PNW Poker Leaderboard — Cinco de Mayo 2021

I found myself giving advice on where to play tournaments in Vegas to a friend heading down there the other day, almost like old times, even though I haven’t played live for fourteen months and I probably won’t for a while yet, though I did get my second COVID shot Monday.

I may have to start up the Calendar one of these days soon.

Tentative dates have been announced for the PACWEST Poker Classic at Chinook Winds this fall. As for the other large tournament series venues, Wildhorse Casino hasn’t yet re-opened their poker room, and Muckleshoot doesn’t even list poker on their game list on the web site. Late-breaking addition, it looks like limited indoor seating will be back in Multnomah County as of Friday, 7 May.

In Portland, both Final Table (celebrating a tenth anniversary this month) and Portland Meadows had to close again on April 30, because of state COVID regulations.

Monday, I played my first game in the online bombpot Poker Kate Brown Third Shutdown poker series running this week. Ran my queens into aces in the 6-Max after 40 minutes. Mostly been confining myself to the nightly $2.20 buyin Big O on Actioncards, and the $22 NLHE 6-Max  on Ignition, both of which I enjoy enough to ignore the fact that I haven’t cashed since some early successes. After bombing out of the bombpot tournament, I played the Ignition 6-Max for 95 minutes and made a profit of $2.

Action is hot and heavy in Las Vegas and Florida this edition of the Leaderboard. Starting off in Vegas!

Daniel Park of Feberal Way was the runner-up in the 200-entry Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza #28 $20K GTD NLHE MonsterStack on 21 April. It’s good enough to move him from #222 to #213.

The 199-entry Venetian #24 $40K GTD NLHE MonsterStack final table on 18 April was host to two PNW players. Maria McAlpin from Boise picked up 3rd, moving McAlpin from #786 to #657, and Poulsbo’s Dan Barker took it down, climbing from #455 to #391.

Jesse Kertland (Ellensburg) made the final table of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $50K GTD NLHE 6-Max in Florida. A 6th-place finish in a field of 570 jumps Kertland 25 spots on the Leaderboard, to #357.

Aaron Thivyanathan goes from #536 to #461 with a 62nd in the massive 2,482-entry WPT SHRPO #18 $2M GTD NLHE Championship (23–27 April). The prize pool was nearly $8 million,

No movement for #10 Dylan Linde, despite a 12th place finish in the WPT SHRPO #28 $200K GTD NLHE Deep Stack. It was another tournament of conservative guarantees or pent-up demand, with a prize pool of 1.36 million from the 287 entries.

Dylan Wilkerson had the only non-NLHE result of this edition, with 6th in the WPT SHRPO #29 PLO Deep Stack with 168 entries. He holds at #14 even though he also had four smaller cashes during the series.

#1-ranked PNW Leaderboard player Seth Davies continues to maintain his lead. He came in 4th in the WPT SHRPO NLHE Super High Roller (21–22 April, 42 entries). He can console himself that he didn’t get the W  because he did win the online GGPoker Spring Festival #109-H NLHE Sunday Millions just a week later.

Coming in just ahead of Davies in the SHR was Christopher Brewer, whose 3rd place there combined with a 6th in the 145-entry WPT SHRPO #24 NLHE High Roller jumps him from #60 to #34 on the Leaderboard. Oh, to be young and insanely talented at high stakes poker!

Actually, I’d even take just the young, these days.

PNW Poker Leaderboard — Tax Day 2021

Hard to believe that it’s been five years since I applied for a job working as a live reporter at the World Series of Poker. I ran across the notice, I was working part-time at a friend’s second-run movie theater, selling tickets and popcorn and beer (Yes, it was Jeff “Punk Rock” Martin’s Joy Cinema and Pub in Tigard! Give them your support!).

