Oh Lord! When? How? — June 2024

Las Vegas 2024


This trip had been on the books for a couple of months. My long-time poker travel partner David had been making a lot of trips to Vegas for cash games and offered me part of a comped room at the Flamingo. Booked the flight on Alaska for a Sunday morning to Friday night with points; how could I not go?

David and I booked the same flights by sheer chance, so we met up at PDX early Sunday morning, split a ride to the Flamingo, and checked into the room early because of someone’s Diamond Plus status (not mine).

The view was pretty good, once you overlook the roof. I mean, we really overlooked the roof. My wife says the towers at Caesar’s Palace remind her of grain elevators.

We got settled in, then headed over to the Paris/Horseshoe complex. I’d pre-registered through Bravo Poker Live for WSOP Event #27 $1,500 Big O but needed to go through FasTrac verification. No line at the desk, got my tickets there, then wandered off to see where my table was.

Micah Bell stopped by my table before play started, telling me I should play better than I did when I knocked him out of a Big O tournament last December. Apparently, I didn’t take his words to heart, because I only lasted about three-and-a-half hours while Micah made it to Day 2. That was it for me for the day, though I did go get set up with a new WSOP.com account. I did have the honor of holding up the bottom of the chip counts because I was updating with the MyStack app from PokerNews

I was at the bottom of the listing even before I busted the Big O.

So that was an inauspicious beginning. Down $1,500 to start the week. Went back to the room and headed over to Ellis Island, where Dave picked up the bill for the $10 prime rib dinner at their restaurant.


The next event on my schedule wasn’t until the afternoon; Brad Press convinced me to head over to the Orleans Casino for a $30K GTD with a $300 buy-in that started at 11. Didn’t go great, managed to get tens in against queens and I was out before the end of re-entry.

The new-ish Milestone Satellite format they’re running for the mega satellites at the WSOP was something I hadn’t played, and I wasn’t sure how my style of play would work; I’m not usually a big stack until the end (if ever). As it happens, my first experience with it in the 3pm $250 buy-in (paying out $2K chunks) did not go well, with me buying out of Level 1 with 20 seconds to go. Tens again.

There were only 23 players in the satellite by then (it got up to 85 by the end) but I elected to jump into the Monday HORSE Deepstack, in preparation for Wednesday’s bracelet event. I lasted longer there (after waiting about thirty minutes for tables to open up), but nowhere near long enough.

Got back to the room too late to catch David for the prime rib dinner, and feeling a little burned by four straight whiffs, decided to fire up some low-stakes online action. Played a $500 GTD PLO 6-Max PKO through about half the field, then caught some wind in a $1K GTD NLHE 6-Max Super Turbo and came in fourth out of 82. Busted out of a $150 GTD PLO 6-Max Turbo and another NLHE 6-Max Super Turbo (with a $400 guarantee), so by the end of the day I was only down $2,264.


Tuesday was the second bracelet event I had on my list, the $1,500 Seven Card Stud. It’s the smallest-field bracelet event in my budget—only 406 entries this year—but I decided to pass it by for some smaller games. Struck out in a quick $1K GTD NLHE Turbo before I headed out to South Point Casino to meet up again with Brad before he headed home. I was hoping to pick up some of his turnaround energy—he’d had a bad few days on his trip before final tabling at South Point three times and once in a Milestone Satellite at Orleans.

I battled through about three-and-a-half hours of a $10K GTD NLHE tournament, making it past the end of registration and about 60% of the field before the end came (Brad went on to another final table; he also won a seat to their $50K Tournament of Champions Freeroll).

Late-registered the $4K GTD Omaha Hi-Lo that was about to begin and managed to bust in Level 4.

Back to the Horseshoe for the 7pm $580 NLHE Landmark Satellite. That only lasted 4 levels, too. Tens were once again my bane. Ended the day $3,064 in the hole.


Event #35 $1,500 HORSE didn’t start until 2pm, so I started the day started playing 0.10/0.20 PLO on WSOP.com. Clawed back $5. Jumped into a $1K GTD NLHE Turbo and made the final table out of 172 entries ($49). Just missed the money in the $1K NLHE Fast Mini Mystery Bounty but I picked up $6 in bounties. Busted the $750 GTD NLHE Deepstack Super Turbo, then took a bit of a flier on the $55 buy-in (all my buy-ins so far we’re $11 or less) $5K NLHE Fast Mystery Bounty, but only made it half-way through the field.

Shortly after the tournament began, one of the floor people pulled the chair out of seat 3 and maneuvered a fancier chair into place. Then Mike Matusow showed up and pointed a stick at the table and said “What’s your name?”

View from Table 53, Seat 1.

“Uh, me?” I managed to get out, not recognizing the box on the end of the stick as a camera.


“Uh, Darrel,” I said, using all the wit assigned to me at birth. Matusow then went around the table getting peoples’ names and said it would be online (still don’t have any idea where or if, so you can’t see me making a doofus of myself).

