PNW Poker Leaderboard — Christmas 2020

I definitely was not expecting to be posting another update before the end of 2020. There’s no live poker going on in Portland (officially). There are some tournaments going on around the country but they haven’t really ramped up to a fraction of the usual, and the usual between Thanksgiving and Christmas is minimal. But here we are, just a couple weeks on from 10th anniversary post.

2020 In Review

For me, this has been one of those years where I’m just happy I’m employed and not relying on my poker winnings to supplement whatever meagre earnings I had as a security guard or grocery cashier or a freelance multimedia developer. My specialty has been live poker tournaments with fields of 60–150 players, and while I’ve never been hugely profitable, I’ve had some decent years. This has not been one of them.

For one thing, the last live game I played was in early March. I played six events for $10K and $20K guarantees at Final Table, but cashed only one of those and still came out $100 down after taking 13th because of a rebuy. And, of course, I went down to the Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic just as the coronavirus was becoming a known thing and didn’t cash there at all (and did a re-entry in the 6-Max, ouch!)

Anyway, most of my poker since lockdown has been on Ignition. Did a brief run on Nitrogen in the spring to support the Portland Meadows series there and had some minor success playing 1¢/2¢ and 2¢/4¢ PLO, with one session even winning 1800bb in less than an hour, but I was chasing the tournament dragon and those 4¢ big blinds get gobbled up pretty fast.

Some ambitious soul put me into some America’s Card Room medium-low PLO tournaments around the same time—my one and only experience with being staked—but I’m afraid this horse was one of those eaten by the dragon. I’ve racked those up as (mostly) losses on my personal database, even though the cost was borne elsewhere. I did manage to claw out a 60th-place finish in an 815-entry $30K guarantee, which got me a profit of less than that of the 2¢/4¢ game on Nitrogen. (I did enjoy getting to play some 7-Card Stud and 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo.)

Big Dog was another of the sites that was pumped locally. I played a few of their Big O tournaments for old-times’ sake, but no good for me.

Most of the year on Ignition has been a downswing for me. Things looked hopeful around the beginning of August, I had a couple satelllite wins and cashes in one of their series (min-cashes). I was runner-up in a $5K guarantee NLHE 6-Max for four figures, then made the final table of a 215-entry PLO8 game, cashed a Thousandaire Maker, then another 6-Max final table. Then it stopped and I was back to playing increasingly-smaller Jackpot Sit-and-Go tournaments and trying to jump-start my bigger tournament wins every few weeks.

Late in November, Portland Meadows paired up with Bomb Pot Poker for another couple online series. I managed to enter a couple of the first series (I’m not saying what I did in them was playing), and I got into three of the Oregon State Championship Series 6-Max games without any results.

So, the year has not helped me recover from the bust of the PacWest series at all. I did manage to contribute to my holiday cheer the other day by late-begging an $11 tournament on Ignition where you start with 50,000 chips and the blinds are 5 minutes long. Got to the final six (from a field of 342) and had AT in the BB, the SB who has twice my stack just limps in and I shove on him with 14bb, he calls with A2 and flops two pair, which was disappointing. Then the next night I won a 65-player PLO8 turbo tournament,

Gonna need a lot more of those in the next week to get the year even, though. Just won a satellite to one of this weekend’s $221K guarantees….

Losing the Spirit

Dan Beecher on the NW Poker Facebook Page posted a letter from Spirit Mountain Casino, announcing the closure of their Poker Room and their plan to disburse their promotional poker jackpot funds of nearly $120,000. Their “known carded Poker players” are eligible to qualify via a promotional kiosk game running 1–15 January 2021, with the drawing for prizes worth $100,000 from the jackpot on 16 January.

I haven’t gotten a letter myself, so I’m not sure that I qualify, but I’m holding out hope. I do have a Coyote Club card in my stack, and while I didn’t play there often (what with bigger-field tournaments kind of being my thing), I did chop the top prize at a Top of the Mountain series event back in 2013, so hopefully I’m still on the rolls!

Never good to see another venue close.