The summer I worked there was a little different than the years before or since. WSOP had contracted out the live reporting operation to PokerNews for several years, then they decided to move the operation in-house for 2016. I’d written over a dozen articles as a freelancer for PokerNews over the previous couple of years, and I’d followed the adventures of my editor there, Martin Harris, who’d covered events in North and South America, Australia, and Europe, so even though the word went out from WSOP instead of PokerNews, I gave it a shot. They say they’re only looking for Vegas-based applicants this year, but if you’re a reader who’s down there, it might be worth checking out. Or maybe you can bluff them.

https://twitter.com/pokermutant/status/1382432079753871364

Not many numbers for PNW players this first half of April, but there are some big numbers.

The new name on the board comes in at #3310. It’s Douglas Rogers of Kennewick, who picks up his biggest-ever Hendon Mob cash coming in 3rd out of 180 entries at the Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza #8 $40K GTD NLHE MonsterStack.

Another biggest-ever cash goes to Seattle/Henderson’s Adam Walton, taking down the 813-entry Venetian #6 $40K GTD NLHE UltimateStack. Walton jumps over 120 spots on the Leaerboard, to #194.

Chris Brewer continues to work the tables at the Aria High Rollers, cashing in 5th on both April 2nd and 3rd, in fields of 31 and 30 (both of which were won by former PNW Leaderboard regular Almedin Imsirovic). It;s good enough for Brewer to move from #75 to #60.

And up top at #1, it’s Seth Davies, who continues to put space between himself and everyone else with two 4th-place finishes at Aria on the 1st and on the 3rd, just ahead of Brewer (Imsirovic took 2nd on April 1st; I miss having that guy in my regular standings).

And that’s it! Off to play some Big O!

PNW Poker Leaderboard — April Fools 2021

Not a joke

The Leaderboard

I tell ya, poker isolation has been a bitch. My home game crowd—despite including a number of techies—never got it together to do the Zoom game thing using PokerStars Home Games or anything else, so it’s been thirteen months since we got together or I’ve even talked to most of those guys. Yes, I’ve had other stuff going on.

I have played some online poker the past year. Ignition, for sure, where I’ve been playing for years, but also a couple of other small web-based sites, like Nitrogen (promoted by The Poker Guys) and lately Actioncardz, which features a lot of the games I played a lot of back in my Portland Players Club days: a lot of Big O (and I played HORSE for the first time in forever this afternoon!)

Out in the real world, lots of folks are coming out of their COVID hibernation and hitting the  real felt. Here are some of the big cashes for the past couple of weeks for players from the Pacific Northwest!

Let’s start at the Wynn Spring Classic $1M GTD NLHE. From Puyallup, Ilana Gun came in 19th for their first recorded cash in almost two years (and their fifth and largest-ever cash). Gun moves up nearly 1500 places, to #2477 on the Leaderboard.

Richland’s Angel Iniquez came in 33rd in the same event, but also notched a 2nd place in the World Poker Tour/Venetian DeepStack Showdown Poker Series #26 $12K GTD NLHE Bounty. With 169 entries, the prize pool more than tripled, and the top three players did a nearly-even chop. Iniquez goes from #1009 to #830.

Back to the Wynn $1M GTD, David Oppenheim from Mercer Island came in 15th in this tournament, which was his first cash post-COVID. He climbs from #661 to #548.

Vancouver, Washington’s Mohammad Rafie had his largest-ever cash in a Wynn Spring Classic $15K NLHE with a $54K prize pool. He bested 209 other entries to take it down. Crossing my fingers he got one of their Wynn-shaped trophies. Rafie jumps more than 1300 places to #1618.

Two PNW players made the final table of the WPT/Venetian #16 $200K GTD NLHE DoubleStack, which picked up 947 entries to bust the guarantee to over $480K. Andrew Rogers from Anchorage took 5th, just besting his previous top cash (which was only last November). And Seattle’s Brett Polen  came in 3rd, also for a personal best. Rogers goes up about 600 places to #1113. Polen climbs almost 4600 spots to #1099.

Buckley, Washington’s Glenn Thompson also notched his best cash, taking 2nd of 1,015 enties in the Wynn $250K GTD NLHE. Its prize pool was mroe than $530K. Tis was Thompson’s first cash since 2019, Last year suuuuucked! Thompson goes from #1514 to #648 on the Leaderboard.

