My Time Is Coming: Report 2 or Small Pairs

Encore Club $13K NLHE

This was the usual Friday night tournament at Encore, and it was busy, with 130 entries and a substantial prize pool. I got a little overaggressive in round six and called a 3K raise with ksqx in late position. The flop was qs8s6h, with top pair and backdoor send nut flush, I shoved over a c-bet from the original raiser, who gave it some pause before calling with ahqd. Another spade came on the turn, but I didn’t get any love from the river. A couple hands later, I shoved 5.5K with 8h5h in middle position. SB dribbled in a chip without realizing I was all-in (see the last installment about undercalls), but in this case, the dealer ruled it was a call of the all-in, which was fine at first when SB turned over 8d4d. I paired my five on the flop, but there was a 7x on the turn and 6x on the river to put me out of the tournament.

Went over to the 1/2 shootout, got axax and made a few chips, lost most of that when I raised actc, got a zillion callers, had the board run out 8x6xtx8x7x and laid down to a $75 river raise from a guiy who claimed he had just ace high. Then lost my buy-in with axax after kx9x hit top two on the flop. On the plus side, I got aces twice in 25 minutes!


Final Table $500 Big O

This was my first chance to play the afternoon Big O game that got going after Portland Players Club closed down at the end of the year. As usual, my unorthodox hand selection (can anything be truly orthodox in Big O?) riled up Butcher, who bet me $5 that I couldn’t make the final table. As there were only two tables to begin with, I was confident that was going to happen. I should have made him pay more. I got to the final with a third of the chips in play, but ran into some bad draws that ended up with me going out in sixth place. Got my $5, at least.


One hour and 45 minutes. -93% ROI.

Final Table 1/2 NLHE Shootout

Played the shootout for an hour while I was waiting for the evening NLHE tournament. Ended down a little because an early hand where I’d 3-bet qxqx in the small blind got called by jxjx and a short stack with axkx, the flop came out 7x7x7x, then the river was ax. I got a side pot, but the river gave the main to the short stack (who’d had just a few dollars under my 3-bet. So that was annoying.

One hour. -9BB.

Final Table $1.5K NLHE

Mostly went fine through to the bubble. The short stack on my right had doubled up a couple of times. I was regretting folding 6x6x in a hand where I would have flopped a set against axax and a drawing hand (that doubled up the player with the aces and I was down to shove stack territory myself when I pushed 5x5x from SB in an unopened pot and the short stack woke up with adtd, catching a ten on the flop. I shoved 6c8c on the next hand with just a few blinds left, know ing that Nu—in BB—would call me, but I also got a call from the player on my right with ax5x. Nu flopped two pair with 8x3x4x, and I rivered a better two pair with 6x, but 2x on the turn gave CO most of Nu’s stack and knocked me out.

Four hours and twenty minutes. -100% ROI.


The Game 1/2 NLHE

The first Wednesday of the month at The Game is Player Appreciation Day, with no door fee before noon and buffet lunch and dinner, along with prizes. So I headed over with a friend and spent a few hours playing very few hands. The guy on my left when the table started up straddled every one of my big blinds, raising almost every one when action got back to him, but during the time he was there, I never had the opportunity to take advantage of it. The guy on my right had gotten felted for the max buyin several times with single pairs within the first hour—with none of that coming directly to me—calling off his entire stack with top pair at best. He moved to my left by the after the aggressive guy left, and started  winning back a little bit of what he’d lost. I mostly played smaller pots and picked off a few bucks here and there, making a little over 25BB/hr, my friend did considerably better.

The Game 1/1 and 1/2 NLHE

Went back the next day and played in the pre-noon 1/1 game, where, after losing a bit, I limped in with 6x6x UTG. UTG1 raised the pot, my friend re-raised from CO, and SB went all-in for more than I had left. There was so much in the pot already, and it seemed extremely likely that UTG1 and my friend were going to be all-in, so I put my 33BB in and watched my little pair flop a full house against jxjx (UTG1), txtx (my friend in CO), and axax (in the SB). I ended up that session ahead by 85BB, after losing several hands to a player a couple seats to my left, who seemed to have the right amount for me to have to call him on the river dialed in pretty well.

When the game kicked up to 1/2 after noon, I put another 50BB in my pile. Nothing much really happened here, until a hand where the player who’d had aces before noon in the hand above raised my BB and I called with 3d7d. The flop was qx3x7x, I checked it and several other player’s who’d called checked, then the raiser put in a big bet and I shoved over the top, with something like 100BB. Everyone folded around to the original raiser and she called for less with qxjx. My two pair stayed good. I took a few other small pots, but that was the significant action of the hour. A little concerned that my big wins were from getting it in with 14% equity in the first case and with a hand where I just get lucky and flop bottom two, but I can live with it for now. Ended up +110BB or so and headed out to Hunan Pearl for lunch.

#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for 3 February 2016

Oregon poker players continued their assault on West Coast tournaments over the past week, more are on the way!

Los Angeles Poker Classic

Several Portland-area players were ITM in the $350 buy-in $300K guarantee Event 16 (the prize pool was nearly double the guarantee, with almost 2,000 entries). Angela Jordison took sixth place in $570 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, she and David Prince of Eugene are in the eleven players returning for Day 2 of the $225 PLO8 today.

