PNW Poker Leaderboard — 11 June 2019

Portland’s Sam Cosby was the chip leader of the WSOP Millionaire Maker at the end of Day 2, building up a substantial chip lead on Day 3 before dinner break. though he suffered some substantial losses before the end of the day. Still, he’s in the running as the field of 8809 players has been winnowed to 34 for Day 4.

Sam’s a poker writer I met when I worked at the WSOP, and he moved to town a couple of years ago. He even came to play at one of the home game sessions with the guys I started playing poker with. Whatever he makes at this point is going to be his best recorded cash ever. Hoping to catch him on the final table broadcast!

The Big 50 is finally over, with nearly 29,000 entries (more than 17,000 actual players). And three PNW players made it into the top 50, with all three of them getting into the Leaderboard for the first time.

Christopher Fitzgerald

Timothy Askison (Corvallis) made it to 39th place in WSOP #3 $5M/$1M-1st GTD NLHE Big 50, putting him on the board at #894 with his first recorded cash. He turned around and had a min-cash in the Millionaire Maker a few days later.

West Linn-based Christopher Fitzgerald just missed the final two tables of the Big 50 when his AK went all in preflop and was chased down by A9. He took 19th place and got his first recorded cash, putting him in at #647.

Evan Johnson of Spokane Valley made it the farthest, to 12th place (#325) for one of the more spectacular PNW Poker Leaderboard debuts ever. It was Johnson’s second recorded cash; he cashed in the Colossus III two years ago.

Even Johnson

Scott Clements picked up his third bracelet in WSOP #10 Dealers Choice 6-Max and maintains his #1 spot on the Leaderboard. He turned around and made a deep run in the Millionaire Maker, as well. His bracelet win keeps the title for that tournament in the PNW, as it was won by Jeremy Harkin last year. Clements had some competition for that responsibility from Michael Ross of Eugene, who came in 3rd, popping from a respectable #437 to an even better #226.

Mike Ross

There were nearly two women at the final table of WSOP #11 NLHE 6-Max. The famous Maria Ho made it, but Boise’s Maria Mcalpin bubbled in 7th on just her fifth recorded score, climbing nearly 2000 spots on the Leaderboard to #494. Former Leaderboard Ali Imsirovic was on the final table with Ho.


Maria Mcalpin

Rep Porter maintained his hold on #8 by placing 3rd in the event I’d been hoping to play: WSOP #20 Stud. The final table there was  star-studded, featuring Porter, Valentin VornicuAnthony Zinno, and the winner, Eli Elezra.

Finally, what would a Leaderboard be without James Romero? Romero hold at #10 after entering the small buy-in WSOP #16 NLHE 6-Max and placing 36th. In the tournaments he’s usually in, that wouldn’t be a cash or enough to trigger a mention, but it had a field of 1832 players, so 36 was pretty deep.

Finaloly, let me just drop a note about the streaming coverage of the WSOP this year: IT SUCKS!

This year, the events have been parceled out between PokerGO and CBS All Access in the US, meaning you have to at least sign up for the CBS service to stream a number of the events. Not only is the CBS stream buggy, but they’re taking their sweet time with posting replays. This evening, for instance, I wanted to catch up on some of the action on WSOP #18 Omaha Hi-Lo, won by Frankie O’Dell, but more than 24 hours after the end of the event, it was still missing from the CBS menu of available events. Yeah, that’s the kind of service I want to pay extra for!

PNW Poker Leaderboard — 6 June 2019

It’s early days at the World Series of Poker, so there haven’t been a lot of big results from the Rio yet, but players have been in Las Vegas for a week at other events and series.

Over at the Wynn Summer Classic,  Spokane-based Andrew Vitale‘s first recorded cash was in the opening $550 buyin $100K GTD NLHE. He debuts at #1162 on the Leaderboard. Longtime player Scott Eskenazi (Mercer Island) came in 3rd in the same event, moving him up three spots to 76th.

Another player earning his wings this week was Roseburg’s Michael Keller, taking 2nd in the Venetian Deepstack #35 $25K GTD NLHE Bounty for a jump into #1972.

On to the Rio, another Mercer Islander, Jesse Hampton goes up 30 spots to #151 with a 5th place finish in WSOP #6 $2,500 Limit Mixed Triple Draw. He came in 3rd in last year’s $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball.