And would we be complete without an Adam Hendrix report at the end? The Anchorage player did a two-way deal (officially 2nd) in the LA Poker Classic NLHE Main Event with Michael Liang to continue his march up the Leaderboard, from #30 to #26.

A Year of COVID Poker

Kevin Mathers (@kevmath on Twitter, follow him if you have somehow been living under a rock for the past year, hey, we sort of have been living under a rock!) got hold of me this morning and asked if there actually was such a thing as the PNW Leaderboard. As I explained to him, because I’m compiling my stats entirely from the Hendon Mob state and province leaderboards, I’m not going to just republish their data. The numbers you see here are entirely my own, combining their Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, and British Columbia (and Alberta, I just remembered!) into a single regional Leaderboard.

And publishing just the top names out of the more than 6,000 players I track wouldn’t be any fun; as I’ve mentioned ad nauseum there’s not a lot of movement up at the top. However, Mr. Math did say he thought a quarterly Top 20 for the results of the past year might be a kind of cool thins, and since I have nothing else to do other than compiling all of the stuff I need to feed to the IRS for my audit before Monday, I figured why not?

These are the rankings on the Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard for The Plague Year. Last March to now, ranked by earnings (go to Hendon Mob to see what those are). Some people didn’t move at all, others just a little, and some zoomed up, despite the difficulties of (mostly) live poker in 2020 and early 2021.

*seriously, she hasn’t lived here for a long time, but she’s still on the Hendon Mob list for Oregon

PNW Poker Leaderboard — 20 March 2021

Lots of Pacific Northwest poker action going on in Las Vegas the past few weeks.

The new entry on the PNW Poker Leaderboard this time around is Vancouver, Washington’s Jaime Cervantes Alvarez, who placed 39th of 652 in the Card Player Poker Tour/Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza #26 $500K GTD NLHE, played in mid-February. The prize pool was close to triple the guarantee. It’s Alvarez’s first Hendon Mob cash and he hits the Leaderboard at #4354.

Aaron Thivyanathan of Renton placed just ahead of Alvarez at #38 in the same tournament at the Venetian. The next week, it was out to Florida for Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Classic #7 NLHE, another $1.5M prize pool tournament, and 35th place out of 959 entries. Then in the second week of Marsh, back to Vegas for 17th of 253 in World Poker Tour/Venetian DeepStack Showdown #14 $20K GTD NLHE MonsterStack. He climbs from #638 to #552 on the Leaderboard. You may have noticed from his name showing up in the early February Leaderboard roundup that Thivyanathan has been busy.

Korey Payne has been keeping busy since his big win back in November.And he took 33rd in the same CPPT/Venetian #26 $500K GTD NLHE ahead of Thivyanathan and Alvarez, which moves him up 5 places to #162.

A little further up the winner’s list on that tournament you find one of my favorite people, Kao Saechao, who placed 29th. Saechao went on to cash in several more tournaments at the Venetian over the next three weeks, including WPT/Venetian #5 $15K GTD NLHE Survivor that ended up with a prize pool of $73K and 14 $5,200 payouts, and WPT/Venetian #8 $15K GTD NLHE Survivorthat did the same for 18 players. He also made it to 12th of 259 in the WPT/Venetian #7 $75K GTD NLHE Monster Stack. Need I say it? $250K prize pool. For this and more, Saechao moves not at all from his already prestigious #38 position.

Reginald Caymol jumped another 18 spots on the Leaderboard, to #399 taking 13th of 809 in the WPT/Venetian #13 $250K GTD NLHE Ultimate Stack. The Seattle player adds the cash to several smaller cashes at the Wynn earlier this year.

The WPT/Venetian #10 $1.5M GTD NLHE Main Event was a big draw for PNW players, several of whom went deep. The field drew 937 entries and had more than $4.3M in the prize pool. Out of Olympia, Raymond Dandrea cashed in 84th. He rises 40 spots on the Leaderboard to #526.

At 74th in the money, Kao Seng Saetern (Portland) bumped all the way up from #1509 to #1216.

