#PNWPokerCal Planner for 22 February 2017

Portland Poker Championship II

Coming in just over a week!

6-Max

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

Goodbyes

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

LAPC News

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.

Bronzie

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?

Articles

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!

I Am So Tired, How Long Can This Go On?

At the Portland Meadows tournament on Saturday, one of the dealers (and I apologize for not remembering which) asked me how to figure out how long a tournament lasted.

Before the tournament happens, that’s not always easy. Tournament directors have rules of thumb—they have to in order to estimate scheduling needs for staff and room space—but even the WSOP has had to rearrange portions of its schedule every year: events get more players than expected, changes to structures have unforseen consequences, etc. Structure changes and increased chip stacks a couple of years back led to a number of WSOP events reaching the bubble considerably later than in previous years, particularly in the limit events. You can read bout that in an article I did for PokerNews.

As it turns out, though. the question was about events in the past, specifically the Colossus. And helpfully, it was about WSOP events. That meant we were talking about some of the best-documented events in the poker world.

If you’re not already aware of it, the WSOP web site has live reporting archives from nearly every bracelet event for the past decade or so. Many of the CIrcuit Main Events are also represented. I worked for the live reporting team at the WSOP last year, and one of your duties as a live reporter is to insert Level updates each time the blinds go up. Finding out what the last blind level was in a WSOP tournament is as easy as:

  1. Find the year and event you want from the popup menu at the top of the page and select “GO.”
  2. Click the “UPDATES” tab. That always takes you to the last report for the event whenever you switch events.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for a level notice like the one below.
  4. If you don’t see a level notice, select the next page (they’re in reverse chronological order starting on page 1) and repeat item 3 until you find the last level started.

In the case of the Colossus II (2016), the players were heads-up going into Level 43. In the last stages of a tournament, there will be frequent chip updates, as there was before the last level in the example below, and you can see that the two players had about 54bb between them (Keeline was the eventual winner). Cord Garcia won the larger Colossus I in 2015 in Level 41, with blinds at 500K/1M/150K, with a little more than 100bb in play.

The heads-up battle between Qui Nguyen and Gordon Vayo ended with more than 100bb in play. Other events at the WSOP have ended with as many as 150bb between the last players. On the other hand, when I was involved in a chop last week at Final Table, there were six players with fewer than 90bb in play.

The WSOP archives really are a mine of useful information. Ive mined them for other articles over the years. Is there a best day to play the Main Event (or any other event)? Check it out.

Not a WSOP event you’re interested in? If it’s a regularly-scheduled tournament, like a daily at the Venetian, you can check out tournament clocks at Bravo Poker Live, either online or through their mobile app. It might take some watching (and some late nights) to get a feel for how things run on a regular basis, but in the example you can see at right, there are three players left with 50bb between them in a $240 Aria tournament. The clock is probably paused because they made a deal, since there’s not a break scheduled for nearly an hour. It even shows you what the even chop would pay at the bottom.

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 1 February 2017

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

#FreeLimon

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.

Bronzie

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.

#PDXPokerTroubles

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!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 18 January 2017

#PDXPokerTroubles

Rain is actually falling again here in the River City, which seems to be signalling the end of the latest chapter of Poker On Ice.

Snow started coming down late last week, leading to Final Table and Portland Meadows running games without guarantees on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and Aces Full running with a $500 guarantee on its noon game (rather than $1,000). Friend of the blog Brad Press reported that the prize pools at Meadows on Saturday and Sunday noon games easily exceeded what would have been guaranteed.

Final Table ran Monday without guarantees (Meadows had guarantees, as well as a new noon structure), then Meadows closed on Tuesday in expectation of and early afternoon freezing rain deluge that never materialized, while Final Table operated without guarantees.

There’s still two more months of winter.

