Wow. I’m writing this a day or so after the near-total shutdown of the live poker economy. The big poker rooms in LA, major poker rooms in Vegas, associated hotels, cancellation of series around the world (with some moving online, including the World Series of Poker Circuit).
The WSOP itself hasn’t been cancelled—I just got notification that my application for media credentials for this year was approved yesterday and according to an interview with WSOP Director Gregory Chochon covered by PokerNews—but with potential weeks of quarantine and social distancing ahead during this period when players are usually working hard to build their bankrolls up before the summer, you’ve also got to feel for the folks who made a little bank this past month and are going to be stuck with no chance to get to the next stage.
My own stab at the summer roll is going to be a bit stunted. I played three tournaments this month so far and that’s likely to be the last live games I get in for a while. I dropped in to the opening night of Portland Meadows at their new location (they’re closed now, it’s been a tough re-opening).
Played the Final Table First Friday $20K GTD and busted well before the money after watching pocket queens (including my own) get sucked out on three times in the early levels. Then, the next Monday, I got together with my original home game players at Daryl’s house (yes, two people with names that sound the same at the same table can be confusing). Chopped that heads up for the second time in a row.
In addition to the players, there are going to be a lot of employees and dealers hurting for money in the quarantine weeks. Eugene’s Full House Poker has put together a fund to keep people afloat (not an endorsement, just information).
There’s also a Portland-oriented fund organized by Bella Tomaltsky.
So with most live poker on hiatus for an indefinite period, let’s look at what might be some of the last tournament cashes for a while.
In lighter news, there’s a great interview with Grant Denison and Jonathan Levy done by one of my favorite broadcast teams at The Chip Race.
There hasn’t been a change at the top of the Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard since I started it almost two years ago. Until now. Oregon’s Seth Davies was in a close 2nd behind Washington’s Scott Clements, but a trip to partypoker MILLIONS Sochi netted him two cashes to pull him ahead. First off was a 7th-place finish in the Super High Roller NLHE Short Deck (50 entries), which was followed up a couple days later with 4th in another (55-entry) Super High Roller NLHE Short Deck (won by Phil Ivey). Davies is ahead of Clements by only $13K, about 0.15% of their lifetime earnings.
This is where I’d congratulate Kevin Buck—whose Twitter handle is a literal Oregon reference—for his win at the Wynn Spring Classic $1M GTD NLHE, but his Hendon Mob profile lists him as a Las Vegas resident. James Pennella of Kirkland finished 9th in the field of 687, moving him from #288 to #262.
Mercer Island’s Calvin Lee was runner-up at the Wynn Spring Classic $100K GTD NLHE, climbing nine spots to #161, while Dien Le (Bellevue) took 4th, moving him right behind Lee, at #162.
Tyler Patterson moves up two places to #16 with his part of a 10-way ICM deal in the Bay 101 Shooting Star NLHE, which had 290 entries (he presumably got to keep his Shooting Star bounty). That came just a few days after his 10th-place finish in the 250-entry WPT Rolling Thunder NLHE Main Event.
A number of the newly-included Canadian contingent found some money at WPT Fallsview, on the north side of Niagra Falls, where there were 594 entries in the C$5K Main Event, for a prize pool just over US$2M. Coming in 21st—and moving up the Leaderboard four places to #119—was Umang Dattani of Calgary (finishing just ahead of Vanessa Selbst). Maple, BC’s Arash Tafakori came in 11th, winning his biggest score (of three) and leaping 4,500 places on the Leaderboard to #1629. The top PNW finisher in the tournament was Jaspal Brar of Edmonton in 7th. He climbs 10 places to #67 (and went on to cash in the WPT LAPC Main Event a week later).
In the WPT Fallsview C$2,500 NLHE side event, Ron Lauzon of Edmonton picked up his largest-ever cash in a long string (72) of cashes for 13th (moving 20 places to #252). 6th place went to Richmond, BC’s Stephen Wong, now #1003 from #4212.
The outlier for this edition is Rogers, AK’s Adam Todd, taking 4th in the RUNGOOD Poker Series Joplin $100K GTD NLHE Main Event (that’s Joplin MO), 383 entries paid $575 and the prize pool was over $180K. It was Todd’s biggest cash, and he climbs almost 1,500 spots on the Leaderboard, to #2242.
Dylan Linde took 14th at the WPT LAPC NLHE Main Event, which drew 490 entries and $4.7M prize pool. He remains #10. Ian Johns finished 3rd of 48 in the $2,140 buy-in WPT LAPC #66 HORSE and holds at #30.
North of the border in Calgary, Donald McCall from Airdrie, AB was the winner (263 entries) of Great Canadian Freeze Out #4 NLHE. It’s his biggest cash and he moves exactly 700 places to #1158. Two Calgary players took 2nd and 3rd in the Great Canadian Freeze Out #10 NLHE Main Event, (C$660 buy-in). Karim Chatur was 3rd and moves up one spot to #57; Tak Chu is the big gainer for the week, moving from #6638 to #2096 for his second-place finish.
In other news out of Calgary, the C$440 buy-in Grey Eagle Winter XScape NLHE Main Event saw local Doug Lee win the field of 251. He remains #23 on the Leaderboard. Matt Kwong (also Calgary) moves up to #571 for second, and the afore-mentioned Donald McCall took third.
The opening event of the PacWest Poker Classic was a $310 entry, $125K GTD NLHE tournament with a four-way deal made. Gavin Smith of Portland took 1st for his biggest-ever cash, and climbs 600+ places to #1286. In 2nd was Bruce Zhen (Salem, also largest cash) rises to #1023. Crescent City, OR resident Gurit Marwah debuts at #2880 on the Leaderboard for 3rd. And Portland’s Baptiste Chavaillaz came in 4th. bumping him 10 places, to #155. The event drew 498 entries.
Nick Getzen (Portland) won the PacWest Poker Classic $100K GTD NLHE 6-Max, for what is surprisingly, his largest tournament cash (though you may have watched him pull down large chunks of cash on PokerTime. Getzen is up almost 1,000 places on the Leaderboard, to #1681.
Finally, there’s the PacWest Poker Classic $225K GTD NLHE Main Event, which ended in a 6-way deal. Lee Ferris (Washougal, WA, #1844 on the Leaderboard) got 6th. Trevor Kahlberg of Bend claimed 5th (now #1696). Sheridan, OR’s Mark Hurst gains 650+ spots to #1126 for 4th and Ridgefield, WA’s Carl Oman makes another hit at Chinook in 3rd, going from #716 to #538. Second place went to Leaderboard newcomer Ty LaCroix (Portland), who debuts at #1852. Finally, Longview’s Tareq Amhaz got 1st, jumping to #803 from #1474. It was the largest cash for all six players.
And that’s probably it for the Leaderboard for the foreseeable future. Without any live games anywhere in the world, I’m not going to have anything to post here and while I got some money onto Ignition since I stared writing this a couple of days ago, my first tournament ended juat as I was making a recovery after losing a big flip when denial of service attacks took the site down, so there’s not even going to be my own online crap to blog about.
Maybe it’s time to turn my attention to marble racing.