#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for August 26th

The post-World Series of Poker lull in series schedules is over, and things are cranking up into high gear, even here in the Pacific Northwest, where big events are few and far-between. Of course, just like the last two years, venues are stepping on each others’ action, which just seems like it’s a detriment to the venues and the players. Two years ago, while the Deepstacks Poker Tour was operating out of Chinook Winds, they planted their fall series right in the middle of the only two WSOP Circuit events close to the NW (Lake Tahoe and Vancouver), which were already causing conflict by overlapping by a week. Last fall, the Fall Coast Classic at Chinook was the same weekend as Muckleshoot Casino’s Poker Summer Classic, and it’s happened again this year.

Chinook’s $550 buyin/$200 add-on Main Event has a $100K guarantee, and it seems to me that it would be easier for them to build that that if they could draw a wider range of players, including, say, those from Seattle. Muckleshoot’s $750 buyin Main Event has $20K added to the prize pool, is likely to have a larger prize pool (the last $750 event there on Hendon Mob had just over 200 entries); after player fees are deducted from the added money, the casino’s still likely to be kicking in $10K; and it’s a lot closer to Seattle. And when you consider travel time, the trip from Portland to Auburn isn’t that much longer than Portland to Lincoln City.

That’s not even mentioning the Heartland Poker Tour event at Thunder Valley getting under way just north of Sacramento, which is just as close to Ashland poker players as Lincoln City. No beach, of course.

Writing as a hardcore tournament junkie, I don’t want to have to choose.

Northern California Poker Belt: Deal of the Day

That last item leads into this week’s deal. There’s a lot of the pokers going on in NoCal next month, and if you’ve got some time mid-September you can bounce your way between San Jose, Reno (yes, technically Nevada), and Sacramento.

Under ideal traffic conditions (in the Bay Area and Sacto? right…) the drive from San Jose to Reno is just over four hours, with Sacramento halfway in-between. Tuesday, September 8th is the  start of the Bay 101 Open in San Jose (mentioned in the first of this month’s Planners); it runs through the 15th (the next Tuesday). The Heartland Poker Tour hits Reno’s Grand Sierra Resort on Thursday, September 10th, with the last flight of the Main Event starting Saturday September 19th. And, as mentioned, HPT will be at Thunder Valley in Lincoln, north of Sacramento, starting Monday the 14th, with Main Event flights on the 24th, 25th, and 26th (Thursday-Saturday).

Depending on your preferences, you could easily move between venues, sampling the action at each to see what suits yiou best (haven’t been there myself, but Thunder Valley has a great reputation). There are even options to get from city to city if you’d rather leave the driving to someone else, like Megabus that cost less than $15 to get from Sacramento to Reno. Megabus doesn’t serve San Jose, but you can get from the Santa Clara Caltrain station (on the other side of the San Jose airport from Bay 101) to within a block of the San Francisco Megabus pickup for less than $10 and about 90 minutes if the train’s an express.

This Week in Portland Poker

Nothing big off the usual schedule this week but:

  • Portland Players Club has a $40 buyin $1.5K guarantee Big O Deepstack tournament this Friday at 7:15.
  • Encore Club has announced that they’re bumping the guarantee on their weekday noon games from $1.5K to $2K, starting next Monday (September 1).
  • Final Table posted a note on Facebook that they’re planning a $100K guarantee (no date announced yet), and “many more Awesome changes!!!!” Hopefully, that won’t affect the $20K guarantee they’d normally have September 4th (though I can’t play this month).
  • Aces Full has no cover fee through the end of August as they ramp back up under new management.

Only a Day Away

Check out the Pacific Northwest Tournament Calendar for more poker…in the future.

#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for August 19

Only eleven-and-a-half weeks until the start of the November Nine (November 8th). Nearly a month before the ESPN coverage of the Main Event starts up (September 14). What to do in the meantime?

LA-bor Day: Deal of the Day

If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area the week before Labor Day (September 7th), you’ll be at the confluence of two major tournament series running at the Bicycle and Commerce casinos. There were still some inexpensive flights when we checked the other day, but you might want to shag down there in the car if you can for mobility.

