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 A?J?).

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 A?K? in against another short stack’s A?Q? 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

2017 WSOP Main Event Day 3 — PNW Players

Overall RankNameHometownChip CountRoom / Table / Seat
125Ian JohnsNEWCASTLE, WA, US327,200Brasilia / 718 / 1
153Casey RingINDEPENDENCE, OR, US311,900Brasilia / 705 / 9
157Alan SnowLYNNWOOD, WA, US310,700Pavilion / 214 / 3
163Seth DaviesBEND, OR, US307,000Amazon / 69 / 1
353Paul VaranoOLYMPIA, WA, US243,300Pavilion / 237 / 3
364Edmund ChanVANCOUVER, BC, CA240,700Amazon / 39 / 7
373Ki NamLANGLEY, BC, CA237,700Amazon / 33 / 6
410Mel ElpusanSEATTLE, WA, US230,100Brasilia / 702 / 5
419Steven MarxBELLEVUE, WA, US229,100Amazon / 127 / 3
449Christopher PriceSEATTLE, WA, US223,200Amazon / 3 / 2
520Scott RobertsREDMOND, WA, US210,000Amazon / 76 / 3
522Rami MornelVANCOUVER, WA, US209,600Amazon / 67 / 6
602Benjamin MayPORTLAND, OR, US195,900Amazon / 174 / 2
603David NelsenLAKE OSWEGO, OR, US195,100Brasilia / 717 / 5
709Jason AntonelliSAMMAMISH, WA, US179,400Pavilion / 271 / 2
717Maxim BabkoRICHMOND, BC, CA178,700Amazon / 5 / 8
745Jason (WA) KimSEATTLE, WA, US174,700Amazon / 51 / 4
790Andrew SeidmanPORTLAND, OR, US167,200Brasilia / 711 / 7
836Sukhpaul DhaliwalLANGLEY, BC, CA161,700Amazon / 10 / 2
839Glenn MillerMUKILTEO, WA, US161,300Amazon / 108 / 4
852Jonas MackoffVANCOUVER, BC, CA160,000Amazon / 66 / 1
873Taylor McFarlandSEATTLE, WA, US157,600Pavilion / 249 / 7
890Christopher StephensonBELLEVUE, WA, US155,500Amazon / 105 / 6
892Kenneth WongRICHMOND, BC, CA155,000Pavilion / 243 / 4
897James WeathermanBEND, OR, US154,400Amazon / 111 / 5
934Eric KepperSEATTLE, WA, US150,200Amazon / 64 / 6
962Adam HsuBELLEVUE, WA, US147,600Amazon / 115 / 3
1009Kelly JohnsonSHERWOOD, OR, US142,000Amazon / 153 / 8
1041Frank GoulardLAKE OSWEGO, OR, US139,000Amazon / 162 / 7
1061Rob TepperKIRKLAND, WA, US136,700Brasilia / 729 / 3
1075David StewartTROUTDALE, OR, US135,500Amazon / 45 / 1
1133Todor PlaseskiBC, CA131,300Pavilion / 220 / 7
1143Shane AbbottSEATTLE, WA, US130,700Pavilion / 225 / 3
1149Christopher ConleyABBOTSFORD, BC, CA130,200Amazon / 82 / 3
1170Matt AffleckMILL CREEK, WA, US127,600Amazon / 93 / 4
1187Brant TaylorDELTA, BC, CA126,000Amazon / 146 / 3
1204Michael BaxterVANCOUVER, BC, CA124,800Amazon / 149 / 5
1237Nicholas RichardsMERIDIAN, ID, US121,500Amazon / 79 / 5
1238Trevor HebertLANGLEY, BC, CA121,200Amazon / 116 / 3
1248Matt JarvisVANCOUVER, BC, CA120,600Amazon / 167 / 4
1278Jason MannBURNABY, BC, CA117,000Amazon / 21 / 8
