What am I grateful for? Rake-free Portland poker clubs and especially the players who volunteer to deal because my ability to shuffle and deal is crummy..
Safe travels and best wishes for your holiday weekend (and before you head out to your regular game on Thursday, call your club to see if they’re closed!).
According to a post on the NW Poker Facebook group, former La Center card room floorman Ernie Haugen passed away last week. According to Kasey Sutton, a viewing is scheduled for 1 December at Longview Memorial Park, with another viewing and service on 4 December. See the post for details and to leave remembrances.
Holiday Tournaments and Other Announcements
Out on the east side of the state, the Ontario Poker Room is putting on a potluck fundraiser tournament for veterans of Oregon and Idaho on 2 December at 1pm. Buyin is $60 with unlimited $10 rebuys for the first hour and a $10 addon. Prospective players are requested to RSVP by 29 November.
On 9 December at noon, Medford Poker Room is having their $120 buyin Deep Stack tournament. They also suggest you reserve your seat.
The 12th Annual Northwest Deaf Poker Tournament returns to its new home at Portland Meadows Poker Room, 23 & 24 February, 2018 with three tournaments (one on Friday evening and two on Saturday). See the Facebook announcement for more info and contact information.
Congratulations to Max Young of Seaside, OR, finishing in Sixth Place and earning $26,460 for his efforts at the Wisconsin State Poker Championship @paysbigpoker#canyoufeelit@paysbig pic.twitter.com/EVEnzvobNF
— MSPT (@msptpoker) November 20, 2017
My Time Is Coming
A decent week overall here at Poker Mutant Central. Not a Max Young kind of week, but decent. I cashed in last Wednesday’s Ignition $5K GTD Thousandaire Maker (falling a little short of the Thursday game and not getting anywhere in Saturday’s or Wednesday night’s). Dropped a little money in the PLO cash games there, then took a whack at the Jackpot Sit & Go Ignition has begun to offer, where you play a 3-person game that has a variable payout, from double the buyin to 1200 times the buyin. So far I’ve played 11 $7 jackpot games. Most have had $14 payouts—one had a $35 payout—and I’ve won 6 (but not the bigger one). I’ve also played 11 of the $15 Jackpots (two of which were $75 payouts), and cashed six of the standard $30 pots.
Friday night, I was in a five-way chop at Final Table’s $10K GTD, with everyone getting between 3rd place and 2nd place money. Monday was my long-time home game (where I met Jim-Jim the Poker Cat); I dropped two buyins, busting the second time just before break, then headed over to The Game for some 1/2 NLHE. I waited about an hour before I got a seat at a new table, then left an hour later after playing back against the reckless straddler who sat on my left resulted in a double-up.
Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard
The Wildhorse Fall Poker Round Up puts lots of big numbers up in the leaderboard this week as the results hit Hendon Mob.
Brian Son of Meridian, Idaho is the big name in the new money. Going into November, he had two small cashes recorded, but he hit the money three times in Pendleton, taking 4th place in both the Shootout and the Main Event. Matt L’Hommedieu has exactly one recorded cash, but it was for 2nd place in the $330 Friday night tournament just before the Main Event. Colfax’s Ryan Christopherson had just a min cash from this summer on his record before winning Event #1. Mel Hoelzle came from Boise to pick up his first cash, a win in Thursday’s Event #9. Pogo Hyde from Salen opens his Hendon Mob page strong with 2nd place in Event #1, and Douglas Reiper bested his only other cash by a factor of twenty, taking second place in the High Roller.
— MSPT (@msptpoker) November 15, 2017
Out at Mid-States Poker Tour Denver Poker Open, Jason Beasley won the Main Event, Beasley lives in Colorado now, but he’s from Salem (and his Hendon Mob entry still lists him from there).
Even farther away, Calvin Lee (Mercer Island) won the 2017 Japan High Roller Festival Main Event (Japan only recently legalized casinos, so national poker championships have been held elsewhere, much like the Norwegians hold theirs in Dublin).
It was a good series back in Pendleton for Idahoans, with Twin Falls’ Michael York taking first on the Main Event, after making the unofficial final table of Event #10 the night before and cashing in Event #9. And, from Boise, David Smith took 2nd in Event #2, 21st in the Seniors, and 3rd in the Main Event.
