PNW Poker Leaderboard 18 June 2018

I started to write up a report about my trip to Las Vegas last weekend, but I wanted to get the leaderboard out in a timely fashion. Then the Father’s Day weekend stuff started up, I was getting a grill for my father, trying to coordinate a visit his house with my brother, yada yada yada…. Let’s just say I went down with my coworker Ben, I played a Survivor tournament and some satellites of the World Series, and I bricked everything.

Ben plays his first WSOP-related event, a $185 turbo mega satellite.

Still, that was better than this weekend, when I went out to my dad’s place on Saturday morning to help him replace the lower deck on his house, and within about three minutes managed to break my wrist. I’d been hoping to make it back to Vegas before the Main Event, but that doesn’t seem likely.

So let us just get on the show.

There were seven newcomers to the leaderboard this week but none of them breached the $10,000 mark; try harder next time you guys! Seriously though, if I could type I might have added you to list.

The two big numbers this week were from World Series of Poker Event #28: $3,000 NLHE 6-Handed. Portland’s very own Wayne Harmon got his third WSOP cash of the season, placing 21st out of the field of 868. Darren Rabinowitz took fifth place in the same tournament, a contest where Tony Dunst and Jason Mercier didn’t quite make the final two tables.

The Wynn $100K guarantees produced a couple of other big scores for Northwest players. Warren Maxwell of New Castle, Washington, came in right behind Greg Raymer at third place in the Seniors edition. Nicholas Powers from Renton made 4th place in an open event the previous day.

People are even making big money on smaller buying: Tommy Kivela from Olympia cashed in three $250 WSOP Deepstacks last week, making the final table in two of them, including 3rd place in last Monday’s event.

Now that we’re halfway through the WSOP, I intended to restart the Planner, since it’s time to start putting together trips for the post-Series summer, but I might wait another few weeks.

PNW Poker Leaderboard 12 June 2018

Nhathanh Nguyen

You can’t get a much better start to your poker history than Nhathanh Nguyen of Mukilteo, Washington got this week, with fifh place in the World Series of Poker Event #13: $1,500 Big Blind Antes NLHE. It’s Nguyen’s first and only (so far) entry in his Hendon Mob profile, and it puts him in the top 10% of the 3,500 Oregon, Washington, and Idaho poker players that I track (those with more than $3K in lifetime winnings).

I wanted to include someone in the last leaderboard report with a bunch of other mix game players, for a win at the Venetian Deepstack Championship Poker Series #43 $50K GTD HORSE. The winner report from the Venetian listed the winner as August Dodine from Portland, so there’s a Hendon Mob profile with that name and a single cash. But when I went looking for a winner photo on the Venetian Poler Room blog, the final table chip count and caption named the winner as August Bodine, and there’s a guy with that name in Hendon Mob, but he lists Vegas as his home. Anyway, congrats to anyone winning a HORSE tournament,

Dylan Wilkerson (#9 on the leaderboard) leads the way for the usual suspects, with a 3rd in the Venetian DCPS #50 $400K GTD NLHE Bounty.

And #1 on the PNW Poker Leaderboard, Scott Clements slightly increased his more than $7.5 million in lifetime earnings with 7th place in the WSOP #15: $1,500 HORSE.

PNW Poker Leaderboard 07 June 2018

It’s been a great start to the summer season in Las Vegas for mixed-game players from the Pacific Northwest, not the least of which was Jeremy Harkin’s take-down early this morning of the bracelet for World Series of Poker Event #12: $1,500 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed, closing it out against two-time bracelet winner Frankie O’Dell, with an active rail of Portland-area players supporting him (including Liz Brandenburg, who live-streamed the end on Facebook). For the uninitiated, the Dealer’s Choice tournament has 20 possible games to select. I owe Jeremy a lot of thanks for offering me cheap digs in Vegas two summers ago, when I really needed a break so that I could take the WSOP reporting job.

New players on the leaderboard this edition include Chad Campbell of Seattle whose first recorded Hendon Mob cash is a 2nd-place finish in the $1,600 buyin Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza III $250K GTD PLO MonsterStack. That’s a pretty nice way to start off the record.

