Uptempo Venomous Poison — May 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

What’s That Spell?…Go To Hell! — March 2024

Another month in the red, though I briefly had hopes for this one.

No need to recap all of the thrill of min-victory and the agony of defeat at the Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic in the middle of the month, it’s all right here if you want to read about it.

I cashed 7 out of 17 Ignition Casino NLHE Jackpot Sit-and-Go tournaments, with just one of the winners being a 5x payout, which means…exactly $0 profit.

Because I spent an entire week at Chinook Winds, no other live play for me, though I did play five Beaverton Quarantine games via PokerStars Home Games, min-cashing a 10-player NLHE game and winning a NLHE Bounty tournament with three bounties (including my own) for a whopping 320% ROI. Not enough to cover my losses at the PacWest series!

What II’m looking at in the month(s) ahead:

  • Maybe this week’s Final Table First Friday $20K GTD NLHE.
  • Possibly the Last Frontier NLHE Freezeout on Sunday, April 7th.
  • The Final Table $30K GTD NLHE on April 27th.
  • Or the Portland Meadows Big Bet Mix April 28th.
  • There’s a whole bunch of fun coming up May 6th–12th at the Portland Meadows Poker Classic, though I’m going to have to skip their High Roller because I’ve got tickets to see Michelle Wolf. And I can only do the evening games because, you know…job.
  • I’ve booked my flight to the WSOP already. Got a lot of $2K and $5K satellites on my menu, along with HORSE, Seven Card Stud, and Big O,

Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard

Due to some fast reporting by the Chinook Winds tournament officials, this edition of the Leaderboard includes the big results from the recent PacWest Poker Classic!

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.
Ryan Olin (Huslia, Alaska)
#2634
20th of 1180 entries, $3.7M prize pool
Jonathan Erickson (Salem, Oregon)
#8040
#2557
+5483
1st of 286 entries, $116.6K prize pool
Ryan Peterson (Albany, Oregon)
#7371
#2262
+5109
3rd of 441 entries, $306.9K prize pool
Khoa Ngo (Lakewood, Washington)
#2821
#1729
+1092
1st of 82 entries, $69.5K prize pool
Jerry O’Keefe (Bend, Oregon)
#6205
#1534
+4671
2nd of 441 entries, $306.9K prize pool
Jolnar Teliani (Edmonton, Alberta)
#2160
#1194
+966
2nd of 282 entries, $208.8K prize pool
Barry Frey (Medicine Hat, Alberta)
#3413
#1128
+2285
1st of 282 entries, $208.8K prize pool
Andrew Brunette (Woodland, Washington)
#1651
#1109
+542
2nd of 629 entries, $175.1K prize pool
Wille Scott (Courtenay, British Columbia)
#1106
2nd of 346 entries, $506.3K prize pool
Joe Gates (Burns, Oregon)
#1919
#1092
+827
5th of 3180 entries, $1M prize pool
Steven Boyd (Albany, Oregon)
#1537
#999
+538
2nd of 339 entries, $203.3K prize pool

Boyd cracks the top 1,000 with a cash back in December that—ahem—didn’t get reported to The Hendon Mob until relatively recently.

Kale Satta-Hutton (Portland, Oregon)
#2094
#870
+1224
1st of 441 entries, $306.9K prize pool
Antonio Ma (Calgary, Alberta)
#682
2nd of 133 entries, $144K prize pool

Ma comes into the Leaderboard as a new entry, though he has another, larger score at WSOPC Thunder Valley in January.

Jason Heang (Edmonton, Alberta)
#669
3rd of 282 entries, $208.8K prize pool

This is Heang’s debut on the Leaderboard, though he has a couple other cashes that would have qualified him last year when I wasn’t keeping the Leaderboard updated.

Sterling Lopez (Anchorage, Alaska)
#502
#425
+77
3rd of 984 entries, $196.8K prize pool
Aaron Quon (Richmond, British Columbia)
#587
#411
+176
2nd of 309 entries, $311.7K prize pool
Scott Lake (Bremerton, Washington)
#1034
#404
+630
3rd of 47 entries, $470K prize pool

Lake had a cash the previous day in the Triple Stud Mix event, but not enough ROI to qualify for the Leaderboard.

