Deal With It
Portland’s Devin Sweet dealing the Main Event feature table on Day 1B, with 2006 champion Jamie Gold at right; photo from a post on NW Poker by Lorenzo Melgoza
One of the things about watching World Series of Poker coverage this past month or so on PokerGo that’s been making me poker-itchy has been seeing so many of the people I worked with last year, both reporters and dealers. The reporters are mostly caught in the background in occasional shots, but the dealers are right there in all of the action, usually covered by two or three cameras on the table. I covered the mixed games as a reporter last year, the better dealers tend to work the mixed games, and they tend to be the dealers assigned to feature tables, so many of them are familiar.
None of them is as well known to me as Devin Sweet, though, because there’s no need to go to Las Vegas to see her in action. She’s been around Portland as a dealer and player (she won an event at Pendleton in 2011), she’s been involved in managing the Chinook Winds series for several years, and she was up in the early rotation for coverage of Day 1B on at the Main Event, dealing to Jamie Gold and Scott Abrams. So keep an eye out for her as the tournament plays out.
Not Gonna Happen
The July issue of CardPlayer magazine has a bizarre ad for the World Heavyweight Poker Championship Invitational, with a “100 Entry Cap | Largest Buy-In | Largest Prize Pool” and “Largest First Prize Payout in Poker Tournament History.”
Supposedly taking place in Reno in mid-December the “Biggest Fundraiser Poker Charity Event in History” (it doesn’t mention a charity for what) sports a $1,888,888 buyin, and more than $30M for first place.
I have to say, despite the fact that I do not expect anyone reading this to be planning to play it, the general vibe—not to mention the quality of the materials and the fact that social media for sponsor Caviar Affair hasn’t been active for four years—doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.
Rachel O’Neal‘s Facebook post of her stack in WSOP Event #66: $1,500 NLHE.
James Tercek from Vancouver was top of the new names in this week’s Pacific Northwest Hendon Mob stats, making it to 13th place in the Ultimate Goliath at Planet Hollywood at the end of June.The $600 tournament beat the $500K GTD by nearly $160K, with $1,078 entries.
Forest Grove’s Nathan Paul got his first recorded cash in a big way, taking 4th in last Saturday’s $235 Daily Deepstack at the Rio. Stevie Ackerman of Spanaway more than tripled his recorded tournament earnings by taking first in the same event.
Rachel O’Neal is a Portland attorney who uses the slogan “Make Them Pay — In Spades” on her web site. She’s been playing poker for a while, but took down her first three recorded cashes on three consecutive days last week (technically). She made it to the final table of a 948-entry $235 Daily Deepstack on the 4th of July (one of two O’Neals at the final table; the other was from Georgia). On the 5th of July, she played Event #66: $1,500 NLHE, grabbing 80th place on Day 2 (6 July, but it’s recorded at Hendon Mob as the starting day). Then she apparently jumped right into the 7pm $365 Daily Deepstack Turbo, taking 44th there for a small cash. After a couple of days of no cashes (maybe she had to rest) she struck again, at the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza Event #87 $100K GTD Bounty, for another 44th place (there were 464 entries, with a prize pool of $150K plus $93K in bounties.
The elephant in the room for established players this week is Esther Taylor. There were some comments in a Facebook thread last week wondering how someone like her could be playing in the Poker Players Championship. I’ve never met her at the table (or anywhere else) before working at the WSOP last summer, and all I can say is she seemed to be shooting me suspicious looks whenever I was reporting on her tables. She’s had a pretty good summer, though, making three final tables before the 4th of July, as well as four other cashes. Then, the day after the 4th, she got to the final table of Event #67: $25,000 PLO8 High Roller, and finished in 3rd place, a cash that was more than half the size of her previous recorded earnings and which jumps her over 4 players on the Hendon Mob’s Oregon leaderboard. With Taylor no longer actually living in Vancouver (so I’ve hears), James Romero moved to Vegas, and Annie Duke somewhere else (who cares?), Seth Davies (in 4th place on the Oregon leaderboard) is now the top-ranked player on the state leaderboard who actually lives here. By the way, just before she late-regged the PLO tournament, Taylor took 4th place in Event #64: $1,500 NLHE/PLO 8-Max for a 5600% ROI.