Wait til you're old enough to play Seniors tourneys. Rule 1) Any ace is good for at least 10x open; Rule 2) Pairs are hard to make, so pair under the flop must be good.
— Poker Mutant (@pokermutant) November 19, 2017
2nd-place Main Event finisher Dale Dietzel (Gates, Oregon) blew out his previous cashes and picked up 13th in Event #10. Angel Iniquez grabbed first in Event #10. James Morris of Seattle took the bracelet in Event #2, Jason Heiner got 10th in #10 and 11th in the Main, Carl Oman was the winner of the High Roller, and David Mallet won the Seniors.
Seattle’s Alexander Fitzgerald went deep at WPT Montreal, cashing 22nd of 606 entries.
Clark Watkins double-dipped in Event #2 at Pendleton (2nd) and #10 (23rd). And congrats to Astoria’s Troy Stinnett, with three cashes including two final tables (20th in the Shootour, 8th in Event #1, and 3rd in the High Roller)!
Schrödinger’s Laak On The Chip Race
If you’re not listening to the Irish poker podcast hosted by David Lappin and Dara O’Kearney, you should be. Their first episode of season 4 features river-of-consciousness poker personality Phil Laak, whose interview starts thusly:
Laak: Not to diminish my own accomplishments, I want to clarify even though it says $3.6 million won [reported][tournament][winnings][on][Hendon][Mob], I wonder how many millions I spent to get that $3.6 milllion? Like, it’s not like that—that’s uh—I don’t know the answer. I don’t know if I’m ROI plus or minus. I have spent…probably if I’m plus, it’s gotta be like less than a million…I mean I…
Lappin: That’s (not?) a good ROI.
Laak: …spent a lot of…It’s probably like two hundred thousand…it might be minus, I don’t know! I’ve done so much…I’m not the best accountant. I could figure that out. I actually could easily figure it out because I have all my tax records, I could do the plus and minus, but I get…those kind of things make me anxious, looking at the…I’ve recorded, in fact I’ve recorded all my gambling since, like 1999 when I actually started gambling, but now this is the first reveal, okay? Now this is a fact, this is…I’m not making this up, and I wonder how this is possible…
Lappin: A Chip Race exclusive.
Laak: And…maybe it’s some Freudian, weird, dark thing, but I don’t look at it, I don’t want to look at it, I have no urge to look at it, I know it would be relatively easy to look at it. I am…I collect the data and then I don’t analyze it.
This belt buckle is too big to wear so people take pictures with it instead. pic.twitter.com/AYyPVvgIg8
— Phil Laak (@PhilLaak) November 12, 2017
In other podcast news, Limon was a guest on the Part Time Poker podcast the other day, He’s always worth a listen no matter where he shows up. You can turn it off after he’s gone.
Session 3 Episode 3
It it’s Tuesday it must be PokerTime! Well, after Tuesday, anyway…
The Tulalip Poker Pow Wow coming up in January has a couple of odd mixed game tournaments in it. The 4-game mix is PLO, PL Hold’em (PLH), PLO8, and PLH8 (Pot Limit Hold’em 8 or Better). That last one’s pretty strange, but the 2-game Mix is PLO8 and something called Pot Limit 5 Card Holdout. When my far more experienced poker traveling companion David Long and I were out in Pendleton the other week, I asked him if he’d ever heard of such a thing. Was it some oddball term for Big O? I mean, there’s five cards. He said he hadn’t heard of it, but having designed games of various sorts over the years, I was curious what it was.
It’s something being promoted by Omega Gaming USA, apparently. There’s a brief Reddit thread about it, but a more detailed description in the State of Washington Gambling Commission‘s letter of approval to Omega (which is addressed to Marysville, home of Tulalip Casino).
The game plays out like this:
- Small and big blinds are put out, as in Hold’em.
- Each player gets five cards.
- There is a round of betting (pot limit, starting to the left of the big blind).
- Players discard up to four of the cards in their hand, starting to the left of the button. All of the cards remaining in the player’s hand must play.
- If more than one player remains, the dealer burns a card and turns over two cards for a flop.
- Remaining players bet, call, or fold.
- If more than one player remains, the dealer burns another card and turns over two cards for the river.
- Remaining players bet, call, or fold.
- If more than one players remains, there is a showdown.