Bimb Pot Poker Oregon State Online Championship

The afore-mentioned Oregon State Championship Series went off for two weeks in December, with 29 events and $40K in guarantees total, including a $220 NLHE Championship, some 6-Max, some NL Omaha, and a bunch of bomb pot and double-board (sometimes both) mixed in.

So much pot splitting you want a computer to do the work.

Hosted online by Bomb Pot Poker, I’ve got no idea what the payouts from any of the events actually were. Most were in the $500 to $1500 guarantee range, with the championship guaranteeing $10K.

One Jungleman took the win of the Championship, with The Ponz making series point leader, cashing in nearly a third of the offered tournaments.

Apparently, gone are the days when someone who doesn’t even make a final table in a series can win a trophy around these parts!

Spirit of Giving

In these hard times, it’s important to remember the people trying to help and Ben May at Final Table had a Thanksgiving give-away I should have caught in the post earlier this month. Final Table gave away $2,000 in gift cards to people in need the day after the memorial tournament for Heath Bloodgood.

Also worth a mention here is Kat Mullins, who has worn a number of poker hats around town over the years as well as posting contact info for racial justice protests here in Portland through the summer and fall, is leaving (or left by now) our burg for San Diego.

Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard

There’s not a huge amount of info to cover since early this month, but it is kind of big information. No new players to report on, but cash game veteran Chris Brewer from Eugene started banging out some tournament cashes in the international leg of the summer’s WSOP on GGPoker, then hit the Wynn High Roller series this month to pick up three cashes in the $10K buyin events. One, we reported on earlier in December, but since then, in two smaller events, he took third (18 entries) and a win (20 entries, beating Alex Foxen and Sam Soverel). These aren’t huge ROI, but the quantities are decent. Those two cashes move him 120 places, up to #156 on the PNW Leaderboard.

Then there’s Max Young, who won the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event, which had 779 entries and a prize pool of $1.2M. Max doesn’t move anywhere from his #5 spot on the Leaderboard, but he’s incredibly close to breaking the $2M mark for live earnings. He broke the $1M mark a little over two years ago, and it’s all a long way from playing at Aces on Powell.

Interviews with Max indicated he might be thinking of moving to Florida, which would take him out of the purview of the Leaderboard, but I’m hoping he makes the $2M mark before that happens!

Ten Years of Mutant Poker

The first post on this blog was December 10, 2010! I’d been playing poker in a home game for a couple of years by then. I’d played a bit online on Cake Poker, PokerStars, and Full Tilt. I’d written a program that evaluated hundreds of thousands of hands to develop starting ranges and incorporated it into an iPhone app that you could use surreptitiously to dial up statistics I’d derived (mostly as an exercise in learning the new field of iOS programming). I’d gotten back in contact with a colleague from back when I was still a bit of a thing in multimedia programming, Tomer Berda, just before he won his WSOP bracelet. I was talking with another long-time friend, Brad Smith (who’s now my boss), about my interest in poker, and he suggested that I should start writing a blog about it. As I was “between employment”, I decided to do it, brushed up on my WordPress skills, did some graphics, and here we are.

The first few months were all about online and my attempts to get to the Irish Open in 2011. Then, of course—as anyone who has been watching the final EPT Retro streams from the 2011 season has been reminded—there was Black Friday and the virtual shutdown of online poker in the US (though there are still some options out there).

Anyway, there’s a lot of stuff in the back catalog if you care to look, not to mention links to the articles I wrote elsewhere.

Good News, Everyone!

Just in case you needed something to cheer your spirits as 2020 drags us toward it’s grisly cave, Limon is back! Banned from Twitter as LimonPoker far too long ago, he’s revived his InfiniteStacks account and is talking about poker (a little) and politics and dissing Bitcoin!

Also hanging with Wayne Chiang on YouTube talking PLO!

PNW Poker Leaderboard, 10 December 2020

Poker is slowly crawling back, and with the imminent beginning of immunizations, maybe there’s hope that things will be back to semi-normal by next summer. If I was the WSOP, though, I’d definitely be looking to delay the starting date from Memorial Day to about where it usually ends around July 4th.