The Jackpot That Wasn’t

If you weren’t aware of it, there is a “Portland, OR” thread on the 2+2 poker forum. Not very busy, but something to keep an eye on. Last Friday, nebluefc had an interesting post:

The story, based on a press release from Vancouver, BC-based Jackpot Digital said that the company “has signed a licensing agreement with Portland Meadows Horse Track and Poker Club (“Portland Meadows”) after Portland Meadows received approval from the City of Portland to install Jackpot’s PokerPro electronic table games (ETGs).” It went on to relate an “initial rollout in February.”

While ETG’s might at first seem to be a possible solution to the issue of paying dealers that has aroused the interest of the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries, a big hurdle would be how the licensing fees for these types of machines could possibly be afforded, given the relatively low door fees paid by players. You’d need to have enough of them on hand to handle a large tournament, but like tables, most of the time they’d be sitting unused. Unlike tables, poker rooms still have to pay for the machines if they’re just sitting there.

A day later, a comment on NW Poker from Jerry Camelleri said that Brian Sarchi at Meadows refuted the story, then Monday a news release from Jackpot “clarified” the story by saying “the transaction announced on January 10, 2017 will not proceed.” That de-escalated quickly.

It might be noted that for an e-gaming vendor the Jackpot Digital website is remarkably short on images of their products in action (and no videos). The product shots that are shown appear to be composites rather than live photos. This can be for of a number of reasons: the LCD screens may not show well in the photo from all angles, attempts to clarify the screens may make them look less realistic, etc., it’s the same reason you see a disclaimer about simulated pictures in ads for TVs and computer monitors, but it’s odd that there aren’t more live shots.

Jackpot’s PokerPro ETG technology was acquired when they bought the PokerTek unit of MultiMedia Games, Inc. in 2015. At the time, the tables were reportedly in 82 venues, most of them being cruise ships. MultiMedia bought PokerTek in 2014 for $13.5 million; Nine months after that deal closed, Jackpot bought PokerTek for $5.4 million, with an earn-out that could increase the sale price to $7.5 million. Last month, Jackpot applied for an upgrade in the status of its OTC Pink ‘penny stock’ securities, which are currently selling for 0.6¢/share. According to otcmarkets.com, the company has a market value (as of 17 January 2017) of $175,286.

If you’re interested in knowing more about OTC Pink stocks, check out David Dayen‘s 7-part series at The Intercept from last September.

Reading Material

What’s 25 years old and not Donald Trump’s fourth wife-to-be? Trumped! The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump—His Cunning Rise & His Spectacular Fall, a memoir by one of the guys who ran Trump’s casino operations in Atlantic City for several years in the 1980s. Poker tells expert Zach Elwood review the book in a blog post he put up just before Christmas. It sounds like an interesting read, and Zach’s review is enlightening in and of itself.

One of the main points Zach bring out about the book is Trump’s seeming inability to understand the variance of the gambling world (i.e. that even in an upward trend there are temporary setbacks). On the same note, Robert Wooley (aka ‘PokerGrump’) has three pieces at PokerNews on regression to the mean, and what it means to poker players. There’s a part 1, part 2, and a follow-up.

Vegas Summer Poker Schedule

2016 WSOP Main Event 6th-place finisher Kenny Hallaert has already posted the first installment in his annual summer poker tournament series schedule, which got a little more flesh on its bones this week with the release of dates for the big weekend events at the WSOP. The Colossus III, Millionaire Maker, Seniors & Super Seniors, Monster Stack, Crazy Eights, and Little One for One Drop starting dates have been announced, along with the Main EventCasino Employees, and Ladies Championship. Those dates are all on the #PNWPokerCal.

Deal of the Week: LAPC $1M Guarantee

A month from today is the last of four entry days for a two-day tournament at the LAPC with a guarantee of $1M. Entry is $1,100 for 15K in chips (150bb) and 40-minute levels through Level 12. One re-entry through the first six levels, and you have the option to try to qualify more than once for Day 2, getting the lowest payout from Day 2 for any stack removed from play due to multiple qualifications. There are $175 satellites starting 13 February (Monday).