Ten places higher, Port Orchard, Washington’s Kristopher Rundquist got his largest-ever cash for 64th, and goes more than 1700 spots up the Leaderboard to #2306.

pasco, Washington’s Joseph Beltran Arredondo came in 37th. He is now #827 on the Leaderboard.

George Wolff made the final three tables at 24th. He stays at #17. On the other hand, Adam Hendrix making 17th was just enough to push him from #31 on the Leaderboard to #30.

Finally, as usual it’s the high rollers that gobble up the big-money attention. Christopher Brewer continues to wreak havoc on the Aria tables, and cashed three tournaments in quick succession. It was a 2nd place for him in the Aria High Roller 04 NLHE. With just 14 entries, it looks like he did a 2-way deal with former PNW Leaderboard mainstay Ali Imsirovic that gave Brewer his career best cash. The next day, Brewer took 3rd in the 16-entry Aria High Roller 05 NLHE (no deal for him this time, though it looks like Sam Soveral and Jake Schindler chopped the top two spots). Then a week later it’s Aria High Roller 08 NLHE, with 6 payouts out of 39 entries and Brewer in 4th. For all that, he climbs 40 places to #75 on the Leaderboard.

Angela Jordison represent!

PNW Poker Leaderboard — 01 March 2021

It’s still technically winter, but poker spring is starting to break out all over. Since the last PNW Poker Leaderboard at the beginning of February, both of the biggest rooms in Portland—Portland Meadows and Final Table—have re-opened. Both have Portland-style shootouts and tournaments running, albeit with limited seating capacity (50 players max) per Multnomah County and State of Oregon coronavirus guidelines. Meadows is currently running noon tournaments with a 27-player cap. Final Table has tournaments at 11am and 6pm.

In Poker Mutant news, I’ve been dealing with family issues the past few weeks, so my online play hasn’t been very high (or very successful), and I found out the other day I’m getting audited, so that’ll be fun. It’s for the year I had my largest-ever cash and they want records of my poker expenses. Fortunately, I set up a database to track every single cash and tournament buy-in—live and online—just after Black Friday in 2011 (wow, almost ten years now) and I could just print out a record of the almost 600 buyins I made in 2018. Even so, it’s going to be a hassle.

On to the money!

The new name for the Leaderboard is Cody Morrisey from Bremerton. He made his biggest score ever at the Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza #20 $80K GTD NLHE MonsterStack coming in 4th out of 648 entries. The tournament prize pool went over #215K, just another indicator of how excited people are to be back on the tables. Morrisey debuts at #2868.

Adam Walton of Seattle had a very good week in Las Vegas in mid-February with several smaller cashes that individually wouldn’t have been noticed by my tracker, but cumulatively…. On February 11th, in Bally’s Power Poker Series #15 NLHE, Walton came in second to Joseph Ingram (not Joey). Just 31 entries, but a decent start for the week. He improved on that on February 16th, in another small (25 entries) event, Bally’s #23 NLHE, Walton beat the actual Anthony Zinno for the win. Not a huge score, but I’d be boring everybody with that story for a long time. The, the next day at the daily Wynn $10 GTD NLHE, Walton beat another 64 players for a second win in as many days. He moves from #352 to #334.

Pasco’s Joseph Beltran Arredondo came in 6th at the WPT Deepstacks/Venetian #21 $40K GTD NLHE MonsterStack for his second-largest cash (his largest was a win in a nearly identical event at the Wynn last January). He climbs from #1208 to #1082.

Finally, some non-NLHE news! From Vancouver, Washington, David Moshe was 1st out of 132 entries in the Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza #28 $40K GTD Pot Limit Omaha MonsterStackJeff Madsen was on the final table. Sadly, this was not a tournament where the guarantee was crushed by the entries. It’s a trip from #1499 to #1257 for Moshe.

It’s a holding pattern on #31 for Adam Hendrix. The Anchorage pro came in 14th in the Mid-States Poker Tour/Venetian #6 $350K GTD NLHE. This tournament did go over the guarantee, up over $880K, with 908 entries.

The Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Classic #2 NLHE, was another cash for Max Young, and his 7th-place finish was enough to push him from #25 to #24 on the leaderboard. On top of just general success, Steve Schult at CardPlayer magazine wrote a profile of Max that was published last week, check it out if you haven’t seen it yet. Despite his success in Florida, Max said on Facebook the other day that he’s planning to keep his Hendon Mob listing in Oregon.

Finishing off this edition of the Leaderboard, congrats to Portland’s Armin Yazdani, for a 3rd place finish in a field of 559 entries at the Venetian DeepStacks Extravaganza #30 $80K GTD NLHE MonsterStack. It’s Yazdani’s biggest recorded cash, and he rises nearly 3,000 places on the Leaderboard, from #4666 to #1797.

PNW Poker Leaderboard — 05 February 2021

I didn’t really think I’d be seeing much go on in just a couple of weeks, but it may be a good sign for the future of poker in 2021.

Most of this week’s action comes courtesy of the World Poker Tour in various forms, and mostly in Florida, but we’re going to start in Las Vegas.

Keizer, Oregon’s Alex Dickson picked up his third-largest cash by taking 3rd in the WPTDeepstacks/Venetian DeepStack Showdown #15 $40K GTD NLHE MonsterStack. 177 entries pushed the prize pool over $90K. Dickson moves from #716 to #630 on the Leaderboard.

Two cashes at the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open in Hollywood, Florida put Aaron Thivyanathan of Renton, Washington on this edition of the Leaderboard. The big one was 18th place in Event #1 $300K GTD NLHE Deep Stack, which had over 3,000 entries and a prize pool of nearly $1.6M. Thivyanathan moves just behind Dickson to #638.

It’s not common to get much movement in the top 10 of the Leaderboard without a big score, but there’s a unique situation with the four players between 7th and 10th only about $40K apart. So even Lee Markholt‘s 8th place finish in WPT Lucky Hearts #25 $100K GTD NLHE was enough to move him ahead of both Lee Atkinson and Annie Duke (yes, she’s technically still on the Oregon leaderboard at Hendon Mob) to #7. Interesting note: the expected field for this side event, which was a $5K buyin, needed just 20 to make the guarantee. It had 134 entries for a $636K pot.

Chad Wassmuth was 4th in WPT Lucky Hearts #16 $200K GTD NLHE, another event that showed the pent-up passion for poker being released in Florida, America’s aggression-relief valve. 335 entries made a $670K prize pool. Wassmuth moves up 6 slots to #64.

Back in Las Vegas, it was Dylan Wilkerson in 5th place in the WPTDS/Venetian $500K GTD NLHE Main Event. 812 entries more than doubled the guarantee. Wilkerson stays at #14 on the Leaderboard.

Esther Taylor is another ringer on the Oregon leaderboard, and she holds at #26 after an 11th place reckoning in the WPT Lucky Hearts #17 $1M GTD NLHE Main Event. There was a $5M pot made from more than 1,500 entries. You don’t see that every day in buyins that large.

Anchorage’s Adam Hendrix took the title in WPT Lucky Hearts #22 NLHE Big Stack, winning the biggest slice of the $212K prize pool made up of 415 entries. Then he just missed the final table in Event #25 $100K GTD NLHE, getting 10th. Hendrix is another non-mover despite some impressive figures, maintaining at #31.

Wayne Harmon at WPTDS/Venetian via WPT.com

Portland’s own Wayne Harmon pulled into 3rd at the WPTDS/Venetian $500K GTD NLHE Main Event. It’s Harmon’s biggest-ever cash by a substantial amount, and he jumps almost 160 places on the Leaderboard, to #235.

Last but not least, Christopher Brewer (Eugene) is back at the big boy tables, winning an Aria High Roller at the end of January, after heads-up with former PNW Leaderboard crusher Ali Imsirovic (who, as you may remember, switched his reporting to his native Bosnia & Herzegovina). The fields aren’t large (21 entries) but the money is, moving Brewer up 42 places, to #114.

That’s it for this report! Stay tuned. Same poker time! Same poker channel!