A repeat cash in HORSE was not to be. I don’t believe I ever managed to get above the starting stack, and a guy on my immediate right had me pipped on every hand where I thought I might be a winner, including one hard-contested Razz hand where he rivered a wheel on my A2346. Just could not beat him.

I got the full dose of the Mouth, more than four hours of complaints about how he’d only won 24 hands in the series up to that point, and some reactionary politics when Jeff Lisandro joined the table at the other end.

Back to the Flamingo after five-and-half hours, where David and I had a late dinner at Virgil’s on the LINQ Promenade. It was still warm outside according to the thermostat on the wall next to us.


Back to the smaller stakes. Orleans had another $30K guarantee at 11am and I headed that way even though it was just Hold’em. It had a very late end to registration—about seven hours—and I only lasted about 4, but I did see one of those crazy hands that crop up all over Las Vegas during the summer: a four-way all-in pre flop that pitted jacks against queens against kings against aces. The aces somehow held to scoop.

I texted Brad to verify my decision on whether to play the Razz tournament that had just started or get back in the $30K with just 20bb. Razz it was. I figured it was time to start drinking.

Razz was another strike for me. Four more hours, made it through about half the field of 199. But overall a pretty pleasant experience. One of the players from my HORSE table who’d been sitting on the other side of Matusow was there, and I met the gregarious Carlos, who introduced me to an online group of mixed-game players. So, not an entirely fruitless day at the Orleans.

David had some free drink coupons as a valued Caesars Diamond member and had already picked up a Bailey’s slushy at O’Shea’s on the promenade, so we headed over to get three more. When we got back to the room, I jumped into a $55 $3K GTD NLHE PKO 6-Max Turbo, got a couple bounties then knocked out and re-entered to place 6th of 84. Not a huge profit, but something. Played a $150 GTD PLO 6-Max Turbo and a $500 GTD PLO PKO 6-Max, then min-cashed (17/158) a $1K GTD NLHE before I went to bed.


My flight (and David’s) didn’t leave until after 8pm. I’d noted that when Brad made the final tables of his South Point events, it was six-ish, so I figured that if I made it to the money in their morning event I should have just enough time to get to the airport.

Reasonably certain I got angled on my second hand when a player tossed in 5100 (still at 100/200) with a “Did I do that?” speech. I shoved my A9s and he had AQ. It was back to registration.

Four and a half hours in with 18bb, I squeezed from the SB with A7s over there lines. One of the limps was 99, he called, I hit the ace on the turn. When I texted back to Brad about the hand, his response was “Stop it!!! You’re killing me”.

By the time we got to the bubble at 36 players, my stack was down to 18bb, but that was still 150% of the average. It wasn’t exactly a leisurely structure.

I mostly folded for the next 40 minutes, drifting down to 11bb—though that was still above the chip average. Then just before the break, I picked up TT on the button, two short stacks before me shove, and I swoop in to the pot against a lower pair and a ragged ace. I hit a set on the flop to seal the deal.

Next orbit after the break, QQ on the button and I double up to 700K after making a full house against T9s.

The inflection point for me was another 20 minutes on, about six hours into the game, when I 3-bet QT of clubs and the table chip leader shoved. It folded back to me and I thought about it for longer than usual, then put my trust in the Portland Nuts and called against AK. Two clubs on the flop and another on the turn, and I was over a million chips.

We were still at 14 players and it was creeping closer to the time I was going to have to start thinking about making it to the airport. Action went fast, though, and in just ten minutes we were down to the final table. Half an hour later, we were at 5. We had a break and an ICM chop was proposed. There was a little tussling about who’d win the seat into South Point’s Tournament of Champions, but the rules said it had to go to the person with the most chips at the time of any deal and that they’d penalize people if they thought there was any dumping going on.

Anyway, it took a few minutes to run the numbers. I came out on top by just 0.3%. Plus, I got the ToC seat that I can’t play because I’ve got a thing in Portland that day. The list of eligible players was just posted, with 158 names on it. There’s $50K guaranteed with $10K up top and 60 places paid, so the EV’s pretty high to start with and with people like myself not able to make it, even better.

It didn’t come anywhere close to wiping out the losses from the first five days, but it did stanch the bleeding a bit so the losses were basically down the cost of the two bracelet events.

Other Poker for June

The week before Vegas, I just played a couple of the Beaverton Quarantine home games, then three more in the weeks after I got back. They were a complete loss.

The only other live poker for the month was the Portland Meadows NLHE 50/50 Bounty, where half the buy-in goes into your bounty. I came in late and watched a guy who’d open-jammed twice with 40bb. I raised the queen-ten on my first playable hand and he jammed a third time. I snapped it off and doubled up versus nines. Didn’t quite make it to the money, but I did take a bounty.

My new poker venue is a private online club with nothing but mixed games, 1- or 2-table fields for the most part, running six or seven tournaments like Razz, Badugi, 5-Card PLO, Stud8, 8-Game, PLO8, 2-7 Triple Draw, and more. I love it, though I’m only 1 for 10 so far.

