My Time Is Coming
Because of life, my poker week usually consists of the Friday night $10K GTD at Final Table and one other night of degeneracy, with one or two evenings of online poker at Ignition Casino. I changed things up this week because of a couple of changes at Portland Meadows.
The main one was the introduction of the big blind ante (BBA) to all of their tournaments starting Monday. I’m pretty sure the twelve people reading this already know about the BBA, but it was definitely not on the radar of some of the players this week. I didn’t see any signs up announcing it (it was mentioned by Brian Sarchi on the NW Poker Facebook group and the schedule, but some people just show up).
I got out to Meadows late on Tuesday for the 7pm game, got lucky, got lucky, made the final table, then managed to make a bad call in a multi-way pot where I had the other two players covered and lost almost my entire stack before going out in ninth place, well short of the money in that size of a field.
The mechanics of the BBA are this: the player in the big blind puts out an amount equal to the size of the big blind first, then posts the big blind. If the player doesn’t have enough to cover both, they post the big blind (or whatever portion of it that they can) first, then any remaining chips for the ante.
Friday, I went back for the second big change: the Freezeout Big O. Big O tends to be a very volatile game and it’s rarely played without reentries. I got there an hour after the game started and lasted a whole half-hour. No antes in Big O!
Fortunately, I had plenty of time to get into the 7pm NLHE tournament ($2K GTD). Early on, I played 6♠5♠ and rivered a gut-shot 8-high straight against a guy who flopped a set of 8s, and I guess I played it tricky enough that he was audibly kicking himself for twenty minutes after he doubled me up because he missed it. It didn’t seem to phase his play, though, because by the time I’d climbed to 80K and been beaten back down to 25K, he was back up to 100K.
The player on my right remembered my card cap from back in the Encore Club days and we had a pleasant chat, then I asked her if she had any thoughts about the BBA format (always thinking ahead for material!). She said hadn’t heard about it yet, though we were going to be moving into the antes in just a few minutes, and it took all of about ten seconds to tell her about it, the dealer chimed in, and we chatted about the potential tactical modifications you might need to make to your game.
Shortly after that, the BBA went into effect and hit the player on her right, who had been listening to his iPhone and drinking what apparently wasn’t his first drink. He was also a novice to the big blind ante format, and unlike the player between us, was completely unprepared for change, apart from having caught a snippet of the conversation going on around him. That snippet had been twisted in his mind into some sort of angle or something of the sort, because he then spent a long time telling us he’d never heard of such a thing. When I mentioned that I’d heard the ARIA had been where it started, he said (several times) that he played at ARIA several times a year and had never heard of such a thing. Anyway, it went like that for a while, until he shoved a shortish stack with Jx3x and I called with K♥J♥ to send him to the shootout tables. A couple of players looked longingly at his table once he was seated there.
I never got anywhere near the lead, but I made the final table as one of three smaller stacks. Only seven places paid, and there was talk of a chop right away but no decision before a couple of players were knocked out. An agreement was made to pay the bubble, and one of the other players busted on that. By then I was the smallest stack, with only about 50K, but three all-ins in a row (ending with a pair of tens that I showed) got me 25K each time, and put me near the chip average. The big stacks at the table (including the player who’d doubled me up early on) were taking damage and, you know, it’s a long way between $335 and $1,465 when the average stack is just 16bb, so the next time a chop was proposed, everyone was ready.
Depending on the structure of the tournament, the big blind ante is going to change how much you pay per orbit. Where antes are about 1/10th or 1/12th the big blind (say 500/1,000/100 or 600/1,200/100) you’ll pay more on a nine-handed table with the big blind ante (9×100=900 in both of those examples, whereas you’d pay 1,000 or 1,200 for a big blind ante). In tournaments where the antes are 1/8th or 1/6th the big blind (600/1,200/200 to use one of the examples above) you’re actually paying less on a full table (9×200=1,800 vs 1,200 for the big blind ante). For shorter stacks, this can be great, because—as in most pot-limit games—you don’t pay anything when you’re not in the blinds. On the downside, if you’re on the big blind, it’s a bit harder to squeak past the blinds, and you might be more inclined to go with what you get dealt when your stack loses nearly twice as many chips on a particular hand.
From a speed standpoint, there’s no hectoring of multiple players to get their antes out. It remains to be seen how it affects play near the final table when you have two or three short-handed tables.
This Week In Portland Poker
The Game has a $300 single-table sit-and-go this Tuesday at 7pm. Call to reserve a seat or get on the waiting list.
One of these days soon, I need to get over to Claudia’s Sports Pub & Grill for their 7pm Monday PLO8 with a $25 buyin.
Worst Graphics Ever!
It’s the final episode of the most recent PokerTime, picked apart by Joe Ingram or Doug Polk (they’re pretty much interchangeable so far as I can tell, one wears a tank-top or something) for titling and design esthetics in a recent podcast on starting a YouTube channel. Anyway, I at least, am looking forward to more from Jonathan Levy and Grant Denison (I can tell them apart).
A couple of series within driving range already in progress that I missed adding while I was sidelined (thanks Steve Roselius for reminding me to check the Alberta venues!) Check the /?pnwpokercal for more info!