This is a new event for the LAPC. Last year, they had a $500K Guarantee with a $1,650 buyin that ended up with a prize pool of over a million, though similar guarantees in the spring and fall last year were smaller. Presumably, that’s what led to the reduction in the buyin.

This Week In Portland Poker

No announcements as of yet, but I expect a lot of pent-up poker frustration to explode this weekend once people dig themselves out of the ice.

Only a Day Away

  • The Heartland Poker Tour East Chicago Main Event starts tomorrow in Indiana. Entry days through Saturday with a $1,650 buyin and final table on Monday (live-streamed rather than televised, HPT has announced they’re going to more on live streaming than television). You can still get a RT ticket for Friday and four nights at the host casino for less than $1,000.
  • Commerce Casino‘s LA Poker Classic starts its second weekend with a $250K Guarantee. Two flights each day through Saturday with a $250 buyin. There are PLO, PLO8, and Survivor tournaments early next week, and a $300K Guarantee with a $350 buyin starting Wednesday.
  • The Tulalip Poker Pow Wow has a $50K Guarantee this weekend and $100K Guarantee next weekend.
  • Poker Night in America at Thunder Valley outside Sacramento just started up, this weekend is the $425 buyin $250K Monolith (with the final on Sunday) and there’s another $250K next weekend that’s a 3-day, $1,100 buyin. Lots of smaller events packed in-between.
  • The Venetian January Weekend Extravaganza starts  today and runs through Sunday. The biggest event is a $150 buyin $60K Guarantee, but there’s a $9K Guarantee $250 PLO Bounty tournament on Saturday evening, which looks like fun. The month-long Deepstack Extravaganza I gets going just a week after its done, on 30 January.
  • 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).

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

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 11 January 2017

It’s been a quiet week in Lake Woebegon…wait, those are the wrong old man notes….

#PDXPokerTroubles

The billionth ice storm of a winter less than a month old caused yet more havoc for poker players in the Portland region. The Game opened up Friday, only to be greeted with sheets of ice across the city that evening. Out in North Portland, Portland Meadows was closed both Saturday and Sunday because of the storm, and even though things were beginning to thaw in the city on Monday, their capacious but exposed parking lot was a sheet of ice and the building’s operators kept it closed Monday. Final Table was able to open up on Monday after weekend closures; fortunately, they got their First Friday $20K in under the snow front. Rialto, as mentioned last week, is closed for several weeks after a fire in the building.

It snowed here Tuesday evening (as if you didn’t know that already), so it’s likely there are more weather closures this week.

My own poker week was short. I played a tournament with the group of guys who got me back into poker. Not exactly high stakes, you can see from the numbers below (as well as my new nickname above the notation for the quad kings high hand I made that took a bunch of the host;s chips. But that was the only money I made during the night, I lost three big hands after being chip leader and went out in fifth place. Afterward, I went to the only other home game I’ve ever been to, where I met a very nice young woman who told me she read the blog every week—before she took all of my chips in a Big O cash game. And then I switched tables to play some 7-Card Stud before a) realizing it was Stud 8 and b) was Pot Limit. Not a good night overall for me.

 

Deal of the Week: Tulalip Poker Pow Wow $100K

 

There are only a limited number of $100K Guarantee (or events with prize pools that large) events within a few hours drive of the Portland. We had three of them in town last spring, but there’s nothing that big on the immediate horizon here for the moment. That leaves Wildhorse (where the Spring and Fall Main Events are $170K to $200K and more without guarantees) and Chinook Winds (where the Main Event next month has had a $100K guarantee). Muckleshoot’s Main Events. And Tulalip, north of Seattle.