#PNWPokerLeaderboard: I’m Not Human, I’m a Mutant

For more than seven years now, I’ve been running the Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard in one form or another. First as a series of write-ups of manually-selected standout players from Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and eventually as a list that included everyone who fit my criteria and including players from British Columbia, Alberta, and Alaska.

Throughout that time, the Leaderboard was made possible by a certain amount of automation. I wrote a routine that pulled in data from The Hendon Mob‘s state and province leaderboards, then stuffed the player and income data into a database which allowed me to compare earnings over time to see who’d made the most money since the last Leaderboard.

The Leaderboard suffered only one major snag (apart from the amount of time it still took to put things together after the routine had done its thing), a few years ago when THM slightly modified the code of the leaderboard pages and the routine choked. I had to make a decision then whether to spend the time to figure out how to fix it or not. I did it.

Then last year, I kind of ran out of steam myself as I was playing less and less often. I said it was the end, then lit it back up at the first of the year.

But I think we’ve reached the end of the journey for real this time. Not because I’ve given up on poker, I was just down in Las Vegas (as you can see above), not because I don’t want to talk about all the people cashing big-time in the first month of this year’s WSOP. Nope, it’s a CAPTCHA issue. Hendon Mob has implemented a tool to prevent robots from crawling their site scraping information, as is their right. It’s been a fun project, but there’s no way forward. My apologies to anyone who was hoping to see their 2024 WSOP cashes represented.

Uptempo Venomous Poison — May 2024

May turned out to be the calm before the storm of the WSOP for me. I only played nine tournaments the whole month, with most of those being in the virtual Beaverton Quarantine home game (four cashes, in NLHE and NLHE Bounty) for a meagre 126% ROI. The loss (bigger) came from the three events I entered at the Portland Meadows Poker Classic, though I did manage to pick up one min-bounty in Event #6 PLO Assassins PKO Bounty (the entire prize pool was bounties!)

That leaves either well-rested or unprepared for next weekend’s trip to Las Vegas, where the bracelet events on my list are Event #27 Big O, Event #32 Seven-Card Stud, and Event #35 HORSE (the only bracelet event I’ve ever cashed in). Plusdepending on how things gosome of the Milestone Satellites and the Monday HORSE Deepstack. Maybe something on WSOP.com if I can figure out how screwed up my account is after six years of inactivity.

Chinook Winds Debuts Summer Series

Earlier, as I as getting ready to publish this, Chinook Winds dropped the schedule for their first Summer Classic Poker Tournament, featuring a $200K GTD Main Event and a mid-week TORSE event (with Limit Triple Draw 2-7 replacing Limit Hold’em in the rotation).

Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard

Key to the Leaderboard

  • Name and home town (according to the player’s Hendon Mob profile).
  • The player’s most recent ranking in the PNW Poker Leaderboard in italics. If this is their first time on the Leaderboard, an em dash ()
  • Their new standing in bold, preceded by the pound sign (#).
  • Their change in status on the Leaderboard (with an arrow indicating up or down), or a black club (♣) if this is their first appearance.
  • For each of the tournaments that are being recognized in this Leaderboard:
    • The name and link to the Hendon Mob listing for that tournament.
    • The player’s finishing position in the tournament and the number of entries.
    • The tournament prize pool in US dollars.
Katie Thurston (Lynnwood, Washington)
1st of 78 entries, $50K prize pool

Nice score for a first score! Thurston was the star of Season 17 of The Bachelorette, for those of you like myself not in the know.

Jayd Cartner (Vancouver, Washington)
2nd of 160 entries, $128K prize pool
Martin Owens (Spokane, Washington)
1st of 406 entries, $158.2K prize pool

Another extremely good first hendon Mob cash. Nice to be going into the summer with that.

Maksim Chirva (Mount Vernon, Washington)
2nd of 441 entries, $126.6K prize pool
Saul Kalvari (Richmond, British Columbia)
1st of 727 entries, $238.5K prize pool
Larry Vincent (Lewiston, Idaho)
1st of 558 entries, $270K prize pool

There appears to have been a thre-way chop in theis event, with Matthew Jewett, and David Goodkin (both further down/up the Leaderboard).

Tyler Panas (Calgary, Alberta)
8th of 911 entries, $1M prize pool

Panas debuted on the Leaderboard just last month and continues to climb fast.

Valiant Chou (Richmond, Washington)
4th of 558 entries, $270K prize pool
Tomi Varghase (Calgary, Alberta)
5th of 911 entries, $1M prize pool
Matthew Kelly (Hillsboro, Oregon)
1st of 441 entries, $126.6K prize pool
Shawn Smith (Molalla, Oregon)
3rd of 3585 entries, $1.4M prize pool

While everyone was watching Adam Nattress in Event #4 (see below), Mollala’s Smith snuck through nearly 3,600 other players to grab an exceptionally good first Hendon Mob cash.

Shawn Smith (via WSOP.com)
Foster Geng (Kirkland, Washington)
1st of 572 entries, $554.8K prize pool

Kind of a late report—the event was back in March—but another great start to the season.