Meanwhile, most of the big action continues to be in Las Vegas, notably The Venetian, where the Venetian/Mid-States Poker Tour DeepStack Extravaganza #29 $200K GTD NLHE did some amazing numbers, putting up a prize pool of over $1 million with 1,123 entries and a first prize larger than the guarantee. Andrew Rogers (Anchorage, AK) placed 8th, and climbs 1140 places to #1700 on the Leaderboard. It more than doubled his Hendon Mob earnings.

Smaller big-buyin events are back, as well. Another Anchoragite, Adam Hendrix entered a 64-player $10K at the Wynn High Roller series and placed 8th. I wouldn’t normally report on a min-cash like this, but there’s not much other news out there. Hendrix maintains his place on the Leaderboard at #31.

Another Wynn High Roller had Eugene, OR’s Christopher Brewer come in 2nd out of 49 entries, in a deal with Martin Zamani—remember that name—for his best-ever cash, doubling his Hendon Mob results and jumping more than 500 spots on the Leaderboard, to #276.

The only new name on the Leaderboard is a doozy. Portland’s own Korey Payne beat 1,238 others to win the Venetian/MSPT #38 $400K GTD NLHE Main Event in mid-November. He jumps right onto the Leaderboard at #170, and it’s literally his first Hendon Mob-recorded cash. He beat out—Martin Zamani, who came in 3rd. #TEAMNOCHOP

The champ had some words to say:

Happy Holidays and (most likely) see you in the New Year!

 

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 AJ 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 98 and getting called by AQ. Down to 30bb, he shoved hands 5, 6, and 7.

On hand 8, he open-shoved from the button and I called with TK, exposing his Q8. 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 75. The original raiser called with TQ 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 4Q 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 98 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 9K against my JK 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 A7 and 4bb in the BB, a big stack shoved 24, and I called. He got a full house.

PNW Poker Leaderboard — 18 April 2020: The Life Quarantine with Poker Mutant

I had already written part of this post when I got the news about the passing of Calvin Nithikhun Sr., known by a lot of us in the Portland poker community as Twitch. If you can, head over to read the GoFundMe post from Krystle Cline. (photo from Calvin’s Facebook page.)


It’s been nearly a month since I wrote the last Poker Leaderboard. Tournaments were already shutting down then (Bay 101 Shooting Star had just ended in a multi-way chop so they could shut things down) and all that was left to come in were some straggler results of which there is exactly one big enough for me to report on and that’s from the Pacific Northwest’s new #1, Seth Davies. Davies extended his lead over Scott Clements (which was only $13K on lifetime earnings for each of over $8.2M) by taking 2nd in the partyPoker MILLIONS $50K NLHE Sochi Super High Roller, an event with 31 entries.


Like a lot of other people, the COVID-19 quarantine put a real hitch in my poker giddyup. I only had a little money left on Ignition, and ran it down with a bad streak of $2 Jackpot Sit-n-Gos.

https://twitter.com/2PokerGuys/status/1246160684938858501

Jonathan Levy and Grant Denison put together a deal with Nitrogen Sports (who’s been a sponsor of their podcasts) to recreate the currently-shuttered Portland Meadows Poker schedule. I missed the first Saturday noon game but did play Saturday night and Sunday noon, seeing a lot of the regulars like Jackie Burkhardt, Liz Tedder, and, of course, Meadows club owner Brian Sarchi.

Did last night’s freezeout and made it to 5th place as 2nd largest stack but got into a pissing match with the 3rd largest stack in a blind v blind battle and he rivered a flush after we were all in, so I still haven’t cashed one of those. I’ve had a bit more luck playing 0.0.1/0.02mB to 0.05/0.1mB PLO there (roughly $0.07/0.14 to $0.35/0.70 blinds).

And I’ve had the chance to play three tournaments on America’s Cardroom, inclufding one PLO and a 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo tournament. Who knew it would take the end of the world to finally get me into a Stud/8 game? Almost played one of those “organized on PokerStars Home games with play money but ‘this guy’ is collecting real money though Venmo and will pay the cashers” games because it was HORSE, but something came up, I didn’t make the money transfer, and the whole PokerStars system apparently went down that night while they were 90 minutes in. So, a win for me, I guess.

Stay safe and wash your hands!