Of course, Jesse Kertland from Ellensburg took 4th in WSOP #1 $500 NLHE Casino Employees. Not his largest score: he finished 5th in last summer’s $1,500 NLHE Shootout.

Rounding out the early numbers, Kirkland resident Rick Fuller just missed the final table of the entertaining WSOP #4 $1,500 Omaha Hi/Lo.

(And yeah, I know Scott Clements won a bracelet, but I ran the numbers before the end of the Dealers Choice. It takes time to do this stuff! Next update.)

PNW Poker Leaderboard – End of May 2019

Still no results from the Wildhorse Spring Poker Round Up. I wasn’t there so I don’t care, but if anyone who cashed wants their results wrapped up in the Hendon Mob numbers to intimidate people for the summer, you’ll just have to bug the staff there. Last time I mention it unless they get posted.

Without that and with only a couple of events at the WSOP wrapped up so far (going into the first weekend), there’s only one result for me to report (because Ali Imsirovic is no longer on PNW rolls after shifting his flag to his homeland of Bosnia so his runner-up cash in the first WSOP $10K isn’t on the rolls).

So Dylan Wilkerson gets it all to himself for a 15th-place finish at the WSOPC New Orleans NLHE Main Event.Wheeeee! Should be plenty of news coming up fast since everyone’s already headed south for the summer!

Meanwhile, watch Chernobyl and count yourself very, very lucky if you didn’t live in Ukraine during or since.

PNW Poker Leaderboard – May 2019

Well, as of this writing, still no results from the Wildhorse Spring Poker Round Up at Hendon Mob, though they are posted on the casino web site and I’ve got a copy of them here. They’re not going to get wrapped into the standings until (and unless) they send them in.

I want to give a shoutout to my buddy Kao Saechao, who didn’t have a score big enough to normally make this update, but who had five four-figure cashes over a couple of weeks in April between daily events and small series buyins at Wynn, Aria, and the Venetian, including a couple of wins and a couple of thirds. The total kicked him into the computer’s attention.

The big new winner was at the CardPlayer Poker Tour/bestbet Event #1 $100K GTD NLHE in Florida, where John Juntunan from Boise beat 499 other players for his first Hendon Mob cash with a win. He debuts at #798.

Coming in second of the new players on the list (#1424) was Julio Uribe, scoring his biggest recorded cash yet after traveling down to the Run It Up Reno $250K GTD NLHE Main Event from Talent, Oregon and cashing for 6th.

Christopher Lynch from Chelan, Washington made it past (among others) six-time WSOPC Ring winner Max Young to claim a Ring of his own for his first recorded cash at WSOPC Tunica Event #12 NLHE.He is #1533.

A late entry into the database adds Puyallup’s Lori Smith (#1754), the winner of the Muckleshoot Spring Classic Event #1 NLHE.

Clinton Russel from Washington rounds out the new entries on the list (#1980), with a 4th place finish at Maryland Live! for his first recorded cash, in their April Live NLHE tournament with a $482 buyin and 417 entries.

As is so often the case, Seth Davies is at the top of the list, actually moving 3 places up to #6 with his 3rd place finish at EPT Monte Carlo #2 NLHE, and smaller-ROI-but-substantial-money-figure showings in oter events in Monte Carlo, Aria, and the Seminole hard Rock Poker Showdown. You don’t often see that kind of movement at the top of the leaderboard, but cashing four $10K–$50K buyin events in a month `can get it done.

James Romero has also been on a bit of a tear, at Seminole, EPT Monte Carlo #4 NLHE French National (4th) and the Main Event (21st), and in Cyprus (6th at the Merit Poker Classic $500K GTD NLHE Warm Up) but he maintains at #10.

George Wolff nearly clinched the win for SHRPO #20 $200K GTD NLHE for his biggest recorded score in a couple of years. It moves him from #68 to #57 in the Pacific Northwest.

Bellevue’s Dien Le jumps 35 places to #113 with an 11th place finish (out of 1360 entries) in the SHRPO #17 $3M GTD NLHE. It’s his 2nd biggest recorded cash.

