Oh Lord! When? How? — June 2024

Las Vegas 2024

Sunday

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.

Monday

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

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.

Wednesday

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.

“Yeah.”

“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.

THURsday

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.

FRIday

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.

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)
#2193
2nd of 257 entries, $179.9K prize pool
Erik Backlund (Calgary, Alberta)
#6281
#2029
+4252
1st of 257 entries, $179.9K prize pool
Rahul Karpy (Portland, Oregon)
#5285
#1977
+3308
6th of 3505 entries, $865.7K prize pool
Andrew Goosen (Port Coquitlam, British Columbia)
#1845
2nd of 1380 entries, $339.4K prize pool
Brian Monigold (Spokane Valley, Washington)
#7098
#1670
+5428
5th of 968 entries, $968K prize pool
Steven Williams (Hood River, Oregon)
#685
#564
+121
2nd of 330 entries, $181.5K prize pool
Taran Parmar (Edmonton, Alberta)
#956
#471
+485
6th of 682 entries, $2.5M prize pool
Ali Razzaq (Edmonton, Alberta)
#516
#427
+89
3rd of 257 entries, $179.9K prize pool
Alejandro Madrigal (Umatilla, Oregon)
#542
#383
+159
2nd of 409 entries, $368.1K prize pool
Landen Lucas (Portland, Oregon)
#266
#242
+24
12th of 293 entries, $1.3M prize pool
Stuart Young (Portland, Oregon)
#293
#235
+58
7th of 4489 entries, $2.3M prize pool
Landon Brown (Kent, Washington)
#312
#194
+118
1st of 840 entries, $277.2K prize pool
2nd of 1180 entries, $607.7K prize pool
Yunkyu Song (Camas, Washington)
#160
#115
+45
4th of 735 entries, $2.2M prize pool
Clemen Deng (Portland, Oregon)
#64
#50
+14
6th of 104 entries, $1M prize pool
1st of 49 entries, $245K prize pool
Maxwell Young (Oregon)
#22
#22
0
4th of 3163 entries, $897.8K prize pool
Dylan Linde (Coeur D’Alene, Idaho)
#4
#4
0
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)
#2634
20th of 1180 entries, $3.7M prize pool
Jonathan Erickson (Salem, Oregon)
#8040
#2557
+5483
1st of 286 entries, $116.6K prize pool
Ryan Peterson (Albany, Oregon)
#7371
#2262
+5109
3rd of 441 entries, $306.9K prize pool
Khoa Ngo (Lakewood, Washington)
#2821
#1729
+1092
1st of 82 entries, $69.5K prize pool
Jerry O’Keefe (Bend, Oregon)
#6205
#1534
+4671
2nd of 441 entries, $306.9K prize pool
Jolnar Teliani (Edmonton, Alberta)
#2160
#1194
+966
2nd of 282 entries, $208.8K prize pool
Barry Frey (Medicine Hat, Alberta)
#3413
#1128
+2285
1st of 282 entries, $208.8K prize pool
Andrew Brunette (Woodland, Washington)
#1651
#1109
+542
2nd of 629 entries, $175.1K prize pool
Wille Scott (Courtenay, British Columbia)
#1106
2nd of 346 entries, $506.3K prize pool
Joe Gates (Burns, Oregon)
#1919
#1092
+827
5th of 3180 entries, $1M prize pool
Steven Boyd (Albany, Oregon)
#1537
#999
+538
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)
#2094
#870
+1224
1st of 441 entries, $306.9K prize pool
Antonio Ma (Calgary, Alberta)
#682
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)
#669
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)
#502
#425
+77
3rd of 984 entries, $196.8K prize pool
Aaron Quon (Richmond, British Columbia)
#587
#411
+176
2nd of 309 entries, $311.7K prize pool
Scott Lake (Bremerton, Washington)
#1034
#404
+630
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)
#231
#160
+71
4th of 458 entries, $1.4M prize pool
Andrew Rodgers (Anchorage, Alaska)
#111
#86
+25
1st of 748 entries, $725.5K prize pool
Kyle Ho (Burnaby, British Columbia)
#71
#72
-1
2nd of 253 entries, $151.1K prize pool
Chad Wassmuth (Lewiston, Washington)
#75
#68
+7
2nd of 1272 entries, $1.8M prize pool
Kao Saechao (Damascus, Oregon)
#41
#42
-1
1st of 629 entries, $175.1K prize pool
Mike Kinney (Sand Point, Idaho)
#51
#39
+12
2nd of 458 entries, $1.4M prize pool
Maxwell Young (Oregon)
#23
#22
+1
1st of 264 entries, $264K prize pool
Adam Hendrix (Anchorage, Alaska)
#8
#6
+2
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)
#2
#2
0
6th of 124 entries, $3.8M prize pool
8th of 139 entries, $21.6M prize pool
Seth Davies (Bend, Oregon)
#1
#1
0
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, 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.

