No News Is Good News
Unfortunately, there is news. After a working meeting last Wednesday in the state Senate’s General Government and Accountability committee on House Bill 2190—aimed at shutting down poker rooms in Oregon (specifically those in Portland)—there was a little bit of hope when Brian Pempus at CardPlayer wrote the headline “Oregon Senate Committee Is No Fan Of Anti-Poker Room Bill.” The article wasn’t entirely positive, but it did indicate some interest from committee members in perhaps finding some accommodation.
The enemies of Portland poker are legion, however, and in an article published Sunday in Willamette Week, Nigel Jacquiss covered a new front opened by the Oregon Lottery, which is threatening the lottery franchise held by Portland Meadows, on the basis of alleged violations of state social gaming laws and city ordinances. A letter from the lottery director dated last Tuesday would seem to force the operators of the facility to choose between the sure bet of their take from lottery games and machines, and holding onto a poker room that’s already in peril.
Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the Lottery—it not only sucks money away from working-class Oregonians to make up for a lack of political will to raise income taxes, but it’s horribly inefficient by needing to raise about two dollars for every dollar of revenue, and needing to spend a good chunk of that revenue to administrators and companies that sell lottery products, not to mention advertising to try to convince people to play the lottery in the first place.You could get rid of the lottery entirely, raise taxes by the amount the lottery brings in, and actually save some money. Of course, then you’d have to pay unemployment to the guy who wrote that letter.
Many moons ago, there was a Portland satirical newspaper called The Free Agent, run by some bright young people known to the Poker Mutant. Most of them have gone on to far greater things then I have (I’d say “all of them,” but there may be one who fell hard like me), and one of them is writing a Q&A column in Willamette Week as Dr. Know. One thing I do know is how to get letters in newspapers, for whatever that’s worth, and Dr. Know took on one of my questions the other day.
This week’s mover onto the leaderboard is Tommy Kendrick of Olympia, who got to what looks like a four-way chop in a $20K GTD during the Venetian May Weekend Extravaganza for a 2nd-place finish of over $6,500.
Big money this week was for Kevin Jenkins of Kent, with a 3rd-place finish in a preliminary tournament at WSOPC New Orleans with nearly 1,000 entries, nearly doubling his lifetime earnings. A distant runner-up was Valparaiso, Idaho’s Paul Loduca, with the runner-up in a 6-Max at HPT Chicago.
Nobody new on the leaderboard this week, but expect a lot of new names and movement in the next edition, after the first week of the WSOP.
This Week In Portland Poker
- The Gardens Poker Festival $1M GTD Main Event is underway with six more days of entry flights ($565) before Day 2 on Tuesday.
- We’re already more than a week into the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza III. Coming up Friday and Saturday are $600 entry flights for a $200K GTD. MOnday is the first of two flights for a $250K GTD with $1,100 buyin.
- The WSOP Warm-Up Series at Horseshoe Hammond starts its Main Event tomorrow, with entry on Friday and Saturday. $680 gets you into a 2-day event with three $10K WSOP Main Event seats added to the prize pool.
- River Rock Casino’s May Showdown at the Rock starts today in Vancouver, with three events: C$230, C$345 (including C$50 bounty), and a two-day C$575 tournament with two entry days. You can pre-register by calling their poker room, registrations are transferable/non-refundable, and each flight will have 100 players max.
- Thursday at Planet Hollywood is the start of Goliath 2017. The first event is a $250K GTD with a $600 buyin and starting days through Saturday.
- Oaks Card Club in Emeryville, California has a WSOP $1,500 Seven-Card Stud qualilfier on Saturday at 11am.
- Tulalip Casino’s Last Sunday of the Month Tourney for May is a $35K GTD with $400 buyin (including dealer addon). It starts at 11am.
- Sunday at noon is the Muckleshoot monthly Deepstack, for $300.
- Lucky Chances south of San Francisco has a tournament Sunday with $20K GTD for the first place finisher and a $375 buyin. It starts at 9:30am. The next morning is a $4K for first tournament ($130 buyin), FYI: their regular weekly schedule has an $8K for first GTD every Sunday.
- Tuesday the 30th, it’s time for The Grand at the Golden Nugget. Nearly 60 events through 3 July, with what is usually the most diverse ange of tournaments at easily-affordable buyins. There’s a Mixed PLO8/Omaha Hi-Lo/Big O tournament on 5 June, all Big O on 26 June, and the $570 PLO8/Omaha Hi-Lo/Big O Championship the next day.
- And , of course, there’s the World Series of Poker starting the same day and running through 17 July. It kicks off with Daily Deepstacks and cash games on the first day, then there’s the Casino Employee event, a $10K buyin Tag Team tournament, the $3K shootout, $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo, and on the weekend, the Colossus III, with an $8M guarantee, $1M to first, and just a $565 buyin.
- Not to be left out, Bicycle Casino Summer Poker Series in Los Angeles is where you can find the people who aren’t making the few hour trip to Las Vegas. It runs all through June.
- The other ball drops in Vegas a week from Friday with series spinning up at Aria, Binions, and the Wynn.
- The Orleans dropped their summer series a couple of years back, but that doens’t mean the place is dead. If anything, they don’t have to do anything special to get people in to play, so they just piggyback off the rest of the series. That doesn’t mean they won’t do something out of the ordinary from time-to-time, and Saturday, 3 June, they’re running a Triple Stud tournament for just $150. Not big money, but how can you say no?