At the Bike, the WPT Legends of Poker is wrapping up, with the $3.7K Main Event starting days on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (August 29th-31st), $400 mega satellites running that Friday (the 27th) through Monday, and the ability to buy into Day 2 directly at 25BB. Following the Main Event starts, there’s a $1.1K turbo. Plus, of course, all the cash games you can handle.

Wednesday, September 2nd, the Commerce Poker Series starts up. The two casinos are less than four miles apart, with a car you can hop between them easily, back to your hotel, off to the beach, whatever. The CPS starts off with a $200K guarantee ($350 buyin) with six starting flights that wraps up Sunday the 6th of September. Sunday also brings a $100K guarantee $350 buyin with $100 bounties (one-day event) and a couple of mega satellites for the $1.65K Main Event (which doesn’t begin until September 18th).

On Labor Day itself (September 7th) head home, take a day off, or play Day 1A of a $200K guarantee ($570 buyin) with three starting days with Day 2 on Thursday.

This Week in Portland Poker

Mostly just regularly-scheduled items, but here’s what’s out of the ordinary.

  • Saturday at noon is a tag-team NLHE tournament ($50 entry for the team) at Claudis’s Sports Pub on Hawthorne Blvd., sponsored by Oregon Poker Club. The two players on the team switch out each level. One out of six teams that enter get paid. The number of entries are limited. I played one of these at the WSOP a few years back; it was the bracelet-winner on the team who punted off our stack.
  • This Saturday at 1pm (August 22nd) at Encore Club is a $35K guarantee ($200 with re-entry, $80 addon).
  • If you’d prefer to get more cards for your money, Portland Players Club has its $2K guarantee Big O tournament ($100 buyin with live rebuys, $40 addon) at 5pm Saturday evening.

Only a Day Away

Check out the Pacific Northwest Tournament Calendar for more poker…in the future.

#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for August 12

Looking ahead, what’s going to be a good “investment” of time and energy for Portland tournament poker players?

Muckleshoot Summer Poker Classic: Deal of the Day

The Classic consists of five events starting September 16th:

  • Wednesday, September 16th. NLHE Shootout, $250 entry with $4K added to the prize pool.
  • Thursday, September 17th. NLHE, $200 entry with $4K added.
  • Friday, September 18th. NLHE, $300 entry with $5K added.
  • Saturday, September 19th. NLHE, $500 entry with $10K added.
  • Sunday, September 20th. NLHE, $750 entry with $20K added. Final table on Monday, September 21st.

Sadly, no Omaha tournament this series. What makes it a deal, though, is that beginning next Wednesday (August 19th), there will be $125 satellites for the series every Wednesday and Thursday evening through September 10th. The top 10% of satellite players get to choose between two options:

  1. Saturday Package. Entry into the $500 Saturday event and two of the Wednesday-Friday events.
  2. Sunday Package. Entry into the $750 Sunday event and one of the Wednesday-Friday events.

There are also $225 satellites running Sunday, September 13th (noon), Monday the 14th (7pm), and Tuesday the 15th (7pm) where the top 10% get entries into all five series events.

This Week in Portland Poker

  • Tonight, there’s a special $8K guarantee ($50 buyin, no rebuy, $25 addon) at Encore Club. They’ve also announced a $35K guarantee ($200 with re-entry, $80 addon) for August 22nd.
  • Saturday evening is a $3K guarantee special ($30 buyin with live rebuy, $20 addon) at Portland Players Club, which may not sound like much, but there are three feeder $500 guarantee freeroll satellites starting at 11am (2K starting stack with door fee, $10 optional pre-addon, $20 live rebuys, $20 addon). The top 5 players in each freeroll get a double stack in the $3K, $40 in cash, and entry into a last-longer pool. Coming up on the 22nd is a $2K guarantee Big O tournament ($100 buyin with live rebuys, $40 addon).

Only a Day Away

As usual, all these events are on the Pacific Northwest Tournament Calendar, with links.