PNW Poker Leaderboard — 2 March 2020

No results yet from the PacWest Poker Classic at Chinook Winds. I’m just going to reiterate here that there’s no reason it should take a week for results to be posted.

Poker Mutant & Toma Barber

I went down to Lincoln City the first weekend to no avail, splitting a room with Toma Barber—who I had first met before he moved to Portland, when we were seated next to each other for much of Day 2 in the first $1,000+ buy-in tournament I cashed, back in 2013. I had to head back to town without playing the HORSE tournament that I’d been looking forward to because of a family emergency, which also prevented me from making the Main Event the next weekend. On the plus side, I did finally have my first tournament profit/win of the year in my old home game a week after bubbling the Final Table $10K NLHE. (Also, a minor profit playing $1/3 NLHE cash at PacWest.)

I am pretty sure there is not a “Coronavirus Casino”

But enough of my paltry performances. Let’s talk about the WSOP potentially getting called off in three months because of COVID-19! Or the fact that we’re only a month away from the Wildhorse Spring Poker Round Up and they closed it down today because a worker came down with the coronavirus!

James Romero wins partypoker MILLIONS South America (photo Camila Ocampo for partypoker blob)

It’s #5 on the Leaderboard, James Romero on top of the money tree again with a win in the 30-entry partypoker Millions South America #6 $25K NLHE Super High Roller, just a month afer a big cash in a partypoker $10K in the UK. No change in standings.

Seth Davies maintains at #2 with 2nd place in the first Aria $10K NLHE High Roller of the year.

Adam Hendrix (photo: Poker News via WSOP.com)

Out of Anchorage, Adam Hendrix took 5th place in the WSOPC Rio Las Vegas #12 $1M GTD NLHE Main Event (747 entries). Hendrix is new to the Leaderboard (added with the expansion to include Alaska, BC , and Alberta), but he’s the #1 Alaskan on the Hendon Mob’s state-by-state rankings. Derek Duclos from Caldwell, ID (#1932) placed in 17th.

There were a couple of results out of the Winter Super Stack #8 NLHE in Calgary (138 entries) and I’d probably be reporting more names except for the fact that a lot of players aren’t identified as anything but “Canada” for their residence. The top dog was #146-ranked (moving up 20 spots) Sinan Tawfik of Calgary, who came in 1st. Don Montgomery (also Calgary) took 4th place, moving up more than 300 places on the Leaderboard to #1079.

Anthony An from Juneau picked up his best-ever cash with a win in the LAPC #52 $100K GTD NLHE Bounty Championship, beating the 100-entry field. An goes from #901 to #640.

Anthony An (photo: lapcnews.com)

Another Remington sculpture was brought back to the PNWby Bellevue, WA’s Adam Tyburski, who cleared the field in the 42-entry LAPC #44 LHE. Tyburski climbs more than 500 places to #1326.

Adam Tyburski (photo: lapcnews.com)

On the other side of the country at the WSOPC Tampa #6 $200K GTD NLHE Monster Stack, Vancouver, BC-based bracelet-winner Robert Cheung grabbed 5th. He’s far enough up the Leaderboard (#28) that even the final table of a 1,371-entry tournament doesn’t move him.

There’s nowhere up to go for #1 Scott Clements. He was runner-up in the 148-entry WSOPC Rio Las Vegas #9 HORSE.

Russell Serion (photo: wsop.com)

Russell Serion from Richmond, BC picked up his biggest cash and a Ring with a win in the WSOPC Rio Las Vegas #8 NLHE Black Chip Bounty. There were a total of 168 entries. Serion’s another player with a 500+ climb this week, hitting #1185.

And the last item for the Leaderboard and for the Rio is Boise’s Maria McAlpin, coming in 3rd at WSOPC Rio Las Vegas #10 NLHE Double Stack. McAlpin breaks through the 1,000 barrier, going from #1003 to #816.

Maybe Chinook results will be in in a couple of weeks. Until then, wash your hands! Those cards and chips are filthy!

PNW Poker Leaderboard — 31 January 2020: Pendleton Edition

The dam broke this week and results from both the Summer and Fall Wildhorse Poker Round Ups have made it to Hendon Mob, where they’ve been absorbed into the state (and now province) leaderboards, and made their way to this, the Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard. On top of that, the holiday lull is over and NW players have fanned out actoss the world to win more money.

