PNW Poker Leaderboard—21 February 2022 #MysteryBounty

Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard

Just a few results after the deluge of WSOP Circuit stuff last time. Picking up three good cashes from the Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza I.

Vancouver, Washington provided the winners of two of those numbers.

David Moshe was the winner of the Venetian DSE #7 $40K GTD NLHE MonsterStack, in an even 2-way chop. There were 130 entries in the tournament, and it posted a prize pool of $66K.

The other Vancouvian on the board this week was Christopher Hull, who was 2nd in a 2-way chop in a similar tournament, the Venetian DSE #13 $40K GTD NLHE MonsterStack, this one with 154 entries.

The third and final result for this edition is from Victoria: Dominick French was 2nd in Venetian DSE #1 $100K GTD NLHE UltimateStack, which was also chopped two ways, with 468 entries and a prize pool of $154K.

Portland Meadows NLHE Mystery Bounty

I hadn’t played live poker since before Christmas, so I was champing at the bit when Brian Sarchi announced the first Mystery Bounty tournament in the area a couple of weeks ago. I’m always interested in trying out something different, and I kind of figured I needed to get my poker legs back before heading to Chinook Winds for the PacWest Poker Classic next month.

Because parking’s always tight, I meant to take the bus over Sunday morning but since I didn’t get going early enough, I hopped over in the Mutantmobile. The lot was already full a half-hour before the show, so I ended up in the Comcast parking lot down the street.

Unlike a regular bounty tournament, where you get a set value for each player you knock out, the mystery bounty format only pays out when players are already in the money. So there’s no potential for saving yourself with bounties if you don’t cash. You’ve got to make it into the money yourself to get any bounties (and even then you’re not guaranteed).

Mystery Bounty raffle drum

This tournament was paying 15% of the field, which meant 15% of the players would have bounties on their heads. When the field gets down to the money, each of the remaining players gets a bounty chip, and when you knock someone out and take their bounty chip, you get a chance to draw an envelope from the lottery drum and find out how much your the bounty is worth: in this case, anywhere from $400 (the price of entry) to $5,000.

Jackie Burkhart with hand warmer/cell phone charger
Jackie Burkhart with one of the hand warmer/cell phone chargers she brought, which were a popular item on a chilly afternoon.

My table started looking rough at the very beginning, as Sam Nguyen sat down in seat 3 and Jackie Burkhart popped into seat 2, with Toma Barber showing up a little after things started in seat 1. I was sitting in 5 (not to give short shrift to the other end of the table, but I’ve been out of the loop for a while and didn’t recognize everyone, particularly with masks on).

The person I (and everyone else) needed to watch out for was seat 4 who, after a bit of a lull early on, went on a tear, knocking out player after player and amassing a stack of chips that was approximately 10% of the chips in play while we were still 54-handed (44% of the original field).

It made for some nail-biting calls, when I’d get involved, some action would raise the stakes, and seat 4 would move a handful of red chips into play, essentially putting anyone involved in the hand all-in.He cleared out short stacks and some big stacks, like a poker Katamari Damancy.

The first couple of levels didn’t go so well. My stack slid down from the 30K start to just over 20K, then in level 3, I managed to spin it up to nearly 80K, knocking out Toma (sadly) in the process. Ran some queens into aces and lost more than half my stack not long after registration had closed, though I did almost get bailed out with a spade flush on the board.

By round 8, eight players had been eliminated from our table. Toma was one, but the other seven were all part of the stack on my right. I was nursing the approximately 40K I had left after my setback, and just about half the 121 entries had been eliminated.

I was still below the 67K average with less than 30bb as we went to level 9, with a 2K big blind. I chipped up a little bit—even getting a laydown from the big stack—as we closed in on the end of the fifth hour of play.

The first big hand for me was in UTG+1. The big stack raised and I 3-bet AQ. People got out of the way of the next casualty and we got the money all in, with the big stack holding 88. I made trip aces on the flop, but the middle card was an 8, giving him a full house. I was resigned to my fate, but on the river came a Q for a better full house and I doubled up to more than 130K, which was probably enough to get me close to the money, since we were down to around 40 players, with 18 places paying.

I should have left myself in resignation mode, though. Just a few hands later, I had kings and 3-bet seat 4. He called and we were heads-up to the queen-high flop, where we got all-in and I was up against aces again. And lost again, but this time didn’t have any chips left. I probably should have been able to get away, even with kings, and if it had been any other player, maybe i could have; there just wasn’t any way to do it against that big stack.

That was my Mystery Bounty experience. Sam outlasted me, as did Darin Stout who came to the table a level or two before I left. Brian says he’s planning to run something like this again soon, which should be entertaining. My reccomendation would be to adjust a couple glitches in the payout structures. The curve for the position payouts should be adjusted on the bottom so the bottom payouts are at least a little more than the buy-in ($400, in this case). It’s not a huge adjustment to the curve to backfill some of the lower payouts.

Likewise, the Mystery Bounty amounts ought not to have jumps of $100, $500, $500, $1000, $1000, $500, $1000. The interval should always increase!

