#PNWPokerCal Planner for 21 February 2018

Just a short post this week. Too much going on. I wrote up my experiences on Day 1 and Day 2 of the PACWest Poker Classic $100K NLHE opening event already this week. There aren’t any results posted from there to Hendon Mob yet and there’s nothing else big on the leader boards, so you can check these winner photos out.



Poker Time Kicks It Up a Notch


My Time Is Coming

Yeah. It sort of came this week.


Only a Day Away

I’ve made a small formatting change to the calendar that should make things easier to read.

  • Los Angeles Poker Classic 25  finishes off this week. There’s a $200K GTD NLHE 8-Max Thursday with a $5,250 buyin. Saturday is Day 1 (of 6) for the WPT NLHE Championship ($10,000 entry). $1M Guaranteed to first place.
  • The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza has its last flilght for the $1M GTD NLHE today at noon ($1,600 entry).
  • The MSPT Canterbury Park Main Event ($1,100 entry) has $300K guarantee. Two entry days, on Friday and Saturday.
  • The WSOPC Rio Las Vegas at the Rio runs through Tuesday. The Main Event (starting Saturday and Sundat) is $1M GTD. There’s another WSOPC stop in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood next month.
  • The Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic runs through Sunday. Tomorrow is $20K GTD Big O, Friday is a $50K GTD NLHE, and there’s the $200K GTD NLHEMain Event on Saturday (one entry only $550 with a $200 addon). There are ME satellites Thursday and Friday nights and a Turbo Satellite on Saturday morning.
  • The Wynn Classic has a NLHE Survivor tournament with $5K payouts ($400 entry) today at noon. There are separate $100K GTD tournaments on Friday and Saturday with $550 entry.
  • The Great Canadian Freeze Out is at Calgary’s Cash Casino until 4 March with six events., including a C$660 buyin Main Event with 4 entry days (28 February to 3 March) and Day 2 on 4 March.
  • Early events at the WPT Rolling Thunder kick off on Saturday with a $100K GTD NLHE One Day ($440 etnry). The $3,500 entry Main Event has entry days 2 & 3 March. with numerous satellites.
  • And coming up on 2 March at the Bicycle Casino WSOPC/Mega Millions XVIII, running until the end of March, kicking off with a $365 entry $300K WSOPC Ring event and including a $100K GTD HORSE tournament (starts 10 March) and the $1M GTD Mega MIllions (with entry as low as $160). And if you’re in LA, it’s a great time to stop into the current Batman ’66 exhibit at The Hollywood Museum!


2018 PACWest Poker Classic Event #1 $100K GTD NLHE Day 2 and Final

If you want to read about Day 1 of this event, start here.

I came into Day 2 in a resonable position; solidly in the middle of the chip counts as 23rd with 54 players left. I noted to friends that I missed my first chance to suck out with what would have been an otherwise playable hand in a three-way pot just 15 minutes into the game, then knocked a player out with A9 v JxJx to make it up to 250K about 20 minutes in. Before a half hour was gone, we’d lost a full table’s worth of players, we were down to 45. Pay jump!

Not long after that, I lost 100K when I fliopped top-top with AxTx and folded to a big raise of my donk bet, which turned out to be kings. Got back up to 220K, then back down to 160K (16bb) and that was all in the the first hour of play.

I opened A8 in middle position with a raise and got called by the big blind. We both checked the Tx5x7x flop, and when he bet big on the 4x turn I had to fold; a call wiould have left me with no fold equity. I shoved 78 on the button and took the blinds and antes. We were down to 39 players seventy minutes in. I had 145K on the button five minutes later, just before the first break (we played the remainder of the last level of Day 1 and the first level scheduled for Day 2, then took the break rather than breaking after 30 minutes).

Blinds went up to 6K/12K with a 2K ante and after going through the blinds in the first three hands of Level 17, I had just 118K. I shoved Kx8x from late position and got it through. 18K in antes, 18K in blinds and my stack grew by 30%. I shoved AxKx on the next button, raised TxTx from the cutoff then folded to a c-bet from the UTG player on a Qx5x4x flop. I’m a wimp. Down to 31 two hours in.

Ten minutes later, I got all-in with K9 v 9x9x and hit Broadway for a much-needed double up (no, I don’t remember who started it but I probably went all-in over ta raise or something stupid like that). There were 27 remaining as the blinds went to 8K/16K/2K, and my stack was at 286K.

I raised 9T in the hijack and ttook another hand to bump up to 322K two-and-a-half hours in.

AxQx was worth a raise, but I lost 50K when a caller went all-in on a JxTx6x flop. One the button fifteen minutes later: 240K.  Pay jumps at each of the first three tables to break (28th place to 54th) were all the same, but at 27 and below, jumps started hapening every three players. Once I broke 27th place, I was even for the trip! 23 left.

At the three hour mark I was down to 194K at 10K/20K/3K. Then we lost four players in the next 10 minutes of the new blind level. I had to shove Ax6x from UTG1, then pay the blinds and I still had only 143 on my next button. We re-drew to two tables at the half-hour mark. And my life for most of the rest of the tournament continued to be shoves. Ax[jx}][from][UTG1.][Open-shove][A5 from SM. Up to 209K just before the second break of Day 2, but blinds were going to 15K/30K/4K! I got jacks just before the break and shoved them from UTG1.

By my next button I had a measly 1/3 of the average chips stack. I shoved Ax2xway out of my normal range—UTG and it somehow got through. Then I folded pocket eights preflop to a bet and call that ended after the a bet on the Jx7x5x flop. 231K on the button with 15 players.

Blinds jumped up to 20K/40K/5K a few miniutes later and I was down to 139K on the button when I shoved Jx8x and got folds from the blinds. Even with 216K I had just 2% of the chips in play with 15 left.

We dropped another player, then my A9 went up against TxTx of Stephen Gilbert, the winner of the first $100K event at Chinook Winds, back when it was still part of the Deepstacks Poker Tour. I pulled out the nut flush (ace-nine forever!) and while he wasn’t out on that hand, he was gone the next. Now I had 462K, and some of the white 25K chips that had eluded me for hours.

One of the more incredible feats of poker luck happened just after the 13th player busted. Tam Nguyen lost a hand to another player with the same-sized stack and was all in on the small blind with a single 1K chip. There were only six players on each table, so Tam’s “main pot” was a whopping 6K. He won the hand with Qx5x, and while he had the ante covered on the button, he only had 1K behind. He stacked that on the button. I don’t remember what his cards were, but he came out of the hand with 33K. He won the next hand (109K) and the next. I broke the streak by shoving QT UTG1 and 9T UTG, but by then we’d lost two more players and he made the final table.

