Uptempo Venomous Poison — June 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)
#3235
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)
#2881
2nd of 160 entries, $128K prize pool
Martin Owens (Spokane, Washington)
#2331
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)
#4872
#2182
+2690
2nd of 441 entries, $126.6K prize pool
Saul Kalvari (Richmond, British Columbia)
#4826
#1687
+3139
1st of 727 entries, $238.5K prize pool
Larry Vincent (Lewiston, Idaho)
#2911
#1293
+1618
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)
#2193
#1271
+922
8th of 911 entries, $1M prize pool

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

Valiant Chou (Richmond, Washington)
#1856
#1134
+722
4th of 558 entries, $270K prize pool
Tomi Varghase (Calgary, Alberta)
#1882
#1009
+873
5th of 911 entries, $1M prize pool
Matthew Kelly (Hillsboro, Oregon)
#1344
#1001
+343
1st of 441 entries, $126.6K prize pool
Shawn Smith (Molalla, Oregon)
#976
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)
#822
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)
#1516
#782
+734
1st of 1101 entries, $264K prize pool
David Goodkin (Bellevue, Washington)
#1043
#728
+315
3rd of 558 entries, $270K prize pool
John Scalise (Calgary, Alberta)
#2741
#683
+2058
2nd of 911 entries, $1M prize pool
Angel Iniquez (Richland, Washington)
#776
#630
+146
2nd of 406 entries, $158.2K prize pool
Brett Worton (Edmonton, Alberta)
#721
#598
+123
3rd of 249 entries, $159.2K prize pool
Peter Griffin (Fort McMurray, Alberta)
#731
#551
+180
1st of 249 entries, $159.2K prize pool
Jackson Spencer (Yakima, Washington)
#614
#476
+138
1st of 160 entries, $128K prize pool
David Labchuk (Calgary, Alberta)
#651
#400
+251
4th of 911 entries, $1M prize pool
Adam Nattress (Portland, Oregon)
#617
#392
+225
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)
#415
#380
+35
2nd of 249 entries, $159.2K prize pool
Zeyu Huang (Calgary, Alberta)
#690
#352
+338
3rd of 911 entries, $1M prize pool
Garrett Maybery (Edmonton, Alberta)
#410
#340
+70
2nd of 151 entries, $217K prize pool
Dongwoo Ko (Burnaby, British Columbia)
#753
#161
+592
1st of 882 entries, $2M prize pool
Pei Li (Calgary, Alberta)
#165
#160
+5
3rd of 151 entries, $217K prize pool
Dominick French (Victoria, British Columbia)
#122
#116
+6
1st of 13 entries, $68.5K prize pool
Yunkyu Song (Camas, Washington)
#115
#114
+1
4th of 735 entries, $2.2M prize pool
Mal Hagan (Langley, British Columbia)
#114
#111
+3
2nd of 1101 entries, $264K prize pool
Brent Sheirbon (Seattle, Washington)
#112
#105
+7
2nd of 263 entries, $315.2K prize pool
Matthew Jewett (Shoreline, Washington)
#108
#99
+9
2nd of 558 entries, $270K prize pool
Aaron Thivyanathan (Renton, Washington)
#78
#73
+5
3rd of 476 entries, $464.1K prize pool
Kyle Ho (Burnaby, British Columbia)
#72
#69
+3
1st of 236 entries, $150.3K prize pool
Maxwell Young (Seaside, Oregon)
#22
#22
0
2nd of 304 entries, $156.5K prize pool
Adam Hendrix (Anchorage, Alaska)
#6
#5
+1
3rd of 603 entries, $2.1M prize pool
Dylan Linde (Coeur D’Alene, Idaho)
#4
#3
+1
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)
#2
#2
0
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)
#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

King of Asskissing — June to December 2023

This started off months ago as the wrap-up of my uneventful and mercifully brief trip to this year’s World Series of Poker, where I made attempts on two bracelet events (Event #7 Limit Hold’em and Event #9 Seven-Card Stud), played next to a very annoying person in an Aria $50K GTD HORSE tournament, ran a pair of aces aground in a Wynn $50K GTD NLHE Survivor that would have saved my trip, and at the Orleans $50K GTD NLHE before I headed home.

But I got bored writing about it and bored thinking about people not reading it even if I finished, so I put it off until the next month, and the next month, and by September I wasn’t sure I’d ever write another post here (it’s happened before, I have a personal blog on politics, programming, books, and games that’s gone years without updates).

But I’m back got a year-end wrap-up and what has got to be the most time-consuming Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard I’ve ever done.

That’s all water under the bridge, though. I barely remember the details.

What I do remember is, I have a database of every single cash game and tournament I’ve played since Black Friday in 2011. So here are a few numbers.

Overall Stats

Nearly 500 entries in the database with only 19 cash games. 149 profits in tournaments (31.5%), but that looks better than it actually is, for reasons I’ll get to in a minute. 4% ROI overall, 9% in tournaments. I wasn’t able to make either of the Chinook Winds series this year or any of the Wildhorse events.

Ignition Casino

Most of my play this year was online on Ignition, with 385 tournaments and 2 cash games. Most of that was in the $2 Jackpot Sit-n-Gos, 3-player turbo tournaments where the payout for first place is $4 or—in a very small percentage of the games—up to $2,400. I have never seen a payout larger than the 5x multiplier for $10. I won 117 of 320, which would have been a loss of $172 except for a number of $10 payouts, so a 4% ROI.

I played a number of Irish Poker Open qualifiers and satellites in the early part of the year, then mostly stuck to Fixed-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, POLO, and PLO8 tournaments where I had a little success early on but lost money overall.

Home Games

My original home game group only got together once during the year (though I did just get an invite to the first game of 2024!) and even though I took 3rd, since I did a rebuy I lost $20. Do not rebuy in single-table tournaments inless you’re just there for the company.

The other home game is only at home for me. One of the players from the original game introduced me during the pandemic to a group that almost always meets for some $20/$25 home games using the Home Game feature of the PokerStars play money client. There’s an accompanying Zoom call, though I’m not usually on it since I just play from the living room while my wife and I are watching TV. Often, there are two—sometimes three—games during the night, usually starting out with NLHE, then a Bounty game of some sort: NLHE or PLO8. Just a couple of tables at most. Played 44 of those over the course of the year and cashed in 15 for a 25% ROI.

America’s Card Room

I had a little bit of money left on ACR at the beginning of the year, but I’d forgotten about it. Remembered it mid-year and that ACR had a better selection of non-NLHE tournaments than Ignition, so I played for a bit during the summer until I ran down my account (or did I? I’d better check). Took 4/55 in a Stud/8 tournament on my second outing and a 2/155 in a Big O Progressive Knockout, plus a bunch of min-cashes in games where I’d done a rebuy (this is called a loss), so -22% ROI over the course of 23 tournaments and 14 low-stakes Big O and Stud 8 cash games.

Portland Area

This is The Game, Final Table, and Last Frontier (in La Center). The year kicked off great at Last Frontier, where my first poker of 2023 was a three-way chop in a $10K GTD Limit Hold’em tournament. Then I thought I’d take that run and apply it at The Game’s Big O tournament where I was the first player out (after losing 25bb in NLHE cash). Back to Last Frontier for an early out in a $25K GTD NLHE tournament, and in October, Brad Press convinced me to drive up for the $8/$16 Limit Omaha 8 cash games. Waited around for those for a while, got in, and blasted away a couple hundred pretty fast.

At Final Table, I played several of the $20K GTD NLHE First Friday tournaments, never getting into the money (or closer than about 35% of the field) but there’s something about the jumps in the top of their payout structures that’s been bugging me since I noticed it last December.

A jump of $290 from 8th to 7th. Jump of $285 from 7th to 6th. Jump of $290 from 6th to 5th. $285 again from 5th to 4th. $580 jump from 4th to 3rd. 100% increase of $2880 from 3rd to 2nd. Only $2,045 increase from 2nd to 1st. Weird.

ROI for all of that: 0%. $8 profit on $2,595 costs, with everything zeroed out only by the January score at Last Frontier!

Vegas

The trip to the World Series of Poker this year was a complete bust, poker-wise. I only had one weekend, spent it at Ellis Island with my co-worker Ben, and got in a quick meet-up with Kevmath while I was waiting for Brad Press to get through to the registration desk.

My targets were two of the smallest $1500 buy-in bracelet events of the Series: #7 Limit Hold’em and #9 7-Card Stud. Didn’t make it even close to Day 2 of either one. Brad and I headed over to Aria on my third day to play the $50K GTD HORSE tournament there. I made it halfway through and suffered through a pro sitting next to me who felt entitled to reach his pinkie under my arm to flick my ante chip in when he through I was going to be too slow getting it in for the next hand. Brad did well, though, coming in 5th, and his buddy Bobby got first. I busted out and late-regged a Wynn NLHE Survivor tournament with a $5K payout that would have completely saved the trip, doubled up almost immediately, then let my aces get cracked on a paired board by Q9. My last day, it was the Orleans for a long slog in their $50K NLHE tournament where I beat two-thirds of the field but went home empty-handed.