2024 Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic, Two Min-Cashes Per Day

Just a short note today because that’s all I really have time for. Lots of time yesterday morning, because I wasn’t really able to get to sleep the first night here. No issues with the room or anything, just restless from allergies. So I went into the day with less than an hour of sleep after driving down to Lincoln City and playing poker for 12 hours.

Event #1 $100,000 Guaranteed NL Hold’em Day 2

I didn’t have enormous expectations coming into the day with just 14 big blinds (I’d forgotten we still had about half the 6K blind level after stopping for the night, so it was more than 10). Somehow, I managed to creep up the pay scale from #56 in chips at the start of the day to cash out in 42nd. Then I ran ace-king suited into the big stack’s aces and it was over. More than doubled my money.

Event #2 $25,000 Guaranteed NL Hold’em

Running on less than an hour’s sleep and playing poker for an hour was probably not the ideal time to enter a tournament that was likely to go on for 12 hours, but I did it. Got seated at the same table as Darrel Dier (@guano on X.com), who I met down here back in 2013 when (if I remember correctly) he was associated with the early days of the Chinook Winds series through the Deepstacks Poker Tour/Oregon State Poker Championship. That gave me the opportunity to show him the photo I took of the Greatest Poker Hair Assemblage of All Time, which I took while I was reporting at the WSOP back in 2016 (Darrel’s in seat 9).

My performance in the tournament wasn’t stellar, though I did still have it together enough to fold kings on a straighty-flushy low-card board when Darrel made a river overbet in a 3-way pot that got called by the other player in the hand (straight for Darrel vs. two pair).

Got aces cracked in another 3-way pot when the short stack’s ace-four flushed on the river. Doubled up with a Mutant Jack.

Brad Press had proposed a small last-longer/share at the start and I agreed. He paid me his $5 on the way out the door.

Managed to get up to twice the chip average by the dinner break, but seven hours in and still not in the money I was back down to 50K and 12bb. The bubble took an hour or more, with the count stuck at 47 (45 paid).

Things were really looking up when I caught aces in the big blind and the former table chip leader who’d been on a run of bad luck (and had made at least one dubious call to pay me off on a previous hand) shoved UTG1 with threes. That win knocked him out and put me over 20bb again.

Final hand I opened to 3.5bb with ace-jack and got one caller. The flop was 98X and I shoved 15bb, he called with middle pair and an ace, which seemed a little dubious to me, but then he won the hand, so what do I know? Out in 32nd place.

Two cashes for the day. Not big cashes, and I still need to win a good deal more to cover expenses, but it’s a start. 6-Max on Monday.

Congrats to Kao Saechao for the two-way deal and the win in Event #1.

Oh, and after expenses, I owe Brad $10.85.

2024 Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic, St. Paddy’s Eve

Arrived late to registration for Event #1 $100,000 Guaranteed NL Hold’em because I let Google Maps steer me to a different route than my usual path to Lincoln City and it lost the cell connection, so instead of taking a detour to a scenic path to the coast, I ended up turning around at Champoeg Park and having to backtrack, which got me into town twenty minutes after the game started. So, instead of buying in with no line, there were people lined up from the top of the escalator (which wasn’t working, great timing, escalator!), around the corner down the hall to the tournament room, and the length of the tournament room. So it was just over an hour in to the tournament before I was registered.

That said, things went pretty well off the bat. Within twenty minutes I managed to river the nuts with an ace-high flush and got paid off by the second nuts. With action before it went heads-up, I nearly doubled the 22K (20K with a dealer appreciation) starting stack.

