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.