#PNWPokerCal Planner for 14 June 2017


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!


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.


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 8s8h CO 2,515 75/150
HJ opens with 9s9h and I call. SB has khks and squeezes for 2,515. BB and HJ fold, I stupidly call for almost all of my chips, and the board runs out ah4c4h6hts, leaving me holding a bit more than a couple hundred chips. Whoops!

Hand 40 kstc 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 4s4c. SB folds and the board runs out 6h5s7h7dah just missing a straight and giving my tens a win.

Hand 41 tcth 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 tsjs, the board is 9hah6c2d9s and he doubles me up again.

Hand 48 9sks 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 7d4h. We both pair on the flop and I avoid another loss: 9d7s3sac5h.

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

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

Hand 55 tdts CO 2880 125/250/25
I open with a shove and the button re-shoves for 3250. He has qdac and we’re heads up going to the flop. I hit a set but have to dodge a gutshot draw in the river.: 9ctc4dkd7d.

Hand 60 7s7c 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 jsac and calls, BB has 4d4h and comes along as well. The flop is tdah8h, it’s checked to me and I bet 1000. SB calls with his ace and the BB folds. I shut down on the kc turn when it’s checked to me; the river is jd, SB checks, I check, and he (Player 6) takes the pot.

Hand 64 7sad 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 kdjd, SB calls with ac6s and nearly 100bb. I shove and they both fold.

Hand 66 ah2h BTN 4255 150/300/30
I shove and the blinds fold 6h3c and js9c.

Hand 69 kd7h BTN 4255 150/300/30
I shove a crummy king, SB reshoves for another 1100 chips, and he has jdjh.The board runs out 3c3d7sac7c and I boat up to beat the jacks.

Hand 70 kh5d 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 ks5c6d6h2h. My flopped two pair gets busted by trip sixes on a runout of [ks5c]6d6hjh.

Hand 74 kskc 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 3sth so he doesn’t call.

Hand 78 ac8c 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 qsqc, but the cards give me the literal nuts: 7d4h6c2ckc. We’re still at three players.

Hand 79 qs7s BB 15288 200/400/40
The short stack has only 1852 chips and puts 1600 into the pot preflop with 9h8h. Both of us in the blinds come along, though Player 6 in the SB is down to 5360. The flop is 6hks7c 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 4d and the river is 2c, he misses his straight and my pair of sevens holds (SB folded qh9s).

Hand 80 3ckc 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 9c8h.

Hand 81 7s6s BB 19220 200/400/40
Player 6 raises to 1280, with just 2000 behind. He has kh9h and I start off behind roughly 40%/60%. The flop is 5s2has, 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 7h 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 8c, my pair wins the hand and I’m playing the $300K next month.

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 1 March 2017

Is It a Teakettle?

I stole the design for my 3D-printed card caps from an accessory on a Simpsons figurine, and last week it showed up in the “couch gag” opener of the show, as Homer searches through the animated worlds of South Park, the California Raisins set, and the Nerd from Robot Chicken, to find the iconic ship painting that hangs over the family’s couch. TMI?

Portland Poker Championship II

It’s here! This weekend and next!

It’s Alive!

Frankly, for me poker Twitter without a slice of Limon is dull poker Twitter. And Tuesday morning—despite having sworn off of social media and leaving his gig at Live at the Bike in February—he tried out Twitter only to find he was un-banned.

The world was then full of light. And the c-word.


There’s a load of news I was wanting to cover. Max Young’s position on the WSOP Circuit Leaderboard that could net him a seat at this year’s Global Casino Championship, Jacque Lavadour‘s run in the WSOPC Rio Monster Stack or Liz Tedder‘s 3rd-place finish in the HORSE, but my evening got sucked up by another cash in the Ignition Casino Thousandaire Maker, so I’m going to have to cut this short.

This Week In Portland Poker

With the good (the afore-mentioned Portland Poker Championship Series II) comes the not-so-good: this is the week Final Table and Portland Meadows raise door fees to $15/day. This isn’t so much of a big deal to the cash game players—$5 is just a straddle to them—but for someone like the daily 11am Final Table tournament with a $20 buyin, that extra $25/week can add up (I’m speaking from experience).

Deal of the Week: Week 1 of the WSOP

Have you been poring over your WSOP schedule? I have started to give it a personal look, although I’ve never actually played more than two tournaments a season there that weren’t the dailies. But this may be the year I step it up a bit.

First off, I intend to make use of WSOP.com. They’re already running a variety of satellites to events ranging from the online bracelet events to the Colossus, to the Main Event. They currently run on Sunday, but as the WSOP gets under way, there should be MTTs for specific events a day or two before they start.

The first game on my schedule is 3 June, Event #8, $333,333 GTD NLHE. It’s a $333 buyin on Saturday afternoon, and just one day.

Sunday, there should be plenty of satellites to events through the next week.

Monday is Event #11, $1,500 Dealers Choice 6-Handed, then Event #14, $1,500 HORSE on Wednesday (an event I covered for WSOP.com last year). Event #16, $1,500 NLHE 6-Max is Thursday (in case the HORSE doesn’t work out), then Friday is the start of Event #18, $565 PLO. I think that’s a pretty good set of tournaments to set sights on. And there’s plenty of other series going on if things don’t work out.

Only a Day Away

  • Commerce Casino‘s LA Poker Classic ends tomorrow with the final day of taping for the WPT Main Event. The last event is a $1,100 1-day $100K GTD NLHE Bounty tournament tomorrow at 2pm. There’s no prize pool! You get $1,000 for every player you eliminate (the other $100 of your buyin is fees). Then once things get down to the final nine players, it turns into a winner take all for the last $9K. Interesting concept. No laddering!
  • Tonight is another Wednesday satellite for the Muckleshoot Spring Poker Classic. The series begins two weeks from today.
  • $1,100 mega satellites for the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star start tomorrow. There’s a $2,100 two-day event starting Sunday (only 250 players and 50 alternates), and another $2,100 Turbo and a $25K High Roller on Wednesday. The Shooting Star Main Event has starting days on Monday and Tuesday.
  • The Wynn Spring Classic has a $750K GTD championship ($1,600 entry) with entry days Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with the final day on Sunday.
  • The Stones Gambling Hall  $250,000 Spring Classic is coming to a close with three entry flights to their $125K GTD Main Event Thursday through Saturday (10am each day). It’s a $450 buyin, with the final day on Sunday.
  • The World Series of Poker Circuit event at The Bike is part of their Winnin’ o’ the Green series. It starts Friday and runs through the end of the month. The first WSOPC event is Saturday, 4 March, with the Main event beginning the next Saturday. Mega Millions XVI starts on St. Patricks’s Day, with 22 entry flights over 11 days, with a $160 buyin, and $100 addon, with a $1M GTD prize pool.
  • The South Sound Poker Championship at Little Creek Casino in Shelton—west of Olympia—starts Monday with a Super Satellite tournament ($50 including dealer addon). Super Satellite for what? Well you’ll need to call the poker room for that, but Tuesday is a $125 NLHE Seniors game, Wednesday is a $150 Bounty tournament ($1K added to prize pool), Thursday is $120 NLHE ($1K added). Next Friday is a regular $180 NLHE tournament. Saturday (11 March) is the big $340 buyin tournament with $5K added to the prize pool. Then Sunday is a Last Chance Survivor ($127 buyin). Monday and Thursday events start at 7pm, all others begin at 11am.
  • As the WPT nears the end of its run at Bay 101, it makes the second stop it the annual “California Swing” at Thunder Valley outside of Sacramento. The Rolling Thunder Main Event ($3,500) is half the buyin of the Shooting Star, and the field is typically smaller (400+ compared to Bay 101’s 700+). There are lots of multi-table satellites (beginning Sunday) and other events, including next week’s $250K GTD (starting days Wednesday through Friday), a one-day $100K GTD ($1,100 buyin) next Friday, and a $1,100 Bounty tournament where the payout for knocking out a player is $500.
  • Deepstacks Poker Tour (officially merged with rhe WPT last month after several years of working together, but still running separately in Canada) are in Calgary starting 10 March at the Grey Eagle. It opens with a C$100K GTD on Friday (C$550 buyin), features HORSE, PLO, and Survivor tournaments, and wraps up with either a C$300K or C$250K GTD Main Event, depending on which part of the schedule you look at. The Canadian dollar is currently at about 76¢US.
  • Gardens Casino in LA has an ad in the latest issue of CardPlayer nothing on their websitefor a $50K GTD game ($175 buyin with $100 addon) at 5pm on 10 March, but there’s that I can find.
  • The Venetian March Weekend Extravaganza starts 14 March (Tuesday) and runs through Sunday. The big event is a $600 buyin $200K GTD with three entry days. The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza III kicks off a week after it’s over. How time flies.

