Limon Tweet of the Week
ΠOKEP In the Black (Sea)
Russia’s in the news a lot lately. I’ve long been interested in Russia, from an historical perspective, as a fan of Constructivist poster art, because of a fascination with non-Roman letterforms, and because part of my wife’s family is of Russian origin. In fact, there are so many Russian emigres in the Portland area that Russian is the 3rd most-spoken language in Oregon—behind English and Spanish—and I know some of them are playing poker. I know that I’ve always wanted to go see Russia someday myself.
Well, here’s your chance to make the trip for the first time—or to go back home to make some money. PartyPoker—one of the earliest and biggest online poker operators—is in the process of building out their live poker tour, and this month’s stop is in Sochi, the site of the most-recent Winter Olympics. The big events are the $250K GTD Russian Poker Championship ($550, 3/18–22), a $100K GTD High Roller ($3,300, 3/18–20), and the $1M GTD Main Event ($1,100, 3/23–27). You can pick up tickets to Sochi for as low as $1,100 RT (although some of those have ungodly delays that make the trip nearly 60 hours; take the day-long layover in Moscow to check it out!)
So if the thought of carrying a wad of cash into Russia (or trying to get your winnings out of Russia) doesn’t scare you, hop on the computer right now. There are Russian women—who have to warm their own hands by blowing on them—waiting by the phone.
The stop after Sochi (in early May) is in Montreal, with a $5M GTD at Playground Poker Club. The flight’s shorter but they speak French, so for some of you it may be a wash.
And, from Christian Zetzsche, one of my WSOP reporting compatriots last summer, this:
Portland Poker Championship Series II
The first two events of the PPCS2 are complete, and the race is on for the championship. Plus lots of money. There’s a trophy for the series point leader (at right) and the two biggest events are yet to come with two $30K GTDs at Final Table Friday night at 7pm and Portland Meadows at noon Saturday.
The prize pool in last Friday’s $20K GTD at Final Table was over $35K. The Saturday game at Portland Meadows had 368 entries and a total of more than $45K in money awarded to 45 players.
I went on a heater just after the first break at Final Table, wiping out the stach of the table chip leader in consecutive hands that took me from 17K to 43K early on. The, near the second (addon) break, I lost everything I’d gained and more, got the addon, and was out on the third hand after break. Went home and got into a 70-player onliine 6-Max tournament, took third place, and made back my buyins, at least.
Saturday at Portland Meadows went a bit better, despite being card-dead after getting aces under the gun and queens on my big blind in the second level. I did not know there were that many variations on 4?7?. I got lucky with A?K? on the button when a player in early position shoved 16bb near the end of the 400/800 level, I reshoved for 33bb, and the player in the small blind tanked for a while before he shoved with a bigger stack. The original raiser had A?Q? and small blind had Q?Q?. I hit an ace on the turn, avoided a four-flush that would have sunk me, and started the 500/1K level with 70bb.
I took a couple of chances, open-raising a hand with 4♠5♠ to 3bb and having a woman a couple of seats to my left re-raise me for a second time to 10bb off a relatively short stack. The flop was K♣J♣9♠, not what you would consider a good flop for my hand. I checked and she checked behind. The turn was K♠. I had her covered by about 30bb, and I shoved, then showed my bluff when I folded. I wouldn’t normally do that, but I was sort of setting myself up for something.
About 25 minutes later, I limped into a multi-way pot from late position with 5♥6♥ and four players checked the A?8♠5? flop, only to have 5♠ hit the turn. The big blind bet 2.5bb, and a player in middle position called, then I raised to 15bb. BB folds, MP tanks a long time, then finally calls. A low, non-spade on the river and I put another 25bb in with 10bb behind. MP tanked again for a long time, then called, only to ship most of his stack to my end of the table.
Then I got up over 115K until I was in the big blind with K♠5♠ and action folded to a big stack in the small blind who fumbled a raise that ended up getting ruled a min-raise. I called and flopped two spades, called a half-pot flop bet, then hit the second nuts with a spade on the turn. The small blind put in 8K and I raised to 25K, only to have him call, and then a fourth spade hit the river and I had to fold to his all-in. He showed A♠A?, naturally.
We got to the money (45 players) after about nine hours but I was below average for the rest of the night. By ten hours I had about half the average stack and we were at three tables (I could now afford to pay my friend Daryl back; I’d had to borrow $40 for the addon because I hadn’t grabbed enough bills off my desk when I left the house).
I was under 10bb at 100K when I shoved K?K? in late position and got a call from a much bigger stack on the button. He had A?Q? and flopped J?T?9?, but I was still ahead 65%/35%. But A? on the turn put a knife in my chances for a big payout.
See you all Friday night at Final Table!
This Week In Portland Poker
Last Sunday saw the late additon at Portland Meadows of a $2,800 Blaycation package that included an entry into the WSOP Colossus, travel expenses, coaching, and a week-long experience hosted by poker pro Bernard Lee. Brian Sarchi at PM said there may be more of these on the way.
Monday at Final Table was a special morning tournament/going-away party for Jack McGiffin, who I mentioned here last month; he’s off to Merrie Olde England for retirement. He’s taking a few dollars along with him, since he was in the final chop in the Friday night $20K.
This week, of course, are the final two events in the Portland Poker Championship Series II. A reminder that both venues have increased their door fees to $15/day.