That’s it for live for me until next month.

PNW Poker Leaderboard — 12 February 2022

So much to get to. I thought there would be a bit of a lull in January, but there was a lot of Pacific Northwest action at the World Series of Poker Circuit Calgary in January (there’s another one at Calgary’s Deerfoot Inn just before the WSOP in May). That’s what happens when you bring a major series up this way. But first…

Poker In the Ears

Those of you who follow the blog (which I assume is anyone reading this) may remember I appeared as a Superfan quiz contestant against Joe Stapleton last May on the Poker In the Ears podcast (along with co-host James Hartigan). In the most recent episode (#238), James read a comment I made on their Discord channel asking why—among all of the other non-poker media they mention—they hadn’t dropped Peacemaker. Not satisfying responses. Watch it.

Portland Meadows Special Events

Portland Meadows is holding two special events in February. On Saturday the 19th is a $180 NLHE Freezeout and on Sunday the 20th is their first NLHE Mystery Bounty. The Bounty is a $400 buy-in, and once the field is down to 15% of registrants, anyone who knocks out another player gets to draw from the barrel to see the amount of the bounty they receive, from $400 to $5K. Both tournaments are freezeouts, with no add-on, and 30 minute levels.

The PacWest Poker Classic is Back!

It’s been two years since I was at Chinook Winds for the last tournament series there, and after having to postpone their attempt to restart last fall, it looks like things are finally going to happen in less than four weeks now. There’s a program and structures and everything. It’s the usual full schedule of guaranteed tournaments and (guaranteed) satellites, with 19 scheduled events, including tentpole $100K GTD and $225K GTD tournaments on the weekends, the $560 (including buy-in, fee, and dealer appreciation) NLHE 6-Max, HORSE, Big O (still only a $170 buy-in), and $660 NLHE Big Bounty. It’ll be very familiar for anyone who’s been there before, and hopefully a little bit of a return to normal. No idea what the covid restrictions are going to be by then; as of today, masks and temperature checks are still in place according to the web site.

Wildhorse Spring Poker Round-Up

Wildhorse has announced their April series, but there’s no schedule released as of yet. Check their poker page for updates.

Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard

As mentioned, the bulk of the news is coming out of Calgard and the first World Series of Poker Circuit stop in the Northwest since Vancouver seven years ago.

Wie Da from Edmonton picked up their first cash, good for a jump into #4046 on the Leaderboard, by placing 3rd in WSOPC Calgary #5 PLO. The field of 246 entries pushed the prize pool over US$$100K. Takuma Bergeron from Coquitlam, British Columbia moved from #1056 to #773 by taking 2nd place. The winner of the tournament was Calgary’s Pei Li, climbing nearly eleven hundred places to #1230 and scoring a personal best.

Vancouver-based Omid Pekniyat got a first Hendon Mob cash and comes in at #3937 by taking 2nd in WSOPC Calgary #11 NLHE/PLO 8-Max. Wei Min Hou of Vancouver was the winner, and debuts at #2928.

WSOPC Calgary #9 NLHE Main Event

The Main Event in Calgary got 1,179 entries, with a prize pool of US$1.4M. Coming in 21st was Edmonton’s Jason Pelletier picking up a best-ever cash and jumping a thousand places on the Leaderboard to #2237. 20th went to West Vancouver’s Forouzan Soloudeh, with a climb of more than one hundred places to #843. In 19th was Harminder Aujla of Surrey, British Columbia, going from #1140 to #981. Weston Pring of Calgary was 18th, enough for #298, a gain of eleven places. Michael Bernstein from Edmonton placed 18th rising nearly one-hundred and fifty spots to #809. It was a biggest-ever cash for Vancouver’s Tyson Rampersand, climbing more than thirty-five hundred places to #2620 by placing 15th. 13th was enough to move Edmonton’s Jonathan Sanborn seven places on the upper end of the Leaderboard, to #175. Coming in at 11th was Shane Axelson (Calgary)for their only cash so far, which places them at #2659. 10th place was another newcomer to the Leaderboard, North Vancouver’s Adam Crockett, with a best-ever cash that jumps them into #2448. Robert Buckingham from Calgary took 6th, for a biggest-ever cash that pushed them up nearly four thousand places to #1162. Edmonton-based Malcolm Bolger also had their best-ever result in 5th, though an impressive record going back to 2008 meant they only moved from #150 to #126, Pam MacNaughton from Red Deer, Alberta came in 4th, for a move of sixty-five places to #173. From Vancouver, Arvhin Melinah picked up 3rd for a best-ever result that catapulted them all the way to #386 on the Leaderboard in their premiere appearance. And Cody Mckay from Daysland, Alberta was the winner of the tournament, with a best-ever cash that moved them from #577 to #167.

Edmonton’s Michael Shaw took 2nd in the WSOPC Calgary #3 NLHE Black Chip Bounty. The tournament had 540 entries and a non-bounty prize pool of nearly US$100K (plus bounties of over $40K). Shaw’s cash was only their 2nd; they move up nearly four thousand places on the Leaderboard, to #3020.