1298Greg MuellerVANCOUVER, BC, CA115,600Amazon / 78 / 2
1309Scott ClementsMOUNT VERNON, WA, US115,000Amazon / 173 / 5
1318Lee WatkinsonLAKEBAY, WA, US114,000Amazon / 104 / 3
1351Kings SantyNAMPA, ID, US111,000Pavilion / 256 / 3
1374Maxwell BrownLAKE OSWEGO, OR, US109,400Brasilia / 718 / 9
1385Christopher LesliePORTLAND, OR, US108,300Amazon / 74 / 5
1440Sai ChiuVANCOUVER, BC, CA104,400Amazon / 4 / 2
1460Noah BronsteinBELLEVUE, WA, US103,000Pavilion / 231 / 4
1479Tyler PattersonEVERETT, WA, US101,400Amazon / 96 / 1
1480Dylan LindeCOEUR D ALENE, ID, US101,200Amazon / 80 / 8
1578Marshall VirtueMISSION, BC, CA94,200Amazon / 9 / 7
1618Warren MaxwellMAPLE VALLEY, WA, US92,100Amazon / 64 / 5
1623Jacob WitherspoonOTIS, OR, US91,500Pavilion / 268 / 2
1714Jody HoweDELTA, BC, CA84,600Pavilion / 264 / 5
1786Thi NgoRICHMOND, BC, CA79,200Amazon / 122 / 9
1825Lee MarkholtEATONVILLE, WA, US76,300Amazon / 142 / 7
1832Clarke StrausSEATTLE, WA, US75,800Brasilia / 721 / 7
1841James RoutosKENT, WA, US75,000Brasilia / 728 / 8
1871John GrueBAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA, US73,300Amazon / 124 / 6
1895Mitchell (WA) JohnsonKENNEWICK, WA, US71,100Amazon / 90 / 4
1927Ami BarerVANCOUVER, BC, CA68,800Pavilion / 256 / 7
1944Terrence ChanVANCOUVER, BC, CA68,000Amazon / 135 / 9
2006Glenn LarsonOLYMPIA, WA, US63,700Amazon / 7 / 5
2082Yevgeniy TimoshenkoSEATTLE, WA, US58,000Brasilia / 705 / 6
2086Hyoung ChaeBELLEVUE, WA, US57,700Amazon / 51 / 6
2131Christopher GallagherPORTLAND, OR, US54,600Pavilion / 246 / 8
2147Noah VaillancourtCOWICHAN BAY, BC, CA53,700Pavilion / 249 / 5
2204Tai NguyenOLYMPIA, WA, US50,000Amazon / 132 / 3
2276Noah MerrittVANCOUVER, WA, US44,400Amazon / 147 / 6
2282Georgene FarmerASHLAND, OR, US44,000Amazon / 165 / 5
2285Mark CaplanVANCOUVER, BC, CA43,800Amazon / 131 / 3
2290Michael NelsonKIRKLAND, WA, US43,500Amazon / 183 / 3
2296Ashwin SarinREDMOND, WA, US43,100Amazon / 179 / 4
2331Mans MontgomeryBOISE, ID, US40,200Pavilion / 276 / 1
2351Jody EvansVANCOUVER, BC, CA38,300Amazon / 149 / 6
2366Elliot SmithRICHMOND, BC, CA37,300Amazon / 170 / 8
2383Alpheus ChanRICHMOND, BC, CA35,700Amazon / 144 / 9
2386Fatima NanjiVANCOUVER, BC, CA35,400Brasilia / 700 / 4
2430Andrew JohnsonHILLSBORO, OR, US31,500Amazon / 31 / 5
2456Michael (WA) NelsonKIRKLAND, WA, US29,600Amazon / 144 / 4
2468Richard ChunHAPPY VALLEY, OR, US28,200Pavilion / 223 / 5
2470John AgelakisVANCOUVER, BC, CA28,100Amazon / 157 / 4
2480Terik BrownMERCER ISLAND, WA, US26,600Brasilia / 722 / 5
2519Roberto LeosmaldonadoCORNELIUS, OR, US21,600Amazon / 14 / 3
2528Eric BurckWA, US20,700Brasilia / 719 / 3