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

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 22 February 2017

Portland Poker Championship II

Coming in just over a week!


The PacWest Poker Classic got off to a bang on Friday and Saturday, with a total of 280 entries into the first event, a $340 $50K GTD NLHE 6-Max tournament. I went down to play on Sunday, and my first bullet ran into a bit of a buzzsaw on a fairly tough table. With the dealer add-on, we were starting with 17K in chips and just 85bb deep, but the second and third hands of the day at my table had pots of more than 40bb. There were 4.5x opening raises, and min c-bets, and by the end of the first break, I got a fold when I shoved my last 5K with qx2x. A suited ace on the first hand after the break didn’t fare so well and I re-entered, with the draw sending me back to the same table (different seat) and somewhat better luck. I had one pocket pair (treys) in the first two hours, then picked up kings and made my way up over both the starting stack and chip average for the first times in the day, before a player sitting in my old seat managed to move up from 8K to wiping out the 40K stack of the player on his right.

The staff planned the tournament so that everyone coming back to Day 2 was in the money (although not necessarily profitable, I met a number of players who were on their third or fourth bullet). The size of the tournament rivaled WSOPC events with slightly higher buyins (the 6-Max at Palm Beach Kennel Club won by Max Young last week had a prize pool less than the guarantee on the PacWest 6-Max), which says a lot about the number of players hungering for poker in the Northwest.

Things were running well for the first portion of the series; I expect the same will be true of the last half this weekend. Congrats to Robery Brewer, the champ who took home his unchopped share of the $80K+ pot!

I busted the tournament with enough time to head home through torrential rain in the Coast Range with at least a little light in the sky to aid visibility, but I did cash another Ignition Casino Thousandaire Maker Monday night, so my poker week was not a complete loss. Actually a bit of a profit, even after two bullets at the beach!

Poker Guys v. DNegs

Grant Denison and Stephen Levy, aka The Poker Guys, have a very successful poker podcast and they got the get of poker-related gets: an interview with Daniel Negreanu, who talks about his experience falling just short of the WSOP Main Event Final Table, among other things.

The Summer Schedules

Now that the WSOP has released its schedule, other summer series are begging to be fleshed out.

Planet Hollywood will get the ball running with their Goliath series on 26 May. The Goliath is Caesars’ less-expensive alternate to the WSOP, it runs through 10 July, and it has six capstone events, ranging from the opening $100K GTD to a $2M GTD closer.  As in past years, it includes a number of non-NLHE events, including HORSE, Big O, and a three-game Omaha mix. It’s also the venue for the Deaf Poker Tour events (starting 6 July).

Another venue for the mixed-game player is The Grand Poker Series  at the Golden Nugget  in downtown Las Vegas. It runs from 31 May to 3 July, and includes HORSE, 8-game Mix, PLO, and a $10K buyin Seniors Championship, a $100K GTD and $500K GTD, a Poker Night in America event, and, of course, Big O.

More series on the way soon.


This Week In Portland Poker

The Game has another couple of WSOP-related events this week.Tonight a 7pm is a $40 buyin/rebuy tournament  with a $20 addon. The winner receives a package including flight, hotel, and an entry in flight 5F of the Colossus III. Sunday at noon is a package to play the Ladies Championship event.

The Eleventh Annual Northwest Deaf Poker Tournament is scheduled for Portland Meadows this weekend.

Deal of the Week: PacWest Poker Classic Main Event

Sure, the series itself was last week’s pick but the Main Event this weekend at the PacWest Poker Classic at Chinook Winds Casino Resort is a difficult deal to overlook.

Not only is the Main Event a $100K guarantee for a $560 buyin and $200 addon, but it’s over on Sunday, there are no re-entries, and a number of the best players in the area are off at the World Series Circuit stop in Las Vegas for the Main Event there.

Only a Day Away

  • The $10K buyin Main Event of Commerce Casino‘s LA Poker Classic starts Saturday, with tomorrow and Friday dedicated to $1,100 mega satellites. The remaining events while the Main Event plays down include a $2,140 NLHE 6-Max (Sunday) $5,250 buyin PLO 7-Max (Monday), $2,140 Dealers Choice (Tuesday), $25K buyin NLHE Turbo 6-Max (also Tuesday), and a $1,100 $100K GTD NLHE Turbo (Wednesday). Both of the Turbo events are one day, the others are two days.
  • The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza I is coming up on its last weekend. Today and tomorrow at noon are the final flights of the $750K GTD $1,600 buyin. Friday through Sunday are entry days for the $150K GTD $250 buyin SuperStack tournament.
  • Tonight is another Wednesday satellite for the Muckleshoot Spring Poker Classic. Direct buyin starts today for the five events beginning Wednesday, 15 March ($250 Shootout; $200, $300, $500 NLHE; and $750 Main Event). A Wednesday night (7pm ) satellite win get you either:
    • Tickets to the $500 and any two of the three smaller events, or
    • Main Event ticket and one of the events excluding the $500.

    Sunday is a $250 Deepstack. Something to fall back on after Day 1 of the Main Event at Chinook.

  • The World Series of Poker Circuit Las Vegas stop this year moves to the WSOP’s home at the Rio on Friday. The opening event is a $250K GTD $365 Ring event with six starting flights (two each Friday through Sunday).
  • Chinook Winds’ PacWest Poker Classic (see above) begins Saturday.
  • There are four $550 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star mega satellites starting Sunday. Then there are three $1,100 mega satellites after that, then the events begin.
  • The Wynn Spring Classic starts tomorrow with four events and $165K in guarantees (including a Survivor with a $5K payout for $400 entry and a PLO tournament on Sunday evening). There’s a $100K with entries on Monday and Tuesday ($400) and a $750K championship that starts the next Thursday ($1,600 entry).
  • The Stones Gambling Hall in the Sacramento area has a $250,000 Spring Classic starting Friday and running through 5 March. It features a $125K GTD two-day Main Event ($450), satellites, a $10K GTD NLHE 6-Max ($200), $40K GTD NLHE Deep Stack ($350), $75K NLHE Monster Stack ($500), and a $120 NLHE on opening day. Everything except for the Main is a single day event.
  • Lucky Chances south of SF has a tournament with $20K guaranteed to 1st on Sunday.
  • Tulalip‘s Last Sunday of the Month tournament is a $20K GTD Sunday at 11am with a $220 buyin and $10 dealer appreciation.
  • The World Series of Poker Circuit event at The Bike is part of their Winnin’ o’ the Green series. It starts 3 March and runs through 31 March. The first WSOPC event is Saturday, 4 March, with the Main event beginning the next Saturday. Mega Millions XVI starts on St. Patricks’s Day, with 22 entry flights over 11 days, with a $160 buyin, and $100 addon, with a $1M GTD prize pool.

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

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 15 February 2017

Does This Make My Stack Look Big?

To be a little fair to myself, I only lost half that stack in a flip, then I lost two thirds of the rest with tens against jacks on what looked like a pretty safe board. It was the next night I made an incredibly bone-headed move in a satellite tourney for the Main Event at Chinook. A satellite tourney!

By the way, the noon $10K at Portland Meadows on Saturday had a prize pool of more than $21K


When you play poker long enough, you get to know some people, even if they’re just faces across the table, and people come and go. I’m actually kind of a wallflower when I’m not behind my computer, and I’m horrible with names. But three of the people I’ve talked to for years are all heading out of town next month (to different places).

