poker Championship Series III

PPCS3 Event 1 points

PPCS3 Event 2 points

The first two games of the PPCS3 are in the bag and the race for the championship belt is on, using the new World Series of Poker Circuit-based system. So far as I can tell, there were no repeating cashes over the weekend, so it’s theoretically anyone’s game.

For those unfamiliar with the system, a set number of points are awarded to the final table (ranging from 50 for first place to 15 or ninth place. Then, of the remaining in-the-money players, the bottom half get 2.5 points, the top 20% get 10 points, and the middle 30% get 5 points.

Saigon Vic and Jim Hissner  are tied for the lead, this weekend’s games will determine who gets the belt. I did not cash, but there’s still time!

The prize pool Saturday got to nearly $39K (with a $20K GTD); I was out before the end of rebuys (and before addons) on Sunday but there were already 132 entries with 57 rebuys with 13 minutes left.

Saturday at noon is a $30K GTD tournament at Final Table, with a $120 buyin (and one live rebuy) with a $60 addon. Coming up on Sunday is the big one: a $50K GTD at Portland Meadows. The entry fee is $200, and addon is $80.

Good luck to everyone! I hope to see you all. I’ll be the guy with the trophy on the rail.


Ready For My Close-Ups, Part 2

I hadn’t seen dates for it before last week’s post, but Run It Up Reno returns in October with eight days of affordable tournaments including HORSE, O8/S8, PLO/Big O, and NORSE (NLHE + ORSE)..

Only a Day Away

  • The Bicycle Casino’s Legends of Poker features one of the biggest guarantee HORSE tournaments I’ve seen, with $240 and $350 buyins over six flights for a $100K GTD. The twist is the O is Big O. Friday is a Survivor tournament with a $5K payout, and Saturday it’s a $10K payout. How can I resist? I can because I have to work. It burns! Friday is also the first of three entry flights for the WPT Main Event, a $4K buyin. Last year’s event had 687 entries and a prize pool of nearly $2.5M.
  • WPTDeepstacks at Reno Atlantis has a $200K GTD Main Event ($1,100 buyin) starting Friday at noon. Saturday is another flight, with Day 2 on Sunday and the final table on Monday.
  • The second Muckleshoot Summer Classic Satellite is tonight at 7pm. One out of ten players ($125 buyin) gets a choice between two packages of seats in the series. The satellites run weekly through 6 September. Sunday is Muckleshoot’s $300 buyin Deepstack.
  • Today is the start of the Horseshoe Poker Classic in Council Bluffs, Iowa (across the river from the Omaha airport). Its Main Event has five flights through Saturday August, with Day 2 on Sunday.
  • Heartland Poker Tour returns to Ameristar East Chicago tomorrow, which is always one of their bigger stops. They open with a $200K GTD ($350 buyin); the Main Event begins 31 August.
  • At 9:30am Sunday, Lucky Chances Casino holds its monthly $20K GTD to first place tournament. $375 including the staff appreciation.
  • The monthly No Chop at the Top tournament at Tulalip Resort Casino is at 11am on 27 August. $230 (including dealer addon) with $5K added.
  • The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza 3.5 starts 31 August with four weeks of events. The big early event is an $800 buyin 8-Max with a $200K GTD and there are four smaller buyin events with six-figure guarantees.
  • The Commerce Poker Series starts a week from Friiday, with an early $350 buyin $100K GTD. It features a $1M GTD Main Event ($1,100 entry), a $5K NL 2-7 Triple Draw tournament, and some big bounty tournaments.
  • Labor Day at Stone Gambling Hall is a $15K GTD Win the Button tournament, where the button is assigned to whoever won the last hand.
  • Little Creek Casino’s South Sound Poker Championship starts 5 September with a Seniors (50+) tournament at 11am. There are six events (most at 11am), including a $340 Main Event with $5K added to the prize pool. Little Creek is in Shelton, Washington, west of Olympia, about 125 miles from Portland.

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

Survivor 48

I’ve played the Thousandaire Maker tournament on Ignition Casino (and previously on Bovada) 48 times now. It runs most every night at 8:15pm Pacific.

It’s a Survivor-style tournament with a $75 buyin (and $7 fee), with a guarantee of five even $1K payouts. If the number of players meets the guarantee (67 players), another payout starts building up for sixth place (80 entries makes an even $6K in the pot, then another payout starts for seventh). No chops, only one min-cash (if any) and less than 10% of the field makes it to the money. But it’s a great value overall.

I’ve cashed in the Thousandaire Maker six times. If I was smart, it would be the only tournament I play, because when you cash it you’re typically making 1120% profit. So if you can beat the 7.5% cashing rate by 10% (effectively a 8.2% ITM), you are profitable. The tournament only lasts about 3 hours. By my records, I’ve spent 65 hours and ten minutes playing Thousandaire Makers since April of 2015 (coincidentally, spending almost $1 on buyins for every minute of play). And I’ve made about $2,000 in profit (a little over $31.50/hour). An average of 82 minutes per tournament.