I had 477K, but blinds were 30/60/10, so I wasn’t exactly sitting east (yes, they went up 50% in one jump and people were talking about it; definitely not “Chainsaw-approved” but I’m not complaining).

We lost three players in 15 minutes, including one of the three enormous stacks of white chips (it looked like the cliffs of Dover in seats 7 to 9). Kerry Yoon got in an altercation with Will Tinoco and surrendered his massive chip stack, giving Tinoco what I approximated as two-thirds of the chips in play. There were three short stacks, of which I was the least short. Tam busted, and we were down to 6 going into the next break. I’d shoved Kx9x on the button and KxQx UTG1, a player busted on the last hand before break, and I had 337K. 5.5bb when we came back.

I shoved 4x4x and got called by Ax9x a little after we came back. The flop had an eight and I was standing up to grab my bag when I made an 8-high straight. Blinds went to 40K/80K/10K on the next hand (my button) so I still had only about 7.5bb.

Will on the remaining big stack at the table was on my right, and he consistently raised every one of his small blinds. To be fair, he raised a lot of everyone’s big blinds. I folded 2x2x to a raise, then got AxAx in my small blind, nobody put any money in, I shoved, and TJ Amhaz folded. I shoved J9 on the button with 6bb.

Another player busted just before the seventh hour of play ended. 445K at 50K/100K/15K. An all-in and call there would have tripled me up. I had KJ on the button, and normally I would have gone all-in myself, but because of the payouts I chickened out. Would have flopped the nuts.

It was all okay, though because I shoved UTG with Q5 and Will called with 64 from the big blind. I only had 4bb, but I had the suit and I hit the queen on the flop for a double up (or more, really). Then he raised my big blind again and I shoved Ax9x and doubled again, which put me in second place and made the first significant dent in his wall of chips. And I got a couple elusive salmon-colored 100K chips!

I was up to 2.2M after don-betting into an open-ended straight draw on the flop, then laid down AxJx to a bet on the turn after an unfulfilling flop. We lost the fifth player at 6:30pm after seven-and-a-half hours and the blinds went to 60K/120K/20K. Nobody was that deep.

TJ had twice proposed an ICM chop and Forrest Auel and Devin Sweet ran the numbers while Will had an overwhelming chip advantage, but no deal was reached. I held steady for a level (blinds went to 80K/160K/25K), then we ran the new numbers after both TJ and Kao Saecho had both made gains.

For me, this has been a long haul. It’s my largest cash in the decade since I started playing poker in the home game I was invited to by my cousin’s husband. That led to playing small games (and a few large games) without any money (getting into poker when you’re unemployed and broke can pass the time but it’s not conducive to good bankroll management). I reconnected with my old colleague (and WSOP bracelet-winner) Toma Berda, I worked as a reporter for the WSOP, and most importantly, I started this blog.  Thanks to everyone who’s provided encouragement and support (Angela JordisonMark Humphreys, and many more), and I’ll see you at the beach for the PACWest Poker Classic Main Event on Saturday!

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.

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 14 February 2018

I ♥ Poker

If you’re reading this Wednesday, you and a loved one may still have time to get up to Muckleshoot Casino south of Seattle for tonight’s Valentine’s Day Doubles Tournament (7pm). 15K chips for $140 (per team), with each partner getting one optional rebuy of 10K ($50), and a $50 10K addon for the team at the end of round 3. Hop in the car, grab a burger for your V-Day dinner, and head up to Auburn!

Coming up next month at Muckleshoot is the Spring Classic (14–18 March). There are five noon NLHE events with a total of $55K added to the prize pools (plus a Limit Omaha 8 tournament with nothing added on the opening evening). It kicks off with a $2K added NLHE Shootout where two qualifiers from each table move on to the next level ($300 entry) and concludes with the $20K added two-day Main Event ($750 entry).

$225 Mega Satelllites to all of the NLHE events in the series are running at noon 18 February and 11 March (both Sundays), and at 7pm on the Monday and Tuesday before the first event (12 & 13 March). There are also $125 satellites running at 7pm on the next three Wednesdays that get you entry into two or three tournaments, depending on your choice.

This month’s Deepstack tournament at Muckleshoot ($300 entry), on 25 February, has had its starting time moved up to 10am from the usual noon, perhaps to get a jump on the 11am start time of the Tulalip Casino Last Sunday of the Month $20K GTD ($230 entry). If they start leap-frogging each other, poker players might figure going to church is better than getting up at 6 on Sunday morning…

Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic

The forecast for Lincoln City during the series is mostly showers with a chance of suckouts. Temperatures somewhere between freezing and fifty sound like good weather to be inside playing poker.

I went through most of the schedule in last week’s Planner, but just a reminder that there are a variety of Main Event satellites running throughout the week. Saturday night after Day 1 of the $100K there’s a 5-Seat GTD satty (6pm) with a $40 buyin, $30 rebuys and a $30 addon. Sunday evening is a $70 buyin satellite (5-Seat GTD), and there’s another one with that format on Monday. Tuesday and Thursday are reiterations of the Saturday format but Thursday has 10 seats guaranteed. Friday is a $150 Mega Satellite with 15 seats guaranteed (roughly 1 in four entrants should get a voucher). Your last chance for a discount is Saturday morning (24 February) at 10am, with a $60 buyin for 5 seats guaranteed.

Poker Time News


Seth Davies was the big winner for the Northwest (with the biggest number, anyway) even though he fell victim (6th of 44 entryies) to the Stephen Chidwick steamroller in Event #3 of the US Poker Open.

Dylan Linde picked up a win in the 125-entry Event #16 at Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza I. Down in Australia (it is a country) Matt Affleck was the lone American at the final table of Aussie Millions Event #23, taking fifth of 242 entries.

And out of WaldportKeith Kroeger picked up the two biggest wins of his career at the LAPC25 Events #20 (NLHE Triple Stack) and #38 (NLHE Shootout), making 5th and 3rd, respectively. Just 40 miles from Waldport to Lincoln City? Damn.