Jack at Final Table has been a fixture in the 11am game there and I’ve been at tables with him as much as probably anyone in town. He and his wife are moving overseas.

Jason is heading to San Francisco. I met him as a dealer when I first got into live poker, and he’s the only person I’ve ever actually staked in a tournament.

I met Toma in the first Main Event I played at Chinook Winds, back when Deepstacks Poker Tour was running things. Toma impressed me with his come from the bottom play that got him to the final table (as opposed to my min-cash). He moved up to Portland from Vegas, and he’s been here for a few years, but he’s heading out.

I guess now I’m going to have to learn a few more names. Good luck, all!

On a sad good-bye, after press time this morning, I learned of the passing of Chris Vetter, known in the Portland poker community as an activist for poker, as well as a player. There’s an announcement on Facebook.

WSOP Watch

It’s only mid-February and all of the structures for the 74 events of the 2017 World Series of Poker have already been posted. Usually by this time in the season, we’re just getting the full schedule.

Deaf Poker Weekend

For several years, Chadd Baker‘s Portland Players Club was host to the Annual Northwest Deaf Poker Tournament, which was actually several tournaments over two days in an environment where deaf players were made to feel comfortable . With the demise of the PPC, this year’s series is being held at Portland Meadows on 24-25 Feb. There are three tournaments, a $50 buyin at 6pm Friday, a $100 on Saturday at 10am, and a $75 event at 6pm Saturday with $500 added to the prize money. Contact James Forncrook via the Facebook link above if you or someone you know is interested in participating.

This Week In Portland Poker

The Game has been running mostly shootouts (including some 2/5 PLO8), but this weekend is the first of their WSOP-related events. They’ve got a freeroll on Saturday at noon that gets you a flight to Vegas, two nights in a hotel, and a boat ride with the winners of the bigger packages. The winner of the Sunday event ($40 buyin, $20 addon) gets all the same stuff and a seat in Event #5 $565 Colossus III Flight F on 4 June. Flight F is the afternoon flight of the last entry day; if you get through the day, you’ll start up at 2pm Monday. There’s another seat for the Colossus being given away next Wednesday at 7pm. The buyin for that tournament is $25, with a $10 addon. A week from Saturday is an entry to the Ladies Championship.

Deal of the Week: Better Be At the Beach

It’s time once again for the PacWest Poker Classic at Chinook Winds Casino Resort, which may be the largest poker tournament in the Northwest, after the Wildhorse series.

The series has more than $200K in guarantees, and features a Main Event with a $100K guarantee. Events each day begin at noon and 6pm.

It opens this Saturday with one of the most exciting events (for me), the $50K GTD NLHE 6-Max. Entry is $300 + $30 fee + $10 dealer appreciation. Blind levels are 40 minutes (super-long for a 6-Max) and you start with 75bb (with an extra 10bb if you get the dealer appreciation). There are two entry days (Saturday and Sunday), with both flights converging on Monday (President’s Day) at 2pm. Re-entry through level 6 of each entry day.

Each night of the first weekend has satellites to the Main Event.

Monday at noon is a $15K GTD NLHE tournament ($140 with DA), and there’s another $15K on Tuesday for Seniors (50+) ($120). Both days have Main Event satellites.

Wednesday’s noon tournament is a $7,500 GTD Limit Omaha Hi/Lo ($160), with an $80 NLHE Bounty tournament in the evening. Thursday is the ever-popular $160 Big O tournament with a $15K guarantee (Main Event satellite at night. Friday’s tournament is NLHE with a $180 buyin (including DA) and an $80 addon with a $25K guarantee. There’s a satellite at 6.

Saturday morning at 10am is your last opportunity to enter a mega satellite for the Main Event, which has a $100K guarantee for a $560 buyin and $200 addon. There’s only one entry day, and this year there’s no re-entry. Day 2 starts at 11am on Sunday (26 February).

Only a Day Away

  • Commerce Casino‘s LA Poker Classic‘s $1M GTD starts today, with four entry days for the $1,100 buyin. It’s one re-entry per session, and players will reach the money on Day 1 (12%) with 10% of players going to Day 2 on Sunday. You can try to qualify for Day two up to 4 times, and receive the smallest prize for any qualifying abandoned stacks. There are $175 mega satellites (10 seats GTD) for the event through Friday evening. Saturday is a $50K GTD $175 buyin NLHE tournament, and Sunday has a $1,650 Bounty ($500 for each elimination) and a $350 HORSE tournament. Monday is a NLHE Seniors event ($570) and Omaha 8/Stud 8 ($1,100). Tuesday is a 2-day $100K GTD ($1,100 entry) and PLO8 (also $1,100). What am I doing here?
  • In Vegas at the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza I, Thursday kicks off a $600 entry $250K with 3 entry days and a final day on Sunday. Monday is the first of two entry days for a $750K 3-day $1,600 buyin.
  • Heartland Poker Tour Colorado starts its $1,650 buyin Main Event today at Golden Gates Casino west of Denver, with four entry flights through Saturday..
  • Tonight is the first Wednesday satellite for the Muckleshoot Spring Poker Classic. Direct buyin starts today for the five events beginning Wednesday, 15 Marsh ($250 Shootout; $200, $300, $500 NLHE; and $750 Main Event). A Wednesday night (7pm ) satellite win get you either:
    • Tickets to the $500 and any two of the three smaller events, or
    • Main Event ticket and one of the events excluding the $500.

    If you missed the Muckleshoot Casino Monthly Special last Sunday, you have two more specials over the next two Sundays. This weekend is the $170 Big Bounty tournament, and next weekend is a $250 Deepstack. Something to fall back on after Day 1 of the Main Event at Chinook.

  • Tomorrow is the first flight (5pm) for another $100K Catapult at Thunder Valley.
  • The World Series of Poker Circuit Las Vegas stop this year moves to the WSOP’s home at the Rio on Friday. The opening event is a $250K GTD $365 Ring event with six starting flights (two each Friday through Sunday).
  • Chinook Winds’ PacWest Poker Classic (see above) begins Saturday.
  • The first of the $550 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star mega satellites is Saturday morning at 9am. Daily satellites start up 26 Debruary and run through the beginning of the first day of the series. Speaking of which, Will Kassouf is one of this year’s Shooting Star Bounties, so here’s your chance to make $2,500 for taking him out (though he’s been on a bit of a heater lately….)
  • The Wynn Spring Classic starts next Thursday with four events and $165K in guarantees (including a Survivor with a $5K payout for $400 entry and a PLO tournament on Sunday evening). There’s a $100K with entries on Monday and Tuesday ($400) and a $750K championship that starts the next Thursday ($1,600 entry).
  • Think you won’t get enough poker to suit you at Chinook? The Stones Gambling Hall in the Sacramento area has a $250,000 Spring Classic starting 24 Feb and running through 5 March. It features a $125K GTD two-day Main Event ($450), satellites, a $10K GTD NLHE 6-Max ($200), $40K GTD NLHE Deep Stack ($350), $75K NLHE Monster Stack ($500), and a $120 NLHE on opening day. Everything except for the Main is a single day event.
  • The gimmick at Lucky Chances south of San Francisco is tournaments with guaranteed first place prizes, and the first big event of the year there is at 9:30am 26 February. It’s guaranteeing $20K for first place, with a $350 buyin. Their weekly events guarantee first place $8K (Sunday, $250 buyin), $4K (Tuesday, $200), and $2.5K (Monday, Wednesday–Saturday, $65). And those are all 9:30am tournaments.
  • Tulalip‘s Last Sunday of the Month tournament is a $20K GTD 26 February at 11am with a $220 buyin and $10 dealer appreciation.

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

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 8 February 2017

Bryce Burt


It was a busy Friday for Portland players at Commerce Casino’s Los Angeles Poker Classic. Early on Friday, as predicted, PDX represented in the Big O tournament, with Bryce Burt and Joe Brandenburg in the final six going into Day 2 of the $570, 52-entry game. Joe had the lead, with had more than twice the number of chips of the nearest contender. Both he and Bryce were already in the money, with seven places paying (and two players sharing the money for that spot).