Portland Meadows

When I was playing more often, I spent more time at Final Table than Portland Meadows, because I tried to avoid weekend games, and the bigger games at Meadows were on Saturday, while the major weekly tournaments at FT have always been on Friday night, which didn’t impact our home life as much. On the other hand, Meadows runs more non-NLHE tournaments, so I found myself drawn over there several times this year, starting with their Biggest of Os Big O tournament in February (brick), then their HEROS tournament in April (also brick). A rebuy in a little PLO tournament in August gort me halfway through the field.

Then, on a whim, I went out for a Saturday night NLHE Freezeout in September and a two-way chop. Then, the next month at the Big Bet Mix I nabbed 2nd out of the field of 55.

Back in December for the weekend of the Oregon State Championship, I busted from the NLHE day before the end of registration, but got through the 111-entry field for the Big O championship to the foinal table with the largest stack, staying that way up to the point I was heads-up with the eventual winner. Another straight -out 2nd place, no deal, no chop.

So, overall, it’s been a profitable year. More profitable if I hadn’t gone down to Vegas, but that’s probably not going to stop me from doing it again in 2024.

Enough about me! Let the wild rumpus begin!

Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard: End-of-Year 2023

The last Leaderboard was almost exactly a year ago. I didn’t think I was going to run it again, but after talking to people about this here blog at the Big O tournament earlier in the month, I thought I’d check to see if the script I wrote six or seven years ago would still do the job, even though it would need to deal with a lot more data (a year’s worth of results rather than a month) and I couldn’t be sure the formats of the Hendon Mob state/province leaderboards hadn’t changed. But everything worked!

My previous methodology was to report on every player with a cash of more than $10,000 in the reporting period, but as you can guess, with a period 12 times as long (there are nearly 250 new players on the lisrt by the old measure); I’d never get a year-long Leaderboard done because, let’s face it, nobody’s paying me to do this and I’m a lazy, semi-retired poker player. So this edition is going to be sort of seat-of-the-pants*, and I’m going to look for highlights. Apologies if you should be on here for your accomplishments last year and I didn’t include you!

* After finishing this sucker off, this is the methodology:

  1. Only new or updated players with $120K of earnings reported on Hendon Mob over the past year.
  2. Only events with payouts of $10K or more; many of these players have other cashes through the year under $10,000.
  3. Only events with 400% ROI. This rules out a lot of cashes that are five or even six figures where the buy-in was substantial.
  4. Presented in reverse order of their current standing on the Leaderboard, not by the amount won in 2023, although that’s a rough gauge.

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.
Chris Hundley (Kirkland, Washington)
#7827
#642
+7185
1st of 180 entries, $145.9K prize pool
3rd of 556 entries, $742.2K prize pool
Kali Shuali (Vancouver, British Columbia)
#638
1st of 226 entries, $158.2K prize pool
1st of 472 entries, $101K prize pool
Vincent Wong (British Columbia)
#529
4th of 385 entries, $251.5K prize pool
7th of 564 entries, $389.1K prize pool
Alexander Cole-Gardner (Bend, Oregon)
#495
3rd of 446 entries, $313.6K prize pool
6th of 7300 entries, $4.9M prize pool
Brent Mutter (Poulsbo, Washington)
#1538
#468
+1070
2nd of 263 entries, $702.2K prize pool
Mehmet Siginc (Calgary, Alberta)
#416
1st of 120 entries, $78.5K prize pool
1st of 287 entries, $268.2K prize pool
1st of 136 entries, $92.5K prize pool

Not huge fields or giant prize pools, but three first places in a row puts Siginc on the Leaderboard in a big way.

Stephen Dauphinais (Edmonton, Alberta)
#1504
#408
+1096
5th of 454 entries, $315.4K prize pool
9th of 946 entries, $1M prize pool
2nd of 236 entries, $165.4K prize pool
4th of 287 entries, $268.2K prize pool
2nd of 325 entries, $190.9K prize pool
Krystn Hady (Calgary, Alberta)
#3865
#394
+3471
1st of 946 entries, $1M prize pool
George Heim (Cooper Landing, Alaska)
#912
#389
+523
2nd of 183 entries, $78.6K prize pool
3rd of 805 entries, $780.8K prize pool
Jason Johnson (Spokane, Washington)
#377
2nd of 3778 entries, $2.6M prize pool

Imagine having your first-ever recorded cash as runner-up for a bracelet in a $2.6M tournament.

Kelly Gall (Calgary, Alberta)
#1007
#348
+659
2nd of 4303 entries, $1.9M prize pool
Johnathan French (Canmore, Alberta)
#307
1st of 1432 entries, $1.6M prize pool

Only one recorded cash last year—and that in January—but it was a doozy.

Zhigang Yang (Richmond, British Columbia)
#2818
#291
+2527
7th of 1314 entries, $4.1M prize pool
104th of 3835 entries, $40M prize pool
Nicholas Lee (Calgary, Alberta)
#2260
#276
+1984
1st of 1539 entries, $377.7K prize pool
3rd of 287 entries, $268.2K prize pool
1st of 325 entries, $190.9K prize pool
Matt Kwong (Calgary, Alberta)
#426
#262
+164
2nd of 946 entries, $1M prize pool
Stephen Nahm (Burnaby, British Columbia)
#245
1st of 2017 entries, $1.7M prize pool

Nahm hasn’t shown up on the Leaderboard before because he hasn’t had a five-figure cash since I started tracking British Columbia, but he racked up four cashes at the WSOP and one at the Venetian this summer, including the PLO bracelet.

Tyler Willse (Hillsboro, Oregon)
#348
#219
+129
3rd of 385 entries, $193.9K prize pool
3rd of 1270 entries, $1.1M prize pool
Joon Park (Surrey, British Columbia)
#441
#217
+224
1st of 502 entries, $123.6K prize pool
2nd of 454 entries, $315.4K prize pool
3rd of 392 entries, $278.6K prize pool
5th of 338 entries, $323.1K prize pool
3rd of 236 entries, $165.4K prize pool
Kang Lee (Edmonton, Alberta)
#814
#214
+600
1st of 1710 entries, $1.5M prize pool
Eric Trexler (Bremerton, Washington)
#1143
#200
+943
2nd of 23088 entries, $5.6M prize pool
Haven Taylor (Calgary, Alberta)
#379
#193
+186
1st of 254 entries, $71.6K prize pool
1st of 1057 entries, $729.3K prize pool
Pen Li (Calgary, Alberta)
#236
#168
+68
11th of 6085 entries, $3.1M prize pool
159th of 10043 entries, $93.3M prize pool
Mike Kim (Surrey, British Columbia)
#287
#167
+120
1st of 61 entries, $78.7K prize pool
1st of 387 entries, $383.9K prize pool
4th of 209 entries, $202.7K prize pool
Nohad Tellani (Edmonton, Alberta)
#300
#164
+136
5th of 155 entries, $325.7K prize pool
2nd of 22 entries, $51.2K prize pool
4th of 220 entries, $255.6K prize pool
3rd of 407 entries, $618.6K prize pool
5th of 209 entries, $202.7K prize pool
Mike Thorpe (Auburn, Washington)
#309
#153
+156
3rd of 69 entries, $690K prize pool
1st of 424 entries, $123.8K prize pool
Colton Yamagishi (Edmonton, Alberta)
#218
#150
+68
22nd of 1432 entries, $1.6M prize pool
1st of 138 entries, $38.7K prize pool
3rd of 61 entries, $78.7K prize pool
2nd of 108 entries, $55K prize pool
2nd of 136 entries, $92.5K prize pool
3rd of 274 entries, $285.5K prize pool
Brian Barker (Portland, Oregon)
#1121
#148
+973
42nd of 23088 entries, $5.6M prize pool
3rd of 274 entries, $274K prize pool
3rd of 237 entries, $96.6K prize pool
1st of 547 entries, $264.8K prize pool
2nd of 4950 entries, $2.5M prize pool
Andrew Rogers (Anchorage, Alaska)
#247
#128
+119
1st of 124 entries, $52.3K prize pool
3rd of 345 entries, $113.8K prize pool
18th of 3778 entries, $2.6M prize pool
3rd of 274 entries, $264.4K prize pool
Wayne Harmon (Portland, Oregon)
#155
#115
+40
24th of 1736 entries, $4.6M prize pool
12th of 2157 entries, $1.1M prize pool
13th of 1417 entries, $2.4M prize pool
2nd of 1103 entries, $414.5K prize pool
20th of 934 entries, $1.4M prize pool
Mel Hagen (Lanngley, British Columbia)
#349
#114
+235
20th of 2454 entries, $3.2M prize pool
4th of 3856 entries, $5.5M prize pool
2nd of 547 entries, $530.5K prize pool

Before last summer, Hagen hadn’t had a recorded cash since 2015. In addition to these, he had another 15 in 2023. So he appears to be back, baby.