So my ITM in Thousandaire Makers is 12.5% (based, admittedly on just 48 tournaments). That’s beating the average ITM for all players by 67% and an ROI of more than 50%.

Unfortunately, with just one Thousandaire Maker per day, a 30-day month would mean $2,460 in buyins, an average of $3,750 in cashes, and $1,290 in profit (about $15.4K per year). That might have been enticing in the not-too-distant past, but not these days. And not when you more or less need to give up every evening—or at least plan to be be busy between 8 and midnight.

I got into the Thursday night Thousandaire Maker just before the first hour was up, despite a promise to myself not to do late entries any more. I was under the gun with 37 on my first hand and folded.

Hand 2 TT BB 2500 50/100

Three of the players on our (full) table have more than double the starting stack of 2500 chips. Two are under 20bb, with the small blind down to 1250. UTG/(Player 44) folds 4T (it’s Ignition, so I can see the folded cards). UTG1/29 min-raises with A8 and UTG2/27 calls. Action folds through the small blind, and I jam the tens. This is a typical fish/new player steal attempt; the other players can see from my player number (55) that I’ve just registered. They know it’s just before break. I could just be looking to pick up 450 chips from weak hands before the blinds go up. UTG1—table chip leader at 6420—folds, but UTG2 calls with QA and almost 28bb behind. The board runs out 4J5K7. I actually had the best hand at the table. Both of the other tens were dealt, but nobody else even had a jack, much less a straight or flush.

Hand 8 JA UTG2 5175 75/150

I opened to 400 and the blinds folded. CO/27 (the player I’d doubled up against) folded QK with a 2483 stack, which I’m pretty sure I would not have done.

Hand 10 TT UTG 5400 75/100

Tens again! On hand ten! I open to 400 and everyone folds. Out of eight other players, there was only one over card, with CO/50 holding A4.

Hand 25 KA UTG1 5100 100/200

I open to 500 and everyone folds. The best hand I was against was QT (Portland nuts!) on the button.

Hand 40 AK UTG1 4450 125/250/25

We’re playing eight-handed. HJ/44 on my left is the table leader with 10.8K, and CO/29 is 1K behind. The rest of us are between 3.5K and 6K. I open to 750 and the big stack 3-bets enough to put the short stack (BB/42) all in. BB shoves, and I 4-bet all in, which is called by HJ. It’s AK v KA (CO) v AK (BB). The runout is 7T983 and we chop the blinds and antes for a 75 chip profit. No jacks dealt, but the other big stack on the button would have made a six-card straight with 65.

Hand 43 TT SB 4170 150/300/30

Just seven at the table. The big stack took a hit on the hand after the three-way chop, but he’s still in second place at the table with 8.6K. Four of us are in the sub-20bb ‘Danger Zone.’

UTG2/62 shoves and with tens for the third time in 43 hands, I call, with 29 chips behind. He turns AT, the flop is a dangerous 4QK, but the turn and river are 66. I double up to  8761 and move out of the Zone.

Hand 49 AT SB 8311 150/300/30

I’ve been moved to a new table and I min-raise when action folds around. BB/25 has 5.7K and 3A and jams. I fold.

Hand 55 AA BB 7501 200/400/40

Tens three times in less than 50 hands and now aces on the big blind? How lucky must I be? Everyone folds to me and.

Hand 58 66 CO 7661 200/400/40

What to do with a pocket pair less than tens? There are six players at the table, and I’m actually in the bottom half. Three of us are between 7K and 8K, and the others are 9.6K, 10.3K, and 12.3K. I open to 1000, and the only called is BB/72, another of the small stacks. I’m not exactly sure what he’s thinking here, putting in an extra tenth of his stack with 69. I c-bet the 38A flop for 1100 and he folds.

Hand 59 JQ HJ 8861 200/400/40

I raise to 1000 and BB/7 (the third of the short stacks) jams QA. I fold.

Hand 60 TK UTG1 7821 200/400/40

I shove with just under 20bb and everyone folds. UTG/13 folded 9A before I shoved.

Hand 62 AT BB 8581 200/400/40

Action folds to SB/13 and he raises to 820 with 3A. He only has me covered by 500. I shove over the top and he folds.

Hand 68 A8 BB 9191 250/500/50

I get a walk with the best hand.

Hand 71 KJ CO 9341 250/500/50

I got disconnected a couple of times during this tournament. Pretty sure I’m raising and winning the hand here if I wasn’t. As it was, BB/7 got a walk with 82.