Planet Hollywood Phamous Poker Weekend

Corvallis’s Nicholas Reynolds made the money in the $600 $250K guarantee in Las Vegas last weekend.

Portland Players Club

PPC closed their doors at the end of last year, but they were scheduled to be the venue for the 10th Annual Deaf Poker Tournament coming up in a couple of weeks. PPC was always a welcoming venue to the deaf community, in addition to hosting the series for several years.  There hasn’t been any announcement of what’s going to happen to the series, and the Players Club site hasn’t been updated, but their Facebook page had a profile picture update this week, along with an address change to a location across the intersection from their old location, and a new address is showing up on the NW Deaf Poker Tournament page.

The Survivors

Why isn’t anyone in town running Survivor tournaments? I first encountered the format in the Venetian schedules back in 2012, and they’ve cropped up in more and more places in the years since then.

A Survivor tournament is similar to a satellite, in that there’s an equal payout at when the number of players reaches a defined percentage of entries. In the case of most Survivors, 10% of the field is paid a set amount, with money falling short of a full payout going to the person on the bubble of the 10%. So, if you’ve got 83 players, 8 players get the defined payout and a ninth player gets the leftovers.

In tournaments like the Venetian’s, where a portion of the money paid by the players goes to the house, there’s $50 taken out of a $300 buy-in, so each entry contributes $250 to the prize pool. The payout to each of the players in the top 10% is $2.5K (10 times the  prizepool contribution). So in the example where 83 players enter, there would be 8 payouts of $2.5K, and 1 payout of $750 (3 times the $250 contributed by the extra three players). Since no money is taken out of the prize pools in Portland card rooms, a $50 tournament would pay $500 if 10% of the field was paid.

Here’s a fairly typical set of payouts for a non-Survivor 51-entry tournament in town: 34%, 22%, 15%, 10%, 7.5%, 6.5%, 5%. In a $50 tournament with a prize pool of $2,550, payouts would be

  1. $865
  2. $560
  3. $380
  4. $255
  5. $190
  6. $165
  7. $135

In a Survivor-stype tournament, the payouts would be:

  1. $500
  2. $500
  3. $500
  4. $500
  5. $500
  6. $50

There are obvious advantages for most of the players, though one player drops entirely off the pay scale and one just makes their money back. For a smaller tournament like this one, in order to make 10x the entry, you practically need to win the tournament, and in larger tournaments, you need to make it through more players to get the same +900% ROI.

In re-entry formats, even players who’ve had to do another buy-in make several times their expenses if they make the top 10%. An advantage for the clubs is that the tournaments should end a lot earlier, since they stop automatically at 10% (though the bubble may take some time still). For dealers, with most of the players making a significant amount more than their  buy-in, it might make them a bit more generous with tips.

Commerce Casino is doing something a little different with its Survivor tournament during LAPC. 10% of the field still gets the defined payout, but they’re giving players incentive to gamble it up a bit by stopping play when 25%, 20%, and 15% of the field is left and paying the chip leader immediately, then taking their stack out of play. In a tournament with 100 players, the chip leader with 25 left gets their money, then another payout is made to whoever is leading with 20 left, again at 15 players, and then it would play down to 7 (with three players already paid rounding out the 10 payouts). Then you don’t have to wait for the rest of the rabble.

And Venetian recently introduced what they’re calling a Super Survivor last fall, with two-tiered payouts. 10% of the field still gets paid, but the bottom half of the 10% gets 6x the player contribution ($1.5K on $300 minus $50 fee) and the top half gets 14x ($3.5K on $300).

 Deal of the Day: Three Vegas Series

If Lincoln City’s just too sedate and the PacWest Poker Classic schedule isn’t exciting enough for you, then maybe you should spend the end of the month in Las Vegas. If you love the variety and action of the summer at the World Series but hate the weather, the average high at the end of February is less then 70°F. And on the cusp of March, there are three tournament series at major venues, all within about a 20-minute walk.

The Venetian Deepstack is already running, and it ends on 2 March. Beginning on the 23rd, there are five entry days for a $250K guarantee $250 buy-in event (Day 2 on the 28th), with 7pm tournaments including several bounty events and a Super Survivor. All of the events in the last week are $300 and less.

The Card Player Poker Tour/Wynn Classic runs from 24 February to 14 March. It starts off with a $600 entry $50K guarantee Seniors game, with  $10K guarantee PLO tournament the next day, and several $25K guarantees on subsequent days ($300 buy-in), before a $400 entry $200K that begins 2 March.

The day after the Wynn begins is the start of the World Series of Poker Circuit series at Bally’s. The kickoff event is a $365 buy-in $250K with six entry flights over three days (Day 2 on 29 February). The first week includes a $250 buy-in HORSE tournament (no ring for that one) and a $580 Big O official Circuit event on 29 February. The Main Event starts 4 March ($1,675 buy-in and a $1M guarantee).

The problem here is going to be making a decision about which events to play.

This Week in Portland Poker

Things are cranking back up after the January lull.