Kao Saechao (Renton, Washington)
#193
#110
+83
1st of 477 entries, $329.1K prize pool
1st of 177 entries, $74.6K prize pool
1st of 357 entries, $55.3K prize pool
Andy Truong (Edmonton, Alberta)
#145
#104
+41
3rd of 1637 entries, $2.3M prize pool
18th of 3496 entries, $5.2M prize pool
Dien Le (Bellevue, Washington)
#109
#101
+8
11th of 2952 entries, $1M prize pool
3rd of 49 entries, $112.7K prize pool
2nd of 249 entries, $125.7K prize pool
1st of 226 entries, $60.9K prize pool
Aaron Thivyanathan (Renton, Washington)
#94
#80
+14
35th of 4747 entries, $3.3M prize pool
5th of 376 entries, $262.5K prize pool
Mark Mounsey (Victoria, British Columbia)
#3939
#84
+3855
8th of 3835 entries, $40M prize pool
Kyle Ho (Burnaby, British Columbia)
#86
#69
+17
4th of 228 entries, $134.9K prize pool
1st of 224 entries, $146.5K prize pool
6th of 224 entries, $330.5K prize pool
2nd of 321 entries, $147.1K prize pool
Lonnie Hallett (Big Valley, Alberta)
#424
#66
+358
1st of 8180 entries, $7.2M prize pool
Clemen Deng (Portland, Oregon)
#205
#64
+141
73rd of 10043 entries, $93.3M prize pool
5th of 125 entries, $380K prize pool
6th of 3496 entries, $5.2M prize pool
1st of 582 entries, $1M prize pool

Where the hell did Deng come from? No recorded cashes until the pandemic and then bang!

Karim Chatur (Calgary, Alberta)
#59
#56
+3
91st of 10043 entries, $93.3M prize pool
1st of 210 entries, $73.7K prize pool
Mike Kinney (Sand Point, Idaho)
#58
#51
+7
4th of 122 entries, $118.3K prize pool
3rd of 152 entries, $1.5M prize pool
Angela Jordison (Redmond, Oregon)
#60
#47
+13
1st of 101 entries, $303K prize pool
5th of 679 entries, $1M prize pool
5th of 212 entries, $206.7K prize pool
21st of 1598 entries, $4.2M prize pool
8th of 397 entries, $601.4K prize pool
Scott Eskenazi (Mercer Island, Washington)
#72
#42
+30
5th of 184 entries, $506K prize pool
1st of 590 entries, $1.8M prize pool
35th of 2076 entries, $2.7M prize pool

The win at Thunder Valley was the largest in Eskenazi’s long career.

Jaspal Brar (Edmonton, Alberta)
#44
#40
+4
2nd of 250 entries, $245K prize pool
Calvin Lee (Mercer Island, Washington)
#102
#38
+64
4th of 78 entries, $780K prize pool
9th of 346 entries, $1.6M prize pool
Noah Bronstein (Bellevue, Washington)
#35
#37
-2
6th of 331 entries, $883.7K prize pool
Thomas Taylor (Medicine hat, Alberta)
#37
#35
+2
1st of 234 entries, $161.7K prize pool
9th of 2017 entries, $1.7M prize pool
3rd of 338 entries, $323.1K prize pool
42nd of 3446 entries, $5.1M prize pool
Jeffrey Farnes (Dallas, Oregon)
#29
#29
0
4th of 184 entries, $506K prize pool
4th of 251 entries, $243.4K prize pool
Daniel Idema (Vancouver, British Columbia)
#25
#26
-1
2nd of 134 entries, $12.4M prize pool
Elliot Smith (Richmond, British Columbia)
#23
#25
-2
4th of 279 entries, $541.2K prize pool
1st of 48 entries, $50K prize pool
Maxwell Young (Oregon)
#24
#23
+1
16th of 1074 entries, $1.1M prize pool
8th of 327 entries, $580.4K prize pool
2nd of 1093 entries, $360.9K prize pool
4th of 257 entries, $178.6K prize pool
31st of 1598 entries, $4.2M prize pool
3rd of 483 entries, $470.9K prize pool
7th of 187 entries, $374K prize pool
4th of 62 entries, $186K prize pool
1st of 119 entries, $133.4K prize pool
Darren Rabinowitz (Mercer Island, Washington)
#20
#21
-1
4th of 180 entries, $145.9K prize pool
4th of 885 entries, $858.4K prize pool
2nd of 356 entries, $106.8K prize pool
4th of 180 entries, $145.9K prize pool
3rd of 315 entries, $147.1K prize pool
3rd of 477 entries, $1M prize pool
5th of 515 entries, $515K prize pool
2nd of 310 entries, $93K prize pool
1st of 436 entries, $392K prize pool
2nd of 146 entries, $138.7K prize pool
3rd of 550 entries, $530.9K prize pool
Tyler Patterson (Washington)
#19
#20
-1
2nd of 466 entries, $205.4K prize pool
1st of 477 entries, $1M prize pool
George Wolff (Portland, Oregon)
#18
#19
-1
6th of 86 entries, $860K prize pool
4th of 88 entries, $880K prize pool
Amichai Barer (Vancouver, British Columbia)
#16
#16
0
2nd of 149 entries, $71.6K prize pool
6th of 2234 entries, $2.1M prize pool
Dylan Wilkerson (Seattle, Washington)
#14
#15
-1
2nd of 564 entries, $389.1K prize pool
4th of 522 entries, $172.2K prize pool
Adam Walton (Seattle, Washington)
#64
#9
+55
3rd of 807 entries, $778.7K prize pool
3rd of 10043 entries, $93.3M prize pool
5th of 860 entries, $808.4K prize pool
2nd of 238 entries, $339.1K prize pool
11th of 3010 entries, $14.5M prize pool
Adam Hendrix (Anchorage, Alaska)
#13
#8
+5
3rd of 257 entries, $514K prize pool
3rd of 130 entries, $1.3M prize pool
3rd of 89 entries, $845K prize pool
5th of 200 entries, $9.5M prize pool
James Romero (Portland, Oregon)
#7
#6
+1
1st of 721 entries, $1M prize pool
6th of 441 entries, $996.6K prize pool
7th of 594 entries, $652.5K prize pool
26th of 2454 entries, $3.2M prize pool
69th of 2231 entries, $7.1M prize pool
7th of 1440 entries, $741.6K prize pool
2nd of 547 entries, $530.9K prize pool
13th of 746 entries, $1M prize pool
Dylan Linde (Coeur D’Alene, Idaho)
#5
#4
+1
1st of 114 entries, $313.5K prize pool
10th of 441 entries, $996.6K prize pool
1st of 286 entries, $271.7K prize pool

Linde had a number of other deep-ish runs in big buy-in events that ran into six figures each, but they didn’t meet my arbitrary 400% ROI metric for reporting.

Chris Brewer (Eugene, Oregon)
#4
#2
+2
1st of 33 entries, $1.1M prize pool
1st of 50 entries, $3.4M prize pool
3rd of 166 entries, $4.1M prize pool
3rd of 24 entries, $1.5M prize pool
2nd of 93 entries, $930K prize pool
6th of 87 entries, $1.3M prize pool
1st of 24 entries, $925K prize pool
2nd of 19 entries, $950K prize pool
3rd of 64 entries, $1.5M prize pool
1st of 69 entries, $17.1M prize pool
3rd of 51 entries, $510K prize pool
1st of 154 entries, $1.4M prize pool
2nd of 83 entries, $3M prize pool
2nd of 24 entries, $1.1M prize pool
4th of 91 entries, $910K prize pool
4th of 44 entries, $1.1M prize pool
4th of 50 entries, $1.2M prize pool
4th of 88 entries, $16.8M prize pool
4th of 90 entries, $6.8M prize pool
2nd of 29 entries, $290K prize pool

It was a good year to be Chris Brewer, A really good year.

Seth Davies (Bend, Oregon)
#1
#1
0
4th of 83 entries, $830K prize pool
2nd of 40 entries, $4.7M prize pool
7th of 97 entries, $3.3M prize pool
3rd of 35 entries, $1.2M prize pool
4th of 166 entries, $4.1M prize pool
7th of 122 entries, $2.5M prize pool
5th of 110 entries, $5.1M prize pool
3rd of 14 entries, $906.6K prize pool
2nd of 30 entries, $1M prize pool
5th of 124 entries, $5.9M prize pool
4th of 2068 entries, $4.6M prize pool
1st of 28 entries, $280K prize pool
5th of 69 entries, $3.3M prize pool
5th of 133 entries, $1.3M prize pool

And that’s it! It took a long time! Hope you enjoyed it.