Calvin Lee continues to play the Asia Pacific Tour events in Korea, and he cashed in 5th in the APPT Incheon #17 NLHE High Roller to move up to #101.

Asa Goldstein

One of the big movers (position-wise) is Seattle’s Asa Goldstein. who got 2nd in a deal that included Eric Baldwin at the Venetian May DeepStack Showdown #3 $200K GTD NLHE MonsterStack. It’s Goldstein’s biggest cash by far (out of 6 total) and he goes from #2191 to #751.

The afore-mentioned Max Young picked up his billionth WSOP Circuit Ring at WSOPC Tunica #6 PLO but he stays at #20.

Mason Barrell (from my old stomping grounds in Eugene) added just his second notch on his record with a win at SHRPO #22 $50K GTD NLHE Big Stack, but he only moves from #250 to #207 because his only other recorded cash was for 70th place in the WSOP Main Event last summer!

Even though Dylan Linde makes the list this time around, he still drops a spot, from 8th to 9th, as a result of Seth Davies’s upward move. Linde came in 7th in the SHRPO #16 $200K GTD NLHE 8-Max.

Mill Creek, Washington’s Jordan Westmorland was the only non-Australian cashing in the Crown Poker Championship NLHE High Roller Shot Clock in Melbourne. He moves up one spot to 38th.

Kindah Sakkal added her seventh cash of the year, making the final table and 8th place of the WPTDeepstacks Thunder Valley $500K GTD NLHE Main Event.

Eugene’s Johnny Rodriguez got a great return on his money in the $240 buyin, 717 entry, WPT Choctaw $100K GTD NLHE side event, getting his fifth recorded cash and his biggest recorded cash with third place.

Finally, Jay Goldstein from Kirkland gets another late listing from the Muckleshoot Spring Classic NLHE Main Event, with a 4th place finish.


This is the 50th anniversary of the World Series of Poker, possibly the last year it will be held at the Rio (though there is a Circuit event scheduled there next February) and I’ll be trying to keep up with the big cashes over the next couple of months, even though I’m not keeping a regular schedule.

My own summer plans are minimal but aspirational. I’ll be in Vegas the weekend of the Millionaire Maker to play Event #20 $1,500 Seven-Card Stud, partially because I want to play a small-field bracelet event (which, in my price range, means one of the non-NLHE events) and partially because that one minimizes the time I need off from work. Also on my schedule for the weekend are alternatives: WSOP satellites at the Rio, 8-Game Mix tournaments at Orleans and Planet Hollywood, and some other stuff (don’t forget online with!)

If you’re still looking to fill out your schedule, check out Vegas Poker Schedule.

And—if I can satellite in—the Main Event.

Maybe Wildhorse will post before the next update…

Walking and Talking Poker: Week of Frasers

A (maybe) semi-regular feature recapping brief thoughts about what I’m listening to on my way to and from work.

Poker in the Ears 151

James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton mention that they’re using Sennheiser HMD 27 headsets ($500). Recap of Joe’s time at Run it Up Reno, including a story about trying to break up a street fight that gets referenced during EPT Monte Carlo coverage with Spraggy. Interview with Nick Walsh, who will be covering Monte Carlo, who fails Joe’s Dumb Game, despite James’s expectations. Superfan vs. Stapes is Hook, and Joe makes the expected jokes about the Superfan’s first name: Fraser.

Poker Central Podcast 144

Brent Hanks is back with Remko Rinkema and recounts his bad Air B&B experience. Major piece is an interview with Randal Emmett. Lots of breathless commentary about the Negreanu crotch shot.

The Chip Race 9/2

Gareth Chantler joins hosts David Lappin and Dara O’Kearney for stories about life as a traveling poker blogger. Fraser MacIntyre makes it through his interview without anyone making a “Fraiser” joke. Alex Foxen talks about relationships in poker.

Thinking Poker 293

Guest Neil Pinnock joins Andrew Brokos. When Andrew opens with a comment that Pinnock’s explanations of how to use solvers include analysis of why a particular solution is GTO, I’m all ears, but Pinnock just nervously repeats that over-shoving in a particular situation is right because human players don’t expect it. Ummm, yeah.

