a. k. a. I-D-I-O-T — February 2023

Portland Meadows “The Biggest of Os” Big O

Really, the most I can say about this tournament is that it was great to briefly see so many of my old compatriots from the Portland Players Club days, and to get a chance to play at the same table as Jeremy Harkin, for a change.

I schlepped out to Portland Meadows on the bus after work on a Friday. With the PacWest Poker Classic coming up at the end of the month, I wasn’t planning on playing much in February, but I really couldn’t pass up this opportunity. Regrettably, on the very first hand, I got into a hand with Joe Brandenburg, who, naturally, had the nuts when I had the second nuts, so I started hand 2 with half a starting stack.

I lasted about 100 minutes, but only through the benefit of a re-entry, which I only bought after going out to catch the bus home and just missing it. That stack mostly went to Jeremy.

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I played twelve of these three-person sit-n-go tournaments, and variance was kicking my butt on both ends. I actually got seated in four tournaments that had 5x payouts, but I didn’t cash in a single tournament.

Jason Brown

My old pal Jason Brown was in town for a few days from Seattle. Any long-time poker player in Portland knows Jason; we used to play what seemed like every day at Portland PLayers Club. I’ve missed him a number of trips he’s made back to town, but we finally got a chance to hang out for a while!

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Played two of these step 1 tournaments (a win gets you into the qualified, and a win in the qualifier gets you into the satellite for a $4K package to the Irish Poker Open). One bullet in the first of these, two bullets in number two. Didn’t cash either one.

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There were two levels of qualifiers for the IPO on Ignition. Both were competing for various guarantees of $270 satellite tickets. Most were $25+$2.50 turbos, but there were some $20+$2 non-turbo events, as well. Dropped two buy-ins in the turbo, then two in a $20 event and managed to win a satellite seat

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Never really managed to get any traction in this satellite, barely climbed above 150% of starting stack and finished in the middle of the pack. There was a more than 50% overlay on the tournament, with only 37 total entries and 80 as the breakeven point for the guaranteed packages ($1200 for the IPO Main Event entry and $2800 in travel expenses).

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I prefer to play the Omaha games for fun, but I decided to try a bounty NLHE tournament for a change. Things went well from the beginning, with me nearly tripling up in the first ten hands, then doubling that up against another player who’d gotten off to a good start when I flopped a set of jacks and they turned a set of threes and thought they were golden. Things faltered a bit later in the game, but I took enough bounties before we eve3n hit the money to pay off the entry fee, and I placed 8th of 97 entries for a small cash.

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No luck here, I got in late with 12bb and was out about 15 hands later.

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These little tournaments that run about 9pm Pacific are some of my favorites. I feel less stressed about late-regging them than I do NLHE games. That said, the first one I played, I came in with 10bb and was out in four hands. The second one, I started a bit earlier andfinished in 3rd place out of 78, which was pleasing. Extra satisfying because it happened the day after we’d gotten our power back after a branch broke the connector line to our house.

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As the month wound down, I played three more qualifiers to try to get the Irish Open pacvkage. Dropped a total of three buy-ins in two of the Turbo edition (which ran more often than the other) without success. Once again, it was the cheaper, slower qualifier where I won the ticket, which I know, it makes no sense.

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I was supposed to be in Lincoln City for the PacWest Poker Classic the last weekend of February. It’s been five years since I had my biggest-ever cash , at Chinook Winds in February, and I was jonesing to beat that, but after two days of no power and barely getting things back to normal Friday afternoon, I didn’t really feel like abandoning my wife for four days—despite the house not being 50 degrees even with the woodstove going—was a politic move. Plus, I’d planned to take two days off for the series, but I had to take two days to deal with electricians and keep the fire burning. So I welcomed the opportunity to take advantage of another heavily-overlaid Irish Open satellite. And it was, but again, I never managed to get a purchase, and busted out after a couple of hours.

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I was torn about playing this next-to-last satellite. First, I didn’t have a satellite ticket to play it, so I’d need to buy in directly. Second, it started about a quarter-hour after I got off work, and I typically walk home, plus, I was cooking dinner, so it’d be a bit deeper in the tournament than I wanted by the time I was able to join. Still, there’s almost three hours of entry in these satellites. So I got home and made dinner, then jumped in about Level 8, with 75bb. The downfall here was I made a horribly bad call just nine hands in, too-cautiously laying down a king-high flush draw from the SB on a paired flop. Never managed to get above starting stack. There is one more satellite in March, but I’m not sure whether I want to try for it at this point, or wait for my next opportunity to go to Ireland.

Who am I kidding?

Coming Up

I’ve been seriously thinking about driving to Lincoln City for the Main Event of the PAC West, but I could stay in town and play the $20K GTD at Final Table this Friday, or I could go up to Last Frontier for their $25K on Sunday.