Here We Go Again — March 2023

The Year of #Jordison

The running joke on the Poker In the Ears podcast and PokerStars Sunday Million and EPT livestreams is that it’s always #TheYearOfRomania, but I think that we can safely call 2023 #TheYearOfJordison. Coming off a win for the GPI Global Poker Awards Breakout Player early in March for a phenomenal run in 2022, Jordison and conspirator Jackie Burkhart put together the feel-good event of the year, by sponsoring (initially) eight—and so far, thirteen—veterans to play in the WSOP Salute to Warriors tournament, with packages including buy-in and expenses. She’s been doing lots of podcast appearances the past several months, including Kara Scott’s Heart of Poker at the end of the month. I can’t keep up.

Poker Tracker

Got my Poker Tracker 4 running again. I used to be good at this IT stuff. There was some sort of issue on my Mac, the database was hinky at first, then after I got that sorted out, none of the select menus would work, which made slicing and dicing the data extremely difficult. Finally managed to import a couple years’ worth of Ignition Casino tournaments, which is good, because my old go-to for showing off hands—ShareMyPair—is no more.

Beaverton Quarantine

This little group typically plays two or three $20 or $25 tournaments on Friday night via the PokerStars Home Games play money client and Zoom (though PokerStars now has a beta video conferencing feature). They tend to be one-and-a-half tables at most, with the first game (usually NLHE) being larger and a smaller number of players for the later game or games. I usually miss the first one, but try to jump into the others when I get the opportunity. I played a PLO8 bounty tournament as my first game of the month (out 7 of 8), and my last game was a straight PLO bounty, where I took 2nd place (of 8 entries) and a couple of bounties.

Ignition Casino 2-Seat GTD NLHE Irish Poker Open Satellite Qualifier

This was my last gasp effort at making it to the Irish Poker Open, which is going on right now (click on the EPT link above to watch it on YouTube). Didn’t manage to come close.

Last Frontier Casino $25K GTD NLHE

After some success at Last Frontier early in the year in LHE, I decided to try my hand there at NLHE and ran into a bit of a buzzsaw. Ran KK into AA just over an hour in and lost the equivalent of a starting stack. With the slower structure, I still had 40bb. Managed to get to the add-on break with 5K and got an extra 15K, then ran it up to 23K (57bb by then).

The player on my left had been grumbling about my play most of the tournament for the first two hours after I’d raised early and called an oversized re-raise with KJs. He had TT and lost a chunk of chips early on. Two hours in, I limped K4s from the HJ, he raised to 3.5bb and SB called. I called and the flop his KKJ. SB and I checked, he bet 5K into 7K and on the assumption that #BlockersAreReal, I shoved for about 30bb. Both of them folded, he said “KJ again?” and I told him “No, king-four.” He snorted, “Figures.”

Karma, as they say, is a bitch, and poker karma is a whole pack of bitches. I picked up KK on my very next hand and raised, as one does. BB—the guy I’d run my KK into when he had AA early on—makes the call. K24 flop. He check-calls my 3.5bb bet. 4 on the turn, he checks, I bet 8bb and he calls. A on the river, He checks, I bet 8bb again and he raised to18bb. I called very reluctantly, hoping he’d over-valued two pair maybe, and he shows K3s. I managed to last about 40 minutes after that.

Ignition Casino $500 GTD PLO8 Turbo

Just 34 hands. Out well before the money.

Ignition Casino $2 NLHE Jackpot Sit-n-Go

Only won one of these of the three I played (yes, I know, that’s the random distribution) and I missed the 5x multiplier.

Ignition Casino $3K GTD NLHE PKO Turbo

Twenty percent of the buy-in goes to the bounty pool in this tournament. I managed to take down a couple of bounties, made it to the money, but never really caught wind and was pretty short-stacked by the time we got to two tables. Went out 18th when I open-shoved 6bb with Qs9s and the blinds had Ac9h and AdJd (Mutant Jack!). Flopped an open-ended straight draw, but the board double-paired and I min-cashed.

Ignition Casino $35K GTD NLHE

I’d never played this nightly tournament before but enjoyed it briefly. Never managed to get any traction above the starting stack and went out with the Portland Nuts (QcTc) v AdQd, making two pair on the river against the rivered flush.

Ignition Casino $5K GTD NLHE Thousandaire Maker

I hadn’t played one of these for nine months, and I figured I’d take a couple shots. They pay approximately 7% of the fields flat $1K on an $82 buy-in. My aces got cracked on the 20th hand of the first one when I raised UTG, got three callers, and jammed on the flop, only to have J9 with a gut-shot draw call off more than half of his stack and hit. So, nowhere near the money on that one. Did a little better on the second go, but still never made it further than the middle the field.

Coming Up

No Irish Poker Open for me, no Wildhorse Spring Poker Round-Up. There’s a lot of action here in Portland with people gearing up for the summer poker series in Vegas. I’ve already taken a stab at one of Final Table‘s First Friday $20K GTD events (they ran a special Fifth Friday $20K at the end of March). They’re running a $50K GTD on April 15th, but I’m going to miss that due to family obligations. There is a $500 buy-in Freezeout there on April 23rd, but it’s up against Portland MeadowsHEROES tournament and I have a hard time passing up HORSE variants. Meadows is also running a NLHE/PLO mix game on the 13th that I’m going to try to make it to. And they’ve got a Progressive Knockout with a $400 buy-in on the 29th. Then Last Frontier is running another one of their $25K GTD tournaments on April 30. And that’s just the stuff I’m trying to fit into my retired from poker guy schedule.

I also need to make my reservations for the first weekend of the WSOP. Limit Hold’em and Seven-Card Stud await!

Well, Well, Well— January 2023

I didn’t play much poker to start off the fourth year of my poker retirement, but it was reasonably successful, probably because of that.

Last Frontier Casino $10K Guarantee Limit Hold’em

I was both intrigued and a little worried when I saw poker room manager Chris Canter post the notice for this one last month. Washington State’s poker room regulations only allowed limit for a number of years, and it was Last Frontier’s bread-and-butter, so I was expecting some serious LHE crushers to show up for this, but I went anyway.

Never played much of it myself, except in HORSE and other mixed game rotations, and it’s definitely not my strongest game in HORSE (like every other HORSE player, my strongest game is Razz).

I got off to a fast start, despite the presence at the table of some long-time players who were re-bonding after not seeing each other at the tables for a while. They included Kevin Erickson, who was the runner-up for an LHE bracelet at the 2021 WSOP. Fortunately, he was balanced to another table after a short while. I was leading the table for a time.

Three hours in and I was still above the pack—sometimes considerably so. In the fourth hour, my stack hit more than double the tournament average, though I’d dropped down to about one-and-a-half average after that. Ran into a former co-worker of my late brother-in-law, who I’d met at the tables in the past.

The stack managed to stay healthy as we approached the money with just three tables. As I noted on Twitter, the 12th-place prize was less than the buyin+entry.

When we consolidated to two tables, I ended up next to Korey Payne, who said hello, but I knocked him out dirty A7 > AK not long after the money bubble broke.

Also got to catch up a bit with a different Kory, one of the regulars from my Portland Players Club days, who’d won the $25K GTD NLHE at Last Frontier a couple of weeks before. He took over the chip lead at the final table as the guy who came to the final with a bu=ig stack managed to blast it away, first to me, then to Kory. We started whittling away at the shorter stacks. I picked off 6th with the Robbie Jade Lew hand (J4o) when I had over 300K on the 15K big blind and just had to call 10K for his all-in.

When we hit three players, Kory had the lead by a good bit, and the other player and I were swapping 2nd and 3rd. Then I pulled in a chunk of chips, and non-Kory proposed an even chop, which I was rather surprised Kory—with more than twice his stack and half again mine—agreed to. I agreed, naturally, and #3 and I went to the payout desk. Kory went into the field of cash players and did some consulting with a friend, coming back to tell me his friend had suggested he should have held out for an ICM deal. Personally, I think that would have been a better option, rather than readily agreeing to the even chop immediately, but I just ran the numbers through Icmizer, to show him the difference.

