Very weird. Almost a week in and I think the headline is the first time
I’ve typed in the new year….
I Come From the Land of the Ice & Snow
Winter weather tends to hit the Portland area hard, since freezing temperatures here generally mean ice rather than snow. Yeah, yeah, everyone from Eastern Oregon and Colorado and the East Coast, you know how to drive in snow, Portland doesn’t know how to keep the streets clear of snow, yadda, yadda, yadda…. None of you suckers are good on ice.
Anyway, conditions led to some closures and delays in poker schedules around town. The storm didn’t hit until after the big events for the weekend in Portland were over, but Black Diamond Poker Room in Albany had to reschedule last Sunday’s $310 Deepstack tournament for next Sunday.
The Hardest Working Man In Portland Poker
I first met Chadd Baker shortly after poker’s Black Friday. I got an invitation to Portland Players Club—which he’d purchased early in the year—for a promotional freeroll tournament. I won it—my first live MTT win—after a couple of years playing in the home game that was my re-introduction to poker. PPC had been around before Chadd in its location above Biddie McGraw’s at NE 60th & Glisan, it was profiled in Bluff magazine (which disappeared into the void recently), but Chadd had been trying to sell it over the past year. PPC’s been a favorite place to play for me, with cheap buy-ins and door fees, 11am start times for the first tournament, and a selection of games other than NLHE: mostly Big O these days, but HORSE, PLO, PLO8, and more. It was close to my house: I could walk there in about 30 minutes and drive there in less than 10.
Through it all, Chadd’s been there night and day. Putting together the web site, posting to Facebook, texting players to get them in to play, wrangling volunteer dealers (who are themselves some of the best and most experienced non-Hold’em dealers you’ll ever run across), making sandwiches, blending great shakes, cleaning, stocking, etc. The club was usually open late; Chadd would be there at opening and through the evening game most every day of the long poker week. How he found time to have a wife and child boggles my mind.
Anyway, this phase of Portland Players Club is at an end. The last game was the day before New Year’s Eve. All but one of the tables in the club was gone. I’m going to miss the old place. I met a lot of interesting characters—and a few folks I consider friends—at PPC. It was the kind of place that I though might be cool to own myself if I had the money to keep the place running—I can’t imagine Chadd was making a giant profit—except for the fact that I knew how much time and effort he put in to the job. He’s a better man than I am. I’ll just have to settle for imagining Chadd running my imaginary poker club.
2016 : My Time Is Coming
There’s nothing not to like about the LAPC at Commerce Casino. It’s got a huge amount of action at the Largest Card Casino in the World™. For more than a month-and-a-half, from a $175 buy-in $100K guarantee a week from Friday to the $10K WPT Championship that wraps up 3 March, there’s something for nearly everyone.
A lot of side events at LAPC are non-Hold’em tournaments, which may make it more appealing to those of us who like a little variety, compared to the World Series of Poker. There are trade-offs: Buy-ins at LAPC aren’t as large. LA’s a bit more expensive to get around without a car than Vegas. But who could pass up a $350 Crazy Pineapple 8 or Better tournament?
The first two full weeks of the series (1/17-30) have some particular appeal. Apart from a $100K NLHE Bounty game on the first Sunday ($350 buy-in, $100 bounties) and a $250K guarantee NLHE Turbo with $240 buy-in (eight starting flights through the week, with Day 2 on the 25th), there arr 1pm games (mostly $350 buy-ins) of Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, Triple Stud (7-Card Stud Hi and Hi-lo, and Razz), mixed Omaha Hi-Lo and 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo, PLO, PLO8, Limit Hold’em, HORSE, NLHE All In Or Fold, not to mention nightly satellites to the Main Event at the end of February.
Plus, if you get on the list early and can get over to the Bicycle Casino with an extra $500+ in your pocket, you might be able to play 5/5 PLO on Live At the Bike with Abe Limon in the commentary booth.
So, if you’re ready to make me into the next Greg Raymer (minus the embarrassing non-conviction arrest), drop me a line. I know where I want to go. Plus Limon’s holding $250 for me from a prop bet we won (that’s half my LATB buy-in right there!)
This Week in Portland Poker
- Encore Club has a special $8K tournament tonight at 8pm, $50 buy-in, $25 add-on, no re-entry or re-buy. They’ve announced another $35K guarantee for the 23rd.
- The Game has announced a bigger, better Big Shot for the end of the month, with $20K guaranteed to first place.
Only a Day Away
- The Venetian New Year’s Extravaganza runs through Sunday.
- WPTDeepstacks at Hustler Casino in LA continues through the 11th. Followed immediately by the four-day Liz Flynt Poker Championship (January 12-15). The WPTDeepstacks Main Event is $1.1K with a $300K guarantee. The Liz Flynt event is a $200K with a $275 buy-in and six entry flights over three days.
- Sunday is the rescheduled $317 buy-in Super Deepstack Freezeout at Black Diamond Poker Club in Albany. 1pm start time and 60K in chips.
- Sunday at Stones Gambling Hall near Sacramento is a two-day $100K guarantee, with a $1,110 buy-in, 40 minute levels, and 60 minutes at the final table (live-streamed). You can see examples of the casino’s live-streamed 5/5 and 5/10 cash games in their Twitch archives.
Check out the Pacific Northwest Tournament Calendar for more poker.