2018 PACWest Poker Classic Event #1 $100K GTD NLHE Day 1

This was probably the least well-planned trip out of town for a poker tournament I’ve ever made, despite the fact that this entire blog is about planning and scheduling (see also my PokerNews article on planning from a couple of years ago).

The decision to come down for the opening event of the PACWest Poker Classic at Chinook Winds on the beach at Lincoln City wasn’t made for me until the day after Valentine’s Day, which was less than 48 hours before cards were in the air. A long weekend for a lot of people (President’s Day) the weekend after Valentine’s—it was kind of a perfect storm of the wrong time not to book a room at least a couple weeks in advance.

Speaking of storms, the weather

My long-time poker travel buddy, David Long, wasn’t able to make the weekend, and poker reporter Sam Cosby—who’d been talking about driving down with me—decided to drive on his own. So I was solo when I headed to the coast. As you can see from the tweet above, I met up with Sam at the casino and got the chance to catch up a little on his  travels.

I started off at table 44 and took a quick downswing of 30bb from my 85bb starting stack (17K with the dealer addon) in the first half hour. Then I was moved to a new table, continued to slide down to 7.5K (still in level 2 at 150/300). I called a late-position raise from the blind with 7x7x, flopped top set, got it all in against JxJx, and he hit his set on the river. 70 minutes from start to finish for the first bullet.

Much as I’m opposed to the idea of rebuying, I’m not going to beat myself up for getting it in good and losing. I’m also not a fan of driving two hours, waiting another couple hours, and playing poker for an hour only to drive back home. So I kicked in another $290 (255 buyin + 25 fee + 10 dealer appreciation bonus).

I’d like to point out here that the fee/rake Chinook Winds took on this tournament was less than 10% at a time when tournament rake is approaching 20% for a lot of similarly-priced tournaments. It’s 12% if you include the dealer gratuity ($35 fee and dealer/$290 total entry), but if you factor in the $100 addon, it’s under 9%. It’s not rake-free Portland poker, but the dealers get paid, they got new dealer chairs this year, and the surroundings are beautiful even in a storm.

My third table of the day was where I spent most of Day 1. I continued to drop chips until I got into a three-way hand where the flop was AJ9x. I wasn’t going anywhere with the straight flush draw and ended up all in when the player with top two pair jammed. The other player in the hand had 45. I missed the ten and another spade, but runner-runner kings gave me trips. I was standing up as the river was being dealt, but sat back down to 42K.

I was hovering around 30K about four hours in. The player who’d had top two in the previous hand had chipped back up nicely. He and a couple of others limped in and I made it 3K (at 400/800/100) from the button with KJ. That got a couple calls. The flop was ace-high with two diamonds. I don’t remember the action, just that we ended up with all our chips in the middle on the flop, he had an ace and I had, uh, KJ. That was kind of embarrassing. What was more embarrassing what that runner-runner diamonds gave me the nuts. So I doubled up again through the same guy.

We went to break (the second of the day) and just after we got back, the player in seat 5 who’d been running over the table, plopping uncounted stacks of 1K chips out over anyone’s attempt to raise did it when I’d opened with AxKx. I shoved on him with over 60K (50bb at the time) and he called with AT. And lost. That made me the chip leader on the table for a bit.

I had one more run-in with the guy who’d doubled me up. He raised, I three-bet QQ and he called. The flop was three hearts under the queen. I made a largish bet which he called, then another heart rolled off on the turn and he had a few choice things to say about how lucky I was and that he had kings before he folded.

I rolled into the dinner break with almost 200K, more than three times the chip average.

Post-dinnr didn’t go as well. I took out a player with AxAx and flopped a set, but another pair of aces went south on a 7x6x5x flop when the other big stack on the table jammed on me and I abandoned my c-bet. Then Stifler—who’d been at table when I got there but was moved then moved back—hit a set of deuces on a Tx8x2x flop when I had 9x9x and I ended up down to 100K, below which I stayed for a long time before the hand that made me hated by yet another player.

Micah Bell raised UTG and I shoved from the button with ATx. Micah called with AxKx and the board ran out another diamond flush for me, which did some serious damage to his stack and put me almost up to where I’d been at dinner.

No more theatrics for me the rest of the night. we got down near the money about 11pm, but it took 45 minutes of hand-for-hand to reach the money.

We bagged, then I had to go look for someplace to sleep. Art  had offered a space in his RV, but it was midnight and I wasn’t exactly sure where he was at. I could theoretically have made it home by 2, but I was concerned that snow in the Coast Range might make getting back difficult (and I didn’t want to drive to Portland and back. So I headed into town to see if I could spot someplace with a cancellation. I did—at a price that’s going to require me to make 27th place to make a profit on the trip—ate too many Taco Bell tacos, and slept like the dead until the fire alarm went off at 4am. Rested and ready!

Read about Day 2 here.