I’m a sucker for innovation, and I heard about something the other day that—even if Montreal wasn’t already one of my travel goals—would put the Canadian capitol on my radar.
partypoker was one of the first online poker sites, but they saw the writing on the wall and pulled out of the US long before Black Friday, after the 2006 passage of the UIGEA. They have moved tentatively into the regulated US market in recent years, with a toehold in New Jersey. partypoker never left Europe or Canada however, and as PokerStars seems to have faltered since its acquisition by Amaya Gaming, partypoker has stepped up to challenge them on the live poker front.
The partypoker Million North America is coming to what has become the premiere tournament venue in Canada: Playground Poker Club outside Montreal. The partypoker Million has a C$5M guarantee ($3.75M in US currency, with C$1M guaranteed for first place). The buyin is C$5,300 (US$3,980) for 1M in chips (with starting days on 5 & 6 May), but the innovative thing about the tournament is how you can buy in for lesser amounts.
Yes, there are the usual mega satellites, but there are also several days of Phase I entries. From 2–4 May, you can enter a Phase I tournament for C$550. You receive 100K in chips (starting at 200bb deep) then play down to 10% of the field. Instead of survivors winning a seat and starting Day 1 with 1M chips, they start with whatever chips they’ve won in Phase 1. The average stack from the Phase I games will be 1M, but given the usual distributions for satellite tournaments, the median stack will be lower than that; more than half of the players will have less than the average and probably between 30–40% will actually have more than the starting stack, some with perhaps as much as 5M. It’s an exciting prospect when you buy in for 10% of the regular price. There’s even an option on 30April and 1 June to get into a Phase I for C$275 (50K in chips, with 5% of the field getting to Day 1).
Wild Horses Couldn’t Drag Me Away
Nothing to do with the Wildhorse Spring Poker Round Up (which it looks like I’m going to miss this year). No, everyone from TMZ to the Daily Mail is reporting that the
79 69-year-old doctor from Lexington, Kentucky who was bloodily dragged from a United flight in Chicago the other day is named David Dao, calling him a “poker champ” (the Mail) who “killed it as a pro poker player” at the WSOP as the TMZ headline would have it.
A little perspective might be needed, since most of these headlines were written by non-poker players.
Dao is certainly accomplished, with his biggest cash over $117K for a second place finish in a 2009 WSOP Circuit Championship event with a $5,150 buyin at Tunica. But “poker champ” or “poker pro”? He took 30th place in last year’s 6,761-entry Crazy 8s WSOP event, but the $20K he got for that,—and his lifetime reported tournament winnings of $266K over 11 years—isn’t exactly doctor money, and it comes out to $24K/year before expenses. That’s getting-by money. He’ll hopefully make more from the lawsuit.
From the Archive
Back in the early days post-Black Friday, five-figure guarantees at Portland poker clubs were more or less unheard of, but with PokerStars and Full Tilt shut down, the clubs started catering to the newly-orphaned online crowd. May 2011 saw Ace of Spades and Aces Players Club both put on what I believe were the first above-ground $10K guarantees in town. I didn’t get close to the cash of either one; but I’d cash one at Encore Club the next month, and outright win one in November, which was for a brief time the biggest individual cash in a $10K in Portland.
This Week In Portland Poker
If you aren’t able to make it out to Pendleton for the Main Event this weekend—say, you’ve got family coming over for Easter dinner or some such—Portland Meadows is putting on a $20K Freezeout on Saturday at noon. $165 buyin. No rebuy, no addon and a 25K stack.
Deal of the Week: The Social Experiment
Ever gotten tired of everyone at the table slowing things down because they’re squeezing in the last work on a call between hands, watching a movie on their tablet, or eyes
closed grooving to the tunes over their headphones? Coming up at Los Angeles’s Commerce Casino at the end of the month is the 2017 Cal State Poker Championship. One of the first events on the schedule is a one-day $100K GTD tournament with a $350 buyin (29 April). No phones, hoodies, sunglasses, or headphones allowed; it’s been dubbed The Social Experiment by the Commerce Tournament Director Matt Savage and Tournament Coordinator Justin Hammer. Increasing punishments for infractions are promised, starting with 3 hands according to the structure sheet.
Half-hour blind levels starting 300bb deep, with levels moving to 40 miinutes after the bubble bursts (12.5% payout). It’s not worth the trip to LA just for this event, but that night there’s also a mega satellite to the $1M Main Event a couple of weeks later, as well as a $75K GTD Bounty tournament and $15K GTD (for Facebook friends of the casino) the next day, an Omaha HI-Lo tournament on Monday (1 May), HORSE on Tuesday, plus Omaha Hi-Lo/Stud Hi-Lo and NLHE Survivor on Wednesday. Not to mention a couple of other events and more mega satellites. I’m freaking out trying to figure out how to get time off of work with each day of the schedule I read,
Only a Day Away
- The Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza II is coming into its final weekend. Friday is the last of four entry days for a $150K GTD ($250 entry). There is a $40K GTD on Saturday ($400, 1 day) and a $30K GTD on Sunday ($300 with $100 rebuy).
- Little Creek Casino is running WSOP package satellites Tuesdays in April at 7pm. $255 buyin plus a dealer addon, every 10 players in the tournament gets an entry to the $1,500 Millionaire Maker and $750 in travel expenses. In May, there will be four Monster Stack packages available.
- The Liz Flynt Spring Poker Classic at Hustler Casino continues through the end of April. Tomorrow through Saturday are entries for the $150K GTD ($175 buyin). Earlier flights on each day get smaller stacks and qualify fewer players for Day 2, and Thursday’s flights qualify more players than Friday’s or Saturday’s. Not sure what the ratioonale is for that. The series’ big event starts 21 April, a $500K GTD with five entry days.
- The Wildhorse Spring Poker Round-Up has been running since last weekend. Tomorrow is the High Roller and a regular NLHE even, Friday is the $340 entry, and Saturday is the Main Event start day ($550 entry).
- WPTDeepstacks Thunder Valley starts its $300K GTD Main Event on Friday and Saturday, for a $1,100 buyin, Day 2 on Sunday, and the final table on Monday.
- Calgary’s Deerfoot Casino Spring Super Stack starts in a week, with the C$1,100 Main Event (C$100K GTD) up front. Entry days next Thursday through Saturday, with finals on Sunday.
- The Wynn Signature Weekend $250K GTD runs 20–23 April. Three days of entry ($600) and Day 2 on Sunday.
- The CardPlayer Poker Tour has a stop at San Diego’s Ocean’s Eleven Casino from 20–23 April. It’s a $150K GTD tournament with $250 entry.
- Talking Stick Resort’s Getaway Classic happens 21–23 April, with three tournaments ($200, $300, and $300, respectively).
- The Cal State Poker Championship starts 28 April at Commerce Casino in LA (see above).
- Battle of the Bay at Lucky Chances Casino in Colma starts with a super satellite on 22 April to multiple events in the series, which guarantees between $10K and $100K to the first-place finisher. See last week’s Planner.