The 2017 Poker Pow Wow starts Saturday, but the big events are next weekend (a $50K Guarantee) and the last full week of the month. The Main Event  is a $500 buyin with $20 dealer appreciation tournament. There are entry days on Thursday (26 January), Friday, and Saturday, with the final day of play on Sunday (29 January). All days of the Main Event start at 11am. The drive is roughly the same as to Pendleton for distance, but usually a little slower due to Seattle-area traffic.

No online structure sheets, but what do you need to know? It’s a 2-day $100K for $520 bucks! Go get ’em!

This Week In Portland Poker

No announcements for anything special this weekend that I’ve seen so far, but a lot is going to depend on the weather. If the snow hangs around for a while, we could all be cannibalizing out rolls in no time, if you know what I mean. Have you ever considered a Caribbean poker cruise?

Only a Day Away

The poker world is ramping back up after the holidays!

  • Friday is the last of four entry days into the Hustler Casino Poker Players Tournament $250K Guarantee that closes out the series this weekend. If you can get to LA, it’s $250 for the buyin, and there are two flights (12:30 and 5pm) each day, with 12% of the field going to Day 2 (Saturday) and 15% in the money.
  • The Heartland Poker Tour East Chicago series starts tomorrow with a $300 buyin $100K Guaranteed tournament. There are three entry days, with Day 2 on 15 January. The first of three Main Event flights in on 19 January. It’s still possible to get flight/room packages at the hosting casino for either tournament for less than $600 total. Last year’s opening $100K had a prize pool of $298K, and the $1,650 Main Event prize pool was over $900K, with a top prize of $211K.
  • Commerce Casino‘s LA Poker Classic  begins a seven-week run on Friday.  There are a total of 60 events, with eleven of them having guarantees of $100K or more, plus the $10K buyin WPT Championship that caps the series. Structures have been posted for about half of the events so far. Of particular note for Portland players is the $570 entry Big O tournament on Groundhog Day (2 February).
  • The 2-week Tulalip Poker Pow Wow starts 14 January with a $10K Guarantee, then a week including O8, HORSE, and PLO, before the $50K Guarantee and $100K Guarantee events on succeeding weeks.
  • The $40K Guarantee Stones Gambling Hall Chip Amplifier is 15 January outside of Sacramento. Buyin in level 1 is $120 for 10K in chips, but the price and the number of chips go up for each level, with the last one being level 6 where $550 gets you 60K in chips.
  • It’s back to Thunder Valley on the 17th, with Poker Night in America.As they’ve done before, they’re running satellites to the $5,000 buyin televised cash game (filmed 28/29 January), as well as a slate of 12 tournaments that features two $250K Guarantees (the first for a $450 buyin and the second for $1,100). In-between, there’s 6-Max, HORSE, and lots of satellites to the second of the $250Ks.
  • If you’re in Vegas next week, the Venetian January Weekend Extravaganza starts  Wednesday (18 January) and runs through Sunday. The biggest event is a $150 buyin $60K Guarantee, but there’s a $9K Guarantee $250 PLO Bounty tournament on Saturday evening, which looks like fun. The month-long Deepstack Extravaganza I gets going just a week later, on 30 January.

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

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 4 January 2017

Happy Poker New Year from Las Vegas! I’m down here in a city with its own bagpiper blowing to announce the coming of…whatever.

I missed all of the New Year’s Eve shenanigans here (though I was at a party in Beaverton with an upside-down Christmas tree), catching an emptyish 8am flight on the 1st so I could take a shot at a $100K guarantee event at the Venetian. The first couple of levels were fantastic, and I almost tripled my stack. It was slower going after that, though I was still in good shape, knocking out three players from a table that included WSOP bracelet-holders Allyn Shulman and her husband Barry Shulman, who own CardPlayer Magazine, A little brush with poker media dynasty, that. Allyn started at the table, Barry showed up several levels in as tables were consolidating, then Allyn busted and I ran qxqx into Barry’s kxkx and was severely crippled before I went out two hands later after I limped axjx got called by 2x2x in the big blind, and jammed into him on a kxjx2x flop. That was it for me in the $100K.