Tukwila’s Tamir Hasan took 1st at the Grand Poker Series #12 Mixed PLO8/O8/Big O for what is only his second recorded cash; he min-cashed in an O8 tournament at the WSOP in 2016.

WSOP #9 $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo was a hunting ground for established PNW players. There were 4 PNW players in the top 15 of the 169-entry  tournament. Dylan Linde (Couer D’Alene) and Talon White (Sheridan) took 15th and 14th, respectively (it’s Linde’s 44th WSOP cash and White’s first). Steve Chanthabouasy took 12th (his 14th WSOP cash). Adam Coats made it all the way to 3rd (WSOP cash number 11), doubling his lifetime recorded earnings.

In non-mixed game news, it wouldn’t be a leaderboard report without a six-figure cash from Almedin Imsirovic, taking 2nd in the $26K buyin Aria High Roller 82Matt Affleck grabbed first place in the Venetian DSE3 #28 $500K GTD.

Back on the wild side, Jesse Hampton of Mercer Island came in 3rd in WSOP #8 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball.

Here’s Worm’s group victory shot. I wish I’d been there for you, man! Maybe I can just Photoshop my way in…

PNW Poker Leaderboard 4 June 2018

This edition of the Leaderboard is dominated by—well, pretty much consists just of—Kate Hoang’s heads-up finish in WSOP Event #4 $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better.

Washington-based Hoang’s tournament record only extends back to 2015, but this is her second time in two-way contention for a WSOP bracelet. All but one of her recorded cashes are in Omaha, and that one was mixed PLO/NLHE. Last summer, she made the final table of the WSOP’s $10,000 PLO8 Championship in a 207-player field.

While we’re on the subject of PNW women crushing poker, see Chad Holloway’s interview with Diana Monnette, the Venetian Poker Room’s social media director. Monnette was raised outside of Portland, and attended both PCC and Oregon State before moving to Las Vegas and entering the poker media world.

And check out PokerNews‘s interview with Lena Evans about the Poker League of Nations, which plans to hold free cocktail parties and $300 satellites for WSOP Main Event seats for female players this season. No specific

PNW Poker Leaderboard 31 May 2018

The first result from a Northwest player from the 2018 World Series of Poker is in!

Bellevue’s Noah Bronstein min-cashed Event #2 $10,000 NLHE Super Turbo Bounty, a one-day bracelet event that drew 243 entries. 37 players cashed, Bronstein came in 28th.

Typically, a high five-figure cash would be more than enough to make the leaderboard, but I was a bit conflicted on this one, because Seth Davies (Bend) was playing the Super High Roller Bowl in the PokerGO Studios at Aria where the buyin was $300K. He bubbled the event but picked up three $30K deposits from players who didn’t show up.

PNW Poker Leaderboard Update 08 May 2018

Kindah Sakkal at the WSOP Circuit Baltimore Monster Stack (photo by Sam Cosby from

One of the cool things about weeks when there’s not a whole lot going on is a name that you haven’t run across before pops to the front. The fact that there hadn’t been anything big in the last week meant that Washington state’s Kindah Sakkal (#125 on the overall PNW leaderboard this week, and #73 in Washington) was the only name that got picked out of the hat by the magic algorithm.

Sakkal’s had a nice run on the WSOP Circuit leading into the summer. Nothing huge by itself, but four final tables in Circuit Ring events in 2018 so far, with two at Thunder Valley, one at Planet Hollywood, and another in Baltimore (just the last day of April), along with three other Circuit cashes.

Sakkal finished 4th in the massive 1,022-entry WSOPC Main Event in Cherokee, North Carolina last summer, her best recorded tournament cash to date; more than two-thirds of her 38 recorded cashes (all in the last four years) have been n WSOP/WSOPC events.

April’s Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard

Results for the Wildhorse Spring Poker Round Up are in the Hendon Mob database, so it’s time to do a little update of the leaderboard. It’s been a month since the last real update, and in addition to Wildhorse, there’s been a fair amount of action for Northwest players outside of Northwest venues.

