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

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, 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

The Main Event Comes of Age, 2023 FINAL RESULTS

Another follow-up to my original article by this title at PokerNews back in 2015 (and follow-ups here, and here), for the first day of the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event.

The results are in! The asterisk in the title is because previous years are ranked by the finishing place of the folks on the final table, but the results for this year are by starting stack on the final table until the tournament’s done.

Years ago, I had a discussion with someone about how they thought there would never be another Main Event winner over the age of 40. That was just before Qui Nguyen won it at 39 and a couple of years before Hossein Ensan took it down at 55. Adam Walton has a significant chip lead going into the day. He’s 40.

[UPDATE] Walton did make it to Day 2 of the Final Table, but not for long. Congrats to Daniel Weinman!

Automatic Schmuck — May 2023

Not a huge amount to report for May, I was saving up my poker time away from home for a trip to the World Series of Poker in early June (I’m already back), and there was some family stuff going on, so I only played one tournament outside the house.

Ignition NLHE Jackpot Sit-and-Go

I played 71 of these in May, a little more than two per day. Won in 26, which puts my cashing rate at 37%. Since these only pay double the buy-in most of the time, that’s not enough to be profitable, since the break-even point is an unsustainable 50% cash rate (even with only three players that’s not really realistic.What makes them at all profitable that eight of my wins were 5x multipliers, so I won 76 buy-ins for my 71 entries, a whopping 7% profit.

Vic’s Patio NLHE

This is one of the venues for the home game I started in, which is still a $30 tournament with a $5 add-on. I made it down to 3-handed (out of 8) after a re-buy, then lost a hand where I was ahead to Daryl and left with a cash but no profit.

Beaverton Quarantine

Friday night PokerStars Lite (and sometimes Zoom) games with friends of a friend. They do two or three games a night, and I took second in the NLHE tournament I played, then won the PLO8 game they called after that, and a NLO8 game the next week. Three for three on the month.

So May was marginally profitable. That was soon to change!

I’m A Wicked One — April 2023

Yeah, this is really late. Stuff been happening.

Best Thing to Happen to Poker Twitter…Evar!

Abe Limon, the Patron Saint of Mutant Poker aka It Came from Springfield, Oregon is back on Twitter. At least for now.

https://twitter.com/limonpoker/status/1655585427565293568?s=20

Ignition NLHE Jackpot Sit-n-Gos

I played about 40 of these little games this month, cashing 18, for an ROI of 28%, because 5 of those cashes were in 5x payouts instead of the default 2x. Without the multiplier payouts, my ROI would have been negative. +11 buy-ins for the month, an average of 0.268 buyins/game.

Final Table $20K GTD NLHE First Friday

Nothing much to say about this. Had to do a rebuy half an hour in when I got it in on the flop against bottom set with a pair of aces and a nut flush draw. Made it to around 50th place.

Portland Meadows HEROS

Meadows got about 50 entries into this order-modified HORSE tournament, which I played because I’m trying to get some more live experience in limit games before I head to the WSOP in June. Hopefully, I’ll do better in Vegas! I did place 1st in a PokerStars play money HORSE tournament!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

a. k. a. I-D-I-O-T — February 2023

Portland Meadows “The Biggest of Os” Big O

Really, the most I can say about this tournament is that it was great to briefly see so many of my old compatriots from the Portland Players Club days, and to get a chance to play at the same table as Jeremy Harkin, for a change.

I schlepped out to Portland Meadows on the bus after work on a Friday. With the PacWest Poker Classic coming up at the end of the month, I wasn’t planning on playing much in February, but I really couldn’t pass up this opportunity. Regrettably, on the very first hand, I got into a hand with Joe Brandenburg, who, naturally, had the nuts when I had the second nuts, so I started hand 2 with half a starting stack.

I lasted about 100 minutes, but only through the benefit of a re-entry, which I only bought after going out to catch the bus home and just missing it. That stack mostly went to Jeremy.