Saturday at 4pm at The Game is the final WSOP Satellite Event of their spring season. It’s the big one, a $100 buyin with unlimited rebuys and a $50 addon for a chance to win a seat to the $10,000 Main Event. There’s an 80-player cap on the event, you can reserve a seat at the front desk, and they’re serving a Parmesan chicken dinner for $10 from 3pm to 8pm.
Chinook Winds is notoriously close-mouthed about posting winners of their series, but the top three finishers of the recent PacWest Poker Classic are now available, via Devin Sweet.
Limon-Related Tweet of the Week
Limon did once call me the most self-loathing poker player he’d ever met. About five minutes after the first time we’d ever talked. My advice: don’t get into a situation where he can possibly get a read on you. Then again, I’m not so self-loathing as to pass up a “god among men” shout-out.
The Little Creek Casino in Shelton, Washington is only a couple of hours to the north. I’ve never made it up there myself, but it seems to have some decent poker action. In addition to this week’s South Sound Poker Championship (see below), they’re running WSOP satellites for the Colossus (every Tuesday in March at 7pm, $155 entry for a package including a $565 seat and $750 in expenses), and to the Millionaire Maker (every Tuesday in April at 7pm, $255 buyin plus dealer addon for a $1,500 seat and $750 in expenses).
Deal of the Week: Fly Pendleton
Only have time to make one or two events at the Wildhorse Spring Poker Round-Up and wish there was some way to get there that didn’t eat up as much time as driving four hours out the Gorge into the high plateau (which can have some icy thrills even in the early spring)? There used to be air service through Seaport, a small carrier that flew from the private terminal at PDX. They went under a year or so ago, but along comes Boutique Air (“Fly Private for the Cost of Commercial”), which operates prop planes on three flights a day between PDX and Pendleton. Want to go out for the High Roller and come back after the Main Event? You can get a non-refundable economy seat for the 1-hour flight for $49 each way ($90 refundable). The trip’s just an hour, the first flight to Pendleton is at 8am, and you can be back before 8am Monday morning. It’s going to be more expensive than driving out, but if you can only make a day or two, it might just be worth it to keep yourself rested.
Yes, it’s kind of claustrophobic-looking but it’s still bigger than your car. Definitely bigger than my car.
Only a Day Away
- Tonight is the last Wednesday satellite for the Muckleshoot Spring Poker Classic. The series begins next Wednesday.
- The WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star has a 3pm Turbo ($2,100 buyin) today and a 4pm $25K buyin High Roller. There were more than 800 entries in the Main Event before closwe of registration yesterday.
- The Wynn Spring Classic has a Survivor tournament at noon today, with a $250K GTD event starting Thursday–Saturday ($600 entry). Sunday is the final day of the $250K, and a $400 buyin $40K GTD.
- The World Series of Poker Circuit event at The Bike has started, interspersed with their Winnin’ o’ the Green series. You might still have time to get down there for the 2pm PL Stud 8/Big O mix today ($240 buyin, $10K GTD) or the $355 Survivor (top 10% get $3K). The $265 NLHE 6-Max starts tomorrow, there’s a big bounty tournament, and the nightly WSOPC Main Event satellite. Friday is a bigger Survivor at 5pm, and Satueday is the first flight of the WSOPC Main Event ($1,675 entry). The new Bicycle Hotel is offering 20% off rooms during March with use of the WSOPC17 code.
- The South Sound Poker Championship at Little Creek Casino has a $150 Bounty tournament ($1K added to prize pool) today, Thursday is $120 NLHE ($1K added). Friday is a regular $180 NLHE tournament. Saturday is the big $340 buyin tournament with $5K added to the prize pool. Then Sunday is a Last Chance Survivor ($127 buyin). The Thursday event starts at 7pm, all others begin at 11am. Little Creek’s WSOP Tuesday night satellites (see above) start up next week.
- As the WPT nears the end of its run at Bay 101, it makes the second stop it the annual “California Swing” at Thunder Valley outside of Sacramento. The Rolling Thunder Main Event ($3,500) is half the buyin of the Shooting Star, and the field is typically smaller (400+ compared to Bay 101’s 700+). There are lots of multi-table satellites (beginning Sunday) and other events, including a $250K GTD (starting days Wednesday through Friday), a one-day $100K GTD ($1,100 buyin) Friday, and a $1,100 Bounty tournament where the payout for knocking out a player is $500.
- Deepstacks Poker Tour (officially merged with rhe WPT last month after several years of working together, but still running separately in Canada) are in Calgary starting Friday at the Grey Eagle. It opens with a C$100K GTD on Friday (C$550 buyin), features HORSE, PLO, and Survivor tournaments, and wraps up with either a C$300K or C$250K GTD Main Event, depending on which part of the schedule you look at. The Canadian dollar is currently at about 76¢US.
- Gardens Casino in LA has an ad in the latest issue of CardPlayer nothing on their websitefor a $50K GTD game ($175 buyin with $100 addon) at 5pm on Friday, but there’s that I can find.
- The Venetian March Weekend Extravaganza starts 14 March (Tuesday) and runs through Sunday. The big event is a $600 buyin $200K GTD with three entry days. The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza III kicks off a week after it’s over. How time flies.
- WPTDeepstacks Reno is at the Atlantis starting 16 March and running until 27 March. They have an opening $50K GTD event ($400 buyin) and a $200K GTD Main Event ($1,100 buyin, starting 24 March).
Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!