Beaverton Quarantine NLHE Bounty

For some reason, my long-time home game never went online during the worst of the pandemic (I first got the inkling it was going to be bad when one of the guys in the group who works in virology at OHSU backed out of a game we had scheduled in March 2020). But Kate, one of the folks I met through that group, invited me last year to a far-flung Friday night game that had gotten together via PokerStars Lite Home Games and Zoom. They typically play two or three $20-$25 games—usually NLHE or PLO8—get enough players for one or two tables, and Matt handles the money. All very friendly. I don’t usually get into the Zoom conference because of where I’m playing from, and I usually miss the first game, but this night I caught the Bounty tournament, busted just short of the money, and didn’t pick up a single bounty.

The Game $10K Guarantee Big O and 1/2 NLHE

I misremembered the start time of this tournament. I was running a little late, I thought, until I turned into the parking lot of The Game and it was almost empty. I should have turned around and skipped it. When I went in, there was a single cash table running and I learned I was two hours early. I thought I’d read for a couple hours, but the urge to play got the best of me and I grabbed one of the empty cash game seats. I hovered around my buy-in for an hour or so, then got it in bad with AK < KT on a KTx flop and the two pair held. Players on the button could call some games, as well, so there were some of the inevitable bomb pots, and 5-2-2, which is a double-board Big O game that’s popular with degenerates.

Speaking of which, the Big O tournament lasted less time than I waited for it to start (at least for me), because I kept insisting on risking things with just low draws. I could have just lit that money on fire (see below).

Beaverton Quarantine Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Bounty

The second game in the last BQ poker night for the month was somewhat successful, I took 2nd place (out of 6, plus a rebuy) and two half-bounties (split-pot knockouts).

Snowman Num-Num

For years, a piece of They Might Be Giants 20th anniversary swag was my go-to hoodie for playing poker. It featured a piece of art from their first EP: a cartoon snowman warming their mitts over a fire of burning money. It just somehow seemed appropriate.

Poker Mutant goes to the 2012 Pendleton Poker Round-Up Main Event.

I was wearing it the night I won a seat to the Pendleton Poker Round-Up Main Event at Players Club (and my wife had an unrelated heart attack the next morning). I was wearing it when I had my largest-ever cash, at Chinook Winds, placing 3rd out of a 462-entry field (how is that five years ago?).

But given tat TMBG has been around forever now, the 20th-anniversary hoodie is itself two decades long in the tooth, with the black faded and the screen printing cracked and the seam on the hood torn several inches. They hadn’t ever revived the design for a hoodie.

Until this winter, when they announced a red version. Which I promptly ordered two of. I didn’t need a daily-use poker hoodie any longer, but I do walk a couple miles to work and back, and I can always use a couple extras during the winter (I did get a very nice PokerStars hoodie when I was on the Poker In the Ears podcast a couple years ago).

The package arrived quickly and when I got home I opened it immediately, only to have that familiar sausage-squeezed-into-casing feeling when I slid the first of the new hoodies on. Had I put on (more) weight? Was XL the new XXL? No, the invoices and packaging said XXL, but the tag on the hoodie itself said XL.

So that seems like a big screw-up, probably on the part of the clothing/silkscreen contractor, and probably something that wasn’t particular to my order, which was confirmed when I contacted the seller to swap them out.

So, if you play against me anytime this month, it’s the old, ratty hoodie you’ll be seeing.

As for where February takes me, I’m planning to hit Portland Meadows for The Biggest of Os tournament the first weekend. Then, I noticed that Ignition Casino is running satellites to the Irish Poker Open, which hearkens back to a goal from a dozen years ago, when I started this blog. So, I hope to be doing a few of those. And at the end of the month, it’s back to Lincoln City for the PacWest Poker Classic at Chinook Winds. Probably not a lot of other live poker. I’m retired!

PNW Poker Leaderboard — 18 December 2021: WSOP Main Event (and more)

NOTE: I started this a month ago! And I’m just now finishing it up. Sorry for the delay, in the meantime I’ve qualified for the WSOP Super Seniors event, been to New York City for the anniversary of my marriage to Mrs. Poker Mutant, and Hawai’i to spend a couple days with my dad—things are just that busy! Happy Holidays!

The WSOP Main Event is over and done with, with al of the PNW participants out before the final tables. I have to admit that after including Mitchell Halverson and Jesse Lonis in the 2021 WSOP Main Event Tracker because WSOP has them as Oregon players, that I was disappointed to see they were listed on the Nevada and New York leaderboards at Hendon Mob, so they aren’t included in the combined PNW leaderboard.

Even without them, there’s a lot of territory to cover.

Let’s start with Kenn Pluard from Happy Valley, Oregon, who was 25th in the field of 1,441 at the Wynn Fall Classic $1.5M GTD NLHE. That, and a career-high cash at the Main Event (338th) bounce Pluard from #978 to #584.

Maxwell Young reappears on the Leaderboard with a 12th-place finish at the Venetian Deepstack Championship Poker Series II #35 $400K GTD NLHE UltimateStack. The tournament got 1,408 entries and pushed the prize pool to $1.35M. Calgary’s Phil Wright nabbed 4th in the same event, for a career-high score and a jump on the Leaderboard from #2508 to #505.

World Series of Poker #52 NLHE Seniors

Bellevue’s Brian Orrico took 48th in the 5,404-entry tournament, going from #2725 to #1814 on the Leaderboard. The Seniors is typically one of the largest fields; previous years with only one entry day set records for the largest single-entry-day live poker tournaments. This year’s run with two entry days generated $4.8M for the prize pool. Coming in at 34th was Victoria player Rhonda Shepek, with a career best and a jump of 2500 places to #2133. Robert Sun from Anchorage came in 22nd and climbs to #1932 from #4026. Coming in at 17th was John McNaughton of Innisfall, Alberta with a biggest-ever cash and debut on the leaderboard at #1349. Every two years, Robert Davis comes out of Eagle River, Alaska to cash in the Seniors tournament—he has exactly 3 Hendon Mob entries: 2017, 2019, and this year—all in the same event. This year he hit it big, with 2nd place, far eclipsing his previous totals, and leaping from #4320 to #162 on the Leaderboard. Davis is now #7 on the Alaska state leaderboard.

Robert Davis

Red Deer, Albeta’s Jason Volk was runner-up in the Venetian #36 $150K GTD NLHE MonsterStack. It’s Volk’s largest cash (this is the season!) and he moves almost 1800 spots to #870.

Dwayne Hillock from Prince George, British Columbia came in 14th in WSOP #55 NLHE Colossus out of 9,399 entries. The prize pool was just over $3.1M. Hillock rises over 800 places to #1533.

Portland’s Rambo Halpern took 8th of 969 at the Venetian #37 $300K GTD NLHE Seniors, taking Halpern up 38 places to #385.

The Wynn $3M GTD NLHE Championship made a prize pool of $5.7M with 1,775 entries and Brett Kennedy of Sattle took 50th, climbing forty spots on the Leaderboard to #319.

It was a biggest-ever cash for John Nielsen (Sylvan Lake, Alberta) with a win in the Autumn at Aria $40K GTD NLHE. Nielsen goes up more than 600 spots to #958.

Monroe, Washington’s Roger Hammond is up 800 places to #1937 with a 7th-place finish in the Venetian #40 $150K GTD NLHE MonsterStack. 358 entries and a $347K prize pool.

World Series of Poker #58 NLHE Super Seniors

The Super Seniors event (60+) got nearly 1,900 entries this year, makng a prize pool of just under $1.7M. Sad to say, I’m qualifying for this by next summer. Three PNW players made the final two tables. Alberta’s Gary Bain got a largest-ever cash placing in 16th and jumping eighty spots to #846. From masco, Washington, Anthony Simpson took 13th for a climb from #536 to #476. And you may remember Bill Stabler of Salem having been the runner-up in the Seniors event the last time everyone got together at the Rio in 2019; he came in 4th in this tournament.

Bill Stabler

Chris Brewer got shafted by The Bet that Limon won back in 2015 because people picked Koray Aldemir for their slate of players in the Main Event. Hopefully, his 5th-place finish in the WSOP #60 Poker Players Championship 6-Max is some consolation. There were 63 entries at $50K each. Brewer maintains at #16 on the Leaderboard.

World Series of Poker #62 PLO8 8-Max

Portland’s James Haddad made it to 12th in the field of 725, which is good for a move from #126 to #125. Dylan Wilkerson came in 8th, and stays at #13. Sterling Lopez out of Anchorage took 4th, for their biggest recorded cash and a move from #2961 to #708.

Venetian #43 $1M GTD NLHE Mini DeepStacks Championship

Nearly two thousand entries in this event pushed the prize pool to just under $1.9M. Sean Banahan from Twin Falls, Idaho made it to 24th for a career-high cash, and moves about six hundred spots to #1666. Coming in 9th was Jimmy Lee from Edmonton, which moves him two notches up to #77.

