A Year of COVID Poker

Kevin Mathers (@kevmath on Twitter, follow him if you have somehow been living under a rock for the past year, hey, we sort of have been living under a rock!) got hold of me this morning and asked if there actually was such a thing as the PNW Leaderboard. As I explained to him, because I’m compiling my stats entirely from the Hendon Mob state and province leaderboards, I’m not going to just republish their data. The numbers you see here are entirely my own, combining their Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, and British Columbia (and Alberta, I just remembered!) into a single regional Leaderboard.

And publishing just the top names out of the more than 6,000 players I track wouldn’t be any fun; as I’ve mentioned ad nauseum there’s not a lot of movement up at the top. However, Mr. Math did say he thought a quarterly Top 20 for the results of the past year might be a kind of cool thins, and since I have nothing else to do other than compiling all of the stuff I need to feed to the IRS for my audit before Monday, I figured why not?

These are the rankings on the Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard for The Plague Year. Last March to now, ranked by earnings (go to Hendon Mob to see what those are). Some people didn’t move at all, others just a little, and some zoomed up, despite the difficulties of (mostly) live poker in 2020 and early 2021.

*seriously, she hasn’t lived here for a long time, but she’s still on the Hendon Mob list for Oregon

PNW Poker Leaderboard — 20 March 2021

Lots of Pacific Northwest poker action going on in Las Vegas the past few weeks.

The new entry on the PNW Poker Leaderboard this time around is Vancouver, Washington’s Jaime Cervantes Alvarez, who placed 39th of 652 in the Card Player Poker Tour/Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza #26 $500K GTD NLHE, played in mid-February. The prize pool was close to triple the guarantee. It’s Alvarez’s first Hendon Mob cash and he hits the Leaderboard at #4354.

Aaron Thivyanathan of Renton placed just ahead of Alvarez at #38 in the same tournament at the Venetian. The next week, it was out to Florida for Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Classic #7 NLHE, another $1.5M prize pool tournament, and 35th place out of 959 entries. Then in the second week of Marsh, back to Vegas for 17th of 253 in World Poker Tour/Venetian DeepStack Showdown #14 $20K GTD NLHE MonsterStack. He climbs from #638 to #552 on the Leaderboard. You may have noticed from his name showing up in the early February Leaderboard roundup that Thivyanathan has been busy.

Korey Payne has been keeping busy since his big win back in November.And he took 33rd in the same CPPT/Venetian #26 $500K GTD NLHE ahead of Thivyanathan and Alvarez, which moves him up 5 places to #162.

A little further up the winner’s list on that tournament you find one of my favorite people, Kao Saechao, who placed 29th. Saechao went on to cash in several more tournaments at the Venetian over the next three weeks, including WPT/Venetian #5 $15K GTD NLHE Survivor that ended up with a prize pool of $73K and 14 $5,200 payouts, and WPT/Venetian #8 $15K GTD NLHE Survivorthat did the same for 18 players. He also made it to 12th of 259 in the WPT/Venetian #7 $75K GTD NLHE Monster Stack. Need I say it? $250K prize pool. For this and more, Saechao moves not at all from his already prestigious #38 position.

Reginald Caymol jumped another 18 spots on the Leaderboard, to #399 taking 13th of 809 in the WPT/Venetian #13 $250K GTD NLHE Ultimate Stack. The Seattle player adds the cash to several smaller cashes at the Wynn earlier this year.

The WPT/Venetian #10 $1.5M GTD NLHE Main Event was a big draw for PNW players, several of whom went deep. The field drew 937 entries and had more than $4.3M in the prize pool. Out of Olympia, Raymond Dandrea cashed in 84th. He rises 40 spots on the Leaderboard to #526.

At 74th in the money, Kao Seng Saetern (Portland) bumped all the way up from #1509 to #1216.

Ten places higher, Port Orchard, Washington’s Kristopher Rundquist got his largest-ever cash for 64th, and goes more than 1700 spots up the Leaderboard to #2306.

pasco, Washington’s Joseph Beltran Arredondo came in 37th. He is now #827 on the Leaderboard.

George Wolff made the final three tables at 24th. He stays at #17. On the other hand, Adam Hendrix making 17th was just enough to push him from #31 on the Leaderboard to #30.