If you look closely, you’ll see Kao Saechao in the standings with a decent stack. Day 2 starts with 74 and pays 54. It’ll all be over by the time you read this.

Played a little PLO, went back to the room and got into a WSOP.com $20K where I did well for a while but was hobbled by the fact I hadn’t realized it was a rebuy and addon (it pays to look at the structure before you buy in at the last minute!) then was playing catchup and was crippled (again) when I called a 15bb late-position all-in from the big blind with ahqs and qdtc hit a ten right on the flop. That left me in the small blind with 1bb behind. I managed to quadruple up with a flush on the next hand but ran into quad queens just five hands later.

Monday morning I took a shuttle to the Orleans (free from the spot under the Linq) and waited around for a table to open up. For the unacquainted, the casino is full of very old people. I mean, even older than me. And it’s the place to go for Limit Omaha games. They had several tables of O8 at 4-8 and 8-16 (both with kills) running on a Monday morning. Admittedly, it was the Monday after a holiday, but there were 16 cash game tables running, more than anywhere except Bellagio at that time of day. Even as I write this at 2am on Tuesday, Aria has 19 tables, Bellagio has 16, and the Orleans has 12. The Venetian has 9. The wait, though, was long enough that I considered getting off the list to just play the noon O8 tournament, but I late-regged that instead and made it partway through.

There was one amusing hand in the first hour or so, where I was dealt acadahas, which is about as bad a hand as you can get in any version of Omaha, but I limped in just to see what would happen. I had another hand where I bluffed that I had a flush with the nut low draw on the turn (with 2s counterfeited by the flop) and not only made my low against an all-in player but bet another player off and took the high with a paired 4. Lost a big pot when my own low was counterfeited on the river and it was down from there.

Played a smaller WSOP.com tournament and made the money, though it was only about enough to cover lunches for the days I’m here.

Tuesday was the $300 bounty tournament at the Venetian. It got 139 entries but I only made it through the first three levels, losing small amounts on a couple hands (including laying down kckh on an ace-high board with two diamonds to a bet of half my remaining chips to a guy who showed the 6d2d he’d called my pre-flop raise with). awadI raised khjh in a hand and was called by Hani Awad, whose WSOP bracelet win I covered this summer. Awad ended up calling my bluff on a queen-high board with 7x9x and middle pair (the seven), but he’d already knocked out several players and had probably close to five times my stack. He took me out a couple hands later when I shoved axqx pre-flop, he called with 9xtx from the big blind, and he made two pair by the turn. Not my finest hour. The final numbers for the tournament were $20,850 in the main prize pool, with an extra $13,900 in bounties, and $5,842 scheduled to go to first place. I talked briefly to Awad after he busted me, and he showed me he was wearing his bracelet, so some people at least don’t just toss them in a box or hock them on eBay.

I’d been planning to play the 7pm tournament (a $200 bounty) but decided to force myself to play some cash game. I herded back to the Orleans, sitting in the back seat of the shuttle with some tweaker gal who had “something something HELL” as her tramp stamp complaining about how long her free ride to was taking, had some surf and turf for brunchinner (a single meal for the day), then got on some lists.

A $1/$3 NLHE game opened up relatively fast, and I sat down in seat 5. I was under the gun and raised the first hand I was dealt—th8h—then was reraised by seat 7 to $30. Two players called, and I put in the extra $20. The flop was 7c6h5c, I’ve got an open-ended straight draw for the ten, a backdoor flush draw, so I check it, then seat 7 shoves for more than my remaining stack of $170. The other callers fold, and it’s up to me. I called, the dealer put out a 6s on the turn and 8s on the river. I can only assume the guy shoved with axkx because my two pair ended up taking the pot. From there on it was a mostly upward trajectory for ninety minutes, then I checkout out to go call my wife for the evening before deciding whether to play the $75 PLO tournament at 7.