  • It’s a new month, which means that Final Table should be running its $20K First Friday tournament at 7pm.
  • Encore Club has an $8K special tournament tonight at 8pm. No re-buy! No re-entry! Wish I was going to be there! They’ve also announced a $35K guarantee on 20 February, the opening weekend of the PacWest Poker Classic.
  • Haven’t mentioned them for a while, because I try to focus on special events, but if you play in North Portland, you might want to connect with Brekken’s or Big Stack Players Club.
  • Today is Player Day at The Game (every first Wednesday). If you get there by noon, there’s no door fee. There’s a complimentary buffet lunch from noon to 1:30 and drawings for goodies throughout the afternoon and evening.

Only a Day Away

Check out the Pacific Northwest Tournament Calendar for more poker.

My Time Is Coming: Report 1, or AJAT

Not a lot to report in the past week. The day before last week’s cash in the Friday Encore $11K, I’d chopped a $1K at Final Table, then I stopped into The Game for some 1/2 shootout action and picked up a profit of 60BB in an hour, even after losing another 90BB with a nut flush draw v. a set on the flop of my next-to-last hand. Went out on the bubble of our home game shoving qh9h on the button into axqx in the BB, four-handed.


Tulalip Poker Pow Wow #5 $10K Added NLHE Main Event

This was the first big shot of this spring’s attempt to build something up. The drive from Portland took me almost exactly four hours, I got to the casino almost exactly at the noon start time, then it took me a few minutes to track down the new site of their poker room, since the signs still point to where the old location was.

Still, I was only about a quarter-hour late getting into the first 40-minute level. My stack went through a couple rounds of losing and recovering, then I got into a hand with axjx, hit top pair on a axtx4x board, and let the kid on my right bleed 5K off my 12K stack with top two before I pulled the rip cord.

That left me drifting down to a 15BB stack when the third level began. I can’t blame the bad performance on my cards. After three levels (two hours), I’d had axax, qxqx twice, txtx, and 9x9x twice, but when they were good, nobody played back against me, and I’d lose my raises after the flop made my tens and nines dangerous territory.

During the second set of levels, I managed to stay between 8–12BB, taking a flier on 2x2x, 3x3x7x7x, and 8x8x—all of which just cost me chips—and managing to survive three or four all-ins, twice against the only woman at the table, when I had aces and queens in my blinds, and I shoved over her raise. She didn’t look very happy with me.

A couple notes from that set of levels.

The kid in Seat 1 I’d handed chips to early on had gotten himself in a situation similar to mine in later rounds, and shoved his chips at one point. The dealer announced his all-in and put the big yellow button in front of his stack. An aggressive older reg at Seat 7 had been talking to his neighbor while action folded around to his small blind, and just put out chips to complete without declaring a call. The dealer told him there was an all-in (about 12BB), and the reg mucked his cards. The dealer called the floor, who ruled the chips needed to complete the big blind call were forfeit, but that there was no call of the all-in. Seat 1 was upset about the ruling, as you could well expect. I have to admit, I didn’t speak up although I vaguely knew the TDA rule on it would be a call of the full amount.

39: Binding Declarations / Undercalls in Turn

General verbal declarations in turn (such as “Call” or “Raise”) commit a player to the full current action. See Illustration Addendum.

A player undercalls by declaring or pushing out less than the call amount without first declaring “call”. An undercall is a mandatory full call if made in turn facing 1) any bet heads-up or 2) the opening bet on any round multi-way. In other situations, TD’s discretion applies. The posted BB is the opening first round bet in blind games. All-in buttons greatly reduce undercall frequency (See Recommended Procedure 1). This rule addresses when a player must make a full call and when, at TDs discretion, he may forfeit the underbet and fold.

The operative words in B are “The posted BB is the opening first round bet in blind games.” The reg wasn’t heads-up, and the raise was not the opening bet in the round. Neither condition was satisfied, so it was one of those “other situations” where TD discretion is the deciding factor. I felt for the kid, who was grumbling about it for a couple hands before he was moved to balance the table, but in this case the TD had a choice.

Seat 4 came to the table after a re-entry, with tales of having just got back from playing at the Venetian, where he’d managed to get stuck $6K in just a few hours after running top two pair into bottom set three times. It was almost painful to see him get busted in the tournament with axtx against 7x7x on an axtx7x flop.

My time almost came just after the second break. We’d had 82 entries and the announcement came that there were 41 players remaining. A new player was moved into Seat 1. He was UTG on his second hand and raised to 2.5K at 400/800/100. I had axax and a grand total of 6.3K. I shoved. The reg who’d been involved in the undercall kerfuffle through about it for a bit and called. UTG called. The flop was askcjs. Not horrible for me, but with a lot of possible unpleasantness. Both the other players checked through qs on the turn and 8h on the river. I flipped over my hand and said: “Well, I’ve got a set of aces,” expecting one of the others to flip the dreaded ten. Seat 1 turned up a pair of kings. Seat 7 mucked. And suddenly, I was relevant with more than 21K. Not chip average, but reasonable to make it through another couple levels, so long as I didn’t screw it up.