My stack kept climbing by bits for the next few levels, then just before the second break and the end of re-entry, I got queens in the big blind. There was a raise and several calls ahead of me, including a player who’d been the chip leader in the first several levels (but was no longer). I pushed it up to 5x the raise and she was the only caller. I hit my set on a king-high board and bet, then she shoved over the top and I called, naturally, She had a king but no flush draw or anything else, and I knocked her out to get up to 150bb.

Then, after the break, when I was big blind, it was aces, and queens got it in against me. Or, I should say, queens ended up getting it in against me, because the player in the small blind re-raised me with what almost everyone (including me) assumed was his full stack. I called and flipped my cards over, then he flipped his cards over, but when the board ran out, he revealed that he still had 2bb behind. The floor got called and the ruling was that all of the chips were in when he flipped his cards over. I didn’t really care about the chips, and admitted I’d probably been at fault for not verifying the all in before I called and flipped my cards over, but the ruling stood.

We went to dinner after 9 levels and I’d hit 120K, which was to be my high point for the day. Got a table change, and even though I started off as the nominal big stack there, I couldn’t get any traction. I mostly lost chips, then got some back, but I was dwindling slowly but surely as we got closer and closer to the money.

Nearly got knocked out less than 10 from the money when I raised king-queen from the small blind and the short stack in the big blind shoved for 2/3 of my stack with jacks. I paired up, but he made a set on an ace-high flop, which gave me some straight outs, but no dice and I found myself down to 5bb on the button.

Suddenly, I started getting hands again, with ace-king suited two times in four hands. Another shove with king-queen worked and I was up to 12bb, Squeaked through two rounds of hand-for-hand play, and we were done for the night, coming back to 10bb on St. Patrick’s Day.

Black Jack — February 2024

Not a positive month! On the Ignition NLHE Jackpot Sit-and-Go front, 21 games and 8 cashes, but I narrowly lost the 5x payout games I got into, so I’m down 5 buyins for the month.

Only played 3 of the Beaverton Quarantine games in February. They’re every Friday night, usually a couple of games a night, over the PokerStars Home Game system. Had a good January, cashing 3 out of 7 games but I busted all three of the February tournaments I played.

Drove out to Last Frontier early in the month for their Freezeout tournament and I was one of the early busts.

Then there was the Portland Winter Royale, a joint venture over four days at Portland Meadows and Final Table. I just played the Meadows tournaments, making it halfway through the opening Freezeout tournament, then having to rebuy after just one round in the $500 Saturday event when a guy sitting into the big blind immediately to my right said “This might be my best hand of the day” before he’d looked at his cards (at least I thought it was before he looked, self-doubt started creeping in almost immediately). I had queens under the gun, raised, and called a 4-bet from him pre-flop, then continued after his check on the six-high flop, he raised, and I put him all-in, which he called with his kings. The turn gave him a set, then an ace came on the river, so if he’d had ace-king like I put him on, I would have been dead anyway. Never got above starting stack on the rebuy.

You can tell me how wrong I am in a couple weeks at the Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic.

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.
Samuel Sisay (Seattle, Washington)
#2198
1st of 330 entries, $108.9K prize pool
Kale Satta-Hutton (Portland, Oregon)
#4564
#2094
+2470
2nd of 790 entries, $182.9K prize pool
David Howat (Calgary, Alberta)
#628
#519
+109
3rd of 417 entries, $290.9K prize pool
Taylor Hart (Newberg, Oregon)
#159
#143
+16
7th of 917 entries, $1.3M prize pool
5th of 152 entries, $304K prize pool
Andrew Rogers (Anchorage, Alaska)
#130
#111
+19
1st of 458 entries, $650.3K prize pool
Dien Le (Bellevue, Washington)
#97
#94
+3
2nd of 272 entries, $132.6K prize pool
Jimmy Lee (Edmonton, Alberta)
#70
#69
+1
1st of 59 entries, $74.6K prize pool
Amichai Barer (Vancouver, British Columbia)
#16
#15
+1
7th of 1747 entries, $9M prize pool
Adam Hendrix (Anchorage, Alaska)
#8
#8
0
5th of 1033 entries, $1.3M prize pool
5th of 1659 entries, $2.5M prize pool
Chris Brewer (Eugene, Oregon)
#2
#2
0
2nd of 49 entries, $3.1M prize pool
4th of 31 entries, $1M prize pool