PNW Poker Leaderboard: Spring Is Coming

The Spring Poker Classic at Muckleshoot Casino overlapped the Spring Poker Round Up in Pendleton by a weekend (and the Main Event there is wrapping up as I write this), but Muckleshoot’s tournament staff got their results into The Hendon Mob just three days after the end of the series, and I feel like rewarding someone before I sit down to watch the first episode of Season 8 of Game of Thrones.

Let’s start of (as usual) with the new names on the list. Debuting at a respectable #764 is someone whose results were not from Muckleshoot: Washington’s Jeffrey Haney had his biggest- ever cash with a win at the AJPC KRW1.1M NLHE High Roller in Incheon, South Korea.

Barry Nelson (also Washington, #1193) won Event #2 NLHE at Muckleshoot. I could have sworn that was supposed to be an $80K GTD tournament but the prize pool shows only $43K, only two-thirds of the Friday tournament prize pool, which had a smaller buyin.

The third new name was also a winner: opening at #1888 is Auburn’s Jeffrey Lindsey with a win in Event #4 NLHE, the other $400 buyin tournament that did break $80K in the prize pool. It appears as if there may have been a 6-way chop.

Over in the mega-winners circle, Seth Davies maintains at #9 in the PNW by winning a Bellagio $10K NLHE High Roller (23 entries) then getting 3rd (of three paying places) in another Bellagio $10K NLHE High Roller just two days later (21 entries). The winner of the latter was former PNW Leaderboard fixture (now #1 on the Bosnia & Herzegovina leaderboard) Ali Imsirovic, who just won the Global Poker Award for Best Breakout Player of 2018.

Federal Way’s Daniel Park picked up two of his best-ever cashes just a month after a deep run in the WSOPC Rio Las Vegas Main Event with 13th place from a 982-entry field in the Wynn Classic $1M GTD NLHE Main Event, then 8th place at WSOPC Bally’s Las Vegas $500K GTD NLHE Main Event. Park moves up 43 places to #134.

Molly Mossey, Jordan Meltzer, Kindah Sakkal, Justin Harvell

Kindah Sakkal is racking them up this spring on the WSOPC. In the 94-entry WSOPC LA Event #2 NLHE, she took 3rd, them headed to Las Vegas to win her first Circuit ring in WSOPC Bally’s Las Vegas Event #4 NLHE Double Stack. She almost managed a twofer in WSOPC Bally’s Las Vegas Event #14 NLHE Turbo, getting heads-up for a second ring. Sakkal almost breaks into the Leaderboard’s double digits, moving from 112 to 101.

James Pennella from Kirkland (#148) was another deep runner in a Wynn Classic $1M GTD NLHE, placing 11th.

Clarke Straus from Seattle was the highest-placing PNW player in the Muckleshoot NLHE Main Event. The $750 buyin tournament took in 282 players; neither of the top two finishers was from the US Pacific Northwest. Straus is not #214.

Rep Porter is still in #7 on the Leaderboard after making it to 18th in a field of 734 at the first-ever WPT Venetian $1M GTD NLHE Main Event. The guarantee was more than doubled.

Darren Rabinowitz holds at #15 with his 30th place finish in the resurrected Bay 101 Shooting Star NLHE. 440 entries and a total prize pool of more than $2.15M.

Robbie Calhoun

Hailing from Spokane, Robbie Calhoun had only one recorded cash, from back in 2015. But he’s now a Circuit Ring winner, for WSOPC Bally’s Las Vegas Event #6 NLHE. Robbie jumps more than 1700 places, to #1173.

Taylor Hart

Another Circuit Ring was won at Bally’s by Newberg, Oregon’s Taylor Hart in Event #2 NLHE. He has a bit longer record of cashes. He moves up to #195.

Back at Muckleshoot, Jesse Harrison scored his biggest cash with 2nd place in Event #2, moving up to #1198. And Dustin An‘s 5th place finish in the Main Event gets him to #334. In case anyone’s keeping count, that’s three rings (out of 12) won by PNW players at the WSOPC Bally’s stop.

Finally, Rambo Halpern, after getting his first recorded cash in the Chinook Winds High Roller in February, got 17th in the WSOPC Bally’s Las Vegas NLHE Main Event for cash number two, jumping another 100 places to #455.