Yunkyu Song (Camas, Washington)
#231
#160
+71
4th of 458 entries, $1.4M prize pool
Andrew Rodgers (Anchorage, Alaska)
#111
#86
+25
1st of 748 entries, $725.5K prize pool
Kyle Ho (Burnaby, British Columbia)
#71
#72
-1
2nd of 253 entries, $151.1K prize pool
Chad Wassmuth (Lewiston, Washington)
#75
#68
+7
2nd of 1272 entries, $1.8M prize pool
Kao Saechao (Damascus, Oregon)
#41
#42
-1
1st of 629 entries, $175.1K prize pool
Mike Kinney (Sand Point, Idaho)
#51
#39
+12
2nd of 458 entries, $1.4M prize pool
Maxwell Young (Oregon)
#23
#22
+1
1st of 264 entries, $264K prize pool
Adam Hendrix (Anchorage, Alaska)
#8
#6
+2
5th of 1659 entries, $2.5M prize pool
8th of 132 entries, $660K prize pool
1st of 81 entries, $243K prize pool
Chris Brewer (Eugene, Oregon)
#2
#2
0
6th of 124 entries, $3.8M prize pool
8th of 139 entries, $21.6M prize pool
Seth Davies (Bend, Oregon)
#1
#1
0
3rd of 82 entries, $3.7M prize pool
3rd of 33 entries, $1.3M prize pool
1st of 72 entries, $1.8M prize pool

Davies had six other cashes in the Triton Jeju series (for a total of eight cashes in seventeen events) each large enough to put most players’ career winnings to shame, but their ROI was less than 400%, so they do not appear on the Leaderboard.

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, Testing My Limits

The morning was uneventful, just resting up from five days of playing poker, a little sightseeing, and a big steak dinner the night before. Made a few calls, caught up on the news a little bit (it hadn’t gotten any better) and generally relaxed until noon when I headed over to Chinook Winds.

Event #15 $15,000 Guaranteed Limit Omaha Hi-Lo

I won the first hand of O8, drawing out on the river against Joe Brandenburg. Before the game had even started, Bobby Quiring, a friend of Brad “First Friend of the Blog” Press, who I had met when we all played a HORSE tournament at Aria last summer (where Bobby won and Brad took 5th). Maybe it was too soon after the Big O tournament for me to play this, but I got shorter and shorter after I hit set under set. I had less than a quarter of a starting stack 90 minutes in, My tiny stack lasted for another couple of hours, then I busted the first hand back from the second break.

While I was out of the tournament room, I’d noticed there was a Thursday night steak and crab special at the Seafood Grill where I’d had breakfast with my father the other day, and told Brad I’d reciprocate his generous steak dinner from last night, then went to play some cash.

$2-$5 NL Hold’em

Cash isn’t my normal game and these aren’t my usual stakes, but the $1-$2 game was full up and I wanted to be able to keep an eye on the tournament status and upcoming (in a couple of hours) dinner break while I waited. I played pretty tight for an hour or so without catching much, then picked up black kings a d three-bet the very active and very loud player on my immediate right, who’d been wearing some astounding track suits the previous days. He called my bet along with a couple of others, the flop was very red and ace-high with two Broadway cards and a third on the turn, after which it got heads-up. The loud guy flipped over king-ten at showdown for Broadway.

I lost some more pots, until I hit middle set on a KQ9 flop. The player two to my right pushed all-in, covering my stack. I probably didn’t take he time to consider the jack-ten possibility, but I called and he flipped over a set of nines. I guess he hadn’t thought of jack-ten either

Brad busted out about six hours in and decided he had enough time to take me up on dinner before heading home. I grabbed my chips and cashed them out quickly with bit of a profit, and we walked over to the Seafood Grill, which wasn’t exactly full, but they were short-staffed enough we had to wait for about ten minutes to get seated because one guy was taking all of the orders and bartending. Food itself came about fifty minutes after we walked in the door. But it was tasty.

2024 Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic, More Like Big Ow

One of the great things about playing here at Chinook Winds Casino Resort is that it’s literally on the beach. There’s a stairway down to the sand between the casino and the resort, you can bust out — or cash big — then walk down to the water and contemplate existence.