PNW Poker Leaderboard — 21 January 2021

Happy New Poker Year, everyone!

Poker is still crawling out of the basement of 2020, particularly here in the Pacific Northwest. There are live venues outside of Portland that are up and running. You can follow @dave_has_aces on Twitter for their adventures at the Seattle-area Red Dragon and Palace Casino.

https://twitter.com/dave_has_aces/status/1352325138692284418

High Mountain Poker  in Eugene is announcing games on the NW Poker Facebook group, along with Ontario Poker Room in eastern Oregon. In town, The Gateway near SE 50th & Powell is hosting games. I’m old, but still way down the list for COVID vaccination, so I’m out of the live game for a long while yet.

So let’s move on to the people who are actually winning.

The new entry on the Leaderboard is La Conner, Washington’s Zachary Johns, the runner-up in a 2-way deal in a Wynn Signature Series $20K GTD NLHE with 127 entries. It’s Johns’s first Hendon Mob cash in almost a dozen years. He debuts at #3729.

I don’t typically cover cashes of less than $10K, but I want to throw a bone to Portland player Derek Huynh, for an impressive run at the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza the past month, with five cashes between mid-December and the first week of January, including three final tables that included a 7th, a 5th, and a 4th (in Event #31 $50K GTD NLHE Double Stack) that just about got there. Anyway, impressive run and Huynh moves from #4247 to #1801 on the Leaderboard.

Monty Ford from Wellpinit, Washington made it to 8th place at the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza/MSPT #34 $250K GTD NLHE, in a field of just over a thousand and a prize pool that reached nearly a million dollars. Ford won the Pendleton Spring  Poker Round-Up Main Event five years ago. He moves up two hundred spots on the Leaderboard, to #817.

photo courtesy Darin Stout

Wrapping up this first report of the year is friend of the blog, Darin Stout, who took 2nd in a 4-way deal in the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza #9 $80K NLHE MonsterStack. The 571-entry tournament had a prize pool of more than $190K. Stout moves up to #672 from #841. Here’s Darin’s recap:

I orchestrated four way deal, they all wanted to chop evenly for $24k ish each. I said no even though I was shortest stack. Lol. I wanted first and trophy. So…I proposed $21k each and play for the remaining $12k ish and trophy. Then he had me out chipped heads up 15 mil to 2.2 mil since he took out third place guy. I battled for 40 min heads up ish at 125k/250k/125k blinds, had it up to 7.5-8 mil and almost even. Figured if I got lead on him we would chop the rest and he would give me trophy pix but could not pull it off.

photo courtesy Darin Stout

PNW Poker Leaderboard — Christmas 2020

I definitely was not expecting to be posting another update before the end of 2020. There’s no live poker going on in Portland (officially). There are some tournaments going on around the country but they haven’t really ramped up to a fraction of the usual, and the usual between Thanksgiving and Christmas is minimal. But here we are, just a couple weeks on from 10th anniversary post.

2020 In Review

For me, this has been one of those years where I’m just happy I’m employed and not relying on my poker winnings to supplement whatever meagre earnings I had as a security guard or grocery cashier or a freelance multimedia developer. My specialty has been live poker tournaments with fields of 60–150 players, and while I’ve never been hugely profitable, I’ve had some decent years. This has not been one of them.

For one thing, the last live game I played was in early March. I played six events for $10K and $20K guarantees at Final Table, but cashed only one of those and still came out $100 down after taking 13th because of a rebuy. And, of course, I went down to the Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic just as the coronavirus was becoming a known thing and didn’t cash there at all (and did a re-entry in the 6-Max, ouch!)

Anyway, most of my poker since lockdown has been on Ignition. Did a brief run on Nitrogen in the spring to support the Portland Meadows series there and had some minor success playing 1¢/2¢ and 2¢/4¢ PLO, with one session even winning 1800bb in less than an hour, but I was chasing the tournament dragon and those 4¢ big blinds get gobbled up pretty fast.

