#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for September 30

For whatever reason, I’ve never gotten into the bar poker scene, despite the fact that I live within walking distance of the One Good Hand games at Claudia’s on Hawthorne Blvd.  So I was completely unaware of the World Tavern Poker Open 21 until I ran across it on the November schedule at Hendon Mob.

The Open (November 7-11) combines players from regional leagues in Texas, California and other West Coast states, the Midwest, and the UK for a series of low buy-in events at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Locally, it looks like there are participating establishments in Milwaukie, Canby, and Oregon City. It’s a slick-looking operation, at least, with a number of WSOP Main Event seats up for grabs by players who qualify for the Tournament of Champions, held at the Open.

You don’t need to be a member of a league to play the dozen or so non-championship events at the Open, though you do need to purchase either a WLPC Poker or WLPC Full pass ($55 or $85) to register for events (the Full pass gets you into the party at the Hard Rock). Tournaments on the schedule range from $50 to $125 for buyins, with guarantees just in the $7.5K to $25K. There’s a Double-Shot tournament (one free re-entry); a Tag Team event; a Run It Twice event where only the top 24 players are paid half the prize pool, then they play it out again for the other half;  and the ever-popular All In or Fold.

This is not a series about life-changing money. Most of the tournaments are incredibly fast structures on 15 or 20 minute levels. But it could be kind of entertaining to plop down in the middle of a bunch of drunken reprobates in Vegas for a long, lost weekend of relatively cheap poker.

NorCal Redux: Deal of the Day

The end of the Wildhorse Fall Poker Round Up (last week’s Deal), coincides with a couple of week-long series in Northern California that run from mid-November until the end of the month.

First up is the WPTDeepstacks stop in Redding at the Win-River Resort & Casino, November 14-23. The photos of the poker room certainly look elegant (though there’s no guarantee the tournaments will be held in them). The schedule hasn’t yet been released, but the Main Event runs  the 20th-23rd, just before Thanksgiving, with a $1.1K buyin and a $150K guarantee.

Redding’s a seven-hour drive from Portland (nine or ten from Pendleton), and it puts you in striking distance of Thunder Valley Casino, where the Ante Up Poker Tour holes up November 21-29. The schedule and structures for the series are already available. In addition to Hold’em, there are PLO8, HORSE, and Limit O8 tournaments. The Main Event runs two days with the start on the 28th. It’s also a $1.1K entry and $150K guarantee. Lots of satellites scheduled.

Skip Thanksgiving (November 26) dinner; you can call home to say: “Sorry, Ma. Can’t carve the turkey. I’m carving up the table!

This Week in Portland Poker

  • The big event this week is the First Friday $20K at Final Table. $100 buyin, one rebuy if felted, and a $50 addon at the first break. It’s easily one of the better-value tournaments in the city, both because it don’t allow live rebuys and because of the structure. Thursday, October 1, the $20 buyin 11am tournament doubles the guarantee to $1K and the 7pm $40 buyin triples to a $4.5K guarantee. Their website is undergoing changes, right now it’s kind of unusable on iOS devices. LATE ADDITION: Just got a blast email from FT announcing the return of their 1pm Big O tournament (starting 10/5, Monday to Friday); re-entry on their 7pm tournaments which were previously freezeouts; changes to their regular Friday night tournament; and a $10K $4K Saturdays at 1pm, with $40 buyin, three rebuys, and a $40 addon.
  • Saturday at 12:15 at Portland Players Club is a special $1K guarantee freeroll. Your door fee gets you 2K in chips, there are $10 live rebuys (4K) and a $20 addon of 12K at the first break.
  • Nothing special’s been announced at Encore Club yet for this week, but they did post a $35K guarantee event ($200 entry/re-entry, $80 addon) for Saturday, October 10th.
  • Aces Full Poker Club has been holding $2K guarantees at noon on Fridays with a $20 buyin and 2 live rebuys (no addon).
  • The Game (on SW Barbur, formerly Ace of Spades) doesn’t get mentioned here much, because they don’t have many big tournament specials, but I’m throwing them in to round things out, and because they might have the earliest start times for shootout tournaments in town. $5 cover if you’re registered before 11:30am.
  • Oh, and Big Stacks Players Club on N. Lombard: 7pm tournaments every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, with a 5pm game on Saturday.