Marko Pantelic (photo from wsop.com)

On top of the movers this week is Bellevue’s Marko Pantelic, taking third out of 487 entries in the WSOPC Thunder Valley #12 $500K GTD NLHE Main Event. His fifth recorded cash is his best by far (three of his other cashes were also from Northern California events). marko moves up nearly 2,100 places, to #564.

George Wolff continues to bang away at the high roller circuit, with a 3rd place in the Australian Poker Open #4 $25K PLO. It’s his third cash in Australia since the start of the year, and he moves up another place on the Leaderboard, to #16.

Andrew Brunette from Woodland, WA picked up his first and only (so far) recorded cash by winning the Wildhorse Fall Poker Round Up #12 +$10K NLHE Main Event. There were 434 entries, and Brunette makes it onto the Leaderboard for the first time at #1288. Coming in right behind Brunette was Auburn, WA’s Jeffrey Lindsey, who rose from #3316 ro #1259 with his fifth (and largest) cash. David Templeton from Anchorage took third—far from his first or fifth cash, but still his best. He goes from #395 to #333. Boise’s Gregg Wilkinson was 4th for his biggest cash (jumping 4,010 places to #2303). And Monty Ford of Wellpinit, WA is the last of the players from that event to make this edition of the Leaderboard, with his 5th place finish taking him to #1011.

Boise’s Jessica King took down the Wildhorse Fall Poker Round Up #3 +$5K NLHE, her largest score to date, beating a field of 470 and moving her up nearly 5,000 places to #1642. Gregory Lindberg from Corvallis came in 2nd for his best cash, climbing about a hundred places to #462. Chad Wassmuth from Lewiston moved up two spots to #71 with a 3rd place in this event and a win in Wildhorse Fall Poker Round Up #1 +$3K NLHE. The runner-up in the latter event was a different Chad from Idaho, Chad Heft (Boise), who picked up his first cash and a position at #3486. back in Event #2, Kennewick, WA’s Jimmy Stringer came in 4th, but he gets an extra boost because he won Wildhorse Summer Poker Round Up #2 +3K NLHE back in August. Stringer is now #794.

Back on the other side of the globe, Portland’s Landen Lucas came in 5th out of 299 in Aussie Millions #19 NLHE, a A$2,500 buy-in. He climbs to #568.

Tzu Huang of Surrey, BC was at the WPT/Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open $2M GTD NLHE Championship and came in 16th out of 843 entries. Huang rises fifty places to #309. Matt Affleck came in 23rd, and remains at #15.

Beaverton’s Binh Nguyen was one of the few players to have any results reported from the lone Summer series event in Pendleton that had been submitted, but he also won the Wildhorse Summer Poker Round Up #4 NLHE and climbs to #128. Justin Monk (Spokane Valley) was his runner-up, and he goes to #186. Ghulam Mirza of Kennewick was third. Coincidentally, Ghulam Mirza Mohammed of Kennewick was 2nd in the Wildhorse Fall Poker Round Up #10 +3K NLHE. Do you think they could be related? The former only has four cashes (#2929) and the latter has five (#2049). Jeff Ball (from Pendleton!) took 4th in Summer Event #4) and is now #1811.

William Smith of Tualatin, OR won Wildhorse Fall Poker Round Up #11 +$3K NLHE. He bumps up to #797. Boise’s Brent Becker took 2nd (#715) and Jared Dairy of Bend got 3rd (#1829).

Shoreline, WA’s Cynthia Orr makes her debut on the Leaderboard at #2546 by winning Wildhorse Fall Poker Round Up #9 +3K NLHE Seniors. Her runner-up was another newcomer, Kennewick’s James Peck, whose first cash puts him at #3440.

Dylan Wilkerson was another PNW player Down Under, getting 3rd in the Aussie Millions #18 PLO8. There were 133 entries, and Wilkerson remains at #14.

Zack Powers of Arlington, WA took 2nd iin the 341-entry Wildhorse Summer Poker Round Up #3 NLHE. He enters at #3089.