WSOPC Calgary #8 NLHE Monster Stack

There was almost US$250K in the prize pool for this tournament, with 943 entries. Skyler Daoust of Nanaimo, British Columbia got a first recorded cash in 5th place, putting them on the Leaderboard at #3804. Aamir Khan of Calgary place 4th to climb thirty-four places to #398. Cole Harmon from Courtenay, British Columbia took it down and jumped more than a thousand places, landing at #919.

WSOPC Calgary #2 NLHE

Shannon Lazorko of Calgary picked up a third (and best) Hendon Mob cash placing 5th in this 1,108-entry tournament with a prize pool of US$227K. Lazorko debuts on the Leaderboard at #3504. Another newcomer with a first cash (also from Calgary) is Chris Yu. for 4th. Yu is at #3088. In 2nd was (again, Calgary) Jason Hromada—also new to the list—at #1918 with just their third recorded cash. Peter Griffin’s win was their fourth cash (just beating their third, from back in 2016) and takes the British Columbia player from #1216 to #677.

Moving from Calgary for a moment to Durant, Oklahoma, Bellevue’s Dien Le came in 23rd in the WSOPC Choctaw #9 NLHE Main Event. There were more than 1,400 entries and a prize pool that surpassed $2.1M. Le ekes out a five-spot rise to #119.

Edmonton’s Jonathan Woof got a first cash with a win in WSOPC Calgary #6 NLHE Double Stack. The prize pool was $86K with 542 entries. Woof starts out at #2966.

David Labchuk of Calgary won WSOPC Calgary #4 NLHE Seniors to gain almost seventy places, moving into #531.

Portland’s Rambo Halpern came in 4th in the World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open #24 $100K GTD NLHE Deep Stack Bounty out of the field of 241. The prize pool was over $240K, plus bounties. Halpern goes from #385 to #350.

Nathan Mclallin from Redmond, Washington took 3rd at the Venetian Deepstack Showdown #10 NHE MonsterStack just their second-ever cash. They’re on the Leaderboard at #2548.

Back up in Calgary, Edmonton’s Zhi Jiang won WSOPC Calgary #7 NLHE 6-Max, their best-ever cash (out of four) and good enough for a place at #2421.

Vancouver, Washington’s Jaime Cervantes Alvarez took 45th in the field of nearly two thousand at the WPT Lucky Hearts #20 $2M GTD NLHE Championship. Alvarez moves from #189 to #162. The prize pool was over $6M.

Reginald Caymol of Seattle climbs from #352 to #304, taking 5th in the Wynn Signature Series $250K GTD NLHE. 671 entries pushed the prize pool to nearly $350K.

The WSOPC Calgary #1 NLHE DoubleStack was won by hometown player Adam Balis over 375 other entries, with a prize pool of just under US$100K. Balis picked up a first-ever cash and enters the Leaderboard at #2144.

Portland’s Brian Barker came in 3rd at a Wynn $150K GTD NLHE with 301 entries. Barker gets a best-ever cahs and is #2123.

Adelsinei Da Silva from Seattle got their biggest cash with 3rd out of 718 in Philadelphia at the Live! Size NLHE. The prize pool was over $277K, with what looks like a 4-way chop. Da Silva jumps from #3804 to #1596.

Climbing nineteen places to #155, it’s Aaron Thivyanathan. placing 3rd in the WPT Lucky Hearts #14 50K GTD NLHE Deepstack 6-Max. They quadrupled the prize pool with this one.

Brian Foley of Puolsbo, Washington hit big twice in this reporting period, at yet another Circuit stop, first with a 4th-place at WSOPC Thunder Valley #9 NLHE High Roller outside of Sacramento, then 9th at WSOPC Thunder Valley #10 $500K GTD NLHE Main Event. That propelled Foley up from #2080 to #851. The High Roller had 59 entries and a prize pool of $207K; the Main Event beat the guarantee by nearly $400K, with 587 entries. Shoreline, Washington’s Feiyue Wu pops onto the Leaderboard at #850 by coming in 3rd with a best-ever cash.

Picking up a late result (from Calgary…), Vancouver’s Chuck Choi won the Deerfoot Inn Fall Super Stack #7 NLHE Main Event back in November, over 396 others. The prize pool was over $300K. Choi debuts on the Leaderboard at #1149.

Mike Zuro from Salem picked up a Circuit Ring at WSOPC Tunica #2 $100K GTD NLHE. He beat a field of 1,585 and took 1st out of a prize pool of more than half a million dollars. It’s great to see Mike hit it big, I had a great dinner at an event at Chinook Winds with Zuro and his wife years ago. Zuro blasts from #3304 to #748.

Finally, James Romero edges out Dylan Linde for the 5th-place spot on the Leaderboard after winning the WPT Lucky Hearts #19 $200K GTD NLHE Deep Stack.There were 413 entries and the prize pool rose to as giddy $826K.

That’s all for now! Keep on winning (and Happy almost-Valentine’s Day)!