My Time Is Coming

Busted four Ignition Casino Thousandaire Makers (one in just three hands after late-regging—hate it—and running into aces). Practiced on an online 6-Max Turbo with no luck; regretted not doing the live rebuy on Friday’s $25K GTD special at Final Table. Monday’s home game was over with me in fourth place (out of six) when my turned and disguised two pair ran into my cousin’s husband’s disguised flopped set. I did late reg (hate it) an online $4K Turbo with 500+ entries and blast up from 9K (less than starting stack) to 90K in ten hands, reaching 2nd place on the leader board as we were getting into the mony, Couldn’t manage to stay up top and busted out in 19th place for a whopping 200% ROI!

Sten Ridgway, the poet laureate of thwarted ambition

Only a Day Away

  • Tonight is the Valentine’s Day Doubles Tournament at Muckleshoot Casino (see above for more info on that and other events this month at Muckleshoot).
  • Los Angeles Poker Classic 25  at Commerce Casino is coming into the final stretch and the event buyins are getting bigger as the WPT Main Event approaches (Day 1 is 24 February). Today is the first of four flights for a $1,100 buyin $1M GTD tournament. Sunday has a $1,675 entry bounty tournament and $1,100 O8/Stud 8. Next week’s events include $1,100 ($100K NLHE, PLO8, $100K NLHE Seniors, $50K NLHE Eternament), a $570 Archie 8/66 (5 Card Triple Draw Hi/Lo), $2,140 2–7 Triple Draw, and a $5,250 $200K NLHE 8-Max, Plus all sorts of satellites.
  • The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza has a $250K GTD NLHE tournament for $600 starting tomorrow, with a $1,600 buyin $1M GTD NLHE starting Monday (also Monday is a $12K GTD O8 for $400).
  • Heartland Poker Tour Colorado Main Event ($1,675 entry) has its first flight today, with the last flight on Saturday.
  • Tomorrow is the first day for MSPT Canterbury Park outside of Minneapolis. The Main Event there is $1,110 and has a $300K guarantee. Two entry days, on 23 and 24 February.
  • The WSOPC Rio Las Vegas starts Friday and runs through 27 February. The opening event has six flights over 3 days ($365) with a $250K guarantee. The Main Event (starting 24 and 25 February) is $1M GTD.
  • The Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic (see above) starts Saturday.
  • The Wynn Classic kicks off Monday and features a $1M GTD Main Event ($1,600 entry) starting 1 March. There’s a $25K GTD PLO 8-Max on Tuesday at 2pm, and a $400 Survivor on Wednesday with a $5K payout.
  • The Great Canadian Freeze Out is at Calgary’s Cash Casino from 22 February to 4 March with six events., including a C$660 buyin Main Event with 4 entry days (28 February to 3 March) and Day 2 on 4 March. Oddly enough, all of the Freeze Out’s events are reentry.

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 7 February 2018

$500K of Guarantees at the PacWest Poker Classic

We’re less than two weeks away from one of the biggest poker events in the Northwest—and the closest to Portland—at Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City.

This year’s winter tournament series at Chinook promises to be one of the best, with what I believe is the biggest-ever guarantee in an Oregon poker tournament, $200K for the Main Event (by comparison, the Main Event for last fall’s series at Wildhorse had a prize pool of $200,475 with no guarantee; the two 2017 series at Chinook had prize pools just under $200K). It’s particularly ambitious as there are no re-entries into the $550+$200 tournament.

The biggest events of the series are the Main (with one entry day on 24 February and Day 2 on 25 February), the opening weekend $100K guarantee ($280 entry/re-entry with $100 add-on) on 17 February (Day 2 on 18 February). and a $50K guarantee on 23 February ($200 single entry, with $100 add-on). There’s a 6-Max tournament (moved from opening weekend to Monday) with a $30K guarantee and $330 entry/re-entry), plus two $25K guarantees and a $20K guarantee Big O tournament.

The John Hesp Chair

Jack McGiffin, a long-time fixture at Final Table before he moved to the east of England last year writes that his home club in Hull has upholstered a chair in the style of the jacket Hesp wore at the WSOP Main Event this past summer. He’s sent along some photos!

Now I can only dream about the chair I’d be honored with if I ever made it to the final table of the WSOP. My guess is they’d run a steamroller over the seat cushion to make it seem like I’d been sitting there a long time. Alternatively, it could be pristine to give the impression I was never seated long enough to make an impression.

photo by Jack McGiffin

photo by Jack McGiffin


Snohomish’s Larry Voeks had just a couple of lot three-figure cashes from past years in Las Vegas before he blasted into second place at the Tulalip Poker Pow Wow Main Event last month. Lyle Munday (Edmonds) took first place in the 366-entry event. and from the payouts it would appear that a deal was made among the top five finishers, with three players getting slightly less than Larry’s second-place money. They included Daya Patibandia of Seattle, who earned her biggest cash by far; Stone Samrith of Burien, who more than doubled his recorded tournament earnings; and I’m going to add in Wayne Harmon whose Hendon Mob profile says he’s from “Portland, CA, but I’m pretty sure that’s wrong. Harmon, by the way, took his biggest recorded win and hit the WPT Borgata Main Event for his second-ever five-figure cash (44th place out of 1,244 entries) just ten days later. Almedin Imsirovic made 74th, getting a small cash in the Borgata Almighty Stack side event, then heading back to the Venetian for some money in a bounty tournament this past weekend.

The $330 buy-in tournament at Tulalip also produced some big winners, with Carl Woodward taking first place. Woodward now has three recorded cashes on Hendon Mob. They all came in the Poker Pow Wow series over a span of 11 days and they included two final tables. Seattle’s John Hartmann chopped second place (he got 15th in the Main Event, as well) with Php Phan of Bellingham (listed by Hendon Mob as Maine, but whatever).

After making a final table at the Card Player Poker Tour Main Event in Colorado, Max Young took the long haul down to the Aussie Millions where he got sixth place in a Hyper Turbo tournament with a 10-second decision clock. Presumably, he then went looking for some surf.

Kevin MacPhee also made the final table of an event Down Under, taking ninth

My Time Is Coming

A big up when I cashed last Thursday’s Ignition Casino Thousandaire Maker, then a bust after four-and-a-half hours at Final Table’s $20K Friday night and a heartbreaking 30-minute run in Ignition’s $250K on Saturday afternoon. Blasted out of an online $25K, two more Thousandaire Makers, and a couple of Omaha Turbo tournaments (plus a couple of cash sessions). Still up for the week, but sets have been failing me and if you can’t trust sets, what can you trust?

