P-Town Is Out

By now you’re probably already aware that Kao Saechao, went out in 16th place in the World Series of Poker Man Event this evening. As he pointed out in his post-bustout interview with Joe Stapleton on PokerGO, he got short after getting bluffed in a couple of pots, then shoved over a pre-flop raise from the tournament chip leader, Michael Dyer, only to run into a dominating hand.

Kao’s interview was one of the more introspective and thoughtful I’ve seen, and he took special time to thank the Laotian Mien community and his supporters in the local poker community. He was repping Portland throughout his appearances on ESPN and PokerGO.  Congrats, Kao!

Table Draws for PNW Players 2018 WSOP Main Event Day 6

The median stack for the 109 remaining players is 3M, all three PNW players are over that. Play was halted last night after a power outage due to thunderstorms, it resumes at 11am in the 3000/6000/1090 level.

Table Draws for PNW Players 2018 WSOP Main Event Day 5

The good news for Kat Saechao is he’s seated next to Kelly Minkin. Bad news is, she’s got more than five times his chip stack!

Table Draws for PNW Players 2018 WSOP Main Event Day 4

UPDATE [11:43am]: Michael Corson of Mercer Island is on the WSOP feature table (on ESPN) with Antonio Esfandiari and Davidi Kitai.

The end of Day 3 saw the money bubble break. There are players with 1.6M chips and others with one chip.

I’ve tried to round up all the remaining PNW players here (26, counting Jonathan) but no time for notes, there’s only 90 minutes until showtime! Players are returning in the middle of Level 16, with blinds at 3000/6000 and a 1000 ante.

Selected Table Draws Day 4 (1,182 players; median stack=262,900)

Table Draws for Selected PNW Players 2018 WSOP Main Event Day 3

Day 3 of the Main Event is where it all comes together. Surviving players from all of the starting days are mixed together for the first time. Only 35% of the original entrants remain, and less than half of them (1,142) will make it to the money.

Last year, there were just 18 players remaining before the money bubble after the end of Day 3’s planned five levels, and another level was added. The bubble broke after 1am, but everyone who could came back knowing they weren’t going home empty-handed.

NOTE: The @2PokerGuys inform me that Nick Getzen (who’s a regular on their streamed cash and tournament games as “Wonka”) is also in Day 3, but I didn’t pick up his table draw because the report shows him as from Atlanta. Draw added below.

Selected Table Draws Day 3 (2,786 players; median stack=204,900)

Jonathan Levy has the table chip lead but there are two contenders close on his heels, including 2012 Main Event runner up (and MTV True Life star) Jesse Sylvia. The other player with a lot of chips—Ted Lawson—is nobody to sneeze at, either, with nearly $3M in recorded cashes, a WSOPC Ring, and WSOP bracelet in Omaha. Gionni Demers placed 20th in the 2011 Main Event.

Joe Brandenburg starts the day with 2014 WSOP final tablist Billy Pappas in Seat 1.

Kao Saechao is in reasonably good shape, though Chris Kruk is two seats to his right. Kruk won the PCA High Roller this January and the partypoker MILLIONS North America High Roller in April. Also, this from Day 2A:

Clarke Straus has WPT champs Marvin Rettenmaier and Brian Altman to take chips from.

I’s do more but running out of time!

Nick “Wonka” Getzen is the leader, with 2011 Main Event 6th-place finisher Eoghan O’DeaSalvatore Bonavena won EPT Prague in 2008.

Table Draws for Selected PNW Players 2018 WSOP Main Event Day 2C

Day 2C of the Main Event is a bye day for Flights A and B. Survivors from all Day 2s come together Saturday for Day 3. Day 2C starts Friday at 11am, levels remain at 2 hours each, five levels are played, and the first level is 300-600 with a 100 ante. NOTE: This is not a complete list of players, there are 77 PNW players in 2C.

Flight C (3,480 players; median stack=59,500)

Right off the bat, the name that jumps out from Jacki Burkhart‘s table is Mukul Pahuja, who has more than $5M in recorded tournament earnings. Brazilian Nicolau Villa Lobos has more than $1.2M, with half of that from 2nd place in a WSOP Europe High Roller. Table chip leader Anthony Reategui has $1.6M in earnings, including two final tables so far this summer (both of the Shootout events) and a bracelet in the 2005 $1500 Shootout. Florens Feenstra has cashed for more than a million, mostly at home in the Netherlands (he won WPT Amsterdam in April).

Liz Tedder‘s table isn’t quite as star-studded. Billy Pilossoph does have about million earned, including a 5th place in a WPT World Championship a decade ago.

Table Draws for Selected PNW Players 2018 WSOP Main Event Day 2AB

Back when I was virtually railing my old programming colleague Tomer Berda after he won his WSOP bracelet in 2010, I started to put together reports on his table draws for him, his friends, and family in the hours he was sleeping. Tomer probably didn’t need them, but I like to think they sometimes came in useful, and for non-poker followers or poker folks who just didn’t want to do their own research, it was a lot easier to put things into context. I don’t have nearly enough time this morning to do that for all the folks I’d like to today, but here are some of my fave people playing the Main Event today.

Day 2AB of the Main Event is actually two different tournaments. Flights A and B do not merge until Day 3 (when Flight C also merges with them. They start at 11am, levels remain at 2 hours each, five levels are played, and the first level is 300-600 with a 100 ante. NOTE: This is not a complete list of players, there are 21 PNW players in 2A and 54 in 2B.

Flight A (659 players; median stack=62,600)

Somehow Steve ChanthabouasySeth Davies, and Paul Quiring all ended up at the same table. Watch out for each other!

Flight B (1,794 players; median stack=58,000)


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.