Off the Track of Being Beaten

Before Black Friday, I’d set foot in a casino exactly twice. The first time was Harrah’s New Orleans in 2004, when my wife and I got into town just as a couple of friends who were about to leave for the airport, and we met up with them while they played blackjack for what I felt was an obscene amount. Actually, since I’ve never played blackjack and even though I’ve spent that much on a tournament buyin, I still think it was an obscene amount.

The other time was the next year when I was a speaker at a National Association of Broadcasters-affiliated conference in Las Vegas. They brought me in to talk about  Adobe Director, a multimedia development tool that was already past its death throes, so I came up with this nifty presentation involving this new thing called podcasting. Something like five people showed up to an enormous hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center. It was my first time ever in Las Vegas, it was April, and the map didn’t make it look all that far from my room at the Rio All-Suite to the convention center, so I set out on foot. In a suit and tie.

That was all before I started playing poker in 2007. And it wasn’t until a trip to Ocean Shores,  Washington four years after that that I ever played poker outside of a home game or Portland card room (see “Casino Virgin”). It only took a month before I headed down to Spirit Mountain for the first time (“Freeroll to Nowhere”) for a cash session and a tournament satellite.

Then, just a couple of weeks later, I went from a little oceanside casino to one of the biggest poker rooms on the east Coast. After a business trip to Boston, I headed to Foxwoods on an overnight trip, playing cash NLHE PLO8 and Stud, along with a couple of tournaments before skedaddling home before the airports closed (“Foxwoods Before the Storm”).

The dam had broken, bigly. It took a few months, but my (still unfulfilled) ambition to go to EPT Prague and my first win in a $10K guarantee tournament became the spark for the biggest buyin tournament I’ve ever played, at the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza Main Event that fall.

My old pal and virtual dopplegänger Charlie Levenson taking on a promotional job with the short-lived Oak Tree Casino north of La Center saw me make a few trips up there that winter..

2012 was the year I really stepped it up (or stepped in it). In mid-February I made another trip to Las Vegas, where I played four tournaments (including a triple-barrel PLO) and made a bad laydown (“Pulling the Trigger”). At the end of March, I went north to play the Tulalip Poker Pro Challenge, and met (briefly) Tyler Patterson and Jay Zemen, who were on either side of me.

Drove out to Pendleton for the first time that April and racked up loss after loss in my longest-to-that-point series run (four days). Five tournaments, five satellites, and six cash sessions, with about $1,200 in losses (“Comebacks and Failures”).

My friend Tomer Berda was still playing poker a couple years after his WSOP bracelet win, and I went down to play in Las Vegas for two weeks that summer, for one of the most crushing periods of my poker career. I was incredibly lucky to have gotten the offer of a condo room for one week from Mark Humphreys, and Tomer picked up most of our meals. I played tournaments at the WSOPVenetian, and Golden Nugget; Played a bunch of Daily Deepstacks, that year’s WSOP Doubles shitshow with Tomer, and the $1K buyin bracelet event, where I started at the same table with Keven Stammen and Ivan Demidov, so I don’t even need to mention that things did not go well (“No Bracelet for You!”). The only profitable session I had was a single NLHE cash game. And I hit a deer driving home.

I finally made a couple of excursions to the Last Frontier in La Center in August and September, but it just didn’t take.

I finished the year out by abusing myself with another trip to Wildhorse, which didn’t go any better than the first, though it was shorter, so less costly (“Levelling Out Back East“).

And that is the progression of a nice boy who had never set foot in a casino until he was in his 40s into a poker degenerate.

PNW Poker Leaderboard for mid-March 2019

The end-of-year poker lull is over and the Pacific Northwest schedule moved into high gear with February’s PACWEST Poker Classic. Coming on its heels is the Muckleshoot Spring Classic starting the last week of March. And that overlaps the Wildhorse Spring Poker Round Up on the first weekend of April.

Results from PACWEST have just been posted to Hendon Mob, so it’s time for another edition of the Leaderboard!

The big numbers aren’t from PACWEST, but the US Poker Open high roller series. And top place would have gone to Vancouver, Washington-based Ali Imsirovic with a win in the $25K buyin Event #5, a win in the WSOPC Las Vegas #14 NLHE High Roller, and 4th in the LAPC #66 NLHE High Roller , but he’s changed his listing on Hendon Mob to his homeland of Bosnia & Herzevogina, where he is now the #1 player by a factor of about 4:1 over WPT Champion Ema Zajmovic. It was great having you on the Leaderboard, Ali!