Only a Day Away

  • The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza 3.5 runs until October 4th. A 3-day $1.6K buyin $400K guarantee event has starting days Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Next Tuesday is the beginning of the last large-guarantee event, a 2-day $250K guarantee with $250 buyin and five starting days.
  • The Card Player Poker Tour/Bicycle Casino Big Poker Oktober has entry days into their inaugural $300K event today through Friday. Sunday is a $50K guarantee, with mostly $150 buyin events over the next week.
  • Deepstacks Poker Tour is running a non-WPT-affiliated event at Casino Yellowhead in Edmonton, Alberta (airport code: YEG) starting Thursday. While it sounds like that’s a long way off, Edmonton’s closer to Portland than Las Vegas, though there aren’t any direct flights. I fount RT tickets bracketing the C$200K guaranteed Main Event (US$148K) for just over US$500. Buyin for the main is C$1.5K, which is just over US$1.1K. As the days get cooler, Edmontonians might be moving inside to play some casino games. Go before it gets down to -40°.

Check out the Pacific Northwest Tournament Calendar for more poker.

#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for September 23rd

It was a big week for Portland/Oregon players, though not necessarily here at home. First off, this, via dealer extraordinaire Devin Sweet:


The Chinook Winds Fall Coast Classic Main Event made it well over the $100K guarantee, exceeding my expectations, for which I am grateful, because that would signal that the series as a whole was successful and that they’ll still be doing them when I get an opportunity to get down there again. Andrew Johnson was the winner (h/t tournament director Rebecca May’s Facebook post). Devin posted a photo of the final table; I can see a couple of faces (and backs of heads) that I recognize….

Rep Porter took down the Muckleshoot Summer Poker Classic Main Event on Monday.

Steve Chanthabouasy went deep in the Commerce Poker Series $500K Main Event over the weekend, starting Day 2 in 7th place of the 56 remaining (from 393 entries) but ending early in 29th. Former Portland player Jeff Dobrin made the final table of another WSOP Circuit Ring event, at the Palm Beack Kennel Club in Florida, placing 8th of 615 entries. And perennial favorite Angela Jordison has taken first place in yet another tournament, this time in a Heartland Poker Tour PLO8 side event at Grand Sierra in Reno.


Wildhorse Fall Poker Round Up: Deal of the Day

It’s been around for years. And some of the players there have been around for a lot longer. But it’s still—so far as I can tell—the biggest poker festival in the Northwest, which, for much of the year looks kind of like a poker desert so far as large events are concerned. Yet Wildhorse keeps plugging along, running three series a year on the far side of the state.

The schedule for the latest Round Up is out, running November 5-15, and featuring eight $200 events, a $300 NLHE tournament, and a $500 Main Event, along with High Roller game they added a couple years back. And there are a couple $100 events, satellites, and a fair amount of cash action.

Pendleton isn’t Vegas and Wildhorse isn’t exactly the Venetian. The no-alcohol policy in the casino might come as a shock to players used to playing with a steady stream of beer or mixed drinks in their hands. The casino complex is eight miles from downtown Pendleton, and there aren’t accommodations nearby, so if you stay somewhere else for your trip because the hotel’s full or you want something less expensive, you’ve got a little driving to do. At least you won’t be snockered going back to your hotel. You also won’t be pestered by hordes of people passing out flyers for “girls delivered to your room” in downtown Pendleton. It’s an environment almost designed to force you to concentrate on your poker game.

The tournaments themselves are larger than what can be run in any of the Portland venues. Last fall’s opening $100 event had 566 entries, and event the smaller spring opener (the first of the three tournaments in a row Angela Jordison won in Pendleton this year) had 533. The larger $300 and $500 events at the end both had more than 350 entries, with respective prize pools of $110K and $190K. Mid-week events are smaller, in the 200-entry range, down to something over 100 for HORSE, and about 65 for the High Roller.

For those who haven’t made the trip before, Pendleton is about three hours east of Portland, depending on traffic. Rooms at the casino’s hotel run a minimum of $100/night mid-week and more on weekends; they tend to fill up during the Fall Round Up. There are a number of hotels in the $55-$75 range at the Pendleton exits and in downtown, but as mentioned, a bit of a drive. If you’re traveling with others, you need to shuttle back and forth somehow or wait for everyone to finish what they’re doing (which can make the rooms at the resort look pretty attractive).

Wildhorse and Seaport Airlines have teamed up to offer a flight/room package deal the past couple of years, and it looks like it’s still on. Round-trip airfare for two (about a 70-minute flight each direction) Tuesday-Thursday, one night at the casino, breakfast, $40 FreePlay, and a free shuttle each direction between Pendleton airport and the casino. All for $185.85 (and up). That’s about $100 cheaper than just buying the plane tickets. You have to call to make reservations; presumably you can extend the stay somehow for the right price. Seaport flies out of its own building at PDX, so there aren’t the kinds of lines you get in the main terminal. You can save yourself some driving and devise a strategy to keep Angela from rolling over you.