It doesn’t take long for dreams to die. On the next round of the button, I was in middle position and called an early raise to 3K, with adtd. The raiser was an older man (older than me, I mean) and I took the nearly 4x raise to indicate a medium-to-strong pair. We were heads-up to the flop: ax8d4x. He put out another 6K. I should have re-evaluated at this point and double-checked his stack, because 9K nearly half his chips. Instead, I went with my initial read and shoved over the top. He didn’t take much time to call with axjx, the board left his safe, and I was down to 3BB just like that.

Two hands later, I have ax7x and shove, with BB about to hit me in two hands. I got two callers, I made my ace on the flop, but the board ran out a flush on the river and suited connectors in seat 10 took me out of the game.

Four hours and forty-five minutes. -100% ROI.

#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for 27 January 2016

Los Angeles Poker Classic

photo via Steven Harper's Facebook page

Steven Harper notched an entry into the $1.1K LAPC Main Event Satellite running on weekends preceding the Main, by cashing in one of the nightly $150 Step 1 satellites. A cash in the  $1.1K Satellite (another batch run in the days just before the Main Event starts 27 February) gets you one of the coveted $10K seats. Harper also took seventh place in the $240 NLHE Big Bounty tournament on Monday, picking up eight $100 bounties to go along with the prize money. Hoping to get down to LA myself in the next few weeks.

Tulalip Pow WowIMG_2619

I didn’t get a chance to play any of the preliminary events at Tulalip this week, but I plan to be there for Day 1A of the Main Event on Thursday (and back for Day 2 on Sunday, natch). Got a little bit of a bankroll boost by taking second in Friday’s $11K guarantee at Encore Friday night but couldn’t play the $35K on Saturday.

Encore Club

Speaking of the $35K…via Encore’s Facebook page


Muckleshoot Spring Poker Classic

Just saw the announcement of this year’s spring event at Muckleshoot (no more Omaha!), concluding as usual with a two-day $750 Main Event. 16–21 March, with satellites for seats in multiple events the three days before the series and Wednesday evenings beginning 17 February.

 Deal of the Day: World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star

2016 Shooting Star

The Shooting Star at San Jose’s Bay 101 casino is the closest premiere poker tournament to Portland. It’s been on the WPT schedule since season II (they’re now in Season XIV). It started as a $5.3K buy-in, going to a $10K for most of its run, and for the past couple of years, it’s been offered as a $7.5K. It’s unique on the WPT schedule for having a $2.5K bounty on 50 “star” players seeded through the tables.

Unlike most of the other WPT Main Events, there aren’t a lot of side events. Aside from the Main Event’s two starting days on 7 and 8 March, there’s a two-day $2.1K buy-in event on 6 March, and a 2-day $25K High Roller tournament on 9 March. Unlike the Commerce in LA—where the WPT $10K LAPC Main Event starts a week earlier—Bay 101 is a small venue. Capacity for the $2.1K is just 250 players, But the multiple starting days and slightly smaller buy-in mean the number of players is for the Main is larger (more than 700 at Shooting Star vs. about 540 for LAPC over the past couple of years) and the payouts at the top have actually been larger.

Do I think everyone in Portland should just pony up $7.5K for a chance at what’s considered one of the best values in poker (due to the atmosphere of the event and the number of Silicon Valley locals with money who aren’t necessarily fantastic deepstack poker players)? No. But due to the Bay Area’s proximity, and the fact that so many people here do business there on a regular basis, the potential value in slipping into the Shooting Star via one of the many satellites Bay 101 runs in the lead-up to the series can’t be ignored.

The first mega-satellite in December paid out seven seats. This month’s $275 mega has passed, but they begin to run daily 16–26 February (except Saturday, 20 February) at 9:30am (there’s also a President’s Day—15 February—mega at 8:15am). There are six $550 satellites between 20February and 2 March, and three $1.1K satellites 3–5 March, all of which begin at 9:30am. So if you have reason to be in Northern California sometime in the second half of next month, you might want to book an extra day and fly through SJC. Bay 101’s only a mile or so away from the terminal.

This Week in Portland Poker

The big event this week is the Big Shot at The Game. Or should I say Bigger Shot? The original Big Shot guaranteed $10K to first place. This time, first is guaranteed $20K, with the remainder of the prize pool spred between 2nd and 9th. Seating is limited to 80 players (there were still plenty of seats available according to The Game’s Chelle Brooks. Entry is $200, rebuys (unlimited) are $200, and there’s an optional $200 add-on. It all happens at 2pm Saturday. The Game also features the Big Shot Freeroll on Sundays at noon, this week’s tournament has a $1K guarantee, and there’s a drawing at 5pm for a Spirit Mountain overnight package. Announcements are in the works for WSOP satellites and other special events in the next couple of months,

Only a Day Away

Check out the Pacific Northwest Tournament Calendar for more poker.