I got into the game late, just as the last level before the break was starting. There were only two tables and I had to wait as an alternate for a couple of minutes while a player who busted just as I was registering kept up a steady stream of complaints about having to go on the alternate list. A spot opened up for him by the time I got to my seat.

I lasted all of ten minutes. I picked up a hand with a pair of aces, raised, was reraised from the other end of the table, made a 4-bet (we weren’t particularly deep at this point, less than 40bb) and he went all in with pocket kings which made a set on the turn. Back to the cash games, after having evened up the day before the tournament.

It took about 40 minutes in the $4/$8 O8 game for me to make up the tournament buyin and a little more. Got on the shuttle bus, had an interesting conversation with a cigar distributor from LA who mentioned he comes up to Portland several times a year, and decided to see what the cash games at the poker room in the Flamingo were like.

The only time I’d played at the Flamingo before was in a late-night turbo tournament. The first thing I noticed after I sat down was that the place was a hotbox. I just about pulled up stakes and left after the first orbit, and had just determined I couldn’t stand it any longer when they finally turned the A/C on. Other than that, things went well and I booked a third winning cash session for the day, picking up another $50 in an hour before I told myself that I had to get to my room to get some sleep before a very early morning shuttle to the airport. No sleep before I wrote this for you folks, of course.

pm_survivor

Survivor

Portland Meadows ran the first Survivor-style tournament in Portland (that I’m aware of) on New Year’s Eve. I wasn’t able to make it myself because of other pre-Vegas commitments, but  it seems to have been well-received. It’s a bit difficult to make comparisons between this and similar tournament that don’t have add-ons, but thirteen players made as much as 1200% ROI on their buy-in (less if they did the addon or re-entry) in just over six hours, with a friend who made it through texting me the chop came at 6:09pm. Everyone got plenty of time to go out to celebrate the end of the year with their newfound cash.

If it had been a straight 10% payout for 10% of the players (with no add-on) that would have been $1,000 for a $100 buyin (assuming 130 players and a $13,000 prize pool). If the prize had been set at $1,000, there would have been 17 players paid $1,000 (13% of the field) with an 18th player getting $380. With standard payout structures, 10% of the prize pool is usually between 3rd and 4th place money in a field of 130.

#PDXPokerTroubles

Nothing new to report. No unexpected closures (a couple of early closings for New Year’s Eve). The Game should be re-opening tomorrow. Rialto’s been open, Aces Full ran a game on Monday for the holiday, and hopefully (I haven’t seen an announcement yet) Final Table will be running a $20K this weekend.

Limonless

Monday. tournament director Matt Savage asked the question that many in the poker Twitterverse had been wondering about for over a week: “Where is @limonpoker”? The best-known personality on Live at the Bike has been a constant presence on Twitter for years, but mentioned during a pre-Christmas #PokerSesh that some Trump supporters had ganged up to get the account suspended because of his rather outspoken anti-Trump posts (of which there were many).

In Monday’s #PokerSesh (for the uninitiated, his weekly freeform call-in show), Limon mentioned that he’s not going to bother returning to Twitter (sad!) or any other social media, and offered up his back catalog to anyone who want to select segments and post them on YouTube and promote them to try to make money. Crowdsourcing his promotional efforts, in other words. Not insignificantly, for someone to get access to the videos in order to watch them and pull out segments, they’d have to at least temporarily subscribe to Live at the Bike at $20/month…not really PNW news, but Limon’s an Oregon kid….

Deal of the Week: Bay 101 Shooting Star Satellites

The WPT is coming back to Bay 101 for the popular Shooting Star bounty championship in early March, and it’s preceded by a week of daily mega satellites. $275 Satellites have been running since December, but the big ones start 18 February, with daily $550 satellites running 25 February through 1 March and $1,050 sattys for three days starting 2 March.