Hand 72 77 HJ 9291 250/500/50

Seriously. BB/26 had A2, so there might have been  a jam if I’d raised, but…

Hand 89 QA BB 7971 300/600/60

Between the disconnect and bad cards, I’d been slipping into danger territory. This hand, action folded to SB/72 (the next-to-last player to register in the tournament but a player who’d chipped up to 29K) and he shows 29 as he folds.

Hand 91 77 D 8331 300/600/60

Finally, some sevens I can play! We’re eight-handed. UTG2/26 folds A8. I cannot fathom it. I open-shove, two bigger stacks with bad hands in the blinds fold.

Hand 92 J9 CO 9651 300/600/60

UTG1/26 raises to 1.7K. I typically would play this hand against a raise but chose not to here. I fold. D/11 re-shoves for 11K. UTG1 calls and the smaller stack is at risk KK v AA. The board runs out Q56T6 and player 26 is out in 16th place as we get closer to the money. Kings get cracked on the next hand by QT.

Hand 96 99 SB 8511 400/800/80

Seven players on the table and I’m one of the only two stacks under 10K. UTG1/42 has only 6K, BB/11 is at 12.7 before the hand begins, but everyone else is above $15.5K, with D/72 at nearly 25K. Action folds to him and he jams. I call with my pair and BB folds AK, missing out on a triple-up, as the board runs out 2764K. Instead, I double up. He gets knocked out on the next hand with a pair of sixes calling another shove from player 72, who catches an ace on the turn to go with his Mutant Jack (suited AxJx).

Hand 104 QA SB 16942 400/800/80

The strategy a lot of late-entrants take (and sort of need  to take given their initial short-stack status) is to shove repeatedly. This tends to take the ‘fun’ of poker out of the game for me, at least, which is why I try not to join a tournament in the later stages of registration. I can’t think it would be an effective strategy in cash games. Anyhoo…after losing a third of his stack to me eight hands earlier, then knocking out a player, player 72 is up to 27.6K and we are back in the same positions as our last run-in. He shoves, I call. He has 7J. I pop a queen on the flop and double up. Board is TTQ4K. We’re within five spots of the money, with five full $1K prizes and sixth place paying $475. I’ve got the chip lead, and I could actually sit back at this point and do nothing.

Hand 107 QA UTG 34764 400/800/80

Does that mean I will do nothing? No. I raise to 2400. Ten hands ago, BB/72 had a stack that would have gotten him handily into the money, now he’s one of three 15–17bb short stacks at the table. He has JJ and shoves12.3K. I call, the board is 5T6A7 and he’s out in 10th place. Buh-bye.

The final table starts on the next hand with four stacks under 20bb. That;s the same number of players that have to bust before we hit the full $1K packages. Only 3 players have more than 20K, and I have 20K more than the player in second place.

Hand 129 77 UTG1 42154 600/1200/120

The player on my left took over the chip lead a few hands earlier when he won a race with jacks to eliminate the 9th place finisher. He’s got about 1K more than me. Two players are under 10bb, three others are between 10 and 16bb. The ideal strategy here is to let them cut each other out for the most part. However, I min-raise from UTG1 after the one other player with more than 20bb (31) folds. The chip leader has 44, but folds, leaving only the five small stacks, none of whom want to pull the trigger lest someone behind them shoves. They all fold to BB/17—one of the shortest stacks—with just 38. He packs it in and drops to the shortest stack.

Hand 144 AA BB 38594 800/1600/160

So much has happened. That short stack from the last hand managed to get AxKx in against another short stack’s AxQx and double up, then bumped up again a couple of times while two players went out. The money bubble has burst, and now we’re just waiting to see who gets the not-insignificant sixth-place prize ($475) as opposed to the $1K. The chip leader to my left (still player 29) has 43.8K—over 27bb). On my right is player 31 with roughly the same stack as me. The other three are 18bb, 13bb, and 7bb. Nobody wants to miss out on the extra $525.

I could theoretically fold aces here is one of the other two big stacks shoved. I wouldn’t, but theoretically. As it happens, Everyone folds. Do my big blind aces stink?

Hand 145 55 SB 40194 800/1600/160

D/31 min-raises here with TA. I don’t lilke this play myself because the only other stacks who could keep him from the big prize are the only ones left to act. He has enough chips to wait it out, courting one or the other of us having a premium hand is bad.

Hand 148 6K

The short stack (SB/7) has A4 and just 6bb. He shoves, Not a bad plan given that BB/17 has only 13bb and no matter what happens, he’s getting 480% ROI. Unfortunately, BB has AJ and makes the call. The flop is bad: A55 meaning a chop is only possible with an ace, king, or queen, but the turn brings some more outs with 3 providing an opportunity for a win. The river is 9, though, which ends the tournament.

