Big Chance

Encore Club $15K NLHE (T15,000)

Due to some non-poker obligations, I wasn’t able to make it down to Lincoln City this weekend to play the Chinook Winds Fall Coast Classic main event ($540 buy-in and a $100K guarantee). I thought about going down just Friday for the 6-Max NLHE, but with a buy-in of just $115, it didn’t seem worthwhile for five-plus hours in transit, considering that the 6-Max I bubbled last spring only had about 140 entries (SM wrote me and said they got 145 entries yesterday). So I was pleased when I got the text from Encore announcing a $15K for Friday night; not only did I not have to drive so far, but just the guarantee was bigger than the 6-Max (though I do love short-handed play….)

I didn’t get much early in the game, made a few calls and folds in the first 45 minutes and I was down 1,000 (blinds started at 100/100 with 25-minute rounds).

Hand 18 [8s 7s] UTG3 T14,000 100/200
Called 200 multi-way pre-flop, then another 800 on [2h 7d as] flop, but folded to a bet of 1,900 on a non-spade, non-7 turn.

Hand 21 [jx jx] BB T13,000 200/400
Action folded around to CO, who bet 1,200. I 3-bet 4,000, he thought about it and called. The flop was jack-high and uncoordinated, he shoved all-in and I called and flipped over my set. He looked kind of sheepish with the [ax qx], and I doubled up.

Hand 26 [8x 8x] UTG4 T26,900 200/400
I opened to 1,200, getting 3 calls. The flop was [7x 9x Jx], it was checked to me and I bet 2,500 to take the pot.

I had 30K going into the first break, the end of re-buys (the structure for this game allows live re-buys at any time, and has an add-on for another T10K). I’m on a no re-buy, no-add-on kick at the moment. It means I don’t have as many chips as I could have at this point in the tournament, but even though most of the players would do both the single allowable re-buy and the add-on, I’d still have 50BB coming back after the break, it maximizes my ROI, and it just means that if I do get short it happens at an earlier time in the tournament, which I’m okay with.

Hand 30 [kh qh] UTG1 T30,200 300/600/100
A costly hand I got into with a reg on my immediate left. I raised to 2,000 and he was the only caller. The flop was [ts 8h 5d], and I bet 2,500 on my air. He called. [7x] on the turn and I shot another barrel of 4,000. [7x] on the river and I gave up, he bet 12,000 and I folded.

Hand 35 [as jh] CO T20,300 300/600/100
Raised to 2,000 and took the pot.

Hand 37 [8s td] UTG4 T22,600 300/600/100
Didn’t play this one, but kicked myself when the [th td 8h] flop hit.

Hand 38 [ac js] UTG3 T22,500 300/600/100
AJo is a little lower than I like to play normally at 10-handed tables, and there was a lot of action ahead of me, then the guy on my left made a 4-bet, so I was feeling good about being out of the hand.

Hand 43 [as jh] BB T22,100 400/800/100
What was I just saying about AJo? Three times in less than ten hands has to be some sort of record. Anyway, I called a raise pre-flop, the board was [qx 9x 8x] and I bet. By the time action got back around to me, there were two all-in stacks about my size. I called it off on my over card and gut-shot draw, the guy on my left tabled [kh qh] (the hand I’d had when he took 8,500 off of me) and a smaller stack down the table had [qx 9x], which ended up taking the main pot.

20140926 Encore $15K

Two hours and five minutes, 43 hands. 132nd of 159 entries. -100% ROI.

Otherwise, this week’s gone relatively well. In addition to winning my games at Players Club and Aces Full the other day, I chopped a Final Table $1K. And though I missed the Chinook series, there’s a 6-max during the Tulalip Poker Pow Wow on Monday, with a Seniors tournament on Tuesday, and what should be a big $540 two-entry-day main next weekend.

Keep Your Hands to Yourself

Crapped out of both the Encore Club $40K and the Final Table anniversary $50K about half-way through each. The prize pools were $48K and $75.5K, respectively, the latter of which was pretty decent for a $150 buy-in. I would have been happy to cash in either one, of course.

The $50K went along OK-ish. I rebought early on, after squeezing all-in from SB with [ac kc] over an EP raise to 300 got three calls and a 3-bet to 2,200 from the BTN. BTN had [ax ax] and while I got two clubs on the board by the turn, I wasn’t able to crack the aces. I cruised along with the new stack and stayed above average for four more hours, then saw a flop of [jh 9h 8c] multi-way from SB with [7h 8h]. I should have bet to show some strength, but it was checked around to BTN (different guy, the guy with aces had busted by then) and he shoved for about half my stack. I re-shoved, he had [9x tx] with no hearts, and the pair of nines held up to the river. I was down to about 20BB and out in ten more minutes.

After busting from the $50K, I went to Portland Players Club and caught their $20 Saturday Freezeout (no rebuy, no add-on). Only eight players and one payout. One guy was the father of a kid who had another stack. The kid was busy playing the earlier Big O game, his dad was talking about how great a player the kid was and as we got down to four stacks he wanted to open the number of payouts up. The dad busted, then SuperKid, and the other guy and I chopped it.