Only a Day Away

  • Los Angeles Poker Classic 25  at Commerce Casino just completed a week of mixed games and moves back into NLHE mode with a $300K GTD tournament this weelkend ($570 buyin, entry flights Thursday through Saturday. There is also a $570 Dealers Choice tournament on Friday evening, with 2-7 Triple Draw on Saturday afternoon. The casino is sponsoring two events for the RealGrinders poker group on Saturday and Sunday. Both are $345 buying, with the first being a bounty ($200 per player). Sunday opens a week of $1,100 buyin tournaments with LHE and PLO on Sunday; O8 and a $50K GTD NLHE Action Clock tournament on Monday; HORSE and a $50K GTD NLHE Survivor(!) on Tuesday; then four entry flights for a $1M GTD NLHE on Wednesday through Friday.
  • At Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza this weekend is an 8-Max $1,100 tournament with $250K GTD. Next weekend is another $250K GTD with for just $600.
  • The Main Event of the Winter Super Stack at Calgary’s Deerfoot Inn starts Friday
  • WSOP Circuit Wisconsin Main Event has a $750K guarantee with entry days on Friday and Saturday.
  • Heartland Poker Tour hits Colorado at Golden Gates starts today. The first entry day (4 total) for the Main Event ($1,650) is Valentine’s Day (next Wednesday)
  • 8 February is the first of three entry days (four flights) For the Love of Money in Minneapolis at Running Aces. $350 buyin.
  • Also coming up in Minneapolis is the MSPT Canterbury Park. The Main Event there is $1,110 and has a $300K guarantee. Two entry days, on 23 and 24 February.
  • The WSOPC Rio Las Vegas starts 16 February. The opening event has six flights over 3 days ($365) with a $250K guarantee. The Main Event (starting 24 and 25 February) is $1M GTD.
  • The Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic (see above) starts 17 February.
  • The Wynn Classic kicks off 19 February and features a $1M GTD Main Event ($1,600 entry) starting 1 March. get there before they change the name!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 31 January 2018

Stephen Bokor wins the 2013 Battle at the Beach, via PokerNews

Stephen Bokor 1988–2018

Max Young posted a notice on NW Poker Friday afternoon that Stephen Bokor had passed away. Bokor was an accomplished poker player who grew up in Knappa, Oregon, outside of Astoria, playing online before heading out on the live poker circuit for several years following Black Friday.

Bokor ran up a string of cashes before his big win at Pompano Beach in 2013. Even before then, he’d caught the eye of poker journalists, and he was profiled in the Global Poker Index’s The Chase shortly after his win. His short career as a live tournament player (his last recorded cash was winning the Fall 2016 Turbo at Wildhorse) currently has him in 18th place on the Oregon All-Time Money List, with more than $400,000 in recorded live tournament winnings.

Portland Meadows Goes Crypto

The first Friday in March, Portland Meadows Poker Room will host what owner Brian Sarchi says is the first live tournament poker event with buyins and payouts made in cryptocurrency.

Sponsored by Dash (Digital cASH), the promotional tournament is guaranteed to have a 20% overlay; Dash is contributing an extra Dash coin for every Dash coins contributed by players to the prize pool. Dash is providing an on-site cryptoATM for trading in Dash coins.

The tournament starts at 7pm on 2 March with 20-minute levels. Buyins are 0.1 Dash coin and payouts will be made in Dash coins. Dash was trading at $672 at 10pm Tuesday, but like a lot of crypto currencies, the price is volatile, and it was over $1,000 as recently as two weeks ago, so another month and who knows?

Details on how to get yourself set up with Dash—and how the buyin and payout process will work—should be forthcoming soon.


Meanwhile, congrats to Robert Brewer, who won Saturday’s Wild West Poker Series High Roller at Meadows. More on that in a bit.

Spring Poker Round Up Schedule Released

The next Wildhorse Spring Poker Round Up is just a couple months off, the new schedule is out, and there have been some big changes in the routine.

The High Roller tournament has been moved to the first weekend of the series, out of the mid-week doldrums.

HORSE  is back! It has a smaller buyin and it’s running on the first Sunday—at 7pm—which doesn’t seem to be very high expectations, but it is on the schedule, and it leads directly into Omaha Hi-Low on Monday and Big O on Tuesday, so mixed-game players can make the most of their time out east. That also means the end of the week after Wednesday’s Seniors tournament is straight Hold’em leading into the Main Event on Saturday. I can get behind that.


Last Week’s Poker Time

The final table of the Wild West High Roller was played out on the RFID table used by The Poker Guys to shoot their Poker Time show, and they’re also running Sit & Gos this week that should all be showing up on YouTube soon.


Idaho’s Dylan Linde played the Lucky Hearts Poker Open High Roller last week and took 5th place out of 75 players putting up $25.5K each.

This Week In Portland Poker

Friday is the First Friday of February (and Groundhog Day), so it’s time for a $20K at Final Table. This is also Super Bowl weekend, and Portland Meadows will be closed for the day (according to their web site). Final Table will be open, though you may want to check about guarantees on Sunday.

My Time Is Coming

I had a ticket to a Quarterfinal single-table-satellite to this weekend’s Ignition $250K GTD (the winner of the 6-Max table got a seat into the direct satellite). We started with 75bb, a player got knocked out on the first hand, I was cut down to 7bb on hand 6 when I ran into aces, I managed to battle back to 65bb and the chip lead with three players by hand 35, but I couldn’t close out the heads-up.

Wild West Poker Tour Event #3 $1,500 GTD NLHE Bounty

I played a bounty tournament and just got a couple of bounties, played my first live tournament in a couple of weeks at Portland Meadows on Friday night and just frittered my stack away. I didn’t see a pair over sizes in three hours—one of the guys at the other end of the table got aces on consecutive hands (see my PokerNews article “In and Out of the Luckbox”, or just play with the Starting Hand Distribution Simulator). Didn’t even make the break. I had to work and missed the 6-Max at noon, but it had just gotten into the money as the bounty tournament was starting up, with more than four times the guarantee in the prize pool.

I hadn’t though the Warp Speed to the Final Table tournament would have been very exciting, but the crew made a show of the all-in first hands on the RFID table, and people seemed to be having fun.

Wild West Poker Tour $50K GTD NLHE High Roller

Saturday, I lasted about five hours in the High Roller, doing what I thought was reasonably well until my table broke and I was moved to Table 1 which housed Brandon Cantu and the eventual champ (pictured above) Robert Brewer (btw, you can read my 2015 interview with Robert at PokerNews).