Joe Brandenburg

Bryce took 5th place, and Joe went on to the final three-way deal. Joe and another player took less cash than the third player in the deal, but Joe managed to snag the Frederick Remington bronze statuette that LAPC awards, which he can put on the shelf along with the World Series of Poker Circuit Ring he won last fall.

But that wasn’t the only LAPC trophy coming back to Oregon after Friday.

Joey Pham

Joey Pham—who took 3rd in a PLO8 tournament on Wednesday—entered the WPT LAPC Main Event Freeroll and won a seat to the $10,000 buyin tournament that starts 25 February.

Pham bested 617 other players with a $0 investment. There was an optional $60 addon that doubled the starting stack, but Pham did a true freeroll. The seat was added to the prize pool by Commerce; the rest of the final table received $1,100 satellite entries based on the number of addons sold during the tournament. Last year’s LAPC Main Event was won by Dietrich Fast, who got just over $1M.

The Price of Poker Is Going Up

Most of the card rooms in Portland have charged $10 a day for the seven years I’ve been playing in them, whether you’re there for a single tournament or all day playing shootouts. The late, lamented Portland Players Club had a $5 entry fee for its early game back in the day, and you can still get into The Game for $5 before noon.

But the big clubs—Portland Meadows and Final Table—have both announced that they will be raising the rate by 50% to $15/day starting 3 March. That may be a little tough on players of something like the $20 morning tournament at Final Table (42% vig!) but I can’t really begrudge the clubs for having to adjust prices for the time.

To soften the blow a little, the clubs announced another 4-event series to be held over the first two weekends of March. Details to come.


Super Poker Portland

A lot of pent-up poker energy went into making the first big weekend of the poker year a success, despite attempts to ice the whole thing last Friday. An expected ice storm caused Final Table to exercise the option to call off the guarantee  Friday morning when freezing rain actually did hit PDX, but a warming trend quickly turned it to slush and floodwaters (in creeksides and parking lots), and by the time of the game at 7pm, they needn’t have bothered. The prize pool was $17,600 anyway, and the final six players made a deal for $2,000 each, with the remainder to be paid to first place. Sometime around 5:30am, that got chopped up for the final three.

And yes, I took fifth place.

I got five hours of sleep and went on a spectacular (spectacular for me, anyways) run on Saturday at Portland Meadows, going from 15K for the starting stack to 70K at the first break, and 135K before the second break addon. It was the second-largest tournament ever at Meadows, with 349 entries. It was over the guarantee more than an hour before entry closed (and before addons), cresting finally at $43,170.

I made a horrible misstep as we closed in on two tables (well into the money with 45 places paying but still far down the payout scale), opening from early position with 8s7s and more than double the average stack into another big stack on an eight high board with two clubs. Too much aggression? Playing poker for fifteen-and-a-half hours since midnight Friday (and five hours before that)? Whatever it was, it likely cost me a lot of money. I ended up losing all but about 5bb and went out a couple hands later so I could go home and kick myself.

Freedom of Choice

After seeing my article on Advanced Poker TrainingGavin Smith (the former Portlander, not the Canadian/Alaskan one), contacted me asking if I knew of any way to get training in the games played at the WSOP Dealers Choice tournaments. My own feeling is that the market for most of those games is too small to have a general training site. Most of the games aren’t even played online, you have to be in venues where there are enough mixed game players to find cash games, much less tournaments, which do have a different style. Devin Sweet‘s Monday Mix game is on hiatus, there is a Tuesday night mix game hosted at Portland Meadows by Jeremy Harkin, and there are some private games, but you can’t even really find a HORSE tournament in town now that PPC is gone.

Eugene’s Full House Poker did just post a notice in NW Poker that they are running a 31+ game Mix on Sundays and Wednesdays. Timely.

I almost played the DC at the WSOP a couple of years ago. I’m ready for a study group. Who’s ready to talk Badeucy?


In case you missed it, I did a write-up this week of my battle against a virtual Qui Nguyen on Advanced Poker Training’s Final Table Trainer. And the day before that, a little post about how to estimate when a WSOP tournament will end (and how to find other useful info).

A couple of questions over the weekend made me think that a reminder of last year’s series on equities in a 6-Max tournament (A Game That Will Live In Infamy) and a PLO8 Bounty tournament (Wild Kingdom) might be in order. Enjoy!

This Week In Portland Poker

It’s the place to be. Only another 10 days to the beach.

Deal of the Week: LAPC Satellites

I have to say that I wish I could get the time off to go down to Los Angeles to catch one of the satellites at the LAPC. Not because I think I can follow in Joey Pham’s footsteps and win a free seat, but because there have been some hefty overlays in the daily satellites for the Main Event.

Every Sunday-Thursday at 7pm, the Commerce and WPT have been guaranteeing a $10,000 Main Event seat in a mega satellite with a $225 initial buy-in (there are live $200 rebuys if you’re at or under the starting stack, and an optional $200 addon. The satellites need the equivalent of 50 buyins to make the guarantee, but they’ve been getting started with fewer than ten entrants, which means that —if you play your cards right—you could potentially win a WPT seat for substantially less than the $1,100 satellites that run on the weekends.

Only a Day Away

  • Commerce Casino‘s LA Poker Classic is nearing the end of its first month (it runs through the first days of March). This weekend’s big event is the second $300K GTD of the series, with a $570 buyin and entry days Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Friday evening is a two-day $570 Dealer’s Choice tournament, there’s a 2-seat GTD satellite for the $10K Main Event Saturday ($1,100 entry) and Sunday is the $1,100 HORSE (2 hour levels) and another 1-seat GTD Main Event Freeroll. Monday is the $1,100 PLO8/O8, thenTuesday is the start of a $1M GTD with 4 starting day ($1,100)
  • This weekend at the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza I there’s a $250K GTD $800 event with starts Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Monday is a $400 $15K GTD O8 (one day). Next weekend is another $250K GTD, but with a $600 entry.
  • Heartland Poker Tour Colorado starts tomorrow at the Golden Gate Casino west of Denver. Event #1 has three starting days (saturday is the last) with a $300 buyin. Monday is the $200 Seniors tournament, then the $1,650 buyin Main Event begins next Wednesday. Lots of satellites through the week.
  • Next week is the first Wednesday satellite for the Muckleshoot Spring Poker Classic. Direct buyin starts today for the five events beginning Wednesday, 15 Marsh ($250 Shootout; $200, $300, $500 NLHE; and $750 Main Event). A Wednesday night (7pm ) satellite win get you either:
    • Tickets to the $500 and any two of the three smaller events, or
    • Main Event ticket and one of the events excluding the $500.
  • Medford Poker Club has a $260 NLHE tournament this Saturday at noon. $225 with a $25 fee, no rebuy, $25 addon (after round 5), and a $10 dealer appreciation.
  • Thursday, 16 February is the first flight of five (2 flights on Friday and Saturday) for another $100K Catapult at Thunder Valley.
  • The World Series of Poker Circuit comes to the home the the WSOP in the first Las Vegas stop of the year at the Rio on 17 February. The opening event is a $250K GTD $365 Ring event with six starting flights (two each Friday through Sunday).
  • Chinook Winds’ PacWest Poker Classic begins a week from Saturday, with a 2-entry day $330 6-Max tournament ($50K GTD). Day 2 is on a Monday (President’s Day).
  • The first of the $550 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star mega satellites is 18 February at 9am.

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

A Few Qui Hands

The poker world’s computer-related attention has been on the “Brains vs. Bot” match between the No Limit Hold’em Heads Up artificial intelligence program Libratus and four hapless human challengers named Dong Kim, Jimmy Chou, Daniel McAulay and Jason Les, but over at Advanced Poker Training, they’ve unveiled a little something of their own.

APT associated themselves with last year’s WSOP Main Event Champion Qui Nguyen back before the final table started, running simulations for PokerNews that predicted him winning the bracelet more than any of the other players (26 of 100 simulations), and providing him with on-the-rail advice during the final table as well as simulator training in the weeks before.