Or you can have breakfast at the Seafood Grill on the south end of the complex and watch things through the windows, like my father and I did before he headed back to Portland.

Event #11 $25,000 Guaranteed Pot Limit Big O

Since most of the rationale for me spending an entire week here (ass opposed to just a couple of days) was due to me coming in second at the Portland Meadows Big O Championship back in December, I had some hope for this one. Things got off to an interesting start on the first hand at our table, with three players nearly all-in after the flop. It was three-quartered by the guy on my left, leaving one of the other player with about 16K (out of the 22K starting stack) and the other with just 400 chips.

Made the nut flush on an hand about half an hour in and pushed the action, with another player calling for the low. Deuce on the river and I scooped it to climb to 39K. Half an hour later, after a couple of questionable hands, I was in danger of elimination, with just 5K. By two hours in, I’d built back up to over 50K. and twenty minutes later, I had the table chip lead with over 100K.

A couple hands cut me down to 60K (still about twice average at that point, but by the second break (three hours in) I’d climbed back to 100K and knocked out the guy who kept telling me I was misreading my hand when I made the nuts.

Ran into my John Gribben, the player I chopped a tournament with the last time I had a big cash here at Chinook and convinced him to take another photo with me.

I made it through another couple of hours, past the third break, but the see-sawing continued, with more sawing than seeing, I’m afraid. And about 15 minutes into the 11th round, I took a stand and busted.

Brad Press had asked me if I was interested in the Wednesday $30 steak special at the casino steakhouse during break, and since he was buying, I readily accepted. He busted the Big O tournament before dinner, we beat the crowd, and when we got there he noticed Jimmy and Bo, already sitting at a table. We sat down with them for some nice steaks, chatted about family and, yes, poker, and when they went off to late-reg the Mystery Bounty, Brad and I went to drink some of his top-shelf tequila and then we were both ready to rest up for the Limit Omaha Hi-Lo tournament Thursday afternoon.

2024 Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic, Cashless

Event #9 $10,000 Guaranteed HORSE

I always look forward to HORSE tournaments because I get so few opportunities to play them. My only WSOP bracelet tournament cash is a min-cash in the 2021 HORSE event that Norman Chad bubbled. But this was not to be another one.

Since the tournament didn’t start until 4pm, I headed to the Tillamook Air Museum, housed in the only one of the WWII blimp hangers left in the nation. It’s full of planes, including some replicas of fighters from a century ago that somehow only weighed as much as I do.

The tournament went well for just about four hours, I was cruising along until three devastating hands in Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo took me from 15 big bets (well above average in the aggressive structure) down to 5BB, then I was run down on the river holding aces up by a flush.

Brad (First Friend of the Blog) Press was still in, though, and he maintained a decent chip stack through to the money, then crabbed his way up on the final table. Smaller stacks were busting out quickly with the chip average under 3 big bets, and a double elimination left him as the short stack between two equal-ish big stacks. He had a rolled-up pair in the last hand of Stud Hi-lo, took third place when it didn’t hold up, and so far I’m ahead in our $5/5% swap for the series.

Playing Big O as I’m typing this!

2024 Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic, Satellite Unlocked

Event #5 $35,000 Guaranteed NL Hold’em 6-Max

This event broke me. I had a very rough start, down two-thirds of my stack at the first break, then lost half of that before I managed to shove aces with about 12bb and got a call that doubled me up. Took a couple smaller pots then knocked out what was a smaller stack (by then) and was back to 50bb. Got myself up almost to starting stack after tens held on a KKQ9X board. But busted after less than three hours when ace-eight of spades were the turn nuts on a king-high board with three spades and shoved into the full house on the river when the board paired.

Rebought very reluctantly just before the end of entries and landed at a table with several big stacks, going up and down for another 90 minutes until I picked up red aces in middle position, raised 2.5bb, and got a call from one of the big stacks in the small blind. The flop came out KQJ, all hearts, giving me the royal flush draw, and I continued and was called. Turn is an offsuit 6. I shoved about 15bb, figuring I’ve got both the straight and flush draws even against two pair or a set, and the big tack called with Q6 offsuit, which held and I was gone again.