Foster Geng (via Hendon Mob)
Peter Darlington (Calgary, Alberta)
1st of 1101 entries, $264K prize pool
David Goodkin (Bellevue, Washington)
3rd of 558 entries, $270K prize pool
John Scalise (Calgary, Alberta)
2nd of 911 entries, $1M prize pool
Angel Iniquez (Richland, Washington)
2nd of 406 entries, $158.2K prize pool
Brett Worton (Edmonton, Alberta)
3rd of 249 entries, $159.2K prize pool
Peter Griffin (Fort McMurray, Alberta)
1st of 249 entries, $159.2K prize pool
Jackson Spencer (Yakima, Washington)
1st of 160 entries, $128K prize pool
David Labchuk (Calgary, Alberta)
4th of 911 entries, $1M prize pool
Adam Nattress (Portland, Oregon)
4th of 928 entries, $1.2M prize pool

Word went out on Day 2 that Adam was in the top 10% of the players at the end of Day 1. Then he powered his way to a not-insignificant lead by the end of Day 2. But the headline on the day-end wrap-up mentioned Jamie Kerstetter and “Miami” John Cernuto (and had pictures of both of them) but no Nattress. I knew Adam was too nice a guy to make anything out of it, but Karen-ed the heck out of it.

The Day 3 opening report had a pic of Adam but his name was initially missing from the headline. It was corrected relatively soon. Squeaky wheels, folks! You only get into these positions very rarely; make sure you get the credit you deserve!

Jeff Eldred (Calgary, Alberta)
2nd of 249 entries, $159.2K prize pool
Zeyu Huang (Calgary, Alberta)
3rd of 911 entries, $1M prize pool
Garrett Maybery (Edmonton, Alberta)
2nd of 151 entries, $217K prize pool
Dongwoo Ko (Burnaby, British Columbia)
1st of 882 entries, $2M prize pool
Pei Li (Calgary, Alberta)
3rd of 151 entries, $217K prize pool
Dominick French (Victoria, British Columbia)
1st of 13 entries, $68.5K prize pool
Yunkyu Song (Camas, Washington)
4th of 735 entries, $2.2M prize pool
Mal Hagan (Langley, British Columbia)
2nd of 1101 entries, $264K prize pool
Brent Sheirbon (Seattle, Washington)
2nd of 263 entries, $315.2K prize pool
Matthew Jewett (Shoreline, Washington)
2nd of 558 entries, $270K prize pool
Aaron Thivyanathan (Renton, Washington)
3rd of 476 entries, $464.1K prize pool
Kyle Ho (Burnaby, British Columbia)
1st of 236 entries, $150.3K prize pool
Maxwell Young (Seaside, Oregon)
2nd of 304 entries, $156.5K prize pool
Adam Hendrix (Anchorage, Alaska)
3rd of 603 entries, $2.1M prize pool
Dylan Linde (Coeur D’Alene, Idaho)
3rd of 116 entries, $580K prize pool
7th of 1869 entries, $5.9M prize pool
5th of 151 entries, $3M prize pool
3rd of 53 entries, $2.6M prize pool
3rd of 41 entries, $1.2M prize pool
Chris Brewer (Eugene, Oregon)
3rd of 135 entries, $3.3M prize pool

Theme From… — April 2024

Another month of nothing good to report! 14 shots at the Ignition Casino NLHE Jackpot Sit-and-Go, just 3 cashes and none of them any higher payout than 2x buy-in. I got a couple of tickets from America’s Cardroom for satellites and a ticket from Ignition for their $2500 GTD Freeroll and nothing came of those.

Just a min-cash in one of three Beaverton Quarantine home game bounty tournaments (and a bare bounty in another), plus three bricks in non-bounty tournaments. Thankfully, those aren’t expensive.

After a five-month hiatus, I went back to the Final Table $20K GTD NLHE First Friday tournament, where I only made it though half the field, but had a very nice interaction about the blog with Brian Barker, who won a quarter-million in a World Poker Tour tournament last fall (as well as a bunch of other stuff). It was a fun evening, but too short.

Capped off the month trying to catch the lightning in a bottle at the Portland Meadows Big Bet Mix 6-Max. I’d taken second somehow last fall but only made it to 25th this time, doing quite well sitting with the likes of Jeremy Harkin and Joe Brandenburg, then less well sitting with my nemesis Butcher.

Next week is the Portland Meadows Poker Classic, of which I’m planning to play the Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday events. (Wheel of Chaos, baby!) Not sure what the rest of May holds, but I’m just over a month out from my trip to the World Series of Poker.

Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard

Key to the Leaderboard

  • Name and home town (according to the player’s Hendon Mob profile).
  • The player’s most recent ranking in the PNW Poker Leaderboard in italics. If this is their first time on the Leaderboard, an em dash ()
  • Their new standing in bold, preceded by the pound sign (#).
  • Their change in status on the Leaderboard (with an arrow indicating up or down), or a black club (♣) if this is their first appearance.
  • For each of the tournaments that are being recognized in this Leaderboard:
    • The name and link to the Hendon Mob listing for that tournament.
    • The player’s finishing position in the tournament and the number of entries.
    • The tournament prize pool in US dollars.
Tyler Panas (Calgary, Alberta)
2nd of 257 entries, $179.9K prize pool
Erik Backlund (Calgary, Alberta)
1st of 257 entries, $179.9K prize pool
Rahul Karpy (Portland, Oregon)
6th of 3505 entries, $865.7K prize pool
Andrew Goosen (Port Coquitlam, British Columbia)
2nd of 1380 entries, $339.4K prize pool
Brian Monigold (Spokane Valley, Washington)
5th of 968 entries, $968K prize pool
Steven Williams (Hood River, Oregon)
2nd of 330 entries, $181.5K prize pool
Taran Parmar (Edmonton, Alberta)
6th of 682 entries, $2.5M prize pool
Ali Razzaq (Edmonton, Alberta)
3rd of 257 entries, $179.9K prize pool
Alejandro Madrigal (Umatilla, Oregon)
2nd of 409 entries, $368.1K prize pool
Landen Lucas (Portland, Oregon)
12th of 293 entries, $1.3M prize pool
Stuart Young (Portland, Oregon)
7th of 4489 entries, $2.3M prize pool
Landon Brown (Kent, Washington)
1st of 840 entries, $277.2K prize pool
2nd of 1180 entries, $607.7K prize pool
Yunkyu Song (Camas, Washington)
4th of 735 entries, $2.2M prize pool
Clemen Deng (Portland, Oregon)
6th of 104 entries, $1M prize pool
1st of 49 entries, $245K prize pool
Maxwell Young (Oregon)
4th of 3163 entries, $897.8K prize pool
Dylan Linde (Coeur D’Alene, Idaho)
1st of 81 entries, $781.5K prize pool
3rd of 116 entries, $580K prize pool
1st of 1869 entries, $5.9M prize pool

What’s That Spell?…Go To Hell! — March 2024

Another month in the red, though I briefly had hopes for this one.

No need to recap all of the thrill of min-victory and the agony of defeat at the Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic in the middle of the month, it’s all right here if you want to read about it.

I cashed 7 out of 17 Ignition Casino NLHE Jackpot Sit-and-Go tournaments, with just one of the winners being a 5x payout, which means…exactly $0 profit.

Because I spent an entire week at Chinook Winds, no other live play for me, though I did play five Beaverton Quarantine games via PokerStars Home Games, min-cashing a 10-player NLHE game and winning a NLHE Bounty tournament with three bounties (including my own) for a whopping 320% ROI. Not enough to cover my losses at the PacWest series!

What II’m looking at in the month(s) ahead:

  • Maybe this week’s Final Table First Friday $20K GTD NLHE.
  • Possibly the Last Frontier NLHE Freezeout on Sunday, April 7th.
  • The Final Table $30K GTD NLHE on April 27th.
  • Or the Portland Meadows Big Bet Mix April 28th.
  • There’s a whole bunch of fun coming up May 6th–12th at the Portland Meadows Poker Classic, though I’m going to have to skip their High Roller because I’ve got tickets to see Michelle Wolf. And I can only do the evening games because, you know…job.
  • I’ve booked my flight to the WSOP already. Got a lot of $2K and $5K satellites on my menu, along with HORSE, Seven Card Stud, and Big O,

Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard

Due to some fast reporting by the Chinook Winds tournament officials, this edition of the Leaderboard includes the big results from the recent PacWest Poker Classic!

Key to the Leaderboard

  • Name and home town (according to the player’s Hendon Mob profile).
  • The player’s most recent ranking in the PNW Poker Leaderboard in italics. If this is their first time on the Leaderboard, an em dash ()
  • Their new standing in bold, preceded by the pound sign (#).
  • Their change in status on the Leaderboard (with an arrow indicating up or down), or a black club (♣) if this is their first appearance.
  • For each of the tournaments that are being recognized in this Leaderboard:
    • The name and link to the Hendon Mob listing for that tournament.
    • The player’s finishing position in the tournament and the number of entries.
    • The tournament prize pool in US dollars.
Ryan Olin (Huslia, Alaska)
20th of 1180 entries, $3.7M prize pool
Jonathan Erickson (Salem, Oregon)
1st of 286 entries, $116.6K prize pool
Ryan Peterson (Albany, Oregon)
3rd of 441 entries, $306.9K prize pool
Khoa Ngo (Lakewood, Washington)
1st of 82 entries, $69.5K prize pool
Jerry O’Keefe (Bend, Oregon)
2nd of 441 entries, $306.9K prize pool
Jolnar Teliani (Edmonton, Alberta)
2nd of 282 entries, $208.8K prize pool
Barry Frey (Medicine Hat, Alberta)
1st of 282 entries, $208.8K prize pool
Andrew Brunette (Woodland, Washington)
2nd of 629 entries, $175.1K prize pool
Wille Scott (Courtenay, British Columbia)
2nd of 346 entries, $506.3K prize pool
Joe Gates (Burns, Oregon)
5th of 3180 entries, $1M prize pool
Steven Boyd (Albany, Oregon)
2nd of 339 entries, $203.3K prize pool

Boyd cracks the top 1,000 with a cash back in December that—ahem—didn’t get reported to The Hendon Mob until relatively recently.