I missed the Survivor tournament on Sunday night because of a family thing, and that’s the  end of a very unproductive poker week.

Only a Day Away

  • Los Angeles Poker Classic 25  at Commerce Casino finishes out its first month of events with HORSE tomorrow, Triple Triple Draw on Friday, and NL HORSE on Saturday. Early next week is Stud Hi-Low, Omaha mix (Big O, PLO8, and O8), and NL O8 on Tuesday, then a $300K GTD multi-entry tournament at the end of next week.
  • At Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza  the Mid-States Poker Tour to present a $500K GTD tournament with $1,100 buyin Thursday and Friday. Saturday is a $100K GTD Bounty ($1,100 buyin). Next week is a $400 tournament with $100K GTD and on the weekend if a n 8-Max $800 tournament with $250K GTD.
  • The annual Winter Super Stack is at Calgary’s Deerfoot Inn today. Thursday is the first of three C$550 Mega Stack entry days, and there’s a C$330 PLO Bounty on Saturday. No guarantees, but the opening event last year (same buyin) had a prize pool of $128K in US dollars, with the $1,500 buyin Main Event (starting 9 February) reaching US$250K.
  • Alaska Airlines has seasonal direct flights from Portland to MIlwaukie, Wisconsin, but winter is apparently not the season. I’m going to throw WSOP Circuit Wisconsin into the mix anyway, since you can get there direct from Seattle and prices are reasonable (less than $500 RT). The Main Event for this stop has a $750K guarantee. Starts 1 February.
  • 1 February is also the start of the US Poker Open at Aria in Las Vegas. The events have buyins of $10K to $50K, but there are supposedly side events in the mere three figures, according to Poker Atlas.
  • Ontario Poker Room has a $115 buyin Deepstack on Saturday if you’re on the east side of Oregon.
  • Heartland Poker Tour hits Colorado at Golden Gates again a week from today,
  • 8 February is the first of three entry days (four flights) For the Love of Money in Minneapolis at Running Aces. $350 buyin.

Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 24 January 2018

The Portland Poker Nexus

Portland poker writer Zach Elwood (Reading Poker Tells, Verbal Poker Tellsand Exploiting Poker Tells) was interviewed on the penultimate episode of Season 4 of The Chip Race podcast, by Irish pros David Lappin and Dara O’Kearney. Zach’s segment starts about 15 minutes in and lasts for 20 minutes, it’s worth checking it out.

The same episode features the second half of a Phil Hellmuth interview that has nothing to do with the Northwest but is a prime example of cluelessness, in which he expounds at length on how sad it is that the haters hate Chris Ferguson, all for no reason he can see.

Fortunately, poker nit personality Carlos Welch also makes an appearance ( as he has on a variety of other podcasts over the past few years. He was on the verge of moving to Portland a couple of years ago, and it appears he may still be on the verge. He got his teacher certification last summer. (I wrote about playing with Carlos in a Thousandaire Maker a couple months back).

Last but not least in the personality parade is one of the new faces on the latest session of Poker TimeJeremy “Worm” Harkin. I owe Jeremy a debt of gratitude for providing me a place to stay (for money, natch, but at a decent rate) when I was in Las Vegas for the 2016 WSOP. And I agree with him that they need to run some PLO on Poker Time.


Chris Hinchcliffe‘s player profile for winning the opening $1M GTD opener at the Los Angeles Poker Classic says Northern California, but Hendon Mob says Olympia. There was a 3-way ICM chop; Hinchcliffe had nearly two-thirds of the chips in play. It was his fourth final table of 2018—so far he’s had three figure, four-figure, five-figure, and six-figure cashes (not in that order).

Ron Brown of Spirit Lake, Idaho bested a field of 160 at the WSOPC Event #4 at Thunder Valley before turning around and beating 128 in Event #8 then taking 12th in Event #10 The three cashes more than double his tracked lifetime tournament earnings.


This Week In Portland Poker

It’s time for the Wild West Poker Tour at Portland Meadows this weekend. Seven events including a 6-Max, Bounty, High Roller, and a Survivor. I’m looking forward to all of them, but the 6-Max is during a work day…might be a lot of sick poker players that day.

My Time Is Coming

A down week for me in more than one way since the last Planner. I sat out my usual Friday evening game at Final Table because of some other obligations, and had a mid-afternoon event on Saturday that prevented me from making it up with the weekly $10K at Portland Meadows or the Main Event at Tulalip. So it was a strictly online for me. Busted three Thousandaire Maker tournaments, dumped four buyins in PLO and PLO8, and played thirteen other NLHE, PLO, and PLO8 tournaments, with only one cash, and that wasn’t particularly big, even though it was 6th in a field of 177. I was double-tabling on Friday and Saturday nights, holding first and second place in two of the tournaments for a while. Then I wasn’t.

Hand of the week goes to the $10K Bounty tournament I played where I got KK in with 19K against two stacks of 14K and 7.5K. The small stack had AA, and the middle stack had KA, So I’m losing more than a thirds of my stack to the aces, but I should still be gaining some chips…unless the case ace hits…

Only a Day Away

I missed a few tournaments this month when I was rounding up stuff for the calendar. Colorado, Alberta, Callifornia…I’ll try to get back on track.

  • Los Angeles Poker Classic 25  at Commerce Casino keeps plugging along.There’s a $350 buyin HORSE tournament tomorrow, with a 2-7 Triple Draw/Omaha Hi-Lo/Stud Hi-Lo mix game on Friday and NLHE/PLO mix on Saturday. Omaha Hi-Lo Monday, Stud and Big O (Pot Limit) Tuesday, NL 2-7 Single Draw Wednesday, a bigger HORSE ($570 buyin) next Thursday, and Triple Triple Draw (A-5, 2-7, and Badugi) on Friday. Truly a great week if you’re a fan of the mixed games. And that doesn’t even count Saturday’s Social Experiment II (no phones, hoodies, or sunglasses), the Action Clock this Friday,
  • The Wynn Signature Weekend starts today. The highlight is the $250K GTD $600 buyin tournament (3 entry days). There’s also a $300 buyin Survivor tournament on Sunday with a $2.5K payout.
  • Ocean’s Eleven San Diego Classic starts tomorrow with the first of three entry days for the $150K GTD ($250 buyin).
  • There may still be a seat into the Stones Gambling Hall $1,100 single-table Sit & Go; three players make the money.