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 14 June 2017

#PNWPokerLeaderboard

It’s the second week of June and we’re more than two weeks into the World Series of Poker, but there’s old news still trickling in to Hendon Mob’s database for some Pacific Northwest players.

For instance, Mahesh Pritamani of Bellevue won the Main Event of the Muckleshoot Spring Poker Classic nearly three months ago, but the $57K result just posted (only the top 5 places were reported). It was his first recorded cash, but he just added to it with a min-cash in the WSOP Millionaire Maker last weekend.

Likewise, Thomas Chikamura of Renton won the $300 Muckleshoot series tournament for a first recorded cash, then bagged the top spot in a $185 Daily Deepstack at the WSOP on Sunday.

Also moving onto the screen this week is Arnesto Armas (Aloha, 2nd place in a $135 Daily Deepstack); Portland’s Sai Ram Sirandas—with a run into the top 0.4% of the Colossus field; and Donald McCormick of Eagle Point, cashing in Deepstack events on three consecutive days, winning a $185 Deepstack on that third day.

More-established players with Northwest creds are posting results, too.

Matt Affleck (don’t look for the post snapshotted above, it’s been long since corrected) made the final table of the Colossus, then turned around and went deep in the Millionaire Maker.

James Romero, winner of the WPT Five Diamond last December, has had a min-cash at the Colossus, a final table at the Planet Hollywood Goliath Milly, and was part of a chop in a $1,100 NLHE Turbo at the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza that saw seven of the final eight players getting an even $10K.

Tavcoma’s Michael Coombs has had four cashes at the WSOP already, with the best result coming from the $1,500 HORSE last week where he placed 5th. Esther Taylor-Brady listed as an Oregon player(still , just like Annie Duke) also made the HORSE final table.

Ronald Lemco follows his near-win in an early Deepstack with a  very deep run (36th, the top 0.2%) in the Colossus. Ryan Himes made it to 6th place in the $1,500 Eight Game Mix. Charles Mast got to 5th in a field of 1,295 in a Daily Deepstack last Thursday, Brandon Cantu made the final table of the $1,500 Dealers Choice tournament.

Shoutouts to Binh ‘Jimmy’ Nguyen, Sam ‘Big Daddy’ Nguyen, and Jacque Lavadour for respectable showings in this summer’s events so far.

As of the time I’m writing this, Poker Guy Grant Denison is doing well in Day 2 of The Marathon as the players approach the money Tuesday night (a little over a dozen to go at midnight). The $1,500 Limit Hold’em tournament is down to three tables, and Ian Johns (winner of two bracelets in limit games last year) is in the middle of the pack. The $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha is playing the last couple hands of Day 1, they should be bagging soo, and hopefully we’ll see some familiar names in the Results.

This Week In Portland Poker

Regular schedules.

Only a Day Away

I’m not going to enumerate all of the series in Las Vegas right now. What’s happening away from the WSOP?

  • The Bicycle Casino Summer Poker Series runs through the end of the month. Friday is the first day of flights for the $500K GTD Quantum Reload Main Event. Every day through 26 June there are two $85 flights (11:30am and 4pm). There’s an optional $60 addon. 10% of players make it into the money and 7% go on to Day 2 (26 June). On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, there is a a 2pm flight with a $240 buyin (10% advance). For all flights, if you make Day 2, you get $400; if you make Day 2 more than once, you play the larger stack and receive $650 and a $550 voucher for a WSOP Main Event satellite (30 June).
  • At the Cash Casino Calgary Classic’s last weekend, there’s a C$560 Deep Stack with three entry days (Thursday through Saturday) and Day 2 on Sunday, with a final $175 event on Sunday.
  • Bay 101 Summer Madness has their big $1,100 event with starting days Saturday and Sunday at 9am.
  • The Muckleshoot Casino $200 Big Bounty is this Sunday at noon, and next Sunday is their $300 Deepstack.
  • If you can’t make it to Vegas and you’re itching for something a little larger than the weekly $10Ks before the end of the WSOP, look at Tulalip Casino’s Last Sunday of the Month $65K on 25 June at 11am. $670 entry.

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

2015 #SAVEOREGONPOKER BILL

From a friend of the blog…

THIS 2015 SAVE OREGON POKER BILL/DRAFT was the product of Encore/Final Table/Ace of Spades/others, driven by Chris Vetter (in addition to substantial leadership of G. Sugerman/others) several years ago that established a legal rake, allowed dealers to become employees & entirely eliminated any/all “gray” areas w/regard to the questionable legalities of Oregon Poker some have led you to believe. It was a counter measure to the previous attempted sabotage of Oregon Poker via La Center…..as La Center’s player attendance was dwindling, so they found a weakness in Oregon Poker via Salem. IT WAS NEVER RELEASED, but it should be brought back to life as it’s a very useful resource/guideline. Hopefully, the Portland community/poker club owners will unite to form an alliance via pooling funds, creating fundraisers, promoting organized letters & hiring the appropriate representation in Salem to show our legislature how they are being misled….in addition, to seriously considering taking this to the ballot box if can’t get traction in Salem. If the current Salem bill continues, the actions the legislature may adversely take will not only encourage underground poker rooms, but exterminate all options for poker players to enjoy their sport in a legal, safe, licensed environment. PLEASE READ…..PLEASE PASS ON! THIS IS WHAT THEY SHOULD BE VOTING ON!!!!! THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER!!

The proposals here—in bold as emendations to the existing laws—laid out some rules for the operation of poker rooms, including stipulations about square footage, allowing up to an 18% rake (yikes!), and allowing the hiring of dealers to get them out of the volunteer ghetto, among other things.

POKER-BILL-DRAFT-LC0985_DRAFT_2015

A Virtual Chip and a Chair

Ignition Black Spade Poker Open Main Event Satellite

The Black Spade Poker Open 6 is running on Ignition Casino, and I popped into one of the  $33 satellites for the $450 $300K GTD Main Event next month. One seat was guaranteed, the game got 15 entries (with $30 of the entry going to the prize pool), so it just made the nut with no overlay and no extra money.