First, though, a couple of words about how the sausage gets made. I compile this info from Hendon Mob’s state-level leader boards by looking for differences in the “money won” numbers from week to week.  I check Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. I’d include British Columbia if I could, but Hendon Mob doesn’t break Canadian provinces out separately like they do for states in the US.

I only track players with $3K or more of reported earnings on the leaderboard. The Hendon Mob leaderboard doesn’t track recurring or daily tournaments. And because this is all just the Poker Mutant doing all the work for free, I can’t highlight everyone in my write-ups or every cash, much as I might want to.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you might notice that while I link to the Hendon Mob payout pages (or direct sources), I don’t typically list the amount won. That’s because casino’s don’t usually report the results of a deal. Some do, but I know, for instance, that the Wildhorse Main Event had a 3-way deal, but the figures reported to Hendon Mob don’t reflect that.

So like all ranking systems, nothing here is completely accurate, but it’s fun all the same, no?


Almost as if to prove my point, let’s start with the bogus entry in the players who are just breaking the $3K barrier that keeps the riff-raff oout of the leaderboard. This guy had just $1,300 in winnings before he took 2nd place in the 402-entry Thursday tournament at Wildhorse, but Vancouver’s Bill Patten also has another 2nd place at Wildhorse from last year as William Patten (no relation to Vince van), and he’s been on the leaderboard for a while. So not really a newbie.

No idea whether Shane Stonemetz from Zillah, Washington has another identity (there aren’t any other Stonemetzes on Hendon Mob), but he had a breakout win in Event #3 at Wildhorse. He jumps in at #1275 on the Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard.

James Austin [#1280] of Mill Creek, Washington only had a couple of cashes under his belt before winning the first event at Wildhorse; Matt Johnson from Richland took 2nd for his first recorded cash (but there’s another Matt Johnson from the suspiciously nearby Tri-Cities with six Pendleton cashes since 2010, not to mention a Matt Johnson from Kennewick with five).

Yakima’s Ronnie Anderson won the Thursday event at Wildhorse for a first Hendon Mob cash, ditto for Boise’s Ron Rausch in the Seniors tournament on Wednesday. They’re 1463 and 1480, respectively, on the PNW Leaderboard. James Han of Beaverton got his first and second Hendon Mob cashes at Wildhorse this series, with 4th place in the Friday tournament and 22nd  in the Main Event.

Old Guard

Seattle’s Dylan Wilkerson has been on a roll the past month, with 7 cashes including a win, four final tables, and an unofficial final table appearance. He started off with a 10th-place finish at the WSOPC Las Vegas Main Event (610 entries), then 8th in the High Roller at the same series (109 entries). Hopping out to the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, he placed 8th in the Bounty tournament (#10, 145 entries) and the 8-Max (#11, 170 entries) and the Turbo (#13, 93 entries), slipping in a 24th place in the $3M GTD WPT Showdown Championship (1,309 entries). Then he swung up to North Carolina to win the 1,060-entry WSOPC Cherokee Main Event. And on the 21st He Rested. Well, probably he played poker, but he hasn’t cashed in another tracked tournament for a whole week. For all that work, Wilkerson moves up three spots on the leaderboard to 8th.

The biggest jump—percentage-wise—this month is from the single cash by Scott Powrie from Bothell, who goes from #1,062 to #296 by taking 4th place at the WSOPC Las Vegas Main Event. His nearest contender for “Most Improved Ranking” is Colton, Washington’s Richard Jutte, who won the Friday tournament at Wildhorse (moving from #2,671 to #754: more places on the leaderboard but slightly smaller percentage).

Toledo, Oregon’s Tony Shearer (#1182, 3rd in the Wildhorse Friday tournament) and  Robert Haerling of North Powder (#1244, 2nd in Wildhorse Event #3) both moved up by more than 50%.

Bob Schulhauser of Spokane gets the credit for the win of the Wildhorse Main Event in the record books, but blog selfie mascot Elizabeth Tedder and friend of the blog Clarke Straus were in on the deal (now #150 and #233). Clarke noted Kristy Becker of Alaska deserved mention (though I don’t track Alaska) as it’s still rare for two of the final four players in a large tournament to be women. Binh “Jimmy” Nguyen came in 5th, moving him up to #78.