The former Aces Players Club has been re-opened and re-branded as Aces Full Players Club. I didn’t have a chance to get there the opening week, but was happy with my first excursion where I played out the full tournament and took a true first place with no chop for the first time in a while. I had a pretty massive chip lead by the time I got to HU, pushed all-in post-flop holding [kc 4s] on a [5h 6c 3d] board and beat out [ad 8d] when [4c] came on the river. I think the guy who took second was just happy to be there, since he’d been the smallest stack at 3-handed and the other large stack had been a bit of a dick about how good he was. I know I shouldn’t let that stuff affect me—and I don’t think it made any difference in my decisions about how to play against him—but I did have to suppress a chuckle when I knocked him out in third. And there was $80 in overlay….

20140922 Aces Full $600 NLHE last hand

20140922 Aces Full $600 NLHE

Two wins in a row still didn’t make up for money sunk in the $50K. I played the PPC $1K Big O tournament later, then got out after three rebuys in 45 minutes and headed over to Encore Club for their $1K Bounty tournament.

It wasn’t a good game for me. I got top pair/top kicker in against a set early on, rebought, then struggled through the 3-table field to the final table as one of the shorter stacks. I hadn’t picked up a single bounty (difficult to do when you don’t have enough chips to knock anyone out), although I’d done damage a couple of times to people who ended up giving their bounties to someone else. I learned my lesson about not chasing bounties at the Venetian a couple of years back, though, so I wasn’t worried. I was in seat 3, biding my time for that playable hand when the guy in seat 2—someone I thought of at the time as an “older gent” though he probably doesn’t have that many years on me—reached out to pull back his cards as my second card was being pitched. It was the typical card-hits-hand-flips-an-ace scenario. [ah] in this case. I look at my cards after the dealing’s done and my bottom card is [as], with the replacement for the other ace being a [7c]. I toss it and fume while I watch two smaller stacks get into it, with one shoving, the other re-shoving, and me in a position to call them both if I’d made a raise with, say, a pair of aces. It’s [ks js] against [jh th], a pair of tens is the winner, the smaller stack doubles through the larger, and if the bozo in seat 2 hadn’t been in such a hurry to grab the cards that he threw away pre-flop, I would have taken us down to eight players, nearly tripled my stack, and not been so vulnerable that I had to shove [ax qx] fifteen minutes later, going up against [ax kx], catching a queen on the flop but losing to Broadway in the river and getting knocked down to less than a big blind. Fumble-fingers was gone in tenth, I was out ninth, and the guy who won the hand was chipping up rapidly.

Keep your damn, dirty hands out of the pitch.

Chinook Winds Fall Classic starts today, with a $100K Main Event this weekend, a Big O tournament tomorrow, and 6-Max and Omaha Hi-Lo on Friday. Muckleshoot’s Summer Poker Classic kicks off tomorrow, with $55K added to prize pools in four events. And the Tulalip Poker Pow Wow gets going Saturday, with a week’s worth of tournaments, 6-Max and Stud on Monday, PLO and PLO8 on Wednesday, HORSE and Crazy Pineapple on Thursday, and a Main Event next Friday and Saturday.


I’ve played three $20K guarantees in the past nine days and cashed two, though they were sadly both just min-cashes. Having three $20K events in Portland in that short a time is unusual, but with the demise (at least temporarily) of the tournament scene at Aces Players Club, the rivalry between Final Table and Encore Club seems to be heating up, plus there all all those NW tournament series coming up in the next couple months (everything mentioned before, plus the recently announced West Coast Poker Championship at the Edgewater in Vancouver, BC) locals are looking to build their bankrolls.

Encore text-messaged their list about bumping their $6K guarantees on both of the past Fridays to $15K with no increase in price, when the regularly-scheduled Final Table $20K was running. It didn’t seem to affect either club; from what I hear, Encore was full both nights and the guarantee at Final Table was met both weeks. Then Encore sent out a notice last night upping their Saturday night $8K to $20K, again with no price increase. I’d been planning to lay low for the rest of the weekend, but I had to go.

I have to say, I still far prefer the structure at Final Table (and that’s not just because I cashed there and didn’t at Encore). Encore allows a live rebuy, the levels are 20 minutes long, and the antes kick in after the 25 chips have been colored up. Final Table requires players to be busted before allowing a rebuy, levels are 25 minutes, and antes start at 25. Encore’s much more of a turbo structure. Event the 11am Final Table tournament has 25-minute levels. You might not think an extra 5 minutes would make much of a difference, but it’s a 25% increase in time between blinds. There’s a difference.

Still, I was doing well at the first break of the Encore game, made a bad move at one point, lost more than half my stack, recovered, then got out-drawn with [as js] vs. [ks ts] by the big stake at the table and never made it back. I did get a king-high straight flush.

The other thing that’s annoying me lately about Encore is the tendency to send out text messages sometime in the afternoon of their special events. If I sign up for a “VIP” list, why am I hearing about events by word-of-mouth before I get the messages? Word’s getting out via players who hear about events from dealers and staff, but if you can’t be there every day, what’s special about the list? I kind of like to plan ahead a little, and getting a text three or four hours before a game just drives me crazy. I have a poker calendar, for heck’s sake. Again, I know it’s not hurting their attendance since they sell out, but geez.

Anyway, because I was kvetching here about the length of the tournament structure last night at Encore, I did check their web site and see that there’s a notice for a $40K anniversary event next Saturday. Thirty-minute blind levels. No rebuy. Might have been a good opportunity to mention it last night at the $20K, but no matter. It hasn’t been announced on the “VIP” list, either.