#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for August 5

The Poker Mutant is always looking for the next big score (he kind of needs it these days), and as usual I was looking at my personal poker calendar, crossing off things that I’m not going to make it to (goodbye, Ante Up Thunder Valley Main Event!). Personal circumstance dictates my schedule’s not going to be as open as it has been over the past years, so I’m not going to be able to take off for a week at a time, which rather limits options for larger events and series. Driving makes it a lot easier to play an open-ended schedule, even if you need to have to spend a couple days in transit, but with shorter travel windows, that’s more difficult to manage.

Still, just like during the summer in Las Vegas, I’m planning ahead, so that I can be ready to take advantage of any opportunity that arises. Which means looking at schedules.

Bay 101 Open Main Event: Deal of the Day

What caught my eye today was the Main Event of the Bay 101 Open in San Jose. San Jose is a direct destination from PDX and there are usually a number of flights full of Intel folks shuttling between Hillsboro and the Bay Area. Once upon a time, I flew semi-regularly to SJC and San Francisco, sometimes just for day trips to trade shows.

The Bay 101 Open ME is an $1,000 + 100 buy-in NLHE tournament (with limited seating) that has two starting days: Saturday, September 12th and Sunday, September 13th, with Day 2 on Monday the 14th. Both starting days kick off at what might seem like and un-reasonable weekend 9:30am. Last year’s event had just over 500 entries, with a $500K prize pool and almost $100K going to the winner. There’s no guarantee, but this year’s winner gets a $7,500 seat to the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star tournament next spring.

Checking on Orbitz and Expedia, there were still a few seats on Alaska Airlines’ 6am flight PDX – SJC for just $150 RT. It’s scheduled to get in to San Jose before 8am, and the casino’s less than a 10-minute taxi ride. If you can lock down a seat on the plane and in the tournament, you’re ahead of me, I just don’t know what my schedule will be in mid-September.

This Week in Portland Poker

Special events coming up this weekend are:

  • $9K Guarantee NLHE ($60 buyin, no rebuy, $30 addon) at Encore Club on Thursday at 8pm (ignore the link above the graphic and the link on the graphic, their web person is missing some stuff lately). Friday night is the regular $15K ($60 buyin with 1 live rebuy, $30 addon) and regular schedules on Saturday and Sunday (a total of $20K of guarantees over 10 tournaments)
  • Final Table has the First Friday $20K ($100 buyin, 1 rebuy if felted, $50 addon)at 7pm. I personally like the structure of this tournament: it starts 200BB deep it’s nine-handed, and the M of the starting stack goes from 22 to 12 in the first round with antes instead of 25 to 8. And I really dislike live rebuys. I dislike rebuys period.
  • For those of you who want more cards, Portland Players Club has a $2K Guarantee Big O (aka The Devil’s Game) tournament Saturday at 5pm. $100 for 30K in chips, but it’s Big O, so you know you’ll probably need one or two $100 rebuys and a $40 20K addon.

Only a Day Away

As usual, all these events are on the Pacific Northwest Tournament Calendar, with links.


mckeehanAnother article for PokerNews, on how this year’s November Nine chip leader could guarantee himself $2 million more than he already has.

There was some discussion in the comments on the article about whether this was really a freeroll. Snickering that he’d paid $10K so it wasn’t a freeroll, quibbles about whether it’s “laddering” rather than freerolling, etc.

A “freeroll” is when you don’t have any expectation of loss. A “freeroll tournament” is where you cannot lose any money because the cost is literally free. You’re “freerolling” someone in a poker hand when you will gain chips no matter what the outcome of the board. Many players say they’re “freerolling” a tournament when they’re playing it out of the earnings of another tournament.

McKeehan cannot lose the million dollars he’s already earned for making the November Nine. But he could hit a series of bad hands and go out in fifth, in which case he’d only get another $900K. There’s practically no way he could bust out before that point if he did not play a single hand. That’s freerolling. It’s also laddering, but laddering doesn’t necessarily imply a lack of action as well as freerolling.