  • The $300 Muckleshoot Deepstack is Sunday at noon in Auburn.
  • Monday is the beginning of the first Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza of 2018. Opening day has a $12K GTD PLO/PLO8 tournament. The Venetian teams up with the Mid-States Poker Tour to present a $500K GTD tournament with $1,100 buyin next Thursday and Friday.
  • The annual Winter Super Stack is at Calgary’s Deerfoot Inn next SWednesday. Thursday is the first of three C$550 Mega Stack entry days, and there’s a C$330 PLO Bounty on Saturday. No guarantees, but the opening event last year (same buyin) had a prize pool of $128K in US dollars, with the $1,500 buyin Main Event (starting 9 February) reaching US$250K.
  • Alaska Airlines has seasonal direct flights from Portland to MIlwaukie, Wisconsin, but winter is apparently not the season. I’m going to throw WSOP Circuit Wisconsin into the mix anyway, since you can get there direct from Seattle and prices are reasonable (less than $500 RT). The Main Event for this stop has a $750K guarantee. Starts 1 February.
  • 1 February is also the start of the US Poker Open at Aria in Las Vegas. The events have buyins of $10K to $50K, but there are supposedly side events in the mere three figures, according to Poker Atlas.
  • Heartland Poker Tour hits Colorado at Golden Gates again two weeks from today,
  • 8 February is the first of three entry days (four flights) For the Love of Money in Minneapolis at Running Aces. $350 buyin.

Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 17 January 2018

Out From Under the Radar

photo: Sam Cosby

Ali Imsirovic has been mentioned here a couple of times in the past few months—the first was at the end of November when a 4th place finish in the WSOPC Planet Hollywood Main Event brought him to my attention—but as I’m an idiot, I had no idea of what he was doing, despite the fact that he’s based in Vancouver, Washington.

According to a comment on NW Poker by Preston Jarneski, Imsirovic has “been crushing ACR [America’s][Card][Room] for a few years now.” Imsirovic’s Hendon Mob profile shows a string of three- and four-figure cashes going back to the 2015 Punta Cana Poker Classic, cashes in the Czech Republic, Austria, with a couple of bigger numbers posted in Las Vegas and Florida last year. Then, in November, Imsirovic kicked into 4th gear in Vegas with the WSOPC main Event, a 4th place cash in a small $10K at Bellagio’s WPT Five Diamond, and 4th at the Venetian in the $3,500 December Extravaganza Main Event. Then he went  to the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

I got a message from the fantastic Mr. Sam Cosby on Sunday afternoon that “Portland resident Almedin Imsirovic just won 10k hyper turbo spade at PCA.”  Imsirovic inserted himself into another $10K buyin (just a couple of days after min-cashing in a $3.3K event) to best a field of 55 in a 15-minute blind structure, at a final table that included Sam Greenwood, Stephan SchillhabelMustapha Kanit, and Benjamin Pollak, beating out WSOP Main Event Champion Ryan Riess heads-up for the $160,050 prize. Not bad for seven hours work. In the past eight weeks he’s climbed from 202nd to 40th on the Washington all-time money list at Hendon Mob.

You can see a lot more of Imsirovic (or at least hear him) in strategy videos he’s done over the past couple of years for Gripsed Poker Training including analysis of a 2014 win in a $200K guarantee on Bovada.

Estacada Community Foundation Benefit

There’s a benefit poker tournament in Estacada on 27 January for the Estacada Community Foundation. Entry is a $40 donation and prizes include a 55″ flat screen TV, a live-feed video drone and a number of other fine items.

The tournament is limited to 100 players (entry includes appetizers, beer, and wine). The event will include blackjack tables, and registration starts at 5pm at the Estacada Community Center (200 SW Club House Road), with the game starting at 6pm.


Ali Imsirovic pretty much walked away with the leaderboard this week, but Max Young was part of the Northwest gang down at WSOPC Choctaw, where he racked up another Ring (his third) for Event #8 NLHE 6-Max. That’s after winning a side event and making the final table of Event #7, but before he got into the top 5% of the Main Event.

Anyone else? David Mallet—who won the Seniors event at Wildhorse in November—came in 2nd/509 in Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza Event #18 in what looks like a three-way deal.

Kevin MacPhee and Darren Rabinowitz both min-cashed in the PCA Main Event. And Baptiste Chavaillaz made the final table of Event #9 at Choctaw.

This Week In Portland Poker

I spend a lot of time looking at poker room web sites and griping here or to myself about how they’re not updated or that info is hard to find. I’m not going to have that excuse any more with Final Table Poker Club, because I just did a web site re-design for them, so if I have or hear any complaints I only have myself to blame. The next few days’ tournaments are on the right, it’s designed to be easily updated by the staff, it’s readable on mobile devices, and there’s a two-month event calendar. Check it out and let the staff know what you think works (or doesn’t)

This week’s big events are the Friday night $10K at Final Table and the Saturday noon $10K at Portland Meadows. It’s your last chances to pick up some big money before next weekend’s Wild West Poker Tour at Meadows.

As mentioned above, The Game  is trying to get 2/5 PLO shootouts running Thursday nights. They also have After Hours Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, from closing to 8am.

My Time Is Coming

Just a couple of hideous sessions of PLO on Ignition this past week (I’m looking forward to playing live PLO at The Game Thursday evening if Sajru manages to round everyone up). Played a couple of Thousandaire Makers, made zome money playing NLHE Zone, cashed a $30 Jackpot Sit & Go then watched a $75 5x slip away from my early lead. Got about halfway through the Final Table Friday night $10K GTD before I slammed top pair on the flop with AxQx into a set of sevens. And I took second place after a rebuy in the home game. A down week, but still positive for the year so far. I’d hoped to make it up to Tulalip for the $100K GTD this coming weekend, but I’m not sure yet…


Only a Day Away

  • The Tulalip Poker Pow Wow $100K GTD Main Event has its first flight tomorrow, with another on Friday and the last on Saturday, $520 gets you in and the dealer addon.
  • Los Angeles Poker Classic 25  at Commerce Casino has a $250K GTD tournament this weekend with just a $175 buyin. Flights through Saturday at 5pm.
  • Thunder Valley’s World Series of Poker Circuit, has a $500K GTD Main Event ($1,675 buyin) with entries on Friday and Saturday.
  • The Venetian January Weekend Extravaganza has flights for a $250 buyin $250K GTD tournament through Saturday.
  • The $250 Muckleshoot Big Bounty is Sunday at noon in Auburn. Next Sunday Sunday is a Deepstack with a $300 buyin.
  • Saturday is the Ontario Poker Room Team Tournament, with a $125K buyin and $100 rebuy.
  • The Wynn Signature Weekend is coming upa week from today. The highlight is the $250K GTD $600 buyin tournament (3 entry days). There’s also a $300 buyin Survivor tournament on 28 January, with a $2.5K payout.

Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 10 January 2018

In the Money

It was four years ago this month that I wrote In the Money, a little screed on long-term profitability for poker tournament players, which led to me writing for PokerNews for a couple of years, as well as my one foray into live reporting at the WSOP. It sparked a small amount of controversy, its own thread in the Two Plus Two News, Views, & Gossip forum, and a couple of podcast interviews. There was a lot of pushback from poker pros, and a few high-fives from cash game specialists like Limon (who is once again been hounded off of Twitter, sadly).

But last week, Daniel Negreanu put up a year-end post with a collation of his results from the past five years, casually dropping that he had losing years for 2016 and 2017. In fact, it it hadn’t been for the enormous Big One for One Drop payout for 2nd place in 2014 ($8.3M), only two of the five years would have been profitable, making him an average of about $89K profit per year on more than $2M in annual buyins. And that’s Daniel Negreanu we’re talking about, not mildly-talented tournament grinder.

The Calendar

I’ve put a lot of work into the #PNWPokerCalendar over the past few years. Did you know that you can sort the events by region? There are buttons at the top of the calendar that will select just the series and events for a speciific area: Southern California, Nevada, Portland, etc. You can also view events for just a single week. And over the past few months, I’ve been adding in entry information for specific events in brackets, just in case you haven’t already figured that out: [125e100b] means entry is $125 and rebuy is $100. An a is addon, natch. Where possible, I include any fees or dealer addons in the entry value.

Oh, and there’s an Expedia flight search link (you can also find hotels and cars) at the bottom of the page if you see something you like.

WSOP Millionaire Maker Qualifiers at the Beach

If you’re in Eugene on Tuesday or Thursday nights, the Beach Poker Club is running qualifying tournaments to their 26 May Final Tournament, a 100-seat event where the winner gets a seat and travel money to the WSOP Millionaire Maker. Playing five of the semi-weekly tournaments gets you a seat, and the more tournaments you play, the more chips you get for the final tournament, plus there’s a Main Event Satellite entry up for raffle.


One big result out of the other end of the continental US: Beaverton’s Nathaniel Anderson cut a deal for second place in the 197-entry Seminole Hard Rock Fun In the Sun Main Event just before the New Year. He was out-chipped 2 to 1, and he didn’t get the nifty guitar trophy, but he did get nearly twice the 3rd-place money.

My Time Is Coming

I’ve been picking my poker action back up since the lull of the holidays. I played two Thousandaire Makers mid-week (busting within ten minutes of the second after entering more than an hour into the tournament), then logged into a $15 Jackpot Sit & Go, picked up another 5x ($75) payout but couldn’t close it out. Played a few sessions of PLO and PLO8 online, then it was the Final Table First Friday $20K Guarantee. I was out before the break and managed to make a faux-pas.

Saturday, though, was my first Thousandaire Maker cash of the year. Even losing a couple buyins in PLO the next day it was still a profitable week.

Wild West Poker Tour

The schedule for the Wild West Poker Tour showed up on NW Poker the afternoon I posted last week’s Planner, so I didn’t get a chance to say anything about it, but I guess I’m going to have to take a day off work if I want to play the 6-Max at noon on Friday, 26 january.

There are a few things that aren’t entirely clear about the Warp Speed to the Final Table: I get that everyone at the table is all in on the first hand and everyone who wins gets to go to the final table, but does that mean the number of first tables is limited to 9 or 10 or that there’s going to be a 15-seat final table if they get a lot of entries and re-entries. I’m guessing that the final table beginning two hours after the start means they’ll just be running a couple of first tables at a time in sequence. But I want to play that and the Bounty

I am eager to be either on the YouTubed High Roller final table or commentating on it, but I’m pretty sure neither is happening.

And the Sunday night Survivor; it should say right up front for clarity that 10% of the field is going to get $650. But I’m liking it.

Only a Day Away

  • The Tulalip Poker Pow Wow is under way. There is a satellite tonight and next Wednesday, with the 4-Game Mix on Thursday (1pm) and two entry days to the $50K GTD weekend event on Friday (1pm) and Saturday (11am). Monday is the 2-Game Mix, Seniors on Tuesday, then the $100K Main Event has three starting days on 18 January.
  • Heartland Poker Tour is at Ameristar East Chicago with the Main Event ($1650 entry) starting Thursday.
  • Los Angeles Poker Classic 25  at Commerce Casino in Los Angeles has their $1M GTD Kickoff tournament this weekend, with a $350 buyin and entry flights through Sunday morning.
  • Friday is the beginning of Thunder Valley’s World Series of Poker Circuit, the closest approach the WSOPC makes to Portland.
  • The $250 Muckleshoot Monthly Special is Sunday at noon in Auburn. The next Sunday (21 January) is the Big Bounty, and the last Sunday is a Deepstack.
  • The Venetian January Weekend Extravaganza runs 16–21 January, with five flights for a $250 buyin $250K GTD tournament at its backbone.
  • 20 January is the Ontario Poker Room Team Tournament, with a $125K buyin and $100 rebuy.
  • The Wynn Signature Weekend is coming up 24 January. The highlight is the $250K GTD $600 buyin tournament (3 entry days). There’s also a $300 buyin Survivor tournament on 28 January, with a $2.5K payout.

Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 3 January 2018

Bicycle Town

The World Series of Poker Circuit is back at Bicycle Casino in March, padded out by the Bike’s own Mega Millions series. There are a number of interesting items on the docket, apart from what is usually one of the largest WSOPC Main Events of the year (starting 8 March) and the Mega Millions itself, with 11 starting days and buyins ranging from $160 to $4,300.

First off is the $100K GTD HORSE tournament running from 10–16 March. There are five starting flights (two at $240 and three at $350), and you can also enter directly into Day 2 for $1,700. At the lower-level buyin, you get 10K chips and 10% of the field makes it to Day 2. Pick the higher number and you get 15K in chips and 15% of the field gets through. If you make it to Day 2, you get $450; make it more than once and stacks taken out of play get an extra $1,350. (Entering into Day 2 directly gets you 100K in chips).