Event #7 3 Seats Guaranteed NL Hold’em Main Event Turbo Satellite

My father came down to stay for a couple nights, and we headed out for an early dinner at Pub’s Fish & Chips which was packed when we got there. Made it back to the poker room with just a couple minutes to spare for registration in Event #6 $10,000 Guaranteed NL Hold’em Boss Bounty, but elected for the Main Event satellite instead, which was only about 15 minutes in.

This game went considerably more to my liking, particularly after I shoved ace-eight suited in and got called by kings and another hand I forget, then hit the ace on the river and tripled up. Fifty minutes in, I’d quadrupled the starting stack and I was steamrollering, even knocking the same player out twice after he’d re-entered. By the time we were down to 19 players, I had 20% of the chips in play. Only four vouchers, though, with $452 cash going to fifth place.

I started praying to satellite saint Dara O’Kearney that I wouldn’t screw this up, but I was still more active than I needed to be, managing to put the brakes on just on time after I’d gotten into a fight with a player who had a not-insignificant stack in front of her.

When we were down to 5 players, in the money, there were four stacks large enough that any one of them could have hurt or eliminated the others, and one very small stack. That stack ended up all in for less than the ante in their big blind and survived a 3-way hand, but still only won their ante. Then, most of what they had left went to the small blind, which they surrendered, leaving just a third of a blind. That went all in a couple hands later and they got the $452 and the rest of us got vouchers.

So, not a great day, but one really good tournament and I’m three cashes for five entries so far, though those two losses were doozies.

Taking the daytime off because I don’t want to sit around with a bunch of seniors; I’ll wait until tonight’s HORSE tournament to see them.

2024 Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic, Two Min-Cashes Per Day

Just a short note today because that’s all I really have time for. Lots of time yesterday morning, because I wasn’t really able to get to sleep the first night here. No issues with the room or anything, just restless from allergies. So I went into the day with less than an hour of sleep after driving down to Lincoln City and playing poker for 12 hours.

Event #1 $100,000 Guaranteed NL Hold’em Day 2

I didn’t have enormous expectations coming into the day with just 14 big blinds (I’d forgotten we still had about half the 6K blind level after stopping for the night, so it was more than 10). Somehow, I managed to creep up the pay scale from #56 in chips at the start of the day to cash out in 42nd. Then I ran ace-king suited into the big stack’s aces and it was over. More than doubled my money.

Event #2 $25,000 Guaranteed NL Hold’em

Running on less than an hour’s sleep and playing poker for an hour was probably not the ideal time to enter a tournament that was likely to go on for 12 hours, but I did it. Got seated at the same table as Darrel Dier (@guano on X.com), who I met down here back in 2013 when (if I remember correctly) he was associated with the early days of the Chinook Winds series through the Deepstacks Poker Tour/Oregon State Poker Championship. That gave me the opportunity to show him the photo I took of the Greatest Poker Hair Assemblage of All Time, which I took while I was reporting at the WSOP back in 2016 (Darrel’s in seat 9).

My performance in the tournament wasn’t stellar, though I did still have it together enough to fold kings on a straighty-flushy low-card board when Darrel made a river overbet in a 3-way pot that got called by the other player in the hand (straight for Darrel vs. two pair).

Got aces cracked in another 3-way pot when the short stack’s ace-four flushed on the river. Doubled up with a Mutant Jack.

Brad Press had proposed a small last-longer/share at the start and I agreed. He paid me his $5 on the way out the door.

Managed to get up to twice the chip average by the dinner break, but seven hours in and still not in the money I was back down to 50K and 12bb. The bubble took an hour or more, with the count stuck at 47 (45 paid).

Things were really looking up when I caught aces in the big blind and the former table chip leader who’d been on a run of bad luck (and had made at least one dubious call to pay me off on a previous hand) shoved UTG1 with threes. That win knocked him out and put me over 20bb again.

Final hand I opened to 3.5bb with ace-jack and got one caller. The flop was 98X and I shoved 15bb, he called with middle pair and an ace, which seemed a little dubious to me, but then he won the hand, so what do I know? Out in 32nd place.

Two cashes for the day. Not big cashes, and I still need to win a good deal more to cover expenses, but it’s a start. 6-Max on Monday.

Congrats to Kao Saechao for the two-way deal and the win in Event #1.

Oh, and after expenses, I owe Brad $10.85.

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.