R-Day Minus 9

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

Family obligations have tended to keep me from playing the Ignition Casino $100K GTD NLHE on Sundays. There’s stuff to do to get the house ready for our Sunday family dinner—even though I’m, thankfully, not doing the cooking—and I don’t like to buy into a tournament of that size late, or be playing it while we’ve got company, even if it’s company that’s here every week.

But my father’s out of town for the holidays this week and I’m down to the wire on my $100K-before-the-end-of-the-year-or-bust plan (only $93K to go!) so I decided to play it this week.

Despite the fact that I got aces twice in 90 minutes (about 5 times better than the normal distribution) I was under the starting stack, after having to lay down a 3-bet hand of AK and a few other attempts to get some chips. Still I was nearly 40bb deep when I got AK on the big blind, with a dead small blind. UTG min-raised, everyone folded to me, and I pushed it up to 2K, which he called. The all-spade flop was unpleasant, but I had top-top and overbet the pot by a thousand or so going all in. UTG called with both a gutshot straight and a spade draw, and booth of them got there in sequence. I was marginally ahead when the money went in, but I was getting a chop at best after the turn.

And that’s the way the make-a-fortune cookie crumbles.

I played the Ignition Casino $5K GTD NLHE  after the guests left. 642 entries. I doubled up and then some in the middle stage but went pretty card dead as small stacks were shoving toward the bubble, and lost a lot of ground. I was under 10bb when I picked up queens on the button and we were on the last couple spots before the bubble. A big stack in early position raised, I shoved, he had aces! And he hit an ace on the flop! I finished in 109th place. 108 places paid.

R-Day Minus 10

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

That was an…interesting…night.

Friday night at publication time, I was still in the Final Table $10K GTD NLHE.

I left the house a few minutes behind schedule, and got further delayed because I live a couple of blocks from Peacock Lane, a four-block stretch of a SE Portland street that has a Christmas light display every year. So I was a few minutes late once I drove out Division to the clup.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a number of people smoking outside the doors shortly after the 7pm start time. Typically, anyone that’s there at the time is in or waiting in line. As I walked toward the door, Rick James was heading the other direction, and told me: “They’re shut down. Game’s cancelled.” I knew enough to not listen to his bullshit, though I did think that perhaps there was some sort of power outage that wasn’t immediately obvious to me—high winds had knocked out the power a few days earlier. A locksmith’s van pulled up at the curb, a guy jumped out and started pulling tools out of the back. I assumed he was there for the auto parts shop next door.

When I got in,  I could see that the tournament hadn’t started yet, and as I walked up to the counter, I saw  a Multnomah County Sheriff’s Deputy kneeling downbehind it at one end. Ron C. was there, and when I asked him what was up, he said the deputies were seizing  all of the cash, as a part of some sort of judgment against one of the club owners, but nothing to do with the operation of the club itself.

This, on the face of it, seems incredibly wrong, as money paid into the prize pool in Portland’s social clubs explicitly does not belong to the club. It can’t be distributed to the club, even in part, according to the ordinances. That’s why there’s no rake. That’s why there are no multi-day events.

There were at least three  more deputies in the office (and the locksmith) and they left carrying a small brown bag about ten miinutes to eight. TD Kat Mullins had repeated an announcement I’d missed about the pan to start at 8pm, and, for the most part, that’s what happened. Meanwhile, I caught up with Kao Saechao, who was back on his home territory after a very successful year, and said hello to Liz Brandenburg, who was also capturing some of the flavor of the evening.

I’m not going to bother recounting how the tournament went except to say it was my usual path to the final table. I got pretty short at one point, got lucky a couple of times, made it to the final table as one of the shortest stacks, and somehow ended up in the top three. This time a player named Lee was the big stack. It was already well after 5am, and when I proposed the same deal that had been offered to me last week—with the big stack taking just under 1st place money and the other two chopping the remainder—both lee and the other player were ready to go and I’m sure the remaining staff was glad to get out of there after a long and stressful night.

Played a NLHE Jackpot Sit-and-Go in the afternoon and bused in third. Tried my hand at a 1-Seat GTD NLHE Satellite for Sunday’s $100K and was chip leader through most of the game, got down to HU with a 2:1 advantage and had a hand with top pair on the flop against bottom pair on the flop and he rivered a second pair, flipping the stacks. I never recovered and busted second.

R-Day Minus 12

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

Did an Ignition Casino NLHE Jackpot Sit-n-Go after I got home from Portland Meadows, got a 5x modifier and busted third.

Decided to take a shot at this weekend’s $100K on Ignition, jumped into an evening 4-Seat GTD NLHE Satellite. Didn’t get far. Played a $1K GTD NLHE Turbo and ended in a queens versus ace-king flip.

Four more Jackpot Sit-n-Gos in a row: won the first two, then got two 5x payouts in a row and lost both of them.