This Week in Portland Poker

Not a lot of pre-announced specials:

  • Portland Players Club has a $1K freeroll on Friday at noon for the low-budget Hold’em player. A $5 membership gets you 2K in chips (as well as entry to the club for the entire day). You can get a pre-game 2K add-on for $5, and unlimited live rebuys ($10 for 4K) are available when you’re at or under 4K. Saturday, things go to the other extreme, for a $2K guarantee, $100 buyin, 30K deepstack Big O Hi/Lo tournament (#devilsgame).
  • Encore Club’s Friday night $14K guarantee and Saturday night $8K guarantee (both 8pm, both $60 buyin/live rebuy, $30 addon, 15K chips) for the next several weeks have prize pool carve-outs of seats into next month’s $100K and $50K guarantees (respectively). NOTE: Encore has added an $8K guarantee tonight (Wednesday) at 8pm.

Other than that, it’s pretty much regular schedules, as players from Chinook and Muckleshoot try to run it up on the road or lick their wounds at home. Look for some last-minute announcements of specials like the $2K 11am game Final Table ran yesterday.

Only a Day Away

  • The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza 3.5 runs until October 4th. A 3-day $1.6K buyin $400K guarantee event has starting days Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Next Tuesday is the beginning of the last large-guarantee event, a 2-day $250K guarantee with $250 buyin and five starting days.
  • HPT Thunder Valley runs through the weekend, with the main event starting tomorrow. Entry is $1.65K, and Saturday is the last starting day. Monday is the final table.
  • The Card Player Poker Tour/Bicycle Casino Big Poker Oktober has entry days into their inaugural $300K event today through Friday. Sunday is a $50K guarantee, with mostly $150 buyin events over the next week.

Check out the Pacific Northwest Tournament Calendar for more poker.

#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for September 16th

WSOP Coverage

Sixteen hour-long episodes of the Main Event air at 5pm and 6pm (Pacific time) on various days of the week through November 1st. If you missed the premiere this week, both episodes are scheduled to run again at 10pm and 11pm on Thursday (September 17). The first three weeks run on ESPN2; after that they run on ESPN.

Coverage of the final table will show on ESPN with a 30-minute delay at 5:30pm on Sunday, November 8th, with more at 8pm the same day. Coverage re-starts at 5pm Monday the 9th, and at 6:30pm on the 10th.

Encore $40K

Congrats to SM and BP—who I met through the blog—for their cashes in the Encore $40K guarantee last Saturday. SM made the top eight players, who chopped for more than $5K apiece. Wasn’t able to play it myself, but after work, I got there just as BP busted, and railed SM for a while before I headed home.

20150912 Encore 40K

Muckleshoot v. Chinook

Today is the opening of both the Muckleshoot Poker Summer Classic in Auburn, Washington (south of Seattle and east of Tacoma) and the Chinook Winds Fall Poker Classic at the coast in Lincoln City, Oregon. I’m not going to make either of them, due to work and family considerations, but I was asked the other night which I would play. Chinook is the only one running anything other than full-ring NLHE this time around, with a Big O tournament today, Limit Omaha Hi-Lo tomorrow, and a 6-Max NLHE game Friday. They’re also the only one with guarantees ($100K for the Main Event on Saturday).  Muckleshoot, though, draws on a player base from the entire Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia metro area and adds money to the prize pool. As I write this Tuesday morning, there are three cash tables running (two 4-8 HE and one 3-5 HE, according to the Bravo Poker Live app). The buy-in for the Main Event at both venues is essentially the same: $550 (with re-entry) and a $200 add-on at Chinook; $750 at Muckleshoot, but while Chinook has just squeaked into their guarantees since the days when it was a Deepstacks Poker Tour event, at Muckleshoot the last reported $750 Main Event had a prize pool of more than $140K. 160 mile drive to Auburn v. 100 miles to Lincoln City, more cash games (usually including Omaha) v. small cash room, big fields with just NLHE v. small events and a few non-NLHE games. I’d have to pick Muckleshoot. But whatever your choice (if you get to choose at all), have a great weekend. (NOTE: You can pre-purchase your tickets to the Chinook series online.)

$100Ks in Portland: Deal of the Day

I was going to pick a couple of concurrent Reno events for this week (Jason Somerville’s Run it Up Reno and the ElDorado Resorts Poker Challenge) but then Final Table announced the latest incarnation of their $100K guarantee for the weekend the Reno series are running, and not having to leave town beats leaving town.

ft100k11am on October 24th at Final Table Poker Club on SE 122nd & Division in Portland. $100K guarantee, $300 buyin, one rebuy if felted, $100 addon at break. When it ran in March, this tournament got 310 entries (I came in 252nd after playing almost four hours!) and had a prize pool of $133,550.