Some ambitious soul put me into some America’s Card Room medium-low PLO tournaments around the same time—my one and only experience with being staked—but I’m afraid this horse was one of those eaten by the dragon. I’ve racked those up as (mostly) losses on my personal database, even though the cost was borne elsewhere. I did manage to claw out a 60th-place finish in an 815-entry $30K guarantee, which got me a profit of less than that of the 2¢/4¢ game on Nitrogen. (I did enjoy getting to play some 7-Card Stud and 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo.)

Big Dog was another of the sites that was pumped locally. I played a few of their Big O tournaments for old-times’ sake, but no good for me.

Most of the year on Ignition has been a downswing for me. Things looked hopeful around the beginning of August, I had a couple satelllite wins and cashes in one of their series (min-cashes). I was runner-up in a $5K guarantee NLHE 6-Max for four figures, then made the final table of a 215-entry PLO8 game, cashed a Thousandaire Maker, then another 6-Max final table. Then it stopped and I was back to playing increasingly-smaller Jackpot Sit-and-Go tournaments and trying to jump-start my bigger tournament wins every few weeks.

Late in November, Portland Meadows paired up with Bomb Pot Poker for another couple online series. I managed to enter a couple of the first series (I’m not saying what I did in them was playing), and I got into three of the Oregon State Championship Series 6-Max games without any results.

So, the year has not helped me recover from the bust of the PacWest series at all. I did manage to contribute to my holiday cheer the other day by late-begging an $11 tournament on Ignition where you start with 50,000 chips and the blinds are 5 minutes long. Got to the final six (from a field of 342) and had AT in the BB, the SB who has twice my stack just limps in and I shove on him with 14bb, he calls with A2 and flops two pair, which was disappointing. Then the next night I won a 65-player PLO8 turbo tournament,

Gonna need a lot more of those in the next week to get the year even, though. Just won a satellite to one of this weekend’s $221K guarantees….

Losing the Spirit

Dan Beecher on the NW Poker Facebook Page posted a letter from Spirit Mountain Casino, announcing the closure of their Poker Room and their plan to disburse their promotional poker jackpot funds of nearly $120,000. Their “known carded Poker players” are eligible to qualify via a promotional kiosk game running 1–15 January 2021, with the drawing for prizes worth $100,000 from the jackpot on 16 January.

I haven’t gotten a letter myself, so I’m not sure that I qualify, but I’m holding out hope. I do have a Coyote Club card in my stack, and while I didn’t play there often (what with bigger-field tournaments kind of being my thing), I did chop the top prize at a Top of the Mountain series event back in 2013, so hopefully I’m still on the rolls!

Never good to see another venue close.

Bimb Pot Poker Oregon State Online Championship

The afore-mentioned Oregon State Championship Series went off for two weeks in December, with 29 events and $40K in guarantees total, including a $220 NLHE Championship, some 6-Max, some NL Omaha, and a bunch of bomb pot and double-board (sometimes both) mixed in.

So much pot splitting you want a computer to do the work.

Hosted online by Bomb Pot Poker, I’ve got no idea what the payouts from any of the events actually were. Most were in the $500 to $1500 guarantee range, with the championship guaranteeing $10K.

One Jungleman took the win of the Championship, with The Ponz making series point leader, cashing in nearly a third of the offered tournaments.

Apparently, gone are the days when someone who doesn’t even make a final table in a series can win a trophy around these parts!

Spirit of Giving

In these hard times, it’s important to remember the people trying to help and Ben May at Final Table had a Thanksgiving give-away I should have caught in the post earlier this month. Final Table gave away $2,000 in gift cards to people in need the day after the memorial tournament for Heath Bloodgood.

Also worth a mention here is Kat Mullins, who has worn a number of poker hats around town over the years as well as posting contact info for racial justice protests here in Portland through the summer and fall, is leaving (or left by now) our burg for San Diego.

Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard

There’s not a huge amount of info to cover since early this month, but it is kind of big information. No new players to report on, but cash game veteran Chris Brewer from Eugene started banging out some tournament cashes in the international leg of the summer’s WSOP on GGPoker, then hit the Wynn High Roller series this month to pick up three cashes in the $10K buyin events. One, we reported on earlier in December, but since then, in two smaller events, he took third (18 entries) and a win (20 entries, beating Alex Foxen and Sam Soverel). These aren’t huge ROI, but the quantities are decent. Those two cashes move him 120 places, up to #156 on the PNW Leaderboard.