#PNWPokerCal Planner for 20 December 2018


It’s another WPT Bellagio Five Diamond title for the Pacific Northwest as Coeur D’Alene-based Dylan Linde took the title with a cash that nearly doubled his already-impressive earnings.

Bend’s Seth Davies struck big at Bellagio, too, with a 3rd place in the 47-entry Event #2 $25K NLHEand a win four days later in Event #28 $25K NLHE (50 entries).

Over at the VenetianScott Clements won Event #15 $150K GTD NLHE, with 576 entries.

And last, but not least, Lake Oswego’s Max Brown got 4th in the Run It Up Stones $100K GTD NLHE Main Event, at Stones Gambling Hall outside Sacramento.

One Month Three Weeks One Hundred 98 Kay The Twelve Days of $95K

I did manage to get a win at Final Table last Friday, so my target is a wee bit closer, but the opportunities are pretty slim at this point. Picked up another little cash online at Ignition Casino Sunday night; missed in PLO8 Monday at Claudia’s and busted not even close to the money at the huge $4K at Portland Meadows on Wednesday.

I’m heading down to Las Vegas on the 29th for the Venetian $260K GTD NLHE, last bit game of the year.

Only a Day Away

  • The last event (ever) on my calendar is the Venetian Deepstacks Extravaganza V. Which starts today. There’s a $100K GTD the first weekend, and a $260K GTD Monster Stack just before the New Year’s ($400 buyin).
  • This Sunday is the Muckleshoot Casino NLHE Deepstack ($300 buyin), with the $3K Added NLHE 5th Sunday ($400) coming up on the 30th. Both start at 10:15am.
  • The Tulalip Casino $10K Added NLHE is $220 for entry (with $10 dealer add-on) on Sunday, 30 December, at 11am. They still don’t have the schedule for next month’s Pow Wow on their poker room page. I hate casino web sites.

R-Day Minus 13

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

Headed out to the Portland Meadows $4K GTD. Turnout was, uh, good,with more than $11K in the prize pool after all the entries and addons had been tallied. Kind of sparse down there at the bottom if you were in for several buyins (see Why Not Rebuy?) Oh, yeah, I rebought, but just once—I’m more or less out of this poker thing in two weeks! Lost on a nut flush draw on the first buyin, then got lucky on the second and beat queens with jacks when I his a set on the turn and knocked out a newplayer who’d been all in twice on his first orbit at the table with 50bb and squeezed (with the queens) to my button 3-bet. I went out after the break by shoving into top pair’s large c-bet on a KT8 board with the open-ended Broadway draw. A shorter stack behind me shoved with the nut flush and got there, taking most of my stack, the rest went to top pair.

Played about 40 minutes of tournament-subsidized $1/$2 Big O and busted two buyins. I’m going to have to talk to Jeremy Harkin about my last hand.

R-Day Minus 15

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

I got to the final table of the Ignition Casino $5K GTD NLHE with the chip lead but wasn’t able to maintain it. Still, 5th-place in a 525-entry tournament isn’t such a bad way to end the weekend.

Monday night, I headed over to Claudia’s PLO8, made it through the break with a rebuy but busted out early. Did get a chance to talk briefly with Joe Brandenburg!

Played the 0.5/0.5 NLHE for about an hour, won—I think—one hand, then managed to shove my last chips in against a hand that dominated me. Some people play cash games to subsidize their tournaments; apparently I play tournaments to subsidize my cash game.

Got back home, jumped into the Ignition Casino $1K GTD NLHE 6-Max Turbo with 20bb and busted in less than 10 minutes.

Played 2 NLHE Jackpot Sit-n-Gos, handily won the first but missed out on the second, which had a 4x payout.

R-Day Minus 16

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

I don’t typically play the big Sunday tournaments on Ignition Casino, because of our evening family dinner and the preparations thereof, but I was up early and really, how many more Sundays are there this year? So I got into a $100K GTD NLHE Satellite with two other players and got about 10 minutes in before my trap was sprung on myself and my rivered two pair was beat by a better two pair made on the turn.

At midnight, down to the last two tables in a 525-entry Ignition Casino $5K GTD NLHE.

R-Day Minus 17

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

Well, that went better than I expected.

At this time last night, we were down to three tables at the Final Table $10K GTD NLHE, one of the last weekend events I’m going to get to play before my self-imposed retirement from poker goes into effect in 1 January.

Just for some perspective, I’ve played 28 $10K GTD or larger events at Final Table alone this year, more than 2-1/2 workweeks of my spare time. Overall, including live and online, more than 15 40-hour weeks of my time playing poker. Hardly a full-time job, but quarter-time, anyway.

Anyway, I was in for just a single buyin and an addon last night, but I was a little short on chips as we maneuvered through the last ten or so players to the bubble. I had to make a couple of risky shoves  (one with Q8 UTG) to stay alive long enough to make the 10 scheduled payouts.