Spokane’s Paul Thone (#3792) got his second cash in Wildhorse Fall Poker Round Up #5 +$3K O8. That’s the last of the entries for Pendleton; may they never be this late again!

Lastly but not leastly, Seattle’s Dean Bui won a Wynn Signature Series $400 NLHE mid-month to go from #188 too #177, then James Canitz of Eagle River, AK got second in the same event the next day, popping up to #895.

That’s it for the end of the month. I know there are a couple of results that hadn’t posted by the time the charts ran on Wednesday (looking at you Ryan Stoker!) but you’ll just need to wait for the next edition.

PNW Poker Leaderboard — 20 January 2020

Well, this decade’s been a bust for me so far. With Portland Meadows closed down until they get their new location (8102 NE Killingsworth) set up, Final Table has been running $20K guarantees every Friday night. The first of those this year (on the regularly-scheduled First Friday) got 190 entries. That had dropped down to 137, but that was still enough for nearly $7K scheduled for the top prize.

I also dropped in to see the new Trio room at 9th & E Burnside (photo at the top from Kat Mullins on the NW Poker Facebook page). They had a couple of Big O tables running the first day and when I sat down, Kerry Moynahan (who was dealing), mentioned that he didn’t usually see me at the shootout tables, as opposed to the multi-table tournaments. Five minutes later, after winning my first hand and then losing my entire buy-in on the second—after flopping a straight and calling off against a better straight on the turn—he knew why.

That’s my 2020 so far…how’s everyone else’s?

If you’re a real stats-watcher, you may notice some variation in this edition of the Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard, because it now includes players from Alaska, Alberta, and British Columbia. It’s a move I’ve been wanting to make for a while but was too lazy to implement until recently. I meant to get it going before the start of the year, but here it is in the second edition!

Why not start with George Wolff, who’s been walloping the high roller scene since last fall’s British Poker Open. He’s cashed in 10 events with buy-ins of $10K or more with nearly $1.9M in earnings, with the latest coming in the Aussie Millions A$25,000 NLHE Challenge, where he made a deal for 2nd place. George moves up a rarified 5 spots on the Leaderboard, from #22 to #17.

James Romero  (photo: Mickey May/partypoker)

James Romero came in 3rd after starting the final day as chip leader at the partypoker MILLIONS UK $5M GTD NLHE Main Event, a $10K buy-in with 530 entries. Romero also rises five spots, to #5 on the Leaderboard, with his largest score since winning the 2016 WPT Five Diamond (which was only his third recorded live cash, if you really want to beat yourself up over your poker career like I do).

John Skrovan (photo: PokerNews/wsop.com)

The first player from Canada to make an appearance on the Leaderboard is John Skrovan of Burnaby, BC, who took 2nd place in the WSOPC Choctaw NLHE Main Event. As usual, the venue drew a large field of 1,065 entries. It’s Skrovan’s largest cash ever (even though he made the final table of a $600 bracelet event with 6,000+ entries at last year’s WSOP), He moves up 400 spots to #211 on the Leaderboard.

Tom Mahon from Dairy, OR got a little of the Lucky Changes Gold Rush #3 NLHE, which brought in 632 entries for a prize pool of $632K. Mahon cashed in 6th place, doubled his lifetime reported earnings, and moves nearly 850 spots on the Leadderboard, to #1115.

Portland’s Ming Zhu was the runner-up at the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganze NYE #36 NLHE MonsterStack, as part of a six-way deal. He’s currently #250.

The lone newcomer to the Leaderboard (breaking the $3K earnings threshold, as opposed to a couple thousand folks added from BC, AB, and AK) is Vancouver (WA)’s Isaiah Avery, whose second recorded cash was 3rd place in the $200 buy-in, 839-entry MOOSE Poker Tournament Series #10 $30K GTD NLHE. It got—and you can do the calculations yourself) more than five times the guarantee. and had an incredible flat payout structure (none of this 9th makes 10% of 1st; it was one-third). The 5-day series at the las Vegas Golden Nugget had 17 events, which must have kept the place pretty jammed. Avery starts at #3518.

The last name on the list this edition is Ronald Anderson from Yakima. He’s #710 after taking 3rd in a three-way deal at the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganze NYE #33 NLHE MonsterStack.