Kale Satta-Hutton (Portland, Oregon)
1st of 441 entries, $306.9K prize pool
Antonio Ma (Calgary, Alberta)
2nd of 133 entries, $144K prize pool

Ma comes into the Leaderboard as a new entry, though he has another, larger score at WSOPC Thunder Valley in January.

Jason Heang (Edmonton, Alberta)
3rd of 282 entries, $208.8K prize pool

This is Heang’s debut on the Leaderboard, though he has a couple other cashes that would have qualified him last year when I wasn’t keeping the Leaderboard updated.

Sterling Lopez (Anchorage, Alaska)
3rd of 984 entries, $196.8K prize pool
Aaron Quon (Richmond, British Columbia)
2nd of 309 entries, $311.7K prize pool
Scott Lake (Bremerton, Washington)
3rd of 47 entries, $470K prize pool

Lake had a cash the previous day in the Triple Stud Mix event, but not enough ROI to qualify for the Leaderboard.

Yunkyu Song (Camas, Washington)
4th of 458 entries, $1.4M prize pool
Andrew Rodgers (Anchorage, Alaska)
1st of 748 entries, $725.5K prize pool
Kyle Ho (Burnaby, British Columbia)
2nd of 253 entries, $151.1K prize pool
Chad Wassmuth (Lewiston, Washington)
2nd of 1272 entries, $1.8M prize pool
Kao Saechao (Damascus, Oregon)
1st of 629 entries, $175.1K prize pool
Mike Kinney (Sand Point, Idaho)
2nd of 458 entries, $1.4M prize pool
Maxwell Young (Oregon)
1st of 264 entries, $264K prize pool
Adam Hendrix (Anchorage, Alaska)
5th of 1659 entries, $2.5M prize pool
8th of 132 entries, $660K prize pool
1st of 81 entries, $243K prize pool
Chris Brewer (Eugene, Oregon)
6th of 124 entries, $3.8M prize pool
8th of 139 entries, $21.6M prize pool
Seth Davies (Bend, Oregon)
3rd of 82 entries, $3.7M prize pool
3rd of 33 entries, $1.3M prize pool
1st of 72 entries, $1.8M prize pool

Davies had six other cashes in the Triton Jeju series (for a total of eight cashes in seventeen events) each large enough to put most players’ career winnings to shame, but their ROI was less than 400%, so they do not appear on the Leaderboard.

2024 Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic, Don’t Dream It

Event #19 $235,000 Guaranteed NL Hold’em Main Event

This was the big one. I’d won my satellite ticket early in the week, but that was the last tournament cash I’d had, so if there was a profit to be made on the trip, this was likely my last chance.

We started off with 70K in chips, I was in seat 4, with theater impresario Jerry Mouawad on my right. I played fairly cautiously, still sitting around starting stack at the second break about four hours in.

My only substantial gain came about a little after that, when I raised with jacks, called a reraise from a short stack, flopped top set, then check-raised him enough to almost put him all in. He jammed with aces, my set held, and I was up over 100K.

We passed $300K in the prize pool before the end of registration (and dinner break). Seven hours in, I turned the nut flush against a flopped set and made it up to my peak of 160K.

That was above average at the time, but I lost chips and ground over the next couple of hours. Jerry and the player on my left both climbed into the 300-400K range while I slipped down to 100K, which was still about 35bb as we approached the 10-hour mark, then I picked up queens on the button, open-raised, and was re-raised by the big stack on my left in the big blind. Squeeze? Better hand? There are only 12 better card combos than a pair of queens. I jammed, the big stack called with kings, and that was the end of this series for me!

2024 Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic, Three Bounty Problem

Event #17 $40,000 Guaranteed NL Hold’em Big Bounty

I intended to play this cautiously. Not going recklessly after bounties; from experience I know there are a lot of them to gather up toward the end.

Things kicked off pretty fast. The table next to us had two all-in hands right away; Jerry Mouwad knocked a player out on our table, all in the first 15 minutes. There was another elimination from the table by the end of the second level.

Got a couple snorts of derision from the other players when I open-folded aces from the small blind on a paired board with three spades by the turn, when the big blind player in the hand bet out 11bb. Establishing the image of the tight old player with a They Might Be Giants sweatshirt. “Why is the snowman burning money?” asked one of the dealers.

My stack was up to only about 35K from the 27K starting stack by the end of the third level, then 40K at the end of Level 6 when registration ended. I kept plugging away through the next two hours to the next break, taking three hands out of four at one point, but still no bounties.

