Riding Out the Surf

PacWest Poker Classic Event #1 $40K NLHE Day 1A

Made the drive down to Lincoln City again for what’s becoming a semi-annual series (long-time readers may remember I took 16th for a min-cash in the Main Event in fall 2013). Two years ago, Chinook Winds Casino partnered with Deepstacks Poker Tour to build out the first week-long poker series in Oregon outside of the long-running thrice-yearly series at Wildhorse in Pendleton. Deepstacks and Chinook appear to have come to a parting of the ways last year, but the casino ran a series on their own last fall, with some changes, a significant one being the Main Event buy-in being halved to $550 (with a $200 add-on after six levels) while dropping the guarantee from $150K to $100K. Deepstacks hadn’t made the guarantee in their last Main, even after putting sponsored pro Mike Matusow in for four buy-ins.

I missed the first of the series after Deepstacks pulled out, but made it down to the beach Saturday for the first flight in the opening event, a $40K guarantee with a second flight on Sunday and Day 2 on Monday. Lots of Portland players (and dealers) in a field that grew to  103 entries and re-entries.

CornholeI got off to a decent beginning, after initially not getting the 2K dealer appreciation chips I’d paid for on top of my 10K starting stack. By the first break two hours in, I had been up to 18K, then was down to 13K.  Ebb and flow. The mood was fairly convivial, I knew most of the dealers—even one who’d never been to Oregon before that I’d met at a WSOP Circuit event at Rincon—and several of the players at the table, including F in the 8 seat on my right, who I’ve played with a lot. Lots of joking about the Cornhole National Championship going on in the ballroom next door. They seemed to be having a good time, too.

I managed to knock out a desperate short stack in the second segment of the tournament, getting up as high as 30K before I had to lay down a couple of hands (including QxQx on the button after my pre-flop 3-bet was called by the original raiser and there were two aces on the board by the turn, c’est la vie). Back down to 15K by the second break, when we got the add-on, which was an unusually large 20K. Double up plus!

A pre-flop raise with AxKx and post-flop all-in bet with top two got an “aw, fuck it” call from QxQx that put me up to 80K. Then I raised with 9T got five callers, flopped T[9dx]4x, bet 10K and another “aw, fuck it” from F on my left and I called his 30K all-in. Qx on the turn kept the odds 2:1 even, but a river Kx chopped half my stack out from under me.

With a quarter of the field left and about 12BB I started shoving anything I had. Did a couple shoves with drawing hands over some pre-flop limps, then shoved with AxAx and showed it. Got into non-shoving territory and failed to call with A9 that would have been a winner with trips on the board. Finally got a caller with QxQx from a guy who was obviously annoyed by my shoves and thought he’d finally caught me with his 9x9x He was just about right, as a nine showed up on the turn, but I rivered a queen to pull back ahead and double up.

The original word from the staff was that they were going to play to level 15 or 10% of the field, but we got word after the dinner break that they were going to pull the plug at 20, since there was still a second day. We had just under 6 of the 40 minutes in level 12 left when we were stopped.

2015 PacWest Poker Classic #1 Day 1A


Ended the day as one of the two short stacks at the table with 51K. Guy on my right (no longer F) was table leader with 187K.  The tournament director dropped down a bunch of bags at the table for our chips, then when he saw my stack he took the full-size bag (see one at right) away and replaced it with a half-size bag (see lower left). Why must everybody laugh at my mighty sword?

poker bag

Had a family thing back in the valley Sunday, so it was home to Portland after the day was over. I’m going to have to make the five-hour round trip drive again, at least to play my 17BB stack (well, 17BB for two or three hands, then only 12BB). May be a short Day 2 for me. I expect they’ll probably get a slightly larger turn-out for Day 1B, we should have about 50 players coming back to Day 2, with a third to half of us out of the money. If I bust early, I’ll late-reg the noon bounty tournament. There’s a 6-Max on Tuesday!

Still in the game. 103 entries, 52 add-ons. $25,800 contributed to the prize pool. Nine hours.