Bay 101 publishes the payout structures for their satellites, and you can see from the payouts on the $275 events that unless they get 48 players, no seat is awarded (with the money getting paid out on a standard curve), and with 48–79 entries, only one $7,500 seat is awarded, so the odds aren’t exactly good enough to travel to the Bay Area if what you want is a seat. But the $550 and $1,050 buyins are a good buy if you want to get into the Main Event (which begins on 6 March).

This Week In Portland Poker

The big game this weekend should be the First Friday $20K at Final Table.

Only a Day Away

The poker world is ramping back up after the holidays!

  • The Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza runs through Sunday. The last big event starts today with the first of four $250 entry flights to a $150 Guarantee. Evening games are a mixture of bounty, rebuy, and turbo tournaments.  You can get updates on current tournaments at their blog.
  • I missed it somehow, but the WPT California Swing Kickoff has a 2-day $100K Guarantee with a $250 buyin that starts today. Two flights tomorrow, with Day 2 on Friday. Saturday is a one-day $400 entry $100K guarantee, and Sunday there’s a WPT Rolling Thunder satellite with $400 entry that has 20 $3,500 Rolling Thunder Main Event seats guaranteed. I’d probably have gone there this weekend instead of Vegas if I hadn’t missed it on the schedule.
  • Another one that snuck past me is the Hustler Casino Poker Players Tournament (could they get any more generic?), which starts a $400 buyin $500,000 Guarantee today, with two flights each day through Sunday and Day 2 on Monday. I don’t know how that got by me. Progressively fewer people make it to Day 2 on each starting day (10% today, 9% Thursday, and 8% after that). Next week is a $250K Guarantee for a $250 entry, with 15% in the money.
  • Eugene’s Full House Poker has a Heads Up-Championship coming up, on 7 & 8 January. It’s a bracket-style elimination competition where you can buy 1 or more spots on the bottom bracket, at reduced rates. Seating is limited, so contact them for details and availability.
  • The Heartland Poker Tour East Chicago series starts 12 January with a $300 buyin $100K Guaranteed tournament. There are three entry days, with Day 2 on 15 January. The first of three Main Event flights in on 19 January. It’s still possible to get flight/room packages at the hosting casino for either tournament for less than $600 total. Last year’s opening $100K had a prize pool of $298K, and the $1,650 Main Event prize pool was over $900K, with a top prize of $211K.
  • Commerce Casino‘s LA Poker Classic  begins a seven-week run on 13 January.  There are a total of 60 events, with eleven of them having guarantees of $100K or more, plus the $10K buyin WPT Championship that caps the series. Structures have been posted for about half of the events so far. Of particular note for Portland players is the $570 entry Big O tournament on Groundhog Day (2 February).
  • The 2-week Tulalip Poker Pow Wow starts 14 January with a $10K Guarantee, then a week including O8, HORSE, and PLO, before the $50K Guarantee and $100K Guarantee events on succeeding weeks.
  • The $40K Guarantee Stones Gambling Hall Chip Amplifier is 15 January outside of Sacramento. Buyin in level 1 is $120 for 10K in chips, but the price and the number of chips go up for each level, with the last one being level 6 where $550 gets you 60K in chips.
  • It’s back to Thunder Valley on the 17th, with Poker Night in America.As they’ve done before, they’re running satellites to the $5,000 buyin televised cash game (filmed 28/29 January), as well as a slate of 12 tournaments that features two $250K Guarantees (the first for a $450 buyin and the second for $1,100). In-between, there’s 6-Max, HORSE, and lots of satellites to the second of the $250Ks.

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

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 28 December 2016: HAPPY NEW YEAR?

#PDXPokerTroubles

Following up on last week’s news,so far the only closure due to the actions by the city (that I’m aware of) has been at The Game. I’m updating the #PDXPokerTroubles page and posting on Twitter as I get info.