Top spot goes instead to Bend’s Seth Davies, with three cashes at the USPO (10th in Event #3 $10K NLHE, 3rd in Event #4 $10K Short Deck, and 6th in Event #9 $50K NLHE). Davies holds steady at 9th on the Leaderboard.

More cashes outside of the state kept Coeur D’Alene-based Dylan Linde ahead of Davies in 8th. Linde took 2nd in a deal with Lance ‘Cord’ Garcia at the Los Angeles Poker Classic #59 NLHE in a field of 98, then came in 4th in last week’s WPT Thunder Valley NLHE Main Event.

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Max Young came in 18th in that same event just two weeks after taking first at the PACWEST Poker Classic #22 $250K GTD NLHE Main Event in a deal with Sam Nguyen. Max moves up to 20th from 22nd on the Leaderboard; Sam jumps nearly 500 spots to 360th! It was a Portland-heavy final table, with Craig Gray (now 60th on the Leaderboard) taking 3rd.

Meanwhile, back south in Las Vegas at the Wynn Classic $200K GTD NLHEMatt Affleck took first (there may have been a deal involved). He holds at 12th.

Steve Chanthabouasy cashed twice at the PACWEST series, in both of the big buyin events, taking 3rd in Event #16 $100K GTD NLHE 6-Max, and 2nd in Event #19 $200K GTD NLHE High Roller. He moves up 4 places to 54th.

It’s surprising that someone who’s been an integral part of the Portland poker scene like Rambo Halpern is just now getting a cash on Hendon Mob, but his debut—with the win in the PACWEST High Roller—puts him in 556th place on the Leaderboard. Carter Gill grabbed third in the same event, which maintains him at 21st.

Over in Korea, James Romero (steady at #11 on the Leaderboard) took 3rd place in the Paradise Poker KRW1.1M NLHE Main Event, then 2nd in both the KRW5M NLHE High Roller and KRW10M NLHE Super High Roller. Just for a little perspective, the last two events had 13 and 9 entries, respectively, and KRW10M is about $8,850.

Portland’s Guy Dunlap took first place in the PACWEST 6-Max event, then 6th in the High Roller, and capped off the series with 8th in the Main Event. e was already at a respectable 418th on the Leaderboard, but those three cashes pop him up to 258th.

Out of Seattle, Chad Campbell snagged a Remington trophy for LAPC #46 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo. He now sits at 384th.

Daniel Park from Federal Way only made it to 10th place in his event, but that was in a field of 952 at the Rio in the WSOPC Las Vegas $1M NLHE Main Event. That brings him up to 177th.

Friend of the blog Steven Roselius blasts up 80 spots to 254th with his 4th-place finish in the PACWEST High Roller, Beaverton’s Auddie Reynolds (#533) scores his best-ever cash with 2nd in a deal at the 6-Max along with Christopher Brost, whose 5th-place cash was just his second-ever. Brost moves over 1500 spots on the Leaderboard, to 1216.

George Wolff is back in action with his 5th in the PACWEST High Roller, enough to budge him out of 72nd place on the Leaderboard to 68th.

Our old adversary Steve Harper snagged the top spot in Event #1 $125K GTD NLHE, the first weekend of the PACWEST Classic. Where’s the book, Steve?

Angela Jordison made an appearance in the PACWEST Main Event, with her 6th place finish there taking her up to 130th on the Leaderboard. Gary Hale from Cloverdale, Oregon got 5th, moving over 100 spots to 475th.

At the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza I #42 $1M GTD NLHE Main Event, Vancouver, Washington’s Christopher Hull took 14th out of nearly 800 entries (the event won by November Niner Jesse Sylvia the same week his fianceé won a tournament) and he is now at 1326rh.

Two newcomers to the Leaderboard made it through excellent finishes in the first event at PACWEST: Julie Mischkot of Salem picks up her first Hendon Mob cash for her 2nd-place finish (putting her in at #1643), and Nicky Komphouvong‘s 4th place finish (and 2 other recorded cashes) put him at #1621.