It was a largest-ever cash for Puyallup’s Jason Diaz, placing 4th out of 355 in the Aria $40K GTD NLHE. Just about triple the guarantee with 355 entries. Diaz jumps up about four thousand places on the Leaderboard to #2699.

Anchorage’s Young Ji won the Aria $30K GTD PLO8 in either a 3 or 4-way deal (186 entries, $74K prize pool). Ji is a 2015 WSOP PLO8 bracelet winner. He climbs 5 spots on the Leaderboard to #130.

Noah Bronstein was heads-up for the WSOP #64 NLHE/PLO 8-Max bracelet. There was a field of 579 entries at $5K each. Bronstein moves up nearly twenty places to #34.

Donald Kehler of Prince George, British Columbia bounced more than a thousand places to #1849 with a win (and largest-ever cash) in the $400 Rio Daily Deep Stack Series NLHE. The tournament on 3 November got 184 entries and whipped up a prize pool of over $60K.

World Series of Poker #65 NLHE Mini Main Event

From Redmond, Washington, Karimon Umarov placed 27th in the 3,821-player Mini Main freeze out, which had a prize pool of just over $3.4M. Umarov debuts on the Leaderboard with their biggest-ever result at #3601. Prasad Dobbins from Anchorage got their biggest cash and a boost from #4173 to #2256 with 20th place. And Seattle’s Matt Jewett got 6th in this event just before he jumped into the actual Main (more to come).

World Series of Poker #67 NLHE Main Event

Reminder: Just doing the big winners here. This thing’s long enough as it is, I apologize if you cashed and didn’t get on the Leaderboard round-up, if you didn’t get something like a 300% ROI or better, I can just say, “Good job!” That leads us to Rittie Chuaprasert from here in Portland, who came in 259 out of this year’s field of 6,650 entries. That’s within the top 4%, with another 11% of the field cashing but not making it into this write-up, if it’s any consolation. Chuaprasert goes from #367 to #295. Viola, Idaho’s Michael Faulkner picked up their largest cash at 124th in the Main and goes up over five hundred places to #646. Another biggest cash was for Weston Pring of Calgary, at 101st (just before Ali Imsirovic’s father Salko at 100th, who—I believe—still lives in Vancouver, Washington, but is listed in with the WSOP and Hendon Mob as a Las Vegas resident). Pring is up about a hundred and fifty places, to #347. At 90th was Fatima Nanji out of Vancouver, British Columbia. Nanji is up ninety-one places to #239, with their own biggest cash. Nanji was one of the last two women remaining at the beginning of Day 6. Adam Walton jumps sixty-five places to #102 by coming in 42nd (and another personal best cash). Matt Jewett from Shoreline, Washington came in 28th, and doubled his lifetime earnings with the single cash, climbing more than four hundred places to #135. Finally, it’s Bellevue-based Jung Woo, whose 19th-place finish was (yet another) best-ever recorded cash. It’s just the fifth cash for Woo and makes up 96% of his total winnings. Woo’s standing on the Leaderboard goes from #5358 to #247.

Fatima Nanji

Vikas Sundhi from Bellingham and Edmonton’s Alemu Makonen came in 10th and 6th, respectively in the Wynn Fall Classic $400K GTD NLHE, a 1,438-entry tournament with a prize pool of $1.4M. Sundhi got their largest-ever cash and moves up one hundred and fourteen places to #550; Makonen holds at #54.

Jose Mendoza took 3rd in the Venetian #44 $100K GTD NLHE MonsterStack in a six-way deal that gave the Kennewick player their biggest-ever cash. Mendoza moves nearly three hundred places on the Leaderboard, to #670. Almost six hundred entries tripled the guarantee.

Seth Davies continues to put up numbers ever edition of the Leaderboard, with a 3rd in Aria/PokerGO NLHE High Roller 30. 5 players cashed in the 30-entry tournament, with former PNWer Ali Imsirovic at the top. Davies is still #1.

Renton, Washington’s Kao Saechao picked up 2nd place in Venetian #46 $75K GTD PLO, ahead of 319 other players (the prize pool tripled the guarantee), then made the final table at 8th in WSOP #71 PLO Bounty 8-Max at 8th That event had 860 entries. (Note: Bounties are not reported as part of tjhe earnings for the tournament.) Two final tables takes Saechao from #890 to #549 on the Leaderboard.

Vincent Lam from Edmonton goes up twelve places to #300 with 45th out of 3,797 at the WSOP #68 NLHE Little One for One Drop.

It was a win for Calgary’s Doug Lee, who bested 327 entries at the Autumn at Aria $40K GTD NLHE on 10 November. It appears from the payouts that there may have been a five-way deal.Lee holds at #26 on the Leaderboard.

In a blast from the past, Esther Taylor-Brady is still on the Oregon list at both Hendon Mob and WSOP. Taylor-Brady made 5th place in a field of 372 at WSOP #69 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo. Taylor-Brady remains at #28.

World Series of Poker #70 NLHE Crazy Eights 8-Max

There were 5,252 entries in this tournament, and three players from the PNW at the final three tables. Maria McAlpin moves from #646 to #577 with a 26th-place finish. 23rd is good enough to help Adam Croffut slide up four places to #96. A newcomer to the Leaderboard are Deer Kim, whose 33rd-place is enough for #3601.

New on the Leaderboard at #813 is Matt Mayima from Seattle, who posted an impressive 2nd place in WSOP #71 PLO8 Bounty 8-Max as their first recorded live cash. The field had 860 entries. That’s a nice way to start off.

Matt Mayima

Back over at the Autumn at the Aria $40K GTD NLHE on 12 November, Burnaby, British Columbia player Alen Bakovic was 2nd in a five-way deal for their biggest score and a jump of more than nine hundred places on the Leaderboard, to #1721.

Another Canadian made the (unofficial) final table of a WSOP mixed-game event when Edmonton’s Nohad Teliani came in 9th in WSOP #72 Mixed NLHE/PLO 8-Max. Teliani gets a boost of almost two hundred places, and is now #828 on the Leaderboard. There were 856 entries in this event.

Nohad Teliani

And finally, Mans Montgomery out of Eagle, Idaho notches up four spots to #156 with a 4th-place finish in the Venetian #59 $150K GTD NLHE MonsterStack. The prize pool beat the guarantee with 204 entries.

That’s it for this long-delayed edition of the PNW Poker Leaderboard. Next edition will get us caught up. I will report that I was playing a tournament online on the way to Hawai’i that I thought would be over by the time we had to shut off our computers but even though we weren’t in the money when they shut off the on-board wi-fi, I managed to glide into a min-cash because I had enough chips. The dream is alive!

WSOP 2021: Back to the Rio

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I am not a professional poker player. The last bracelet event I played at the World Series of Poker was in 2013. I’ve only ever played two (well, now three) bracelet events, and they were back when the WSOP first introduced $1,000 events. This year, I sunk even lower and entered a $600 bracelet event.

It’s been a long haul, folks, Years ago, I’d heard about folks grinding satellites, and even though I felt I was decent at playing them, I’d never had the discipline to sit down and just do it. So many tournaments in the summer (or anytime I was likely to be going to Vegas), so many variations. Never mind that I’d done reasonably well in the Ignition Casino Thousandaire Makers (only to blow the money I made on MTTs). Never mind that I had Dara O’Kearney’s Poker Satellite Strategy on my Kindle mostly unread.

did put my plan into action when I came down in 2018, but bricked out. In 2019, when I ‘retired’ from poker, I had to cancel the trip at the last minute because of work, and you know what happened to 2020. So I really wanted to take advantage of this revival year—and experience a WSOP that didn’t melt me when I walked outdoors.

I made my plans as soon as the schedule was announced, centering the trip around three bracelet events: #24 $600 PLO 8-Max#27 $1500 HORSE, and #28 $1000 PLO 8-Max. Plus the usual $180 mega satellites and the daily $580 mega satellite. I figured either this WSOP would be one of the easiest (with so many players choosing not to or unable to travel to the US) or really hard (with the people who were dedicated to making it to the WSOP being concentrated with pros).

Up at 4am to catch the first flight to Vegas today. Disregard the enticing $250 offers from the airline to give up my seat for a later flight—we’re on a schedule, man!

Plane lands around 8:30. Now, spite months of mental preparation for this trip, I made  a very essential error: fucking Columbus Day (I’m using that instead of Indigenous Peoples’ Day because this is a comment about how the day screwed me over). I wasn’t planning to travel with a huge wad of money, just enough to get me through the first day or so, but Friday was a bitch and Saturday I had stuff to do around the house, I old just pick up my cash from the bank on Monday, right? Did I remember that banks were going o be closed on Monday? No. And even the cheap-ass PLO game was more than an ATM puts out.