#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for 20 January 2016

Los Angeles Poker Classic

Portland (and PNW)-area players got off to a great start for the year at Commerce Casino, where Dan “Goofy” Beecher and Allen Oh made the final tables of the first two events. Beecher came in sixth in the $100K guarantee Event #1, and Oh got to heads-up in Event #2, a $150K guarantee, after a five-way deal and a wild agreement to play all-in-or-fold for an extra $4K. Tshering Sherpa and Angela Jordison both cashed in Event #2, with Sherpa just missing the final table (and LAPC’s reporting missing his finish). No PNW finishers in Event #3, a Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event, or the first flight of the $250K guarantee (Event #4, Turbo NLHE), but there’s still time to get into some of the action on the latter: flights run through Saturday. The series runs all through February, you can follow the action at

Aussie Millions Follow-Up

Hopefully, a lot of you took advantage of the free drawing for an Aussie Millions Main Event seat last week. According to a message from the promo company that contacted me, there weren’t a huge number of entries overall (which is probably why they were reaching out to bloggers half-way across the world), so your chances are waaaay better than the lottery. I know that if I win a seat, I’ll be selling action (or trying to) below par to round up money for the trip. Let me know if you end up going yourself!

 Deal of the Day: PacWest Poker Classic

Did you somehow miss last week’s announcement of the winter series at Chinook Winds?

Nine guaranteed events over nine days, beginning on 20 February. It kicks off with a $330, $50K guarantee NLHE 6-Max tournament and ends with a $750 (including add-on) $100K NLHE Main Event. Along the way, there’sa bounty tournament,  Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, Big O, and lots of satellites. The fly in the ointment is the unconventional 55+ age restriction on the Seniors event. Most everywhere else it’s 50+ but I guess the oldsters don’t want to be terrorized by the likes of the Poker Mutant.

Lincoln City is the closest location to Portland with a series of this scope. It’s still a bit of a drive for a commute from the city—especially if you’re there to the end of a long tournament day and have to come back for a Day 2—but it’s doable. The poker room itself fills up with cash games on the weekends; it can be a little slow getting started in the days during the week. Last time I was down there, they were running Seven Card Stud cash games on Fridays.

Tickets for the series are on sale through Chinook Winds’ online ticketing; you still have to go to the ticket office to pick up your tickets and buy any dealer add-on at the tournament registration desk when you get seat assignments.

This Week in Portland Poker

This weekend is the $35K at Encore Club that seems to be turning into a monthly event. 1pm, $200 entry/re-entry, and an $80 add-on at the first break.

Only a Day Away

Check out the Pacific Northwest Tournament Calendar for more poker.

#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for 13 January 2016

I hope everyone’s year’s gotten off to a good start. Are we winning? At least we’re back to normal winter weather in Portland. The perfect kind of weather for being inside playing poker in the warm and dry.

Aussie Millions

Got a DM Tuesday from one of the Aussie Millions promotional companies. They’ve got a drawing for a seat to the Aussie Millions Main Event. The Main Event has three starting days: 24-26 January and runs for a total of five days. It’s a AU$10.6K buy-in (US$7.4K) at Crown Casino in Melbourne. The flight alone’s going to cost $2K. But it is one of the premiere events in the world of poker, last year there were nearly 650 entries and the prize pool was over US$5M. And the Crown is 18+, so if you’re locked out of Portland poker because of Portland Players Club’s closing as the last of the alcohol-free clubs….

Competition closes at midnight on January 14th Melbourne time, which is 5am Thursday morning here, so if you’re going to enter, make sure you do it today.

The entry form’s built for Australian and New Zealand players, so you have to trick the phone number and zip fields. You can just type in the first four number of your ZIP for the postal code, but Australian phone numbers are eight digits with a two-digit prefix. It’s the same number of digits as US phone numbers, but the first two digits have to be in the range 02-08. If your number’s 503-555-1212, just use 0355551212 and it should work. What have you got to lose?


Monday Mix

My focus on the site is mostly on tournaments (hence the title “Pacific NW Tournament Calendar,” duh), but there are a lot of “shootouts” around town. Technically, most of them are hour-long tournaments with one blind level, unlimited rebuys, and a chip chop at the end of the tournament.

Most of them are Hold’em (big surprise) but there’s one game that’s had a few homes where those of us with a penchant for odd games can get some more cards: the Monday Mix game hosted by Devin Sweet.

It started off in BC’s underneath Aces Players Club on Powell, then moved to Portland Players Club last year. Now that PPC is resting, it’s got a home at the Rialto Poolroom Bar and Cafe in downtown Portland,

The Mix offers a wide variety of games, with 20 or so different variations of Omaha, Stud, Badugi, and more, in addition to Hold’em. Blinds for the flop games are 1/1 1/2 (corrected per Mix dealer Josh Harding). The Stud games are played 5-25 spread limit. My own personal opinion is that takes most of the interest out of limit stud games, with a $600 max buy-in and five rounds of betting that can go to $100, you might as well just toss in your chips and draw for a high card, but some people like it. Monday nights at 7pm.

Rialto is also offering Sunday noon games of 4/8 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, in addition to NLHE at other times. Check the NW Poker Facebook page for notices.

PacWest Poker Classic

The schedule for Oregon’s other poker series, the PacWest Poker Classic at Chinook Winds the last week of February is up. The schedule in the Tournament Guide PDF has some incorrect dates, but a spot check of the dates on the structure sheets themselves looks okay. More on this later!

Note to other old people, PacWest’s Seniors tournament is 55+, not 50+.

 Deal of the Day: Tulalip Poker Pow Wow

This year’s Poker Pow Wow is coming right up. It has five events over two weekends, from Friday, 22 January to Sunday, 31 January.