Tulalip Poker Pow Wow

The schedule for the Pow Wow is available now and it’s longer than ever, with over two weeks of tournaments starting 14 January. The first week features Limit Omaha 8, PLO, and HORSE, with PLO8 in the second week. There’s a $50K Guarantee NLHE event in the middle of the series, and it wraps up with a $100K Guarantee NLHE Main Event with entry days 26-28 January and Day 2 on 30 January. Buyins range from $120 to $520 (including dealer appreciation) for the main. No structures available online so far as I can tell; you can view the rest of their January calendar here.

pm_survivorThis Week In Portland Poker

I’ve been advocating for someone in Portland to run Survivor tournaments for a long, long time, and Brian Sarchi at Portland Meadows is finally doing it this Saturday at noon.

In short, a Survivor tournament is like a satellite.Players play to a pre-determined point, at which the prize pool is divided up equally.

There are some variations, but in many cases 10% of the field gets paid a pre-determined amount, and any leftover goes to the 10% + 1 player. So if you have a tournament with 83 players and everyone’s paid $100 (and a prize pool of $8,300), the 10% (8 players) get $1,000 and a ninth player gets $300. Since casinos take out fees from the entry money, the payout is less than 10 times the entry; a $300 Survivor tournament at the Venetian pays $2,500. The advantage to this, of course, is that if you make the money, you’re usually getting somewhere between 2nd and 3rd place money,

There’s a little bit of a twist to the Meadows tournament, in that there’s an addon and there’s no specified payout amount. Because Portland rooms don’t take anything out of the prize pool, everyone who gets into the money is going to make at least $1,000, but that amount is going to vary based on the number of addons, And it’s not specified what’s going to happen if “exactly 10%” falls somewhere between, say, 9 and 10 players.

This wouldn’t be an issue with a pre-determined payout, because then the number of payouts would simply increase as the prize pool increases, and the remainder payout for the +1 player is never less than a single buyin. With the the addons, and no pre-determined payout, the remainder is never going to be greater than $9. It’ll be interesting to see how this works out.

Casinos have been experimenting with the format. I’ve seen Super Survivor tournaments with two tiers of payouts, with the players making the top 10% getting a smaller payout and those getting to the top 5% getting a bump. At the LAPC (see below) the Commerce is running a version where the chip leader at 25%, 20%, and 15% gets paid immediately and their chips are removed from play.

If you have an ITM (in the money) of better than 10% in tournaments, you can make a killing in Survivors. No, you don’t make the huge score of a first-place finish, but you never min-cash when you make the money.

Only a Day Away

  • The Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza runs through 8 January. The big event this weekend starts Sunday, 1 January. It’s a $400 buyin $100K Guarantee NLHE tournament. Last year, the $400 tournament over New Year’s weekend had a $150K Guarantee and 663 entries with a final prize pool of $225K. You can get updates on current tournaments at their blog.
  • Eugene’s Full House Poker has a Heads Up-Championship coming up, on 7 & 8 January. It’s a bracket-style elimination competition where you can buy 1 or more spots on the bottom bracket, at reduced rates. Seating is limited, so contact them for details and availability.
  • The Heartland Poker Tour East Chicago series starts 12 January with a $300 buyin $100K Guaranteed tournament. There are three entry days, with Day 2 on 15 January. The first of three Main Event flights in on 19 January. It’s still possible to get flight/room packages at the hosting casino for either tournament for less than $600 total. Last year’s opening $100K had a prize pool of $298K, and the $1,650 Main Event prize pool was over $900K, with a top prize of $211K.
  • Commerce Casino‘s LA Poker Classic  begins a seven-week run on 13 January.  There are a total of 60 events, with eleven of them having guarantees of $100K or more, plus the $10K buyin WPT Championship that caps the series. Structures have been posted for about half of the events so far. Of particular note for Portland players is the $570 entry Big O tournament on Groundhog Day (2 February).

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