So, when I get to Las Vegas, I need to get to a branch of my bank, of which there are a number in town, one just a couple miles from the airport. It even opens at 9. I get there a quarter hour before it opens and it’s a cubbyhole inside the student union at UNLV. I just hope it has money.

Branch opens up, the very nice branch assistant tells me my specific ask is no problem, until they get to the part where they give me the money and they tell me that there’s some weird thing about the way the business account I have had for my sole proprietorship for more than a quarter of a century is set up in their system and I’m somehow not the “owner” of the account. Fie on you, Christopher Columbus! Anyway, it’s resolved by me transferring the amount I need to my linked personal account and taking it out of there. I was reminded that when I had some a paycheck—from Caesar’s Entertainment, one of the largest employers here—to my account a few years ago, one of the branches in a grocery store couldn’t take my deposit without the branch manager being there, which they were not. It was not, dear reader, a large sum of money.

So that’s all before 10am.

The Rio at 9:30 this morning was quiet. Hardly any line for the registration cage. Mid-week mornings are good. I was bought in an hour before the event and kicked around. It was surprising to see what’s operating next what’s not. There were a fe people sitting at the tables inside Starbucks, but the lights were off and I didn’t see anyone behind the counter. That’s fine, I don’t drink coffee except socially.

So, how’d my first bracelet event in eight years go? Not so great. I was in a steady drift down for most of my time in the tournament, with a couple of players—one at the far end of the table and one just to my left—picking off chips. I looked at their stacks a couple of times before anyone had been knocked off the table and was a bit puzzled at where they’d all come from, I’d lost a lot but not that many, and it seemed like other people had more than me, too. I shrank down to less than a fifth of the 30k starting stack over the first four levels, then suddenly caught some fire in Level 5.

Our little corner of the Brasilia room didn’t see any water service for a couple hours. I was damned if I was paying for some other drink. I wanted my 10oz/$1 water. Maybe the lack of hydration was messing with my game.

My stack got up to almost where it had started three-and-a-half hours before before I potted with a rainbow AA44, got called by two players, then shoved on a KQx flop where I ought to have known I was beat. Both players shoved, one with an open-ended draw and the other with a set of kings and the wrap made a king-high straight.

So naturally, instead of looking for something t eat or drink (all I’d had since the night before was airplane biscotti, which was pretty good), I went back to the reg cage to get into the $580 mega. Now the lines were a bit longer, it took about 40 minutes to get my ticket, even though the line—full of anxious PLO re-entries—didn’t reach the main hall. It’s almost enough to make me go sign up with Fastrac, which I was discussing with a couple of the folks in line behind me, only to have someone who’d just signed up have some serious frustrations with the machine outside registration.

So I got to the mega almost 90 minutes in, with 10k of chips and 400/800/800 blinds. Just the way I like to burn $580. This went a to better, even though there were a couple of large stacks. I was one of the later entries but there were only 24 by the end of registration, which was going to yield two payouts of $5k in lammer chips and one of $2k.

I was playing tight (12bb!) then less than half an hour in I had to call with AK and the guy who’d been opening a bit too much a little sheepishly turned over Q2 after raising 10x. The the big stack on my right raised a hand and I caught trip 9s on a flop with [ts 9s] which knocked him out. So I had a quarter of the chips as we went into a break and consolidated to a table of 9.

But then work interrupted. Something back home att the job was messed up. It was probably my fault, and I’m getting calls from the client who I don’t usually talk to, what with me being a worker grunt and not the face of the enterprise. I faltered and raised [qs js], then called an all-in from a player at the other end of the table, who had enough to halve my stack, which was more than everyone else, but not especially deep.

The highlight of the evening was probably when I called with [kx qx] against an all-in from a two-time bracelet winner (someone I should have recognized, but it’s been a few years since it was my job to know these guys) and cracked his Ax hand. That wasn’t long before he shoved a small stack with tens [ts tc], got called by [th 9h] and the board ran out [4s 8c 4h 4c 4d] for a chopped pot, which must just have been crushing, even to a pro.

We got down to 4 players, on the bubble and K, the player on my left and I were tied at about 37k, less than 10bb. I was getting the best of it, because the other old man at the table, P, gave me a couple walks and K wasn’t getting that, so he got a little shorter than me. T, the player with the most chips, proposed a chop, with him taking the full $5K, and P and myself passing a lammer chip each to K. Who am I to turn down a deal that pus me in the red for the day (not counting other expenses.

Everyone agreed to the deal, we went through the process to get out lammers, and that’s how I got my first-ever payout at the WSOP, though it’s not technically money. All for of us waved to the payout room together, T got his chips first, went up to the window, but even though I had to wait in line for a little to get my paperwork and payout, was still at the window. Both and I hung around to make sure got his other chip (I’d flipped him one right after I got them), and paid off his part in casino chips for some reason. Everyone satisfied (except for the part where I blew $3500 in equity) we headed our separate ways. I got checked in, got some fluids, and had a nice pork-fried rice.

Poker In the Time of COVID

“Poker Game on the Moon“ by Jim Algar

It was five months ago today that I played my last hand of live poker, the longest gap in my live play since I started playing home games with a group of guys my cousin’s husband introduced me to back in 2007. And that last live session was with what remains of the same group, which has been whittled down considerably from the days when we regularly needed two tables. Maybe I drove them away…

It’s not that live poker hasn’t come back to Portland, albeit in a somewhat reduced fashion. Both of the largest poker rooms in the city and state—Final Table and Portland Meadows—are open, and a number of the smaller rooms have games running. I haven’t partaken myself, as I’ve been on the deck for helping out some folks with medical issues and can’t really afford an accidental exposure because of my love for poker.

Without any live tournaments, the Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard has been dead. I’d been hoping to have something to report after the WSOP.com online replacement for the World Series of Poker’s 50th anniversary (yes, you read that right, last year was the 50th WSOP but this would have been the 50th anniversary), but the last event was over a week ago and they’re apparently not adding them to the database.

So, all I have left is me.

I’ve  played a wider variety of online the past five months than I had in a long time. I started off on my tried and true Ignition Casino. I didn’t have a lot of cash left there but the first NLHE Jackpot Sit-n-Go I played after lockdown went well, and I got another one that day, but meanwhile dropped five times my winnings in a $25K GTD, a PLO Turbo, and a 6-Max Turbo. I finished out march with a few small Jackpots.

Portland Meadows—which had just reopened before Oregon locked down—had a deal with the Bitcoin-only Nitrogen Sports (home of The Poker Guys). I bought some Bitcoin and transferred it to Nitrogen to play a few of the Meadows-branded events, busting out mid-field in the first couple. Then I started playing their micro stakes PLO cash games and did fantastic, with one of them putting me up 850bb in about 20 minutes. Of course, I promptly booked a session with a loss of 700bb. Then another for nearly 1500bb. Thankfully, those were both smaller stakes than the win, but still.

Meanwhile, Kheang Tang convinced me to play part of the America’s Cardroom High Five series. I played a $30K GTD PLO8, $40K GTD NLHE, and a $1K GTD Stud8 without even getting into the top half of the field.

The cash games for me on Nitrogen were still going well, but the tournaments were a complete bust. Back on ACR. I min-cashed a $20K PLO8 after being in the top 5 for a good section of the tournament. April ended with me still cashless in tournaments at Nitrogen and a couple of losing PLO sessions in a row depleted my balance there. I made the final table of a 45-player PLO tournament at ACR, but a rebuy made me just break-even.

I got back over to Ignition on May Day, intending to focus on 6-Max and satellites. It didn’t go so well. Booked a couple of profits at 2¢ PLO cash, but it was just losses in satellites, PLO Turbo tournaments, and 6-Max for over a week before I cashed in even a $2 Jackpot SnG. Three weeks and more than 20 tournaments in, I finally picked up an MTT cash with 60/851 in a $30K GTD. Not much, but something.

Meanwhile, I was also plugging away on ACR. Apart from a satellite ticket and a negligible profit in a $500 GTD 6-Max, that was going nowhere.

Near the end of the month, I psigned up with Big Dog Poker through Jeremy Harkin, so I could try my hand at Big O during a weekend series they were running. Tried my hand at four tournaments and a few cash games and let’s just say I’m not as good at the game as I used to be back in the Portland Players Club days. And that was never that good.

My ACR play petered off in early June along with the rest of the money in my account. I did get to play one last Stud cash session, which is something Ignition doesn’t have.

Over on Ignition, I had a run of 0.1/0.25 PLO cash sessions that gave me hope, with profits in 10 out of 15, but other than that: nada. I played almost nothing the last third of the month, between my last session on Big Dog and my last on ACR. After July 1, it was Ignition and only Ignition.

Not that that was going all that well.