  • Event 1. NLHE. $235 buy-in, Friday and Saturday entry days (1/22-23) with Day 2 on Sunday 1/24. 30-minute levels on Day 1, 40 minutes on Day 2.
  • Event 2. PLO8. $150 buy-in. One day (Monday, 1/25). 30-minute levels.
  • Event 3. NLHE Seniors (usually 50+, but after seeing PacWest, what do I know?). $235 buy-in. One day (Tuesday, 1/26). 30-minute levels.
  • Event 4. PLO. $235 buy-in. One day (Wednesday. 1/27). 30-minute levels.
  • Event 5. NLHE Main Event with $10K added. $500 buy-in. Three entry days (Thursday-Saturday, 1/28-30) with Day 2 on Sunday, 1/31. 40-minute levels on Day 1, 60-minute levels on Day 2.

No fee information is on the structure sheets (at above link). Satellites for the Main Event are running at noon today, 3pm Saturday, and next Wednesday at noon ($60 entry). I’m not sure of the room capacity. One comment on Twitter leads me to believe seating may be limited, but I’m trying to get confirmation of capacity from Tulalip. (UPDATE: 110 seats plus alternates.)

This Week in Portland Poker

As I’m putting this report together Tuesday, I haven’t seen any announcements for special events for the next week; everyone seems to be on their regular schedules until next weekend.

Only a Day Away

  • In LA, the Liz Flynt Poker Championship has two more entry days (two flights each today and tomorrow, with a final day on Friday). It’s a $200K guarantee with a $275 buy-in and six entry flights over three days.
  • The LA Poker Classic at Commerce Casino starts Friday and runs through early March. I went into detail about the schedule in a Deal back in November.
  • The Wynn Signature Weekend in Las Vegas, a 3-entry-day, $600 entry, $250K guarantee NLHE event, starts next Thursday (1/21), with Day 2 on Sunday (1/24).
  • Thunder Valley outside Sacramento is hosting Poker Night in America starting next Thursday (1/21). The first non-satellite event is a $425 buy-in $200K guarantee NLHE tournament with four entry flights over Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and a live-streamed final table on Sunday (1/24). There are nine other events with smaller guarantees ($7.5K to $25K) before the $1650 Main Event, which is recorded for television. They’re also running satellites for a $10K buy-in to their $25/$50 televised cash game.
  • Aria has updated their web site, but their poker page still doesn’t carry any information about their $25K buy-in High Roller events. They’ve got two more next Friday (1/22) and Saturday (1/23). You can read about past events at Poker Telegraph. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.
  • The Tulalip Poker Pow Wow (see above) starts a week from Friday (1/22).
  • There’s an Ante Up Cruise to the Mexican Riviera (Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta) coming up Sunday, 24 January if you’re looking for some last-minute relief from the rain. Small events ($20-$100) with a $300 championship. Plus whatever they’re charging for the ship, of course.
  • The first Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza of 2016 gets under way a week from Monday (1/25) and runs until March.

Check out the Pacific Northwest Tournament Calendar for more poker.

Win a Seat at Aussie Millions

Got a DM today from one of the Aussie Millions promotional companies. They’ve got a drawing for a seat to the Aussie Millions Main Event. The Main Event has three starting days: 24-26 January and runs for a total of five days. It’s a AU$10.6K buy-in (US$7.4K) at Crown Casino in Melbourne. The flight alone’s going to cost $2K. But it is one of the premiere events in the world of poker, last year there were nearly 650 entries and the prize pool was over US$5M. And the Crown is 18+, so if you’re locked out of Portland poker because of Portland Players Club’s closing as the last of the alcohol-free clubs….

Competition closes at midnight on January 14th Melbourne time, which is 5am Thursday morning here, so if you’re going to enter, make sure you do it today.

The entry form’s built for Australian and New Zealand players, so you have to trick the phone number and zip fields. You can just type in the first four number of your ZIP for the postal code, but Australian phone numbers are eight digits with a two-digit prefix. It’s the same number of digits as US phone numbers, but the first two digits have to be in the range 02-08. If your number’s 503-555-1212, just use 0355551212 and it should work. What have you got to lose?


#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for 6 January 2016

Very weird. Almost a week in and I think the headline is the first time
I’ve typed in the new year….

I Come From the Land of the Ice & Snow

Winter weather tends to hit the Portland area hard, since freezing temperatures here generally mean ice rather than snow. Yeah, yeah, everyone from Eastern Oregon and Colorado and the East Coast, you know how to drive in snow, Portland doesn’t know how to keep the streets clear of snow, yadda, yadda, yadda…. None of you suckers are good on ice.

Anyway, conditions led to some closures and delays in poker schedules around town. The storm didn’t hit until after the big events for the weekend in Portland were over, but Black Diamond Poker Room in Albany had to reschedule last Sunday’s $310 Deepstack tournament for next Sunday.