I was a few minutes late, I started off with 1500 chips at 30/60 but let’s just say that anything that happened in the first 35 hands didn’t matter.

Hand 36 88 CO 2,515 75/150
HJ opens with 99 and I call. SB has KK and squeezes for 2,515. BB and HJ fold, I stupidly call for almost all of my chips, and the board runs out A446T, leaving me holding a bit more than a couple hundred chips. Whoops!

Hand 40 KT BB 150 100/200/20
I’ve had three abysmal hands in a row, and here I’m all in for three-quarters of a big blind. Action folds to the button (Player 6 in this anonymous tournament), who raises to 600 with 44. SB folds and the board runs out 6577A just missing a straight and giving my tens a win.

Hand 41 TT SB 500 100/200/20
CO (Player 6, again) opens to 600, I’m already in for a third of my chips and put the rest in. He shows TJ, the board is 9A629 and he doubles me up again.

Hand 48 9K SB 915 125/250/25
We’re short-handed with only thee players out of the blinds. They fold and I shove. BB has nearly five times my chips and defends with 74. We both pair on the flop and I avoid another loss: 973A5.

Hand 51 AJ UTG 1855 125/250/25
We’re five-handed. I shove and take the pot.

Hand 53 KJ SB 2055 125/250/25
UTG raises to 500 with 9A off a stack of 9000. Nobody calls. I shove and he folds.

Hand 55 TT CO 2880 125/250/25
I open with a shove and the button re-shoves for 3250. He has QA and we’re heads up going to the flop. I hit a set but have to dodge a gutshot draw in the river.: 9T4K7.

Hand 60 77 UTG 5645 150/300/30
Middle pairs. I sort of hate them, but we start the hand with only four players, so I raise to 900. SB has JA and calls, BB has 44 and comes along as well. The flop is TA8, it’s checked to me and I bet 1000. SB calls with his ace and the BB folds. I shut down on the K turn when it’s checked to me; the river is J, SB checks, I check, and he (Player 6) takes the pot.

Hand 64 7A BB 3175 150/300/30
We’re on the second hand with just three players (having lost a short stack between this and the previous hand I entered). The button min-raises KJ, SB calls with A6 and nearly 100bb. I shove and they both fold.

Hand 66 A2 BTN 4255 150/300/30
I shove and the blinds fold 63 and J9.

Hand 69 K7 BTN 4255 150/300/30
I shove a crummy king, SB reshoves for another 1100 chips, and he has JJ.The board runs out 337A7 and I boat up to beat the jacks.

Hand 70 K5 BB 8840 150/300/30
We’re still 3-handed. BTN shoves for 1066, SB folds, and I call for 766 on top of the big blind. This time the chips go the other way after a K5662. My flopped two pair gets busted by trip sixes on a runout of [ks5c]66J.

Hand 74 KK SB 7204 200/400/40
One of those annoying times when action folds to your big hand, you raise, and the short stack just has 3T so he doesn’t call.

Hand 78 A8 BTN 7524 200/400/40
I raise to 1200, SB folds, BB shoves 13K and I know I’m behind but cross my fingers. It works, as I’m right about being behind QQ, but the cards give me the literal nuts: 7462K. We’re still at three players.

Hand 79 Q7 BB 15288 200/400/40
The short stack has only 1852 chips and puts 1600 into the pot preflop with 98. Both of us in the blinds come along, though Player 6 in the SB is down to 5360. The flop is 6K7 and I figure my middle pair is good enough to call the last 200 or so chips the button puts in after the blinds are both checked. The turn is 4 and the river is 2, he misses his straight and my pair of sevens holds (SB folded Q9).

Hand 80 3K BTN 18780 200/400/40
It’s the first hand of heads-up and Player 6 is the big blind. I have a 4.5:1 chip advantage. Just over 40 hands ago, I was all in for less than the big blind and I doubled up twice through the player I’m now facing. I have a good shot at the $450 ticket to the $300K guarantee. There is no second prize. I raise to 1200 and he folds 98.

Hand 81 76 BB 19220 200/400/40
Player 6 raises to 1280, with just 2000 behind. He has K9 and I start off behind roughly 40%/60%. The flop is 52A, which actually gives me the lead by about 10%. Even if he has top two pair, my odds haven’t gotten any worse. We both check. The turn 7 gives me a pair. He has a flush draw, but he’s still behind 70%/30% and even if he wins I’ll still have a substantial lead. I check, he shoves, and I call. The river is the 8, my pair wins the hand and I’m playing the $300K next month.