- Summer Super Stack, Calgary 15–27 August
- Ante Up Poker Tour, Reno 16–26 August
- Mid-States Poker Tour, Shakopee 30 August–16 September
- Gardens Poker Classic, Hawaiian Gardens 14–30 September
- Canterbury Park Fall Poker Classic, Shakopee 5–21 October
- Bay 101 Fall Poker Classic, San Jose 15–22 October
Alll the action this week is in the Southeast, at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open in Hollywood, Florida and at the World Series of Poker Circuit in Cherokee, North Carolina.
New to the leaderboard, Portland’s Andrew Dymburt picked up his first recorded cash in the SHRPO #23 $50K GTD NLHE, a $150 buyin tournament with 610 entries that netted him five figures.
Almedin Imsirovic was also at the Hard Rock, playing slightly larger buyins in somewhat smaller fields. SHRPO #14 $1M GTD NLHE High Roller was a $50K entry with 25 players. 5 positions paid (20% of the field!) and Imsirovic took 4th. He followed that up with 9th place (out of 12 paying and 91 entries) in SHRPO #25 $500K GTD NLHE.
Perennials Matt Affleck and Lee Markholt took 16th of 442 in SHRPO #20 $1M GTD NLHE and 10th/209 in SHRPO #17 $200K NLHE 8-Max. respectively.
Moving up to Cherokee, Kindah Sakkal had a great run in a filed of nearly 1,200 entries in the $400 buyin WSOPC Cherokee #8 $200K NLHE Monster Stack. The tournament almost doubled the guarantee and she took 4th place.
Another $400 event (the price points for all WSOPC events have been raised this year) saw Max Young start the 2018–19 season strongly, by placing 3rd in a field of 471 for the WSOPC Cherokee #13 $50K NLHE Double Stack (the prize pool reached $155K).
Last, but far from least, Kao Saechao was poised to follow his deep WSOP MAIN Event run on Day 3 of the WSOPC Cherokee #11 $1M GTD NLHE Main Event, but he lost a race early in the day and went out in 21st. Still, with a field of more than a thousand, a respectable showing.
Only a Day Away
- The Bicycle Casino WPT500/Legends of Poker continues on with the $570 entry WPT500 with $1M GTD and flights running through Saturday. Eash entry day features a regular flight at 1130am and a turbo at 5pm. Day 2 on Sunday with final table on Monday. Immediately following that is another $1M GTD tournament with 6 entry days ($350 buyin). Friday is the ast pair of flights, with Day 2 (including direct entry for $2,200) on Saturday.
- One of the tournaments I didn’t get on my calendar in time is the Summer Super Stack at Deerfoot Inn in Calgary. The Main Event (C$1,600 buyin) has entry days on Friday and Saturday and there are some side-events through Sunday. The flyer mentions C$300K in guarantees through the series, but I don’t see any guarantees on individual events or links to structures.
- Another ongoing series I missed is the Ante Up Poker Tour Reno at the Atlantis. The $200K GTD Main Event starts Friday ($1,100 entry) with another entry flight on Saturday. Winner of the Main gets on the cover of Ante Up.
- The second stop in the PokerStars Players Championship is at Lucky Chances Casino south of San Francisco. It’s $86 for an entry—the amount Chris Moneymaker paid for his satellite to the WSOP fifteen years ago—and the prize is a Platinum Pass seat in the $25K buyin PSPC tournament in The Bahamas next January, along with $5K in expenses. The PSPC itself will be loaded with online and live qualifiers (and people who won seats in drawings), There’ll be tour stop in September in LA and Phoenix, and another at Run It Up Reno in November.
- The Colorado State Poker Championship 22 at Golden Gates Casinois just about over, but Wednesday is the $75K GTD High Roller ($2,500 entry).
Image via Steve Roselius.
This month’s Muckleshoot Casino Deepstack tournament ($300 buyin) takes place Sunday at 10:15am. Next Sunday at the same time id the monthly Deepstack ($300 buyin). They still haven’t posted anything on their web site about next month’s Muckleshoot Fall Poker Classic (21–30 September, that link goes to Facebook).
- The Parq Vancouver Super Sunday is a C$450+50 buyin (US$385 total) starting at 10:15am. You can register up to 2 days early if you’re up that direction.
- Tulalip Casino’s Last Sunday of the Month Back to School tournament is at 11am on the 26th. $5K added to the prize pool and a $220 buyin with $10 dealer addon. Now with big blind antes!
- Ameristar East Chicago is the host to HPT Chicagoland from 23 August to 3 September. The Main Event ($1,650 buyin) has three entry days starting 30 August. Three flight days for the $1,650 entry Main Event, starting 30 August.
- Mid-States Poker Tour stops at Canterbury Park in Shakopee (just outside of Minneapolis) from 30 August through 16 September. There’s a $300K GTD $1,100 buyin Main Event with three entry days (13–15 September) with satellites running daily from 5 September.
- The Commerce Poker Series starts in just over two weeks (31 August) and runs through 16 September. The first full week features a tasty-looking $350 HORSE tournament, some Omaha Hi-Lo/Stud Hi-Lo, and a $240 buyin $200K GTD. Plus, if you get there before 2 September, you can take some time off to see ”Holy Hollywood History!”, an exhibit of goodies from the Adam West/Burt Ward Batman TV show at The Hollywood Museum.
- Labor Day is the start of Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza III. Running through 26 September, the first week features a $100K GTD ($340 buyin) followed by the $1,100 buyin $250K GTD tournament co-sponsored by MSPT.
- Coming up the end of Labor Day week is the WSOPC Thunder Valley and the Aria Poker Masters for anyone named Imsirovic.