The twist to this game is that your five-card hand must include all of the cards you keep, plus enough of the four cards on the board to equal five. If you keep one card, you are playing all four cards from the board. If you don’t discard anything, you don’t get to use any of the community cards. If you discard two, you use the three in your hand and two from the board.
Running some sample hands for a couple of hours, it felt like the game had aspects of draw and stud games, as well as Omaha. I’m not likely to get a chance to play thr tournament since it’s midweek—and I’m not about to give away the strategic insights we came up with (except that players keeping four cards are very likely to make their flush)—but I am going to keep a look out for any chance to play it.
This Week In Portland Poker
Final Table announced a double guarantee for their Friday morning (11am) tournament just after I posted this week’s Planner. The $10K GTD for Friday night is also confirmed. Saturday at noon is a big $30K GTD at Portland Meadows!
UPDATEDER: Also too late to make the original post (guys, you know I usually write these by Tuesday night, right?) Heath Bloodgood announced a $50K GTD tournament ($160 buyin with 1 live rebuy, $80 addon) at noon on 2 December. Pre-reg starts Monday.
I haven’t seen any announcements for specials on the day after Thanksgiving (there should be a $10K GTD at Final Table at 7pm, as usual), but Saturday at noon is a big $30K GTD at Portland Meadows! See you there if I’m not in some turkey-induced coma.
Only a Day Away
There’s a flurry of games over the next three weeks but a big gap in poker series activity (nearby, but there’s always Prague) starting in mid-December. So get your money in now!
- It’s the last weekend of the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza IV in Las Vegas. Friday and Saturday have $340 flights for a $100K GTD tournament (finishing on Sunday), and there are some smaller events, including a $7K GTD Omaha Hi-Low tournament at 2pm Friday. The Venetian December Extravaganza starts 4 December; its centerpiece is the $500K GTD Card Player Poker Tour DoubleStack ($3,500 entry) on 8 December.
- The WPTDeepstack Championship starts Friday at Thunder Valley. It opens with a $560 $100K GTD and closes with the $2,500 buyin $1M GTD championship next weekend.
- Friday is the start of the WPT Five Diamond at Bellagio in Las Vegas. There are more than two weeks of tournaments (culminating in the $10,400 buyin Main Event) with a number of them at the $1,100 level. The first is just $560! Saturday features the first of two shot clock tournaments, there’s a Seniors game and PLO on Monday, and $1,620 NLHE 6-Max on Tuesday. Why do I have a job?
- The last Sunday in November is a Deepstack tournament at Muckleshoot Casino. $300 buyin for 25K in chips, starting at noon. It’s a qualifier for their Tournament of Champions (17 December): free entry to the TOC for the winner, $250 for anyone who qualified by playing 5 TOC qualifying events and scored enough points, and remaining spots go for $400. Now they tell me.
- The Last Sunday of the Month tournament at Tulalip is an $820 buyin with a $75K GTD. 11am on 26 November. There’s a satellite ($90 buyin) on Saturday at 3pm.
- Sunday is the opening event of a smaller Las Vegas series, the Aria Fall Poker Classic, which kicks off with a $470 buyin PLO tournament. The other events in the week-long series are NLHE and they’re a mix of $400 and $240 buyins.
- The Wynn Signature Weekend starts next Wednesday with a $25K GTD Seniors tournament, followed by three days of entry into a $600 $250K GTD tournament (Thursday through Saturday, with Day 2 on Sunday) and a $2.5K Survivor game on Sunday at noon for the save ($300 entry).
- Back in Missouri, it’s HPT St. Charles, with a $100K GTD event starting next Thursday (three entry days), a $500 entry Seniors Championship the next week (7 December, Pearl Harbor Day), and the $2,500 entry HPT Championship Open starting 8 December. Last year’s Championship (held at Thunder Valley) had a $500K GTD prize pool of more than $900K. This year there’s no guarantee. One-way flight that Friday to St. Louis International (just a few miles from the casino) is about $220.
- The last West Coast WSOP Circuit stop is at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. It gets under way on 1 December with a NLHE Bounty Ring event, then there’s a $300K GTD $365-entry Ring tournament the first weekend of December. The Main Event ($1,675) starts 9 December.
- The Ontario Poker Room Veterans Fundraiser is 2 December and the Medford Poker Room Holiday Tournament is 8 December (see above).