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I played twelve of these three-person sit-n-go tournaments, and variance was kicking my butt on both ends. I actually got seated in four tournaments that had 5x payouts, but I didn’t cash in a single tournament.

Jason Brown

My old pal Jason Brown was in town for a few days from Seattle. Any long-time poker player in Portland knows Jason; we used to play what seemed like every day at Portland PLayers Club. I’ve missed him a number of trips he’s made back to town, but we finally got a chance to hang out for a while!

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Played two of these step 1 tournaments (a win gets you into the qualified, and a win in the qualifier gets you into the satellite for a $4K package to the Irish Poker Open). One bullet in the first of these, two bullets in number two. Didn’t cash either one.

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There were two levels of qualifiers for the IPO on Ignition. Both were competing for various guarantees of $270 satellite tickets. Most were $25+$2.50 turbos, but there were some $20+$2 non-turbo events, as well. Dropped two buy-ins in the turbo, then two in a $20 event and managed to win a satellite seat

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Never really managed to get any traction in this satellite, barely climbed above 150% of starting stack and finished in the middle of the pack. There was a more than 50% overlay on the tournament, with only 37 total entries and 80 as the breakeven point for the guaranteed packages ($1200 for the IPO Main Event entry and $2800 in travel expenses).

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I prefer to play the Omaha games for fun, but I decided to try a bounty NLHE tournament for a change. Things went well from the beginning, with me nearly tripling up in the first ten hands, then doubling that up against another player who’d gotten off to a good start when I flopped a set of jacks and they turned a set of threes and thought they were golden. Things faltered a bit later in the game, but I took enough bounties before we eve3n hit the money to pay off the entry fee, and I placed 8th of 97 entries for a small cash.

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No luck here, I got in late with 12bb and was out about 15 hands later.

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These little tournaments that run about 9pm Pacific are some of my favorites. I feel less stressed about late-regging them than I do NLHE games. That said, the first one I played, I came in with 10bb and was out in four hands. The second one, I started a bit earlier andfinished in 3rd place out of 78, which was pleasing. Extra satisfying because it happened the day after we’d gotten our power back after a branch broke the connector line to our house.

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As the month wound down, I played three more qualifiers to try to get the Irish Open pacvkage. Dropped a total of three buy-ins in two of the Turbo edition (which ran more often than the other) without success. Once again, it was the cheaper, slower qualifier where I won the ticket, which I know, it makes no sense.

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I was supposed to be in Lincoln City for the PacWest Poker Classic the last weekend of February. It’s been five years since I had my biggest-ever cash , at Chinook Winds in February, and I was jonesing to beat that, but after two days of no power and barely getting things back to normal Friday afternoon, I didn’t really feel like abandoning my wife for four days—despite the house not being 50 degrees even with the woodstove going—was a politic move. Plus, I’d planned to take two days off for the series, but I had to take two days to deal with electricians and keep the fire burning. So I welcomed the opportunity to take advantage of another heavily-overlaid Irish Open satellite. And it was, but again, I never managed to get a purchase, and busted out after a couple of hours.

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I was torn about playing this next-to-last satellite. First, I didn’t have a satellite ticket to play it, so I’d need to buy in directly. Second, it started about a quarter-hour after I got off work, and I typically walk home, plus, I was cooking dinner, so it’d be a bit deeper in the tournament than I wanted by the time I was able to join. Still, there’s almost three hours of entry in these satellites. So I got home and made dinner, then jumped in about Level 8, with 75bb. The downfall here was I made a horribly bad call just nine hands in, too-cautiously laying down a king-high flush draw from the SB on a paired flop. Never managed to get above starting stack. There is one more satellite in March, but I’m not sure whether I want to try for it at this point, or wait for my next opportunity to go to Ireland.

Who am I kidding?

Coming Up

I’ve been seriously thinking about driving to Lincoln City for the Main Event of the PAC West, but I could stay in town and play the $20K GTD at Final Table this Friday, or I could go up to Last Frontier for their $25K on Sunday.