They ran a sale on a subscription during Thanksgiving week, and I signed up (always eager to improve my game). I’ve been planning to do a review of their training program (which I still intend to do, but the short version is, I think it’s well worth the price to see if it works for you) but this week they unleashed the QuiNguyen bot in their Final Table Trainer, and I wanted to give a little sample.

The Final Table Trainer is just what it sounds like, a single, nine-person table where you can select the level of skill of the other opponents (Nguyen only shows up in the Hardest level), whick of the two dozen or so advisors you want to use (and whether you want them to always be looking over your shoulder or only when you ask), and relative stack size. I was using Daylian Cain, which is a real name of a Yale professor of management and marketing—I don’t know how many there can be—and the prof’s Twitter account uses the same image APT has in their list of named players, but he’s described in his advisor bio as a “Deep Thinking. Loose Aggressive” player who charges as much as $1,600/hr. for poker coaching. So I figure I’m doing good right off the bat. At least if I take his advice.

So here’s the situation at the very beginning of the trainer. I have 300K at 5K/10K/1K. 30bb. I start in middle position. Action folds to me. Daylian’s advice is covering a player to my left with 24bb and the Mike Caro bot with 34bb. The small blind has only 9bb and ends up picking up the pot.

I raise my ad8d to 3x (a little less than Daylian suggests, but then I think he’s more of a cash player). Jonathan Little calls from the small blind, then leads out for 18K—only 20% of the pot—on a flop of 2h9djc—and I fold.

Hand seven is a pair of sevens on the button. Doug Hull raises from under the gun and  I call, along with Caro in the big blind. Hull opens for 30K on the tdjs2c flop and I fold (which is also Daylian’s suggestion).

Hand 14 I get 8dtd in middle position with an unopened pot (the button is on Svetlana in Seat 9) and Daylian’s advice is to raise to 33K. I only have 22bb, though and though I’d typically play this deeper, I balk, and fold. Ditto for ac7c on the next hand.

Hand 17 is my first run-in with Nguyen, but I’m fine with that because I have aces. I start with just over 20bb in the cutoff, action folds to Nguyen, who raises to 21K. I make a bet of about 1.5 times the pot and everyone folds.

I have threes and fours on the next two hands with unopened pots. Daylian suggested a fold with the former and raise with the latter, but I fold them both. On hand 29, I get the treys again. Nguyen opens for 23K and Daylian suggests a three-bet, but I fold. Four hands later it’s deuces under the gun plus one. Daylian says to open, but I don’t, with just 21bb and blinds coming up.

I open up with jacks in hand 36, and the big blind reraises to 84K. I shove (against advice), and Svetlana folds, which puts me back where I started.

My next hand, both Daylian and I agree that jc9c can be raised to 30K, which gets through with no more action.

Daylian and I get along great until hand 60, folding pairs of fives and ragged aces, until I get The Butcher in the small blind. Calle Yang (“Tight, Aggressive Pro”) has gone all in for 11bb from late position and the only player after me (“Randy Malone”) has less than half my stack. A loss drops me down to 14bb, but I can’t lose more than that. I call against orders. Yang has qd9s and the board runs out qc8cjh8s4c giving us both queens and eights with a jack so we chop.

I pick up kh8h on the next hand (blinds are up to 7,500/15,000/1,500) and make what the program labels as a questionable fold to a 33K raise from Nguyen on the button. Daylian, at least, thinks I did the right thing.

Hand 66 I fold ad3d in early position instead of opening to 51K (~20% of my stack). We’re still nine-handed, I have 16bb and there are four stacks with 6–10bb still to act behind me. No thank you.

I make a 3x raise in middle position with ksjs. Everyone’s still in, two short stacks have managed to chip up, and if you look to my right, you can see that the Qui Nguyen bot has the lead by nearly 150K. I take the blinds and antes. I get fours the next hand and again elect to fold rather than raise (Daylian’s suggestion.

Hand 77, Malone on my left shoves 100K and Yang re-shoves from the button for 122K. Both Yang and I fold our blinds (I have 5d3h. I don’t get to see theiir cards in the replay, but Yang wins. Six hands later, Old Man Caro is wiped out by Svetlana.

I fold my way down to 10bb by Hand 96 when I pick up a pair of tens. I’m the short stack on the seven-handed table and I open-shove from the cutoff despite advice to bet a third of my stack. Nobody calls and I’m still below my starting stack.

I have tsah on the next hand when the Nguyen-bot raises to 38K (627K behind). I shove for 189K (which the program labels “Interesting Bet — Preflop,” and pick up the pot.

I get a “Questionable Fold — Preflop” with a pair of fives on the button facing a raise to 32K from Yang on Hand 152. My Daylian says “Call” but my finger says “Fold.”

I shove thkc as second-to-act a few hands later where Daylian says the only thing to do is fold. But it works.

Hand 107. I’m on the button with 255K and adks. Little’s bot raises to 32K from the cutoff. He has 470K, second only to Nguyen (with 682K), and I push back. The advice is to raise to 93K, but I push my whole stack in (only 15bb or so) and get a fold.

Four hands later and it’s a suited ace. Here I just call the raise from Yang to 36K (advice is to fold) and get a flop if 5c9d4c. Yang bets 44K and I fold.

On the big blind three hands on and Yang raises the button to 36K. I call with kh8h and we see the flop of qc7das. I check and fold to Yang’s c-bet.

Action folds to me in the cutoff with qd8d and I shove 13bb. The button and small blind have more than I do but I have the big blind covered by three or four blinds. Daylian only recommends a raise.

I shove with adks under-the-gun plus one on hand 119 and get folds all around. Nguyen is still in the lead (661K) but Yang’s taken 2nd (581K), with Little in third (442K).

Hand 123 is another “Interesting Bet — Preflop” (I do like how they don’t just say: “Bad.” Yang opens to 46K with the blinds at 10K/20K/2K, and I shove tsah. I only have half Yang’s chips but the 3-bet gets a fold.

But I fold 4had on the next hand even though the pot’s unopened and I’m in a later position than Yang. Why? Because I don’t plan on folding if I raise.

It’s hand 127 and I open to 60K under-the-gun with tsth and 250K behind. Everyone folds.

Hand 131 I open shove with 6d6s in the cutoff and pick up the pot.

Hand 133 and I open to 60K with 9sjs. Daylian says 70K but I try to keep it simple. Folds around and I’m at 400K.

Hand 142 and I get ad2d in the big blind. Everyone folds to Nguyen, and the bot raises to 48K. I call (agreeing with Daylian). The flop comes down 4cqhjh. Nguyen bets 46K and I fold with 304K left. Fourth of seven with all the smaller stacks in a line on my left (and the bigger stacks in a line on my right).

I ignore Daylian’s advice to raise tcjs from the cutoff and fold hand 145. I shove ah4h under-the-gun on Qui Nguyen’s big blind!. Ace-high like a boss!

I do not fold qhkc on hand 159 when Jonathan LIttle opens under-the-gun to 42K. No! I shove and everyone bows to my poker might!

Yang (still in second place to Nguyen with Little well behind) opens her button to 44K on my big blind with acjd. I have less than 14bb and shove to pick up the pot.

182 hands in and I’m down to 11bb at 12.5K/25K/2.5K. I fold a pair of fours against advice to raise. Five hands later, it’s jsqd and I open with a shove to 11bb for a win.

I fold jhkd from the small blind to a shove by one of the small stacks, then a pair of sixes on the button to another all in (and a call). I ignore advice to open for 3.5x (from a 9BB stack)with 7dac and shove instead. Yang calls with kdqd from the big blind, catching a qh on the turn but losing when I get as on the river. The double up puts me in a close third (with Nguyen still in the lead).

I fold jh8h under-the-gun on the next hand, then Doug Hull is all in with the shortest stack (less than 5bb) on my big blind. Yang calls.

My advisor says to fold here. I feel that Yang’s is sheerly a position call, and Yang-bot has 14bb behind if it folds. I’ve got one of the strongest hands in Hold’em. I shove instead. Yang folds, the board runs out 2s2cqhqs6s and I become chip leader with six players remaining.

ks7s in an unraised pot two hands later is advised as a raise, but I fold. Meanwhile, Nguyen has doubled up Little, who’s not in second place about 160K behind me.