Keep on winning!

Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard Top 20 (01.20.2020)

01 Scott Clements

02 Seth Davies

03 Shawn Buchanan

04 Kevin MacPhee

05 James Romero

06 Brandon Cantu

07 Annie Duke*

08 Lee Watkinson

09 Lee Markholt

10 Dylan Linde

11Ralph “Rep” Porter

12 Amichai Barer

13 Greg Mueller

14Dylan Wilkerson

15Matt Affleck

16 Matthew Jarvis

17 George Wolff

18Tyler Patterson

19Quinn Do

20 Elliot Smith

*seriously, she hasn’t lived here for a long time, but she’s still on the Hendon Mob list for Oregon

PNW Poker Leaderboard — 04 January 2020

The new year starts out a lot like the old year, with a lot of familiar names making a lot of money. Not me, I literally just busted out of my first tournament of the year (Final Table First Friday $20K GTD) just short of the money, after having a decent-sized stack at 4 tables (with 3 tables cashing).

The short stack mentioned above lost a big hand to me when my dominated (but suited) king hit the flush against his ace-king. He was down to a quarter of a big blind but chipped up and was still in when I went from 30bb (about twice the average stack) to zero.

Let’s start off the new year with news of the #2 player on the leaderboard, Seth Davies, who won the WPT Five Diamond NLHE High Roller (53 entries at $25K a pop), then turned right around and cashed in third place in the WPT Five Diamond NLHE Main Event (606 entries, $10.4K buyin). That comes on the heels of his biggest-ever cash last month. Remaining in the #3 spot, Kevin MacPhee took 18th.

George Wolff continues his climb, moving up two spots to #16 with a string of cashes last month. Notable among them was a runner-up finish at EPT Prague #5 PLO High Roller (PRAGUE!), which got a total of 40 entries, which was his largest single payout so far. A week later is a sixth-place in EPT Prague #33 NLHE High Roller (66 entries, $25K entry). A huge amount of money but sort of a smaller multiple cash that wouldn’t normally make the list, except that the next day he takes 9th in the 255-entry EPT Prague #39 NLHE High Roller ($10K buy-in), then hops over to the Bellagio for 3rd place in WPT Five Diamond #27 NLHE High Roller ($25K, 37 entries), and wraps up just before Christmas at the Venetian in the CPPT/DSE NYE #19 NLHE Main Event with 160 entries and a $3.5K buy-in, where he gets third again. A fairly productive three weeks.

Max Young continues to crush what I guess are called the large-field “mid-majors” these days, with 2nd in the Wynn Winter Classic $500K GTD NLHE; more than 1,200 entries doubled the guarantee. Max moves up a spot to #20.

Holding at #8, Dylan Linde came in 7th at the WPT Five Diamond #15 NLHE, a $5.2K buy-in tournament that saw 127 entries. Buy his book!

The only new name on the Leaderboard in this first edition of 2020 is Michael Kiselman of Edmonds. His singular recorded cash is for first place in what looks like a 2-way deal in the Wynn Winter Classic $40K NLHE over 270 other players (the prize pool was nearly $100K). His first spot on the Leaderboard is #1383.

Up the block at Harrah’s, at the WSOPC Las Vegas #11 $500K GTD NLHE Main Event, it was Matt Affleck taking 12th place. He is still #12.

Alex Dickson of Keizer knocked off 3rd at at the WSOPC Las Vegas #3 $100K NLHE, which apparently missed the guarantee with 188 entries at $600 a pop. He’s up nearly 50 places to #351.

I could swae I saw our old friend Wayne Keller at the Portland Meadows Grand Finale the other day, but he was also at the WSOPC Las Vegas #6 NLHE Seniors tournament, where he won a Circuit Ring! Wayne climbs 14 spots to #193.

And that’s a great way to end the first edition of the Leaderboard for the year. I’d have more, but Wildhorse still hasn’t reported results from November’s Round Up to either Hendon Mob or Cardplayer. If you like to keep track of this stuff yourself, harangue your tournament director to send in the results.

Otherwise it’s like you’ve never existed.

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!