The week after that is the Encore Poker Series VII, four days of events with a total of $200K in guarantees, with the $100K main event on IMG_2403Sunday, November 1st. Buyin is $500, with a $200 addon. Sorry, I don’t have stats on the first of these they ran in April during EPS VI, I didn’t get the chance to play it. Encore has a more limited space, but it should get a couple hundred entries in, with alternates, which would make the guarantee, with at least another $30K in addons.

The end of October looks to be a little exciting.


I don’t like to toot my own horn (lately, there hasn’t been much of a reason to toot) but I did have the chip lead in two HU chops Monday night, which gives me some amount of satisfaction even if they weren’t huge numbers. ADDENDUM: On the other hand, it took me a total of five hands to blow through my buyin and rebuy in Tuesday night’s 10pm….

20150914 Encore 10pm

This Week in Portland Poker

With a lot of the serious players out of town for Chinook or Muckleshoot, I expect things to be a little quiet here, but if you can’t make it out to the coast or up north:

Only a Day Away

  • The Commerce Poker Series is running until Sunday at Commerce Casino in City of Commerce (LA) until the 20th. Thursday is the start of the $1.65K buyin $500K Main Event.
  • The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza 3.5 runs until October 4th. The big event this weekend is the $600 NLHE with a $150K guarantee.
  • The HPT is at Grand Sierra Resort in Reno until Monday, with $1.65K flights to the main event on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (2 flights). HPT Thunder Valley started yesterday and runs through the 28th; a $200K guarantee there ($425 buyin) has starting flights Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
  • As mentioned above, the Chinook Winds Fall Coast Classic and Muckleshoot Poker Summer Classic start today. Chinook runs through Sunday. Muckleshoot ends Monday.
  • Card Player Poker Tour and the Bicycle Casino start up Big Poker Oktober on Monday with a $250 buyin, $300K guarantee. Two starting flights each day Monday through Thursday, with 10% of the field making it to Day 2. Next Friday the 25th has two $550 flights getting more chips, with 20% of the field merging with the earlier flights on Saturday (or you can buy in directly to Day 2 for $2.4K). If you qualify in more than one Day 1 flight, you get $2.5K in cash.

Check out the Pacific Northwest Tournament Calendar for more poker.

#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for September 9th

My opportunities to get out for the big tournaments have been curtailed lately by a new work schedule (no $20K at Final Table last week, I’m missing the $40K at Encore Saturday, and the Chinook and Muckleshoot series have double whammies on them) but when I have made it into public, I’ve gotten great feedback on the Planner from people in Portland clubs. Please keep the acknowledgments coming; they’re my only payment for combing the Internet to keep the calendar up to date.

Aria High Roller XV and XVI: Deal of the Day

Yes, the Wildhorse has a “High Roller” event. They’ve been $2K or less for the buyin. Heck, even I played one. But I’m fairly certain that nobody reading this is an habitué of $25K buyin events like the Aria High Rollers.

Aria’s held a dozen $25K events since last December, with anywhere from 12 to more than 40 entrants. There will be two held on consecutive days, on October 1st and 2nd (a Thursday and Friday). The format is a one-day event starting with 100K in chips, 40-minute levels, and ten-minute breaks between each level. They’ve announced for previous events that if you register before 2pm, Aria waives the $1K registration fee, so you can save yourself enough to cover airfare and a room.

The most recently-completed event—High Roller XII—ran in mid-August, got 21 entrants, and resulted in a three-way chop, with John Morgan (my nemesis from the Wynn), Charles Keith Lehr, and David “Doc” Sands each taking about $168K (Lehr won $300K the previous day in High Roller XI).

Poker Telegraph has commentary on several of the events, including the most recent. According to their write-up, HR XII ran from 2pm until just about 11pm, ending in Level 14. For a profit of more than $140K, that’s about $16K/hour. HRXI (27 entries) played down to a 2-way (uneven) chop with Lehr getting $300K and Issac Baron $218K (and Cary Katz and Martin de Knijf taking $97K and $32K, respectively), and went until just after midnight.

A median-position cash (halfway between the top money and the bottom payout) in a small tournament is typically better than in a game with more than a hundred entries. It’s why high roller tournaments are a more attractive option for players who can afford them, whether they know it or not.