Little moves up as I fold a series of hands, until hand 205, when he opens under-the-gun for a little over 2x and I push it from 58K to 140K with ahqh on the button. I have top pair/top kicker on the qs7h5h flop—as well as the nut flush draw—and over-shove for my remaining 531K. Little-bot folds.

qc7c on the next hand, I fold against advice. qctc on hand 207 and I open for 75K. Yang calls. The flop isn’t as quite as good as it was two hands ago, but 7c5c[6g] is reasonable. Yang checks from the big blind and I bet another 75K (less than the 120K recommended). Yang folds, and is now down under 12bb.

asac on the next hand and I open for 75K. Everyone folds. Hand 208 and I am the first player to one million chips with Little the closest at half my stack and just six players remaining (including me).

I raise ahts in the next round as second-to-act, then qd9d under-the-gun. I fold a big blind 3has to a raise and 3-bet, then 6c5c in the small blind to a 60K open. Fold khjc on the button. with a Little open and Nguyen 3-bet.

My next big blind, both the short(est) stacks shove and I have asjc with no other players left to act. The program labels this as a “Questionable Call”, but with 800K and the chip lead even if I lose, I have to disagree. Even Daylian said to fold. And maybe they were right. as Lebedeva under the gun makes a set of deuces on the flop. Villegas has queens, but an ace on the turn eliminates him, and I pick up a side pot of 52K, though Lebedeva snaps up into the tight competition between second, third, and fourth place (less than 1bb separating the three of them).

On the button, I have thah and 3-bet Yang to 250K (more than the 188K suggested), The flop is fantastic: 2h8hjh, and the nut flush.

Yang bets 220K, leaving only 24K behind and I just call. ad on the turn, Yang puts in the last chips, I call with the nuts, and the river brings the 8s making a full house for Yang’s 2d2s. I really don’t see any way of avoiding that result; I’ve got the nuts on the flop and Yang’s committed with the set. The loss knocks me back to 366K (14bb) and fourth place on the table. Yang takes over the lead.

My next hand is 7d4d and Kayllian suggests a raise to 83K. I fold. ON hand 230, I get an “Interesting Bet — Preflop” note. I’m in the big blind with tdjs. Under-the-gun opens to 55K. Nguyen calls from the small blind. I squeeze for 308K, less than either of the other two players, but for a significant portion of their stacks. I get two folds and move up close to third.

The Little-bot shoves on hand 231 and I go against advice to shove a pair of sizes from the small blind. Little has 7cas and misses the 9s4h2h9h3h board. I almost get a straight flush. Down to four, but more importantly, I’m in second place.

qhqc on the next hand and Nguyen opens to 63K. I go a bit beyond the recommendation and put in almost half my stack for a 325K 3-bet. Everyone folds and I have over 800K again. I raise to 75K with ad5d on the next hand and take the blinds and antes.

Nguyen raises my big blind (4h3s) and I fold. Yang opens to 63K on my small and I fold 8cas: there’s going to be a lot of this coming up.

Nguyen-bot raises under-the-gun and I 3-bet him again to 265K, with acqs. This time he calls, the flop is ks6s7h, he checks to me and I bet 300K (with just 247K behind). He only has 259K and calls with ahjd, then gets lucky as the turn is 7s and river is 6d. We split the pot.

I fold tc9s (advice is to raise to 85K), then squeeze over a 63K raise from Lebdeva and call from Nguyen. I have both of them covered, and they both fold. The win puts me back in the lead by all of 20K.

I raise the small blind to 90K as the blind level goes up to 15K/30K/3K, Lebedeva folds the big blind and I’m back to a million.

Waylian recommends a fold of my ah7c under the gun, but I raise to 90K. Lebedeva—the current short stack—shoves 232K and everyone folds.

Yang opens to 66K next, and I 3-bet with acjs. Yang folds. I stay pretty quiet for a while, drifting down from 1 million to 850K as Yang chips up over a million. I open to 90K when Yang and Nguyen fold to me small blind, and take Lebedeva’s big.

Nguyen makes another under-the-gun open on hand 256. I 3-bet with 9dkd (advice is to call) and take it down pre-flop.

On our next blinds, Nguyen opens for 75K into my askd and I raise to 300K, more than half his stack. That wins.

9s9h on the button. I open to 90K (with Lebedeva and Yang in the small and big blind, respectively). Lebedeva shoves (196K), Yang folds, and I call). It’s a race against Lebedeva’s jskc but the cards go all around with 7s8dqdas2s. It’s me (1.29M), Yang (931K), and Nguyen (485K) after hand 260.

At this point, I’m mostly going to let these guys beat up on each other. I don’t care which one I get heads-up with so long as I get heads-up. But I do call a button raise to 63K from Yang on my big blind, with 9hqd (that’s also the advice). I check call 60K (against advice) on the flop of 3h3d4s, then check fold to a bet on the kd turn.

Yang’s up to 1.2M ten hands later, I’m at 1M, and Nguyen’s holding steadish at 444K. I raise to 90K from the small blind with jc8c. Yang calls and I bet another 90K when the flop is 2h8s3s. Yang folds.

90K as a raise from the button with ksah on hand 272 wins. On the next hand, Yang raises the button and Nguyen strikes with an all in from the small blind to win.

After Nguyen folds his button a couple hands later, Waylian advises a raise to 102K for my small blind hand of 9c4d. I’m just not doing that here against the other large chip stack. I fold. I do raise ac8d in the same position two orbits later. Yang calls. The flop is 5hjcqd. Waylian wants a c-bet of 117K, but I check, followed by Yang. 2s on the turn and I check again (this time with approval). Yang checks. We both check the 5c on the river, Yang shows 9c7s and I take it with an ace kicker for the pair on the board.

I get adkh and raise a small blind for a win. Meanwhile, the stacks have evened out somewhat. Nguyen is in third, but he’s pushed his way up to 765K. Yang has 837K, and I’m in the upper 900Ks.

On hand 285, Nguyen raises to 69K and I call from the big blind with ah7s. I call 60K on the 3h3dqc flop and 78K more on the 6c turn, but balk at the 150K river (jh) bet of 150K.

Nguyen calls from the small blind as the chip leader on hand 288. I check and the flop is 3c9h9c. 8c on the turn, 2c on the river and both checked. I win the hand with the deuces. Nguyen had [td5h].

Nguyen raises to 75K from the small blind on hand 291. I re-raise to 180K with ah5d in the big blind. He has just over 1M remaining (I have 727K behind)> The flop is kcjh8h and he continues with a bet of 150K. I fold.

The next hand I call his button raise of 66K from the small blind with tc8c. Yang folds. The flop is 8d9ckc and I bet 90K. Nguyen calls.]2h on the turn and I bet 150K. Nguyen folds. The win puts me back in second place.

I raise a small blind to 150K with black sizes and Yang folds.

Blinds are up to 20K/40K/4K when Yang raises from the button to 100K. Nguyen folds and I reraise to 320K with tstc in the big blind. Yang has 516K behind and folds. On a button, I open to 120K with qsac and get folds. There hasn’t been a hand go to a flop for anyone for a while. I get a walk the next hand. Yang’s far behind with 445K. At 1.06M, I’m close to Nguyen’s 1.2M.

I fold a button 5d7d despite advice. Similarly, Waylian suggests a raise to 136K in the small blind with 4skc and I ignore him. I do raise adjh to 120K on the button. Nguyen calls, the flop is 8c6h7d and I just let him have it when he bets 110K.

Yang shoves for 425K on hand 309. Nguyen folds, and I decide to take a shot at the knockout here with a call (Waylian says: Fold). It’s for slightly more than half my stack (less if you consider that I’m already in for the big blind. Yang has 3cah, I catch a ten on the flop, Yang has a gutshot wheel draw on the turn, and then catches the ace on the river. Back to the basement.

A couple of hands later, khac on the button and I shove for less than 10bb. Nobody calls.