My big break came about six hours in when I raised, from UTG, got two calls, then 3-bet by a played in late position for about half my stack. I had suited ace-king and put all 58K in the middle. He called with queens. King and ten on the flop, but he picked up a set of queens. Then a river jack gave me Broadway. “Did you think I wasn’t going to call?” he asked after the hand was over, which seemed a little odd. Still didn’t get a bounty chip (aside from my own) until half an hour later after a table change.

I’d had pretty good luck with making sets of tens, so when I got them in the small blind at the end of the sixth hour, I was hopeful. An early position player raised and was shoved on by a shortish stack in middle position for 15bb. I called the all-in, then the opening player shoved as well, for another 15bb. At the time I was still over 80b, and called. The EP player had AK, the MP player had AT, and the board ran out to give them a wheel straight.

Another table change and we were down to 78 players. There were a couple of very short stacks and I managed to pick up two bounties before dinner break, making it up to 175K (44bb) for my high point before losing about 12bb after laying down a couple hands (including kings) after the flop.

We went to dinner break with 54 players left, two tables to the money. 33bb for me. I cashed out the three bounties I’d picked up, then zipped up to the 60s Cafe & Diner at the top of the hill to grab a burger and a boozy shake. I sort of had to wolf things down to get back in time, but perhaps I should have eaten more leisurely and not worried about getting back for the first — or more importantly, the second — hand. I had 25bb on the button and picked up ace-king of diamonds. One of the big stacks on the table opened for just over 2bb, and another player called. I ripped in my stack, which I probably didn’t need to do, though I think it was the right move, just at the wrong time, because after some thought, the original raiser called with kings, which held, and I was out.

Here are some final table payouts for the series as of mid-day Friday. Friday night’s Main Event Mega-Satellite paid out 30 vouchers, double the guarantee.

2024 Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic, Testing My Limits

The morning was uneventful, just resting up from five days of playing poker, a little sightseeing, and a big steak dinner the night before. Made a few calls, caught up on the news a little bit (it hadn’t gotten any better) and generally relaxed until noon when I headed over to Chinook Winds.

Event #15 $15,000 Guaranteed Limit Omaha Hi-Lo

I won the first hand of O8, drawing out on the river against Joe Brandenburg. Before the game had even started, Bobby Quiring, a friend of Brad “First Friend of the Blog” Press, who I had met when we all played a HORSE tournament at Aria last summer (where Bobby won and Brad took 5th). Maybe it was too soon after the Big O tournament for me to play this, but I got shorter and shorter after I hit set under set. I had less than a quarter of a starting stack 90 minutes in, My tiny stack lasted for another couple of hours, then I busted the first hand back from the second break.

While I was out of the tournament room, I’d noticed there was a Thursday night steak and crab special at the Seafood Grill where I’d had breakfast with my father the other day, and told Brad I’d reciprocate his generous steak dinner from last night, then went to play some cash.

$2-$5 NL Hold’em

Cash isn’t my normal game and these aren’t my usual stakes, but the $1-$2 game was full up and I wanted to be able to keep an eye on the tournament status and upcoming (in a couple of hours) dinner break while I waited. I played pretty tight for an hour or so without catching much, then picked up black kings a d three-bet the very active and very loud player on my immediate right, who’d been wearing some astounding track suits the previous days. He called my bet along with a couple of others, the flop was very red and ace-high with two Broadway cards and a third on the turn, after which it got heads-up. The loud guy flipped over king-ten at showdown for Broadway.

I lost some more pots, until I hit middle set on a KQ9 flop. The player two to my right pushed all-in, covering my stack. I probably didn’t take he time to consider the jack-ten possibility, but I called and he flipped over a set of nines. I guess he hadn’t thought of jack-ten either

Brad busted out about six hours in and decided he had enough time to take me up on dinner before heading home. I grabbed my chips and cashed them out quickly with bit of a profit, and we walked over to the Seafood Grill, which wasn’t exactly full, but they were short-staffed enough we had to wait for about ten minutes to get seated because one guy was taking all of the orders and bartending. Food itself came about fifty minutes after we walked in the door. But it was tasty.

2024 Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic, More Like Big Ow

One of the great things about playing here at Chinook Winds Casino Resort is that it’s literally on the beach. There’s a stairway down to the sand between the casino and the resort, you can bust out — or cash big — then walk down to the water and contemplate existence.

Or you can have breakfast at the Seafood Grill on the south end of the complex and watch things through the windows, like my father and I did before he headed back to Portland.

Event #11 $25,000 Guaranteed Pot Limit Big O

Since most of the rationale for me spending an entire week here (ass opposed to just a couple of days) was due to me coming in second at the Portland Meadows Big O Championship back in December, I had some hope for this one. Things got off to an interesting start on the first hand at our table, with three players nearly all-in after the flop. It was three-quartered by the guy on my left, leaving one of the other player with about 16K (out of the 22K starting stack) and the other with just 400 chips.

Made the nut flush on an hand about half an hour in and pushed the action, with another player calling for the low. Deuce on the river and I scooped it to climb to 39K. Half an hour later, after a couple of questionable hands, I was in danger of elimination, with just 5K. By two hours in, I’d built back up to over 50K. and twenty minutes later, I had the table chip lead with over 100K.