I had a couple min-cashes (142/1095 in a $10K GTD and 23/155 in a 6-Max Turbo) but many more bustos, mostly sticking to 6-Max, and PLO/PLO8. Then things started to turn around after the middle of the month. 11/175 in the nightly $44 buyin 6-Max. A satellite ticket to their summer series $10K GTD O8 (where I got 14/145). Another min in a $3K GTD Turbo, and 2/176 in the 6Max, with only two busts in-between (and one of those was a $250K GTD I’d satellited into).

I busted a couple of tournaments, cashed 6/215 in a $5K PLO8, busted a couple more and won a satellite into a $35K GTD 6-Max (busted), had a couple more bust days, then played two tournaments simultaneously (which I rarely do because I am old and slow), making the final tables of both.

A min-cash with rebuy meant a small loss in my first-ever NLHE Ante Up tournament (do not late-reg one of these things when you get just 12bb to start).

I noticed the last couple of Thursdays there are multiple 6-Max tournaments to lay during the series. I was considering playing all three the other day, but two of them start before I’m off of work. I wanted to sit in the living room so I could chat with my wife, so I ended up just playing the $215 buy-in because of the size of my laptop screen (if I’d been in the office, I would have used the big computer). This led to a major screw-up.

I got into a confrontation early in the game and lost a third of my chips, then drifted down further to 1/3 of the starting stack. It seems like I was down there for a long time, but looking at the hand history, it seems like I managed to recover back to a starting stack by the end of the first hour.

Nearing the end of the re-entry period, the player came in on my right with 75bb and proceeded to shove over nearly every raise made by another player. He shoved the second hand he was dealt at the table. He shoved the third hand with [ad jc] and went down to 60bb when he doubled up a pair of tens. He 6x 3-bet the next hand. Hand 4, he doubled up another player shoving [9d 8s] and getting called by [ad qh]. Down to 30bb, he shoved hands 5, 6, and 7.

On hand 8, he open-shoved from the button and I called with [ts kc], exposing his [qs 8h]. He doubled me up that time, and I was up to 40bb. He was down to 12.

This did not stop the insanity, however. The next hand there was an UTG min-raise from a 35bb, and the maniac shoved with [7d 5h]. The original raiser called with [ts qd] and the maniac doubled back to 40bb.

He took a hand off, but did it again, then just limped into my BB (and won a small pot), shoved over a 4bb raise, stayed out of a hand where I doubled up to 66bb, and at least slowed down a bit.

Which may have been why I took my eye off the ball at the wrong time. Blinds were up to 600/1200/120. There were only four players at the table at the moment, with a little over 100 left and about half of us getting paid. I was well-situated with almost 75bb which put me in the top 10 at the time. The maniac was at 40bb. I had [4s qs] in the BB, which I might call a small raise with but I had no real intention of playing. The button (22bb) min-raised, and the maniac in SB shoved and—not seeing the all-in—I called. Button folded and I was up against [9c 8c] Racing, but a nine and a club on the flop turned into a club couch by the river and nw the maniac had almost 100K and I was well out of the top 10.

My last hand against the maniac was just 5 hands later when he open-shoved SB with [9c kd] against my [jh ks] and again hit a nine on the flop.

I did a re-entry but lost a race on my first hand and was down to 1.5bb. Quadrupled up on my second hand. My last hand, I had [as 7c] and 4bb in the BB, a big stack shoved [2h 4h], and I called. He got a full house.

Look Back In Poker

Everybody’s always asking
Why do what I do
I don’t gamble ’cuz I want to win, boys
I gamble ’cuz I need to lose

This was the year I didn’t go to Vegas.

I announced last fall that I was retiring from poker at the end of 2018, then got a lot of funny looks from people when I started showing up at tournaments three weejs after I retired. It wasn’t ever supposed to be an absolute thing, but I did scale back my poker playing to spend more time with the family, specifically, my wife, who retired on January 1st. And I did.

I played 95 live tournaments in 2018, and only 53 in 2019. There was a starker comparison in the first half of each year, because in 2019 I played only 14 live tournaments between January and June, where I’d played 37 in 2018. Online, I was still fairly active, with 388 tournaments in 2018 only going down to 306 in 2019, but half of the 2019 tournaments were Jackpot Sit-and-Gos, hyper-turbo, 3-player tournaments that tend to last less than 10 minutes, so they weren’t exactly eating up the time an MTT would. 3% ROI playing mostly $7 entries but also some $2, $15, and $20 games. Never saw a jackpot higher than 5x the buy-in.

After playing 85 of the nightly Thousandaire Maker tournaments on Ignition Poker last year, I entered 16 Thousandaire Makers in 2019 (cashed 2, for a -14% ROI).

I had my second-largest career cash ($10K) in this first year of my retirement, which—at the end of November—had me as #28 on the Poker Media Power Rankings, right between two of the actual poker journalists I worked with at the World Series two years ago.

In 2018, I made two brief trips too Las Vegas—in the summer and just before New Year’s, but I didn’t leave the Northwest at all (for poker) in 2019. My first experience as a player at the World Series of Poker was in 2012, I was down for short periods at least once during the summer each year until 2018 (and for a pretty long period in 2016) even when I wasn’t playing a WSOP event); now that’s retired.

Just one third the number of tournaments at Final Table this year (13 vs. 41 in 2018), even though it was the final year of my free door fees there (part of the payment for doing their web site a couple of years back, and a real steal in no-rake Portland). I played a couple more tournaments this year at Portland Meadows (14 in 2019 vs. 11 in 2018) because of the Grand Finale series.

You might think that the second-best career cash would be my best ROI in a tournament this year, but at 1800%, that was just over half the ROI from an Ignition $4K GTD NLHE Turbo where I took 4th of 471, for ROI of 3100%. I had five other tournaments where I cashed for more than a 1000% ROI.

Wins this year included a 66-player Ignition $500 GTD PLO8 Turbo, first in a chop in a Final Table $10K GTD NLHE (83 entries), the Chinook Winds $50K GTD NLHE (technically second, but I got a skosh more money, 210 entries), and a bunch of Jackpot Sit-and-Gos.

As usual, I didn’t play much in the way of cash games, but a couple of decent sessions at Portland Meadows were enough to make that part profitable.

Goals in the new year: satellite into a $5K or $10K buyin. I’ve got my eye on the Bay 101 Shooting Star (which has satellites running this month and February) or the LAPC/WPT Main Event at the end of February, with two 50-Seat guaranteed mega satellites just before Day 1. Then, of course, there’s the WSOP Main Event.

Love to goto the Irish Poker Open in March, but there are some obstacles in the way that make it easier to try for Bay 101 or LAPC instead. PokerStars hasn’t announced that there’ll even be and EPT Prague next year, so that ship may have sailed.

Hapy New Year!

R-Day Minus 2

The Poker Mutant will be retiring (mostly) from poker on 1 January. This is the latest installment in his thrilling countdown to the End of Times.

After I got to the hotel last night, I spent some time figuring out what my plans for Sunday were going to be.  Aside from the 1pm and 7pm tournaments at the Venetian, I didn’t know of anything else more than just something to play in town my last day.

First off, I fired up WSOP.com to see  what was on their schedule. Right off the bat I noticed there was a $100K GTD at 3pm for a $320 buyin, and a $50K NLHE 6-Max at 6pm. Both of them had satellites, an important point for the $50K, because the buyin was $1K. So my initial plan was to maybe play some cash, come back to the hotel  early in the afternoon for the online tournaments, and get up at 4am for my flight.

Before I went to sleep, I payed a small tournament and some low stakes cash.

Best laid plans.

The first part went fine. Breakfast, unexpected morning drinking, a handy cab for a ride to the Orleans, and relatively short waiting to get onto a 1/3 table, then an opening 15 minutes later in 4/8 Omaha Hi-Lo. I came out after a couple of hours with about enough to cover my cab ride over, though not the Lyft back. Got set up for the WSOP.com 10-Seat GTD NLHE Satellite for the $100K. Got in for two buyins but didn’t want to do a third, so I relaxed until the actual $100K GTD started.

This one was a little painful, I laid down what would have been the winning hand in an early all-in when I would have tripled up, then busted out on a hand where we got all in on a run turn after I’d made a flush against a set, only to have him get a full house on the river. I don’t know if these things have  seemed more painful because I’d rather be going out on an up note but they are really pissing me off in a way they usually don’t.

I decided to leave the room and headed back to the Venetian for Event #17 $30K NLHE. Kao Saechao  was still in Day 2 of the $260K GTD. I got into the tournament late (precisely at 4:20, I noted to the table, most of whom were older than me and nobody admitted to understanding) with the hope that I could repeat the early success of my late buyin from yesterday, but it was not happening. I was out by 6pm.

So it was to the 1/2/5 PLO cash game for me. For about an hour. And that’s how my poker time in Las Vegasis is going to come to and end. Bang and whimper.