Bob Petty from Richland didn’t have a single score that would have gotten him on the leaderboard round-up this month, but he had two 4th-place finishes at Wildhorse in Event #1 and the Seniors tournament that did the trick. He was the next guy out after me in last fall’s Seniors tournament.

Down in Las Vegas, Landon Brown pulled off a similar hat trick, stringing three cashes at Planet Hollywood’s WSOPC together , including getting heads-up for a ring in Event #3, and an unofficial final table in Event #6, along with a min-cash in the Main Event.

Stephen Elliott from Richland moves from #750 to #473 with his win in the Wildhorse High Roller. The scheduled payouts in this event were incredibly steep, with 2nd place making barely half that of first; that was attained by Stephen Schumacher of Lewiston, who also took 3rd in the Turbo. He moves up to #459.

Peter Lynn (#921, Olympia) came in 5th in the Run it Up Reno Main Event. Thomas Kornechuk of Auburn moved up more than 250 places to #605 with a 55th-place showing at the WPT Showdown ChampionshipEnrique Curiel’s 3rd place at the Wildhorse Event #10 was enough to move the Pasco resident up to #798.

Another player with more than 20% rise in rank was Ryan Stoker of Spokane, whose 10-place finish at the now-notorious HPT Las Vegas Main Event bumped him up from #843 to #651 (the venue and/or organizers—facing an overlay—allowed some players to register late at half price).

Calvin Lee (#78, mercer Island) eschewed the US entirely. His last three cashes have been in Korea, with two this month at the Asia Pacific Poker Tour, taking 54th in the Main Event and 8th in the High Roller.

David Mallet of Point Roberts, Washington won the 15-entry HPT Las Vegas Event #2 on Aprll Fool’s Day before wandering his way north to Pendleton. Along the way, he stopped off for the WPTDeepstacks Thunder Valley Main Event for a min-cash, then once he got to town he took 14th in the Wildhorse Seniors tournament and 9th the next day in Thursday’s game. That all pputs him in #406 on the leaderboard.

John Stephenson from Yelm hasn’t had a recorded cash since 2014, but he’s come roaring back with a win in WSOPC Cherokee Event #12 that puts him at #138.

Talking Stick in Arizona is one of the places that records actual payouts in the cvase of a deal, and Mercer Island’s Michael Corson was in a 3-way deal for the Getaway Classic.

Daniel park skips in under the tent with 18th place at the WSOPC Las Vegas Main Event, moving up to #213. Dylan Linde took 10th in the SHRPO Big Stack, but it doesn’t budge him on the leader board (#16) because the differences between players at that level aren’t affected by your average cash. Likewise, Darren Rabinowitz (#14) doesn’t move even with three four-figire cashes at WSOPC Las Vegas Main Event (40th place) a final table in the SHRPO Bounty, and a min-cash in the SHRPO Main Event.

Then there’s Kao Saechao. He went down a spot to #57, but he shouldn’t even be on the list this month because I’m pretty sure he wasn’t even in Pendleton. He has three cashes at Wildhorse attributed to him (30th in Friday’s Event #11, and wins in Big O and O8, but I’m think those are supposed to be under Kao “Flexx” Saechao from Seattle, who was at my table for he High Roller.

What leaderboard report would be complete without some Maxwell Young news? He dragged in a first-place prize at the Mid-States Poker Tour Black Hawk Main Event stop that was his third-largest to date. He’s reached the point where the kind of thing that woul propell someone else up into the top10% of the leaderboard moves him…2 spots, to #37.

Max has got to be looking over his shoulder now for Almedin Imsirovic. The Vancouver native was interviewed in the April 25 issue of CardPlayer magazine’s “When I was a Donk” feature (not yet available online), then promptly won the Borgata Poker Open Main Event. He’s sitting in position #38, right behind Max.