I had a pleasant chat with Paul, one of the local dealers-turned-pros about his ability to go up to British Columbia to play on PokerStars (which I envy). A Seattle player in Seahawks gear (natch) with a big stack sat on my left keeping things real by playing most of the hands down to the bubble.

It took about an hour to go from 15 players to the final table. Three bubbles were proposed and then two bubbles, and almost immediately a couple of players went out and the first was paid (only $100 each, though).

I was one of the three shortest stacks at the 10-handed final. I got the prime position in seat 1 (where the button started) so with the big blind ante I wasn’t paying anything for nearly 20 minutes.

We were an hour into the final when things started to shift. Paul was now on my immediate left. The big stack was on the other side of the dealer in seat 10. Two players had busted out, I’d picked up a few chips and was just over 200K, but that was still 10bb, and with the big blind ante, you’re losing a fifth of that in one whack. Anyway, seat 8 was UTG and he raised from one of the other short stacks to 55K. Seahawks guy had over 600K and called—he’d been making good use of suited connectors all night. I had AxQx and I shoved, hoping that I had enough to get the big stack to fold when it came back around. paul shoved behind me with a bit more. After a long moment considering, the original raiser called all in, then the big stack bowed out and it was tens for the original raiser against kings for Paul and an ace hit the flop, essentially tripling me up to the chip lead or very near.

Between us, the big stack and I had two-thirds of the chips in play, and I cruised along for a while with a couple more eliminations until I raised Seahawks’s big blind and he shoved into my AxKx with K2. Which I called. It was over pretty soon after that, the other two players (including Ron S., who’d been my only railer when I took 3rd this February at Chinook) had a total of 25% of the chips and I had the other 75%. It was 4:30am and we were all amicable so I kicked back $290, the other guys split that along with 2nd and 3rd money for about $2Keach, and I got $3K straight up. Better than the ICM.

I had been thinking that if I got down to this point I was going to play it out no matter the consequences, and after all the 3-person Sit-n-Gos I’ve been playing on Ignition, I’m pretty sure I could have maintained by first-place, but I wanted to get home and see if I could come up with some other options for my quest for $100K.

One was the Bay 101 Shooting Star Satellite this morning. While the tournament itself isn’t until March (and it isn’t a WPT event this time around), I figured if I won the seat before the end of the year it wouldn’t violate my self-conditions. It was at 9am in San ose.

The Bicycle Casino had two flights to a Quantum $250K GTD NLHE tournament at 11:30am and 4pm.

And, of course, there was the Venetian/CPPT $500K GTD NLHE with a $3500 buyin if I wanted to emulate the path I took after my first $10K 1st place at Encore Club back in 2011.

The flights, though, were killer. This far into the holiday season, with short notice, everything is hideously expensive. I didn’t want to blow it all (and more) on a one-shot at the Venetian, getting to San Jose in time was just not happening by the time I got home, and trying to make the first flight at LA was pretty awful, too. Unfortunately, even the flights to Vegas in two weeks—just before New Year’s Eve—aren’t great, either, So I’m open to suggestions.

Waiting to go to a holiday party, I played an Ignition Casino NLHE Jackpot Sit-n-Go, got a 5x payout, and won it on a hand where both the shorter stacks shoved when I had kings.

R-Day Minus 20

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

Played a satellite for the Ignition Casino 12 Days of Turbo Wrap Up #61 NLHE and only got 20th place, the jumped into the game directly. I lost some ground early on with a series of pairs that didn’t go anywhere (although I could see from the rabbit cam feature that the pair of sevens I folded on the flop with two overs would have made a set on the turn, grrrr…).

I got ground down to 6K from the 15K start relatively early, then picked up a couple thousand before the first break. It being a turbo, I was getting down into the Danger Zone, when I picked up AxQx in early position and jammed about 12bb. A middle position player with 40bb called with AxTx there was a ten in the door and I was out.

Played two $2 NLHE Jackpot Sit-N-Gos and busted third on the first. The second was a $10 payout, I got down to 15bb early on, then came back and won it.

Sixteen years ago today I nearly died from a pulmonary embolism (PE), technically a bunch of them, from multiple blood clots that formed in my leg after I broke it making their way to my lungs two months to the day after my fallNothing quite like this, but this guy definitely had clots in his lungs. My mother died four years ago from a pulmonary embolism, completely unexpectedly, without breaking anything. Fifteen years ago, there was a spate of stories about something called economy-class syndrome, which was basically people getting pulmonary embolisms on plane flights just from sitting in cramped quarters without moving their legs for hours. That’s all it takes. Sudden shortness of breath, coughing, and related issues may be all you get. And medical personnel aren’t always on top of it: I had literally called the advice nurse the day I had mine because I was feeling unexpectedly winded after moving from crutches to a cane; my mother was getting ready to go to a doctor’s appointment she’d made after complaining she had trouble breathing at her ophthalmologist’s office when she died. And she knew I’d had a PE. None of us even thought of it until the autopsy. We poker players tend to sit around a lot. But take this as a gentle public service announcement: Get up and move around.