I make the program mad by folding deuces in the small blind to a Nguyen button raise for a quarter of my stack, then shove ks7s on my own button. Yang calls from the small blind with 8d8h but I get the king on the river and get back into second place, leaving Yang with only 7bb.

Yang shoves the next hand with kd7s on the button. I have qhks in the big blind, the board runs out 3ckc6had8h and this time there’s no chop. I win the hand and go heads-up with the Qui Nguyen bot.

Nguyen-bot has almost 60% of the chips, but I have the advantage of being human. The first contest of the heads-up is hand 323 (from the start of the final table). Nguyen raises from the button to 84K. I call with 3ckh. I have an open-ended straight draw on the flop of jcqcth, I check, Nguyen bets and I shove. Nguyen folds, I fold a couple of ragged jacks, then raise 3sac from the small blind only to have Nguyen call. The flop is garbage for me 9s5d9h, but when Nguyen checks I shove and he folds.

I raise kc5s and Nguyen calls (by this point, I’ve pulled ahead of him by 150K). I have top pair on a board of 2c4c5d and shove. He folds.

Two hands later I call his opening raise to 92K with 7hjd. The flop is 6d6c2c and I check fold to his bet.

I limp from the button with jc8d. Nguyen checks. The flop is 5h9s9d and we both check. On the qd turn, Nguyen bets 40K. I call. 8c on the river makes my two pair, Nguyen checks and shows jd7d. I take the pot.

Nguyen raises the button to 88K, my advisor says call but I 3-bet to 256K and Nguyen-bot folds. I have 1.57M and our positions have reversed since the beginning of the heads-up match.

I open to 160K with 9skd (about half again what is recommended) and Nguyen calls. The flop is tdjs6s, he bets 136K and even with an over card and gut-shot straight draw, I fold to wait for a better spot.

Nguyen opens to 88K and I shove with 4h4d. Not recommended. After my pre-flop fold on the next hand, he folds to my acqh. I’ve got about a 300K (7bb) advantage in a 67bb world.

Hand 338 I’m on the button and open black tens to 100K. Nguyen calls, the flop is 2hjs3d and I shove. Nguyen folds.

I shove on him the next hand with jh7h when he opens for 100K, and he folds, then I open-shove with 6hah from the button. I’m up 1.7M to 1M.

Nguyen folds his button on the next hand, then I raise 3d3s the next hand and get another fold.

He raises a hand and I fold, then I bet 120K on the button with 6s6h. That’s also the advice Waylian gives, but the analyzer rates it as a “Questionable Bet — Preflop.” The Nguyen-bot 3-bets to 364K. Against advice, I shove, and Nguyen calls with qsqd. I double him up and he’s ahead 5:2.

I shove 7c9c (advice is to call) over Nguyen’s 88K raise on the next hand. He folds. I shove adts and he folds. He raises my big blind while I’m holding 2stc and I fold. 9sjh is an open-shove. He calls with ac6h, my nine pairs on the flop, and I retake the lead on hand 348.

I fold 3d6s to a raise, then shove kh4d. Nguyen-bot calls with 7had and it’s all over on the river.

Of course, this is not the same as actually playing against Qui Nguyen, and it doesn’t have the stress and environmental factors of a live game with $8.5M up top. I got lucky on my last two hands, winning my all-in with a 43% hand and knocking out Nguyen with only a 36% chance.

Still, I went into the heads-up with the Nguyen-bot with a plan to force the simulation of a high-variance player into high-variance situations.

I hope to do an in-depth review of APT at some point soon, but here’s a little bit about what I could learn from this particular matchup.

I’m particularly fond of this chart, which is produced for each APT session. I’m not necessarily a favorite going into a hand, but in more than half of the hands I played to the turn, I improved my equity (not the case for every one of my sessions on APT). On this particular tournament, I got an overall rating of 115 on APT’s Poker IQ,” with 160 as the max and 100 as the mean average. And I did better (adjusted for luck) than 83% of the other players on the site (though I will point out that falls 2% short of even the 15% payout field of a WSOP event). The chart produced for each session includes ratings for your performance on each street, as well as standard session stats like VPIP and CBET%, situations where you or an opponent raised (with playback links), hands where you won or lost the most, hands you’ve tagged, and hands the analyzer rates aas questionable or interesting. You can view a sample report here.

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 1 February 2017

From “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” on Netflix. The baby has a royal flush.


As I mentioned last month, the @limonpoker account has been scrubbed from Twitter, though he’s still the major presence at “Live at the Bike”. A couple of people have taken up his gauntlet of releasing older #PokerSesh material ( a way for them to potentially make some money from YouTube advertising revenue and for Limon to not have to do any work to promote himself). One of those folks (posting as PokerSesh on YouTube)  selected my first segment with Limon from a couple of years ago, and here it is in all its unglory. The phone connection was horrible, I couldn’t hear Limon well, I’m garbled in the recording, and as this was recorded during the period when Limon was affiliated with CrushLivePoker, at one point Bart Hanson called in to say I was a horrible interviewee. I do miss his presence on Twitter,we had some back and forth a couple times a week,


WSOP Schedule

2017 48th Annual WSOPThe schedule was released just after I posted last week’s Planner. so I didn’t get a chance to go through it. Here’s some info about the first couple of weeks of this year’s WSOP.

The tag-team event last year proved so popular that the WSOP decided to give the high rollers their own version, and Event #2 (starting on 31 May along with Event #1 Casino Emplotees) is a $10K Tag Team Championship. 2–4 players per team (it’s $10K per team). Got three friends you think are good poker players? Last year’s $1K tag team had 863 teams with more than 2,000 players. It was won by top pros Ryan Fee and Doug Polk, and the final table included teams like Marvin Rettenmaier and Mohsin Charania; Owais Ahmed, Adam OwenBenny Glaser, and Bart Lybaert; and the Little family of LarryRita, and their son, Jonathan. So competition for the $10K version will be fierce. The $1K version is Event #10, five days later.

The first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (2–4 June) are the six starting flights of the Colossus III. This year is an $8M guarantee, with $1M guaranteed to the winner. With the current payout structures going down to 15%, the money bubble breaks before the end of play on Day 1. Last year, every day but 2A broke the bubble during Level 12 (800/1,600/200), and 2A broke at the very end of Level 11.

Don’t ignore the options for online play while you’re in Las Vegas. There are numerous online satellites for bracelet events at WSOP.com, if you play your cards right you can get a seat to a $1K for $33. There are also three online bracelet events this year, with the first of those 3 JuneEvent #8 $333,333 Guarantee. It’s a 1-day tournament with a $333 entry and unlimited rebuys. 15 minute blinds. The other two online events aren’t until July: Event #61 $3,333 NLHE High Roller (1 July) and Event #71 $1,000 NLHE Championship (7 July).

Mixed-game players are going to like the first full week with:

  • Event #11 $1,500 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed (5 June, Monday)
    Hold’em Limit Hold’em Razz Seven Card Stud Seven Card St Hi-Lo 8 or Better Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Regular Pot-Limit Hold’em Pot-Limit Omaha Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Big O Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Pot-Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw A-5 Lowball Triple Draw Badugi Badeucy Badacy No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw No-Limit Five-Card Draw High
  • Event #13 $1,500 NL 2-7 Lowball Draw (Tuesday)
  • Event #14 $1,500 HORSE (Wednesday)
  • Event #16 $1,500 NLHE 6-Max (Thursday)
  • Event #18 $565 PLO (Friday & Saturday)

All those events run three days, but the PLO game at the end of the week has two entry days, presumably because they expect the demand to be so high.

That Friday (9 June) is also the first entry flight for Event #19 THE GIANT, a $365 entry NLHE tournament that runs every Friday until 7 July. Then returnees play out the last two days starting 8 July. This is similar to a lot of the series in Los Angeles, where they build a large prize pool from mostly regular players over a long period. With five srtarting flights and a low buyin, this has the potential to rival the Colossus for total players.

Event #20 $1,500 Millionaire Maker starts 10–11 June with the $1M guarantee for first place.

And after that there are 54 more events…

Tulalip Pow Wow $100K

I got word on Monday that local crusher Max Young chopped the Main Event at Tulalip for more than $20,000.