Speaking of the PPC, Washington’s Ian Johns has almost doubled the number of cashes he had last year—though 2016’s four cashes included 2 bracelets. He hasn’t seen any final tables this year, but he’s come close all seven times, finishing between 18th and 17th on two cashes and between 10th and 12th on the other five. Last week it was 10th place in Event #62: $50,000 Poker Players Championship 6-Max.
Vi Do of Bellingham played the Venetian Event #76 $1,100 NLHE Bounty, taking 4th place.
This Week In Portland Poker
Regular schedules so far as I’m aware.
Only a Day Away
- The Heartland Poker Tour at Golden Gates Casino in Colorado had the first flight of its Main Event today, there are three more. You can get a one-way ticket to Denver for Friday morning for less then $200!
- It’s gold! Well, actually it’s silver and Eugene’s High Mountain Poker Palace has a four-tournament has their 2017 Anniversary Silver Series with games ranging from $40 to $230, with $260 in added money, and silver coins for the top three finishers in each tournament. If you’re planning to drive from out of town, you might want to call and make sure there’s room. It could be a big crowd for the space, which was quite nice the time I made it down.
- Up in Calgary, there are daily C$225 “Wild Card Rounds” at 6:30pm and at noon on Friday and Saturday. 1 in 5 players get entry to Sunday’s Silver Buckle Showdown at the Deerfoot Inn & Casino. You can also buy into the Showdown for C$1,000, you get 25K in chips and play 30-minute levels. Tickets to Calgary, though, are almost $400 one-way, and that’s US dollars.
- Larry Flynt’s Grand Slam of Poker starts tomorrow at LA’s Hustler Casino. It features a $200K GTD kickoff event ($250 buyin). The Main Event is $375 and has a GTD of $777,777. Non-stop one-way flights to LAX for $120 Saturday morning.
- Muckleshoot’s $200 Big Bounty is Sunday at noon, 23 July is a $300 Deepstack, and there’s a 5th Sunday $400 entry tournament with $3K added.
- Save your summer in luxury with the Bellagio Cup XIII, a 5-day $10,400 buyin starting Friday. $1,090 satellites, turbo and hyper turbo satellites run from tomorrow through Sunday (Day 3 of the Cup) for entries into the Cup.
- Next Wednesday, close to home at the Wildhorse Resort & Casino Summer Poker Round-Up, there are six events (plus satellites), the largest of which has a buyin of $340. As mentioned last week, accommodations are sparse and expensive due to a motorcycle get-together.
- Down south in Sacramento, Thunder Valley hosts the Ante Up Poker Tour World Championship starting 20 July, which culminates in a $500K GTD Main Event in early August.
- If the nice summer in Portland isn’t hot enough for you yet, the Card Player San Diego Classic at Oceans 11 has a $250 entry fee and three starting days (two flights each day) next week, with the final day on Sunday. You could get to San Diego airport with an hour to get to Oceanside before the first Saturday flight for about $200 if you buy your ticket now. Don’t know how you’ll get back.
- The last day of the World Series of Poker Main Event is 22 July. The tournament playes every day until then except for a two-day break on 18 & 19 July once the final table has been finalized. Daily Deepstacks run through 17 July (the last day before the Main Event final table). If you’re down in Las Vegas because you want to breathe in the excitement of the big money, the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza is running through 23 July. Monday and Tuesday are starting days for their Event #103: CardPlayer Poker Tour $2M GTD $5,000 NLHE Main Event, and there are a number of other tournaments there, as well as the rest of the regular Vegas schedule. Happy hunting!
Remember to keep an eye on the #PNWPokerCal Twitter hashtag and the PNW Poker Calendar for upcoming events!