Finally, as usual it’s the high rollers that gobble up the big-money attention. Christopher Brewer continues to wreak havoc on the Aria tables, and cashed three tournaments in quick succession. It was a 2nd place for him in the Aria High Roller 04 NLHE. With just 14 entries, it looks like he did a 2-way deal with former PNW Leaderboard mainstay Ali Imsirovic that gave Brewer his career best cash. The next day, Brewer took 3rd in the 16-entry Aria High Roller 05 NLHE (no deal for him this time, though it looks like Sam Soveral and Jake Schindler chopped the top two spots). Then a week later it’s Aria High Roller 08 NLHE, with 6 payouts out of 39 entries and Brewer in 4th. For all that, he climbs 40 places to #75 on the Leaderboard.

Angela Jordison represent!

PNW Poker Leaderboard — 01 March 2021

It’s still technically winter, but poker spring is starting to break out all over. Since the last PNW Poker Leaderboard at the beginning of February, both of the biggest rooms in Portland—Portland Meadows and Final Table—have re-opened. Both have Portland-style shootouts and tournaments running, albeit with limited seating capacity (50 players max) per Multnomah County and State of Oregon coronavirus guidelines. Meadows is currently running noon tournaments with a 27-player cap. Final Table has tournaments at 11am and 6pm.

In Poker Mutant news, I’ve been dealing with family issues the past few weeks, so my online play hasn’t been very high (or very successful), and I found out the other day I’m getting audited, so that’ll be fun. It’s for the year I had my largest-ever cash and they want records of my poker expenses. Fortunately, I set up a database to track every single cash and tournament buy-in—live and online—just after Black Friday in 2011 (wow, almost ten years now) and I could just print out a record of the almost 600 buyins I made in 2018. Even so, it’s going to be a hassle.

On to the money!

The new name for the Leaderboard is Cody Morrisey from Bremerton. He made his biggest score ever at the Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza #20 $80K GTD NLHE MonsterStack coming in 4th out of 648 entries. The tournament prize pool went over #215K, just another indicator of how excited people are to be back on the tables. Morrisey debuts at #2868.

Adam Walton of Seattle had a very good week in Las Vegas in mid-February with several smaller cashes that individually wouldn’t have been noticed by my tracker, but cumulatively…. On February 11th, in Bally’s Power Poker Series #15 NLHE, Walton came in second to Joseph Ingram (not Joey). Just 31 entries, but a decent start for the week. He improved on that on February 16th, in another small (25 entries) event, Bally’s #23 NLHE, Walton beat the actual Anthony Zinno for the win. Not a huge score, but I’d be boring everybody with that story for a long time. The, the next day at the daily Wynn $10 GTD NLHE, Walton beat another 64 players for a second win in as many days. He moves from #352 to #334.

Pasco’s Joseph Beltran Arredondo came in 6th at the WPT Deepstacks/Venetian #21 $40K GTD NLHE MonsterStack for his second-largest cash (his largest was a win in a nearly identical event at the Wynn last January). He climbs from #1208 to #1082.

Finally, some non-NLHE news! From Vancouver, Washington, David Moshe was 1st out of 132 entries in the Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza #28 $40K GTD Pot Limit Omaha MonsterStackJeff Madsen was on the final table. Sadly, this was not a tournament where the guarantee was crushed by the entries. It’s a trip from #1499 to #1257 for Moshe.

It’s a holding pattern on #31 for Adam Hendrix. The Anchorage pro came in 14th in the Mid-States Poker Tour/Venetian #6 $350K GTD NLHE. This tournament did go over the guarantee, up over $880K, with 908 entries.

The Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Classic #2 NLHE, was another cash for Max Young, and his 7th-place finish was enough to push him from #25 to #24 on the leaderboard. On top of just general success, Steve Schult at CardPlayer magazine wrote a profile of Max that was published last week, check it out if you haven’t seen it yet. Despite his success in Florida, Max said on Facebook the other day that he’s planning to keep his Hendon Mob listing in Oregon.

Finishing off this edition of the Leaderboard, congrats to Portland’s Armin Yazdani, for a 3rd place finish in a field of 559 entries at the Venetian DeepStacks Extravaganza #30 $80K GTD NLHE MonsterStack. It’s Yazdani’s biggest recorded cash, and he rises nearly 3,000 places on the Leaderboard, from #4666 to #1797.