The Hardest Working Man In Portland Poker

ChaddI first met Chadd Baker shortly after poker’s Black Friday. I got an invitation to Portland Players Club—which he’d purchased early in the year—for a promotional freeroll tournament. I won it—my first live MTT win—after a couple of years playing in the home game that was my re-introduction to poker. PPC had been around before Chadd in its location above Biddie McGraw’s at NE 60th & Glisan, it was profiled in Bluff magazine (which disappeared into the void recently), but Chadd had been trying to sell it over the past year. PPC’s been a favorite place to play for me, with cheap buy-ins and door fees, 11am start times for the first tournament, and a selection of games other than NLHE: mostly Big O these days, but HORSE, PLO, PLO8, and more. It was close to my house: I could walk there in about 30 minutes and drive there in less than 10.

Through it all, Chadd’s been there night and day. Putting together the web site, posting to Facebook, texting players to get them in to play, wrangling volunteer dealers (who are themselves some of the best and most experienced non-Hold’em dealers you’ll ever run across), making sandwiches, blending great shakes, cleaning, stocking, etc. The club was usually open late; Chadd would be there at opening and through the evening game most every day of the long poker week. How he found time to have a wife and child boggles my mind.

Anyway, this phase of Portland Players Club is at an end. The last game was the day before New Year’s Eve. All but one of the tables in the club was gone. I’m going to miss the old place. I met a lot of interesting characters—and a few folks I consider friends—at PPC. It was the kind of place that I though might be cool to own myself if I had the money to keep the place running—I can’t imagine Chadd was making a giant profit—except for the fact that I knew how much time and effort he put in to the job. He’s a better man than I am. I’ll just have to settle for imagining Chadd running my imaginary poker club.

2016 : My Time Is Coming

 Deal of the Day: Los Angeles Poker Classic Weeks 1 & 2

There’s nothing not to like about the LAPC at Commerce Casino. It’s got a huge amount of action at the Largest Card Casino in the World™. For more than a month-and-a-half, from a $175 buy-in $100K guarantee a week from Friday to the $10K WPT Championship that wraps up  3 March, there’s something for nearly everyone.

A lot of side events at LAPC are non-Hold’em tournaments, which may make it more appealing to those of us who like a little variety, compared to the World Series of Poker. There are trade-offs: Buy-ins at LAPC aren’t as large. LA’s a bit more expensive to get around without a car than Vegas. But who could pass up a $350 Crazy Pineapple 8 or Better tournament?

The first two full weeks of the series (1/17-30) have some particular appeal. Apart from a $100K NLHE Bounty game on the first Sunday ($350 buy-in, $100 bounties) and a $250K guarantee NLHE Turbo with $240 buy-in (eight starting flights through the week, with Day 2 on the 25th), there arr 1pm games (mostly $350 buy-ins) of Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, Triple Stud (7-Card Stud Hi and Hi-lo, and Razz), mixed Omaha Hi-Lo and 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo, PLO, PLO8, Limit Hold’em, HORSE, NLHE All In Or Fold, not to mention nightly satellites to the Main Event at the end of February.

Plus, if you get on the list early and can get over to the Bicycle Casino with an extra $500+ in your pocket, you might be able to play 5/5 PLO on Live At the Bike with Abe Limon in the commentary booth.

So, if you’re ready to make me into the next Greg Raymer (minus the embarrassing non-conviction arrest), drop me a line. I know where I want to go. Plus Limon’s holding $250 for me from a prop bet we won (that’s half my LATB buy-in right there!)

This Week in Portland Poker

  • Encore Club has a special $8K tournament tonight at 8pm, $50 buy-in, $25 add-on, no re-entry or re-buy. They’ve announced another $35K guarantee for the 23rd.
  • The Game has announced a bigger, better Big Shot for the end of the month, with $20K guaranteed to first place.

Only a Day Away

Check out the Pacific Northwest Tournament Calendar for more poker.

#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for December 30

poff2Kim Poff

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the GoFundMe site for Kim. A generous donation from Dan Pasko reached the goal on Christmas Day. Don’t let that stop you from continuing to help out.

Mutant Poker In Review: 2015

It’s been a pleasure to bring you news and info on Portland and Northwest poker tournaments and players for the past year (or, at least, the last half of it). As I mentioned a couple of weeks back, the blog’s been around for five years, but 2015 was the year I tried to do much more than write about my own games mixed with some analytical articles.

I started running daily reports on NW players in Vegas for the WSOP and other series in early June, combing reports for mentions of anyone from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia.

Then, in the first week of August, I started running these weekly round-ups, based on the tournament calendar I’d been maintaining for a couple of years already.

pokercal_jan16For months now, I’ve been struggling with a display issue on the calendar. It looked fine to me in the edit mode, but there was an issue that added padding at the beginning and end of the blocks designating events that made it difficult to read single-day events (or the ends of some multi-day events that spanned more than one week). It was some fairly complex JavaScript that computed positions of the overlays and I was never able to get it figured out, but a different WordPress theme fixed it in a second, so you’ll see things look better now. The trouble I go through for you guys….

Then, a couple months ago, I egged you folks on to affect the results of PokerUpdate’s “Most Memorable” televised poker hand. That was sort of fun.

I put up 110 posts over the year, with a 38-day streak during the WSOP, but the top three posts on the site for the year were all put up before 2014 (“Sweet Spot,” “How Good Is Good Enough?,” and “Why Not Rebuy?“).