For the number geeks, here are a few figures

  • There are currently 3,435 players in my database (which may include some duplicates as noted before).
  • 32% of the players are from Oregon.
  • 59% of the players are from Washington.
  • 9% of the players are from Idaho.
  • The numbers of players in the database are roughly relative to the populations of the states, with Idaho picking up a few percentage points vs Washington.
  • There are 6 poker millionaires on the Oregon leaderboard, though at least half of them no longer actually live here.
  • Kevin MacPhee and Dylan Linde are the Idaho poker millionaires.
  • Washington has 16 poker millionaires on the leaderboard.
  • Poker millionaires make up less then 0.7% of the player the leaderboard tracks.
  • There are 28 players with less than $1M and more than $500K in lifetime earnings on the leaderboard (0.8%).
  • 48 players fall into the range between $250K and $500K in lifetime earnings (1.4%).
  • Players with more than $100K but less than $250K make up 4.25% of the players.
  • Players with lifetime earnings of $100K or more account for just over 7% of the group I track (those with $3K or more in lifetime winnings).
  • 66% of the players tracked (those with more than $3K) have less than $20K in lifetime earnings.
  • For other tracked players with less than $100K in lifetime earnings, 2% were above $80K;
  • 2.9% had between $60K and $80K;
  • 6.1% had between $40K and $60K;
  • and 15.8% were between $20K and $40K.

May Days of Poker

As we head into this year’s Las Vegas summer poker season, poker continues apace here in Portland (and Oregon).

On May 5th at noon, the Portland Meadows Poker Room hosts a  $30K GTD NLHE Survivor tournament for its annual Kentucky Derby celebration with a buyin of $225.There’s no rebuy and no addon. The flyer says the tournament will end “when there is exactly 10% of the field remaining”, which—depending on rounding—would mean everyone who gets paid gets over $2,200, ten times the buyin.

The next Saturday, May 12th at noon, the Final Table Poker Club is putting on another $50K GTD NLHE tournament with a $160 buyin, $160 live rebuy, and $80 addon. Check their website for more info.

Reports are that action at The Game is just as juicy as ever, keep an eye on Rialto and Claudia’s daily action, and even Aces (inside BC’s Restaurant, 2433 SE Powell, call 503-719-7399) is back with daily tournaments at noon and 6pm Monday through Saturday.

Of note: Ontario Poker Room has a $550 tournament scheduled for 26 May that pays out $10K to 1 out of 20 players. $15 of each entry is the door fee, $15 goes to the dealers, and $20 is for all you can eat food.

Shuffle Off to Randomness

A discussion during last night’s home game (I busted on the bubble) about the number of times it was necessary to shuffle a deck of cards to achieve randomness led me to a little research.

It was the general consensus at the table that seven was the correct number of shuffles, I had never really paid much attention to it, having only managed to overcome a little physical abnormality (it’s why I’m the Poker Mutant) to manage an awkward shuffle in recent years. But even though there was agreement about the number, the particulars of whether it mattered that the deck had been used in a hand or was fresh out of a new pack  posed some question, and was it seven professional riffles, a machine shuffle, or just some guys around a folding card table-type shuffles?

On the first, I was pretty sure that the answer was no. Random is random, and if a data set can be considered random , it should make no difference how orderly it was before randomization.

As to the other, I found an article in the New York Times from nearly thirty years ago, about a paper by Drs. Dave Bayer (mathematics and computer science, Columbia) and Persi Diaconis (mathematics and statistics, Harvard as well as a magician), who used observation of card games and computer simulations to determine the optimum amount of shuffling required for single- and multiple-deck card games (like blackjack).

By saying that the deck is completely mixed after seven shuffles, Dr. Diaconis and Dr. Bayer mean that every arrangement of the 52 cards is equally likely or that any card is as likely to be in one place as in another.

The cards do get more and more randomly mixed if a person keeps on shuffling more than seven times, but seven shuffles is a transition point, the first time that randomness is close. Additional shuffles do not appreciably alter things.

In the meantime, he also worked on ”perfect shuffles,” those that exactly interlace the cards. Almost no one except a magician can do perfect shuffles every time. But Dr. Diaconis showed several years ago that if a person actually does perfect shuffles, the cards would never be thoroughly mixed. He derived a mathematical proof showing that if a deck is perfectly shuffled eight times, the cards will be in the same order as they were before the shuffling.