Then there’s Max Young, who won the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event, which had 779 entries and a prize pool of $1.2M. Max doesn’t move anywhere from his #5 spot on the Leaderboard, but he’s incredibly close to breaking the $2M mark for live earnings. He broke the $1M mark a little over two years ago, and it’s all a long way from playing at Aces on Powell.

Interviews with Max indicated he might be thinking of moving to Florida, which would take him out of the purview of the Leaderboard, but I’m hoping he makes the $2M mark before that happens!

Ten Years of Mutant Poker

The first post on this blog was December 10, 2010! I’d been playing poker in a home game for a couple of years by then. I’d played a bit online on Cake Poker, PokerStars, and Full Tilt. I’d written a program that evaluated hundreds of thousands of hands to develop starting ranges and incorporated it into an iPhone app that you could use surreptitiously to dial up statistics I’d derived (mostly as an exercise in learning the new field of iOS programming). I’d gotten back in contact with a colleague from back when I was still a bit of a thing in multimedia programming, Tomer Berda, just before he won his WSOP bracelet. I was talking with another long-time friend, Brad Smith (who’s now my boss), about my interest in poker, and he suggested that I should start writing a blog about it. As I was “between employment”, I decided to do it, brushed up on my WordPress skills, did some graphics, and here we are.

The first few months were all about online and my attempts to get to the Irish Open in 2011. Then, of course—as anyone who has been watching the final EPT Retro streams from the 2011 season has been reminded—there was Black Friday and the virtual shutdown of online poker in the US (though there are still some options out there).

Anyway, there’s a lot of stuff in the back catalog if you care to look, not to mention links to the articles I wrote elsewhere.

Good News, Everyone!

Just in case you needed something to cheer your spirits as 2020 drags us toward it’s grisly cave, Limon is back! Banned from Twitter as LimonPoker far too long ago, he’s revived his InfiniteStacks account and is talking about poker (a little) and politics and dissing Bitcoin!

Also hanging with Wayne Chiang on YouTube talking PLO!

PNW Poker Leaderboard, 10 December 2020

Poker is slowly crawling back, and with the imminent beginning of immunizations, maybe there’s hope that things will be back to semi-normal by next summer. If I was the WSOP, though, I’d definitely be looking to delay the starting date from Memorial Day to about where it usually ends around July 4th.

Meanwhile, most of the big action continues to be in Las Vegas, notably The Venetian, where the Venetian/Mid-States Poker Tour DeepStack Extravaganza #29 $200K GTD NLHE did some amazing numbers, putting up a prize pool of over $1 million with 1,123 entries and a first prize larger than the guarantee. Andrew Rogers (Anchorage, AK) placed 8th, and climbs 1140 places to #1700 on the Leaderboard. It more than doubled his Hendon Mob earnings.

Smaller big-buyin events are back, as well. Another Anchoragite, Adam Hendrix entered a 64-player $10K at the Wynn High Roller series and placed 8th. I wouldn’t normally report on a min-cash like this, but there’s not much other news out there. Hendrix maintains his place on the Leaderboard at #31.

Another Wynn High Roller had Eugene, OR’s Christopher Brewer come in 2nd out of 49 entries, in a deal with Martin Zamani—remember that name—for his best-ever cash, doubling his Hendon Mob results and jumping more than 500 spots on the Leaderboard, to #276.

The only new name on the Leaderboard is a doozy. Portland’s own Korey Payne beat 1,238 others to win the Venetian/MSPT #38 $400K GTD NLHE Main Event in mid-November. He jumps right onto the Leaderboard at #170, and it’s literally his first Hendon Mob-recorded cash. He beat out—Martin Zamani, who came in 3rd. #TEAMNOCHOP

The champ had some words to say:

Happy Holidays and (most likely) see you in the New Year!