Second is the plan for 8pm single table Mega Millions satellites with no rake. All of your $430 buyin goes to the prize pool, and if you win you have direct entry into Day 2 of Mega Millions. $3000 of the Day 2 buyin does go to rake, but you don’t pay double rake on both the tournament and satellite. Only one per night and they’re going to be first-come-first-served.

Third, there are four Survivor tournaments with payouts between $3K and $10K. These could have been run as satellites, but they’re just my favorite form of tournament with a minimum of 820% ROI. You’re not going to get that in most tournament.

$20K GTD to First

Lucky Chances Casino south of San Francisco has an ad in the 3 January edition of Card Player for a 28 January tournament with $20K GTD for first place but there’s no info on what the buyin is. A similar tournament that ran in November had a $350 buyin.

First PokerTime of the Year


Mostly quiet until the new year begins, but there were a couple players whi made some moves.

Marvin Smith from Nampa, Idaho had one Hendon Mob cash on his record at the start of December. By the end of the year he had five—all of them during the Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza. He placed 38th in Event #3 on the 22nd, then was runner-up in Event #7 on Christmas Eve. He made the final table of the 95-player Boxing Day Bounty, then grabbed first place in a field of 117 two days later in another bounty event.

Another Idahoan, Michael Stewart from Boise, won Event #1 at the Venetian, beating out 251 others.

It was four-and-a-half years since Sunil Aggarwal of Portland last had a recorded Hendon Mob cash, but he took down the AJPC High Roller in Inchon, South Korea in the middle of the month, beating 25 others in the KRW5.5M buyin event.

The Other Oregon

If you’re out on the east side of the state and hankering for some poker, the Ontario Poker Room has their monthly schedule posted on their web site. It says they’ve got a $20K GTD $215 buyin tournament on Saturday at 1pm, and a Team Tournament coming up on the 20th, on top of their regular schedule.

My Time Is Coming

After not playing real poker since mid-December, my last foray of the year was to the $10K GTD at Final Table last  Friday night. I didn’t get there until about 7:30. I was down a bit after a bad call, got up to starting stack plus a little, did the addon at break, then ran a bluff on the last two streets with 5x5x in the big blind on a board of JxQx4xTx6x that at least gave the original raiser with AxTx and twice my stack at least a little bit of a pause before he called the last bet. After that, I headed over to Room 52 for some $0.50/$1 shootout action and was doing reasonably well until Drew and Alan, both from the old Portland Players Club days, started running the table.

The New Year started off a bit better. I signed up for the Ignition Casino Thousandaire Maker on New Year’s Day, and while I was waiting for it to start, I joined a $15 Jackpot Sit & Go (a 3-person tournament winner-takes-all tournament), and when it spun up the prize pool (which range from $30 to $18,000 for that buyin), it came out at $75. 28 hands later I’d profited $60 for the first score of 2018. That was good, because by the time it ended the Thousandaire Maker was under way, and it didn’t go as well. I went too far out on a draw with a flush draw and bottom pair, and by the river I was down to 15bb. I managed to last another 20 minutes and it looked like I might be about to double up back into contention when I shoved 10bb with A9 over a raise and got called by A3 but the trey paired on the flop and that was the end of that.

So I jumped into a 6-Max that started before the Thousandaire Maker, with the starting stack down to 25bb, was down to 10bb in 15 minutes, then got an incredible double up from a player who called my bottom-pair with an ace all-in on the turn with ten-high and a gut shot to a king-high straight. After that I went on a little bit of a rampage, that was brought to a bitter halt when I bubbled the final table with KK cracked by QA making a wheel straight on the river. Still, The year was off to a profitable start with 37% ROI.

Only a Day Away

  • There are three more Wednesday 1pm satellites for the Tulalip Poker Pow Wow (including today’s). The satellites are $60, with 1 out of 10 entries winning a seat into the Main Event, with an extra seat added to each tournament. Saturday is the first event of the series, a $120 buyin $10K GTD, with a $20K on Sunday ($240 buyin with $50 bounties). The weekend events start at 11am. Monday is a $7500 GTD Limit Omaha 8, with $10K PLO on Tuesday (both weekday events begin at 1pm and have $175 buyin). The satellite is Wednesday, then Thursday is a 4-Game Mix ($175 buyin) with $7500 GTD: PLO, Pot Limit Hold’em, PLO8, and PL Hol’em Hi-Lo, if you can believe it. The $50K GTD ($330 buyin) has entry days on Friday (1pm) and Saturday (11am) with Day 2 on Sunday. A week from Monday (Martin Luther King Day) is a 2-Game Mix featuring PLO8 and PL 5 Card Holdout (discussed here a couple months ago).
  • The Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza ends Sunday. Thursday through Saturday are entry days for a $150K GTD tournament with just a $250 buyin. There’s a $400 buyin Seniors tournament on Thursday at 11am with a $25K GTD, and one or two other events each day through the end apart from the big tournament.
  • The Gardens Poker Championships has a Limit Big O/Stud 8 tournament Thursday at noon (structure sheet here), with a buyin of $340. Friday at 4pm is a $175 (with $100 addon) tournament with $100K GTD, there are according to the structure sheet, this is a one-day tournament. Sunday is a progressive bounty tournament ($175 buyin with $100 addon) where the bounty chips are worth $50 until players are one table from the money, after which point each bounty chip is worth $100. This system seems a little like it’s rife for cheating, with players holding bounty chips passing them to friends still in the money to reap an extra $50, but I suppose if they pay out the bounties right away it could work.
  • Heartland Poker Tour is at Ameristar East Chicago Thursday, with a $200K GTD opening event (starting days 4–6 January at 2pm, with just a $350 buyin. They’re also running an 8-Max 7-Game Mix event on Sunday (HORSE, PLO, NLHE) with a $200 buyin.
  • Los Angeles Poker Classic 25 opens Tuesday at Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, spanning nearly two months with 67 tournaments. There’s a $1M GTD Kickoff tournament, with a $350 buyin and six days of entry flights.
  • 11 January is the beginning of Thunder Valley’s World Series of Poker Circuit, the closest approach the WSOPC makes to Portland.
  • The Venetian January Weekend Extravaganza runs 16–21 January, with five flights for a $250 buyin $250K GTD tournament at its backbone.

Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!