It took about 30 minutes for a friend to text me that he knew where my missing card cap was. But I have gotten a couple of comments about the No Player marker I’m using. Considering how much I’ve been playing the past month (and how much I’ve cashed), it seems pretty accurate.

I had an okay start in Saturday’s $10K at Portland Meadows, one of the first times I’d had a chance to play there on the weekend. I rivered a straight against a turned set of kings and doubled up (after losing about a third of my stack), then I lost a couple of big hands, called with 9ctc against qcqh (the same player whose kings had lost) and flopped 9h6c3c but didn’t manage to pull it out of the hat and busted before the second break. Only poker I played in the past week!

Deal of the Week: Super Poker Portland

You cannot beat the deal you’re getting here in town this weekend. Friday night is the first of the month, which means Final Table is having their First Friday $20K. It’s always a good tournament (though Final Table needs to get someone to update their web site! because it’s now two months behind). It’s an $80 buyin with live rebuy and a $40 addon. Game starts at 7pm.

Portland Meadows is having a couple of special events for Superbowl Weekend, with a $20K of their own on Saturday at noon. $90 buyin with re-entry, and $60 addon. Drag your butt off the couch you crashed on after playing late into the night on Friday and head on over.

On Superbowl Sunday, if you’re not otherwise occupied, Meadows has a $150 Freezeout with a 30K stack at noon. The football game doesn’t start until 3:30; by then you’ll either be deep in the tournament or you can go home to quench your sorrows in Coors Light.

As of Tuesday night, weather forecasts are predicting snow again in Portland; weather, do not make me come up there to slap you for messing with my weekend of poker!

Only a Day Away

  • Commerce Casino‘s LA Poker Classic has a $570 Big O game tomorrow night. HORSE on Friday (also $570). And there’s a $570 Survivor tournament on Monday that pays 10% of the field an even amount, with chip leaders at specified times before the field reaches 10% qualifying.
  • The Winter SuperStack is closing in on the $C250K Main Event in Calgary. Starting flights are Friday through Sunday, with a C$1,500 ($1,145) buyin. Last year’s Winter Super Stack paid $41K–$52K for the top three finishers with more then C$400K in the prize pool.
  • The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza I started Monday. Thursday and Friday are starts for the $300KGTD MSPT Poker Bowl an $1,100 entry with day 2 on Saturday.There’s a $100K Bounty tournament on Saturday at noon.
  • Heartland Poker Tour Colorado starts at the Golden Gate Casino west of Denver next week.
  • In two weeks, $125 satellites start for the Muckleshoot Spring Poker Classic. Direct buyin starts today for the five events beginning Wednesday, 15 Marsh ($250 Shootout; $200, $300, $500 NLHE; and $750 Main Event). A Wednesday night (7pm ) satellite win get you either:
    1. Tickets to the $500 and any two of the three smaller events, or
    2. Main Event ticket and one of the events excluding the $500.

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

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 25 January 2017

Late-Breaking News for the Morning

Full schedule released about a month before usual.


MISSING: BRONZIE. LAST SEEN: A couple of weeks ago (either that or it’s lost on the floor of my office somewhere).

Have You Seen Me?

UPDATE: Bronzie has been found. And not on my office floor.

I started using the hat off of a toy Simpsons figurine (Professor Frink) as my card cap a number of years ago, after dealer Matt Johnson squawked at me to get my damn Hawthorne Bridge rivet off of his cards (back during one of the renovations, the county sold rivet heads they’d cut off as souvenirs). The original was plastic and painted silver with a red top (it’s supposed to be a kitchen colander, with some sort of electric arc generators built onto it), but after being carried around to a lot of games, the plastic was bending and the paint was coming off.

So when I headed down to Las Vegas in the summer of 2012 for a couple of weeks, I took an afternoon to make a 3D model of the hat (with Blender, an open-source—free—modeling program) and sent the model off to Shapeways, a company that will print your 3D files in anything from plastic to platinum. I ordered four card caps, three in metal, and one in a metallic plastic. Two of the metal caps were delayed for finishing, but I got the plastic cap and ‘Bronzie’ (pictured above) in time for the Vegas trip. The plastic proved too brittle for carrying around in my pocket, but I used Bronzie and his mates ever since, in almost every game for the past four-and-a-half years (above, he’s pictured next to my stack in the biggest cash I’ve ever had at a tournament, back at Encore Club a couple years ago).

One of the caps is solid silver, but Bronzie and Goldie are both stainless steel at heart (Goldie is electroplated with—wait for it—gold).

I’ve walked away from tables a number of times leaving one of the caps behind, but someone’s always called me back or I’ve felt in my pocket at the last minute. But I’ve finally lost one of the set, and near as I can guess, it was at a home game two weeks back. If anyone runs across Bronzie, I’d appreciate getting it back, it’s not worth very much, and I can always get another one printed, but it’s served me well.

I had to go to the $10K at Final Table (yay! the snow is mostly gone!) with a backup (above) on Friday. Blasted through my first buy-in, built my way up from 5K of my second buyin (and the addon), then ran qxqx into jxjx all in on the flop and a jack on the river.


It’s been a harsh few weeks of winter, but except for a few dirty snow piles, it’s mostly gone from the metro area. Except for some roads closed by landslides and some gargantuan potholes, driving’s back to normal. Even I84 is open again.

In fact, pretty much everything is open with the exception of Rialto, which is going to be closed for some weeks yet, after a fire on the upper floors of the building.

A Shameless Plug

For any Breaking Bad fans who also happen to be Lord of the Rings geeks.

For anyone too young to remember the original…

Calgary Shout-Out

If you’re missing the cold and you want a shot at a free seat in the WSOP Main Event, the Deerfoot Inn & Casino is giving away a seat to the champ at their Winter SuperStack that starts tomorrow. Nonstop flights from Portland for a little more than $500 round-trip. Temperatures guaranteed to be below 0°C.

Deal of the Week: Groundhog Weekend at the Venetian

Not literally, because 2 February is on a Thursday, but the first weekend of the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza I has two events for the shot-taker.

Friday, 3 February, is the second of two entry days for Event #7, an $1,100 buyin $300,000 Guarantee tournament with Day 2 on Saturday. This will be a relatively small tournament, because of the buyin, and you might think that the field would be full of hardcore grinders, but of the 21 players who cashed in last winter’s opening weekend event, the only big name was Annette Obrestad. Not only that, but there was an overlay of nearly $20,000, with just a $200,000 guarantee, so they’re sticking their neck out upping this year’s guarantee. Or maybe it’s like throwing chum in the water to attract the sharks.

If you bust out on Friday or during the first three hours Saturday, you can get into the $100,000 Guarantee, $1,100 buyin bounty. Each bounty is $300, so if you can get 8 bounties you can make both buyins back without even cashing! Mmmm, bounties.

Only a Day Away

  • Commerce Casino‘s LA Poker Classic has a $300K Guarantee with a $350 buyin starting today. Two entry flights per day through Saturday. Saturday night is a mega satellite for the WPT event held a month from now.
  • The Tulalip Poker Pow Wow has a  $100K Guarantee this weekend with a $520 buyin. Entry days are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. 1PM on the first two days and 11am on Saturday.
  • Poker Night in America at Thunder Valley is winding down this weeked, Saturday and Sunday is filming for the $25/$50 cash game, and this weekend is also a $250K Guaranteed Main Event with a $1,100 buyin (entry days Friday and Saturday, with two more days of play Sunday and Monday).
  • The Winter SuperStack (mentioned above) has its first event tomorrow, a C$100K Guarantee for a C$550 buyin (that’s $76K and $420, approximately), but the tantalizing eventsthis weekend is Friday night’s C$330 4-Game Mix tournament (PLO, Omaha Hi-Lo, Stud, Stud Hi-Lo) and Saturday night’s C$330 PLO Bounty (with C$100 bounties).
  • If you head up to the Seattle area for the $100K at Tulalip but bust out on Day 1, you might wander down to Muckleshoot Casino for their 5th Sunday $3K Added tournament ($330 buyin).
  • The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza I starts Monday.

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