The Ante Up Poker Tour is still a thing, apparently, and Kent, Washington’s Landon Brown grabbed 3rd at Tampa’s Silks Poker Room as part of a deal in their $60K GTD NLHE Main Event. He moves from 469th to 393rd.

Kao Saechao stopped through town this past week after winning the 70-entry WPT Thunder Valley #3 NLHE ‘The Knockout’. You can read about that here. He holds on the Leaderboard at #26.

Chris Wang of Seattle has just three recorded tournament cashes, but two of them are wins: he took down last fall’s 6-Max at Chinook and he won Event #20 $50K GTD NLHE  at PACWEST. Interesting payouts; it looks as if there was some sort of six-way deal with Wang getting first place money and five other players making a deal to keep payouts under $5K each. Wang slides up to #553.

Darren Rabinowitz‘s 5th-place finish in a Wynn Classic $200K GTD NLHE doesn’t make move him at all on the Leaderboard, but that’s because he’s already #15,

Finally, Nick ‘Wonka’ Getzen is a more familiar face playing on Poker Time or cash games, but he was down at PACWEST for Event #13 $50K GTD NLHE Big Bounty, and he is listed in 2nd place in what looks like a 3-way deal.

The Retirement

Since last I wrote, I’ve played a single-table home game tournament with my original crew (took 2nd) and a cash session after that (came out ahead).

I went down to PACWEST for the first day and shot four bullets into Event #1. I made my first rebuy just over an hour in. After losing AxQx v AxKx forty minutes later, the third bullet was loaded. That lasted a bit over an hour until I got it all in with Ax8x on an 8x5x3x flop and was called by 4x4x, who hit a set on the turn. The fourth bullet lasted me through dinner and I was able to run things up a bit to more than triple the starting stack, but after about eight-and-a-half hours I was down to 15bb, shoved A8 and ran into AxKx.

Before I headed home, I blew through two buyins in the evening Main Event satellite in 20 minutes (it had started 90 minutes before I busted from the big tournament, so they were short to start).

A couple of weeks later, I played another home game (dropped two buyins) then left to late-reg the Final Table $20K NLHE First Friday. That went reasonably well, and I ended up at the final table with Kristi G, who’d asked me about getting extra chips with the rebuy at the break and I said sure. Anyway, I busted in a race in 8th, but she went on to the final chop of four or five players. Then I knocked her out of last week’s Portland Meadows $40K NLHE after we’d had a good chat about some of the characters we’d played with the previous tournament.

Now, that may sound like a lot of poker for someone who’s retired from the game, but last year between 1 January and 20 March, I played 13 live tournaments as opposed to 7 this year. So it has slowed a bit. Online’s dropped from 60 to 35. So maybe I was bluffing myself.

For the Good of the Game

I’ve been a (until recently) ceaseless promoter of poker, even though when a new episode  last night of HGTV’s My Lottery Dream Home revealed it’s latest subject, my wife said “Oh no! Not a poker player!’ I didn’t recognize the face immediately and was a bit surprised because the intro mentioned a 3rd place cash at the 47th Annual World Series of Poker (2016, the year I worked there as a reporter) and an amount of $4 million dollars.

They certainly made it sound as if it was the Main Event, but Cliff Josephy was 3rd place that year, and this wasn’t Cliff. They mentioned that the subject—Mark—lived in Philadelphia, but there are only seven players on the Hendon Mob rankings for Pennsylvania with anything that could even be rounded up to $4 million, and none of them were named Mark. In fact, the highest-ranked Mark on the list was Mark “@dipthrong” Herm, with $1.7 million in recorded live tournament winnings. And Herm did, in fact, come in 3rd in Event #21 $3,000 NLHE 6-Max, which—though a substantial amount smaller than $4 million.

Typically, the winners on MLDH came into their money through a single big lottery win, and the show’s script certainly tried to make it look that way for Mark Herm, but unless I’m missing something big time, my guess is that Herm gave the show’s staff a number that included winnings from cash games over the years.

Herm was interviewed by Sarah Herring on the PokerNews Podcast this week.

UPDATE:  Kevin @kevmath Mathers points out Herm’s PocketFives profile:

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