148 hands. Two hours and thirty minutes. +1120%ROI.

2017 WSOP Main Event Day 6 — PNW Players

Didn’t get a chance to post yesterday—had to push a tractor up a hill, if you know what I mean (literally, I did help push a lawn tractor out of a 50′ deep ravine). But here’s where things stood when play started Sunday, Day 6 of the Main Event.

One of the three remaining PNW players (and the only remainin player from the PNW US), Ian Johns, has already chipped up a bit since play began; there’s an interview with him today at PokerNews.

RankNameHometownChip Count / PayoutRoom / Table / Seat
71 Sukhpaul Dhaliwal LANGLEY, BC, CA2,165,000Brasilia / 720 / 2
78Jonas Mackoff VANCOUVER, BC, CA 1,590,000Brasilia / 710 / 3
82Ian Johns NEWCASTLE, WA, US1,085,500Brasilia / 720 / 7
116Edmund Chan VANCOUVER, BC, CA$53,247
191Greg Mueller VANCOUVER, BC, CA$46,096
199Jody Howe DELTA, BC, CA$46,096
201Adam Hsu BELLEVUE, WA, US$46,096
225Kelly Johnson SHERWOOD, OR, US$46,096
323James Weatherman BEND, OR, US$35,267
380Alan Snow LYNNWOOD, WA, US212,000
385Christopher Price Seattle, WA, US$31,170
387Jody Evans Vancouver, BC, CA$31,170
422Warren Maxwell MAPLE VALLEY, WA, US$27,743
477David Stewart Troutdale, OR, US$27,743
498John Grue BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA, US$24,867
582Paul Varano OLYMPIA, WA, US$22,449
590Brant Taylor DELTA, BC, CA$22,449
679Maxim Babko RICHMOND, BC, CA$18,693
708Casey Ring Independence, OR, US$18,693
816Lee Watkinson LAKEBAY, WA, US$17,243
854Maxwell Brown Lake Oswego, OR, US$17,243
907Noah Bronstein Bellevue, WA, US$16,024
923Rami Mornel VANCOUVER, WA, US$16,024
1019Mel Elpusan Seattle, WA, US$15,000
*Brian Valentine Seattle, WA, US

* A Brian Valentine was 259th in chips and supposedly in the money at the end of Day 3, but he does not appear as a reported cash on the Results tab. Possibly related to this?

2017 WSOP Main Event Day 4 — PNW Players

Day 3 of the Main Event played down to the money—1,084 players—nobody from the Northwest who is not on this list cashed, but everyone on this list will cash today.

Overall RankNameHometownChip CountRoom / Table / Seat
84Paul VaranoOLYMPIA, WA, US793,000Amazon / 2 / 5
103Ian JohnsNEWCASTLE, WA, US737,000Amazon / 83 / 3
126Adam HsuBELLEVUE, WA, US678,000Amazon / 56 / 9
188Kelly JohnsonSHERWOOD, OR, US574,000Brasilia / 706 / 2
206Greg MuellerVANCOUVER, BC, CA541,000Brasilia / 721 / 2
215Jody HoweDELTA, BC, CA527,000Amazon / 61 / 4
219Sukhpaul DhaliwalLANGLEY, BC, CA523,000Amazon / 53 / 2
239Christopher PriceSeattle, WA, US493,000Amazon / 10 / 9
240Edmund ChanVANCOUVER, BC, CA492,000Amazon / 19 / 2
259Brian ValentineSeattle, WA, US471,000Amazon / 31 / 7
332Jonas MackoffVANCOUVER, BC, CA389,000Brasilia / 728 / 4
483Maxim BabkoRICHMOND, BC, CA281,000Amazon / 1 / 5
556James WeathermanBEND, OR, US242,000Brasilia / 716 / 8
586Brant TaylorDELTA, BC, CA228,000Brasilia / 724 / 5
614Warren MaxwellMAPLE VALLEY, WA, US217,000Amazon / 90 / 1
624Alan SnowLYNNWOOD, WA, US212,000Amazon / 47 / 9
705Casey RingIndependence, OR, US170,000Amazon / 28 / 1
714Maxwell BrownLake Oswego, OR, US166,000Amazon / 84 / 7
752Lee WatkinsonLAKEBAY, WA, US150,000Amazon / 84 / 5
805John GrueBAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA, US127,000Amazon / 38 / 4
843David StewartTroutdale, OR, US116,000Brasilia / 717 / 7
936Noah BronsteinBellevue, WA, US77,000Brasilia / 727 / 5
960Rami MornelVANCOUVER, WA, US70,000Amazon / 10 / 2
1033Mel ElpusanSeattle, WA, US40,000Brasilia / 725 / 8
1077Jody EvansVancouver, BC, CADNRAmazon / 26 / 8