Anyway, now that the new year’s about to begin, there are lots of tournament options opening up (tip for newbies, events are colorized by geographic region: Nevada, California, Oregon/Washington/BC, and Other—mostly Alberta, Colorado, and Arizona—and there are buttons above the calendar that can be used to hide or show various regions).

It’s been a treat. Hope we all have a good 2016.

 Deal of the Day: Tulalip Poker Pow Wow

You’d think that there would be a little more promotional lead-up to a 10-day poker series, but maybe Tulalip doesn’t need to do anything more than draw in the locals. Anyway, the January Poker Calendar was posted the other day, and right there at the top is the 2016 Poker Pow Wow, running from the 22nd to the 31st of the month. Here’s the schedule (there are some satellites to the Main Event running in the week prior to the series, as well):

  1. Two-day NLHE with 2 entry days (1/22-23, with final on 1/24). $235 buy-in. Structure sheets don’t specify re-buys, dealer appreciation, or fees, though there is a mention of ODAF in some of the notes below the schedule.
  2. PLO8 with $150 buy-in (1/25)
  3. NLHE Seniors. $235 buy-in (1/26)
  4. PLO. $235 buy-in (1/27)
  5. Two-day NLHE Main Event with 3 entry days (1/28-30, final on 1/31) with $10K added to the prize pool. $500 buy-in.

All events at noon.

If you’re at Tulalip for the $60 Main Event satellite on the 20th, there’s a drawing for six Main Event seats.

This Week in Portland Poker

  • Final Table gets the Portland poker year off to a jumpstart with their First Friday $20K  at 7pm. $100 buy-in/re-entry and a $50 add-on.
  • Encore Club adds to the first weekend of 2016 with a $20K on Saturday at 8pm. Also $100 buy-in/re-entry and $50 add-on. Encore is closed New Year’s Eve.
  • Aces Full is closed New Year’s Event and New Year’s Day. They’ll ring in the New Year with a $1K guarantee at noon on Saturday.
  • The Game is closing at 10pm New Year’s Eve (but they’ll be open New Year’s Day).

Only a Day Away

Check out the Pacific Northwest Tournament Calendar for more poker.

#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for December 23

GoFundMe for Portland Dealer Kim Poff and Her Kids

Kim Poff has been a bright spot of the Portland poker club scene for the past several years. She’s brought a smile and light to the dealer box the whole time I’ve known her. I hadn’t seen her around for a couple of months and assumed that I just hadn’t been in the right place, but news got out last week that she had a stroke in September and is in physical therapy to help her recovery. Jim Rostel set up a GoFundMe page for Kim and her children, to help them out at Christmas. Not asking for much and don’t worry about it being too close to Christmas. Any little bit will help.


The Bike

Portland players Jacque Lavadour and Allen Oh both cashed in the WSOP Circuit Main Event at The Bicycle Casino in LA last week. Gerald Huynh got into the money in the second Monster Stack tournament there. Eugene’s Jeanne Savage made the final table for fifth place in the first Monster Stack, her second WSOP cash and her second WSOPC final table this year. The next WSOPC series west of the Rockies is at Bally’s in Las Vegas at the end of February.

WSOP 2016 Dates Announced

Like you hadn’t heard. May 31 through July 18th. Main Event July 9-18. Colossus starting days June 2-4. Seniors event starts June 17th.

 Deal of the Day: WPT California Swing Kickoff

If you’re driving south to LA at the beginning of the year for the WPTDeepstacks series at Hustler Casino, you might take a couple of days to hang out north of Sacramento at Thunder Valley Casino for the WPT California Swing Kickoff.

The California Swing consists of three WPT Main Tour events: LAPC at the Commerce at the end of February, the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star in San Jose in early March, and WPT Rolling Thunder at Thunder Valley a week later. (The Main Events of each series are $10K, $7.5K, and $3.5K, respectively.)

Over the first three days of the new year, Thunder Valley will be running three tournaments (and numerous satellites).

  • January 1: $25K guarantee welcome event ($150 buy-in).
  • January 2: $100K guarantee with a $400 buy-in.
  • January 3: WPT Rolling Thunder Mega Satellite with 20 $3.5K Main Event seats guaranteed ($400 buy-in).

Yes, you’ll have to put up with more than two months of delayed gratification if you get one of the satellite seats (the first entry day  for Rolling Thunder isn’t until March 12) but it’ll be like having the Golden Ticket in your pocket, knowing you’ll be heading back down to Lincoln for the big game in the spring.

Thunder Valley is about a 10-hour drive from Portland, depending on conditions. Get your year off to a good start!

This Week in Portland Poker

  • Encore Club’s (and Portland’s) last big event of the year is the day after Christmas: a $35K guarantee with $200 buy-in (and re-entry) and a $80 add-on. They’re closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
  • Aces Full is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. They’ll ring in the New Year with a $1K guarantee at noon on January 2.
  • The Game is closing Christmas Day and at 10pm New Year’s Eve.
  • Portland Players Club is holding a $20 buy-in $1K guarantee at noon on Saturday.
  • Late Addition: Final Table is putting on double guarantees at 11am ($2K, $20 buy-in) on Christmas Eve and 7pm ($4K, $50 buy-in) on Saturday.

Only a Day Away

Check out the Pacific Northwest Tournament Calendar for more poker.