And if you have some money burning a hole in your pocket after Chinook or Muckleshoot, the chance to quintuple your money in less time than it takes to play this weekend’s $40K might just be something to take a look at.

This Week in Portland Poker

This is what’s happening in town.

  • Saturday at 1pm is the big $40K guarantee at Encore. $250 buyin, $80 addon. (Their Labor Day $9K guarantee ended up with nearly $19K in the prize pool and a scheduled top payout of almst $5K. Friday’s noon game with the new $2K guarantee and $40 buyin/rebuy was over $5.8K in the prizepool).
  • Over at Portland Players Club, there’s a $2K guarantee Big O tournament ($100 buyin/rebuy, $40 addon) at 5pm.

Only a Day Away

  • Tonight and tomorrow (7pm both nights) are the last evening series satellites for next week’s Muckleshoot Poker Classic. Sunday at noon, and Monday and Tuesday at 7pm,the casino is running $225 mega satellites for entry to all five events.
  • The Commerce Poker Series is running at Commerce Casino in City of Commerce (LA) until the 20th. Tomorrow is the $500K guarantee $1.1K buyin Playboy tournament. Next weekend is the start of the $1.65K buyin $500K Main Event.
  • The HPT Golden Gates started Friday in Colorado, which overlaps the HPT series at Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, starting tomorrow. And coming right up on Monday is the return for the HPT to Sacramento
  • The Bay 101 Open got under way yesterday.
  • The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza 3.5 runs from September 10th to October 4th; dates for the DSE VI are October 26 to November 25 (the day before Thanksgiving).
  • The Chinook Winds Fall Coast Classic starts next Wednesday. $100K guarantee Main Event, with the entry on Saturday the 19th, $550 buyin with $200 addon.

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

#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for September 1st


No long diatribe to start the Planner today, just watch John (@LuckBoxJuanda) come from behind to take down the first event of the European Poker Tour Season 12. 700 minutes of poker bossing with the video lagging about 6 seconds behind the audio.

Orbiting Planet Hollywood: Deal of the Day


I’m looking a little farther ahead than usual for this deal because the World Series of Poker just released its schedule for the mid-November Planet Hollywood Las Vegas stop on the WSOP Circuit, one of three remaining west of the Rockies this calendar year (the other two are late October/early November at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe and early December at the Bicycle Casino in LA).

The series at Planet Hollywood kicks off with a $580  buyin $500K guarantee Circuit ring event with two flights on each of three days and unlimited re-entries (November 12-14, with second day on November 15). The guarantee on the $1,675 Main Event (starting days on November 20-21, with final on November 23) for the stop has been increased this year from $1M to $1.5M.

What caught my attention for Portland tournament players, however, was the return of a non-ring Dealer’s Choice 6-Max event with a $250 buyin. The mix includes eleven games, ranging through Hold’em, PLO (including Big O), Stud games, 2-7 Triple Draw, and Badugi. It’s a 2-day event starting November 17. Last year, it was run as a $365 buyin ring event and drew 113 entries.

While the buyin’s been dropped by more than 30% and you can’t win a Circuit ring for Dealers Choice, the event is joined on the schedule by some complementary tournaments. It’s preceded November 16 by the $365 PLO ring tournament (138 entries last year).

The next day (November 18) is the new $365 Monster Stack event (20K starting stack instead of the usual 10K for that buyin). That evening is the non-ring PLO3, rotating between PLO, PLO8, and Big O every seven hands. It’s a single-day event, $250 buyin, played 7-Max, with unlimited rebuys.

So if you’re mostly interested in playing some Omaha and other mixed games around a lot of people who probably don’t play as much of them as you do, plot out November 16-19. Flights to Vegas are cheaper mid-week; rooms are a lot less expensive, and while the schedule hasn’t been posted yet, the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza IV should be running up the block.

This Week in Portland Poker

This is what’s happening in town.

  • Friday is the First Friday $20K at Final Table. 7pm start time, $100 buyin, one rebuy if felted, $50 rebuy.
  • Saturday at Portland Players Club is another of their $3K NLHE guarantees with satellites. $30 gets you a buyin to the 6:15pm event. Freeroll satellites run at 11am, 1pm, and 3:30pm; each has a $500 guarantee, the top 5 players get a double stack into the $3K and $40 cash.
  • Encore Club bumped the guarantee on their weekday noon games from $1.5K to $2K, as of today. UPDATE: After this post was written, Encore posted notices on their web site for an $8K guarantee for Wednesday, September 2nd at 8pm ($50 buyin, no rebuy, $25 addon), and a $40K guarantee on Saturday September 12th, at 1pm ($250 buyin, $80 addon).

Only a Day Away

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