A couple hands cut me down to 60K (still about twice average at that point, but by the second break (three hours in) I’d climbed back to 100K and knocked out the guy who kept telling me I was misreading my hand when I made the nuts.

Ran into my John Gribben, the player I chopped a tournament with the last time I had a big cash here at Chinook and convinced him to take another photo with me.

I made it through another couple of hours, past the third break, but the see-sawing continued, with more sawing than seeing, I’m afraid. And about 15 minutes into the 11th round, I took a stand and busted.

Brad Press had asked me if I was interested in the Wednesday $30 steak special at the casino steakhouse during break, and since he was buying, I readily accepted. He busted the Big O tournament before dinner, we beat the crowd, and when we got there he noticed Jimmy and Bo, already sitting at a table. We sat down with them for some nice steaks, chatted about family and, yes, poker, and when they went off to late-reg the Mystery Bounty, Brad and I went to drink some of his top-shelf tequila and then we were both ready to rest up for the Limit Omaha Hi-Lo tournament Thursday afternoon.

2024 Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic, Cashless

Event #9 $10,000 Guaranteed HORSE

I always look forward to HORSE tournaments because I get so few opportunities to play them. My only WSOP bracelet tournament cash is a min-cash in the 2021 HORSE event that Norman Chad bubbled. But this was not to be another one.

Since the tournament didn’t start until 4pm, I headed to the Tillamook Air Museum, housed in the only one of the WWII blimp hangers left in the nation. It’s full of planes, including some replicas of fighters from a century ago that somehow only weighed as much as I do.

The tournament went well for just about four hours, I was cruising along until three devastating hands in Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo took me from 15 big bets (well above average in the aggressive structure) down to 5BB, then I was run down on the river holding aces up by a flush.

Brad (First Friend of the Blog) Press was still in, though, and he maintained a decent chip stack through to the money, then crabbed his way up on the final table. Smaller stacks were busting out quickly with the chip average under 3 big bets, and a double elimination left him as the short stack between two equal-ish big stacks. He had a rolled-up pair in the last hand of Stud Hi-lo, took third place when it didn’t hold up, and so far I’m ahead in our $5/5% swap for the series.

Playing Big O as I’m typing this!

2024 Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic, Satellite Unlocked

Event #5 $35,000 Guaranteed NL Hold’em 6-Max

This event broke me. I had a very rough start, down two-thirds of my stack at the first break, then lost half of that before I managed to shove aces with about 12bb and got a call that doubled me up. Took a couple smaller pots then knocked out what was a smaller stack (by then) and was back to 50bb. Got myself up almost to starting stack after tens held on a KKQ9X board. But busted after less than three hours when ace-eight of spades were the turn nuts on a king-high board with three spades and shoved into the full house on the river when the board paired.

Rebought very reluctantly just before the end of entries and landed at a table with several big stacks, going up and down for another 90 minutes until I picked up red aces in middle position, raised 2.5bb, and got a call from one of the big stacks in the small blind. The flop came out KQJ, all hearts, giving me the royal flush draw, and I continued and was called. Turn is an offsuit 6. I shoved about 15bb, figuring I’ve got both the straight and flush draws even against two pair or a set, and the big tack called with Q6 offsuit, which held and I was gone again.

Event #7 3 Seats Guaranteed NL Hold’em Main Event Turbo Satellite

My father came down to stay for a couple nights, and we headed out for an early dinner at Pub’s Fish & Chips which was packed when we got there. Made it back to the poker room with just a couple minutes to spare for registration in Event #6 $10,000 Guaranteed NL Hold’em Boss Bounty, but elected for the Main Event satellite instead, which was only about 15 minutes in.

This game went considerably more to my liking, particularly after I shoved ace-eight suited in and got called by kings and another hand I forget, then hit the ace on the river and tripled up. Fifty minutes in, I’d quadrupled the starting stack and I was steamrollering, even knocking the same player out twice after he’d re-entered. By the time we were down to 19 players, I had 20% of the chips in play. Only four vouchers, though, with $452 cash going to fifth place.

I started praying to satellite saint Dara O’Kearney that I wouldn’t screw this up, but I was still more active than I needed to be, managing to put the brakes on just on time after I’d gotten into a fight with a player who had a not-insignificant stack in front of her.

When we were down to 5 players, in the money, there were four stacks large enough that any one of them could have hurt or eliminated the others, and one very small stack. That stack ended up all in for less than the ante in their big blind and survived a 3-way hand, but still only won their ante. Then, most of what they had left went to the small blind, which they surrendered, leaving just a third of a blind. That went all in a couple hands later and they got the $452 and the rest of us got vouchers.

So, not a great day, but one really good tournament and I’m three cashes for five entries so far, though those two losses were doozies.

Taking the daytime off because I don’t want to sit around with a bunch of seniors; I’ll wait until tonight’s HORSE tournament to see them.