I definitely was not expecting to be posting another update before the end of 2020. There’s no live poker going on in Portland (officially). There are some tournaments going on around the country but they haven’t really ramped up to a fraction of the usual, and the usual between Thanksgiving and Christmas is minimal. But here we are, just a couple weeks on from 10th anniversary post.
2020 In Review
For me, this has been one of those years where I’m just happy I’m employed and not relying on my poker winnings to supplement whatever meagre earnings I had as a security guard or grocery cashier or a freelance multimedia developer. My specialty has been live poker tournaments with fields of 60—150 players, and while I’ve never been hugely profitable, I’ve had some decent years. This has not been one of them.
For one thing, the last live game I played was in early March. I played six events for $10K and $20K guarantees at Final Table, but cashed only one of those and still came out $100 down after taking 13th because of a rebuy. And, of course, I went down to the Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic just as the coronavirus was becoming a known thing and didn’t cash there at all (and did a re-entry in the 6-Max, ouch!)
Anyway, most of my poker since lockdown has been on Ignition. Did a brief run on Nitrogen in the spring to support the Portland Meadows series there and had some minor success playing 1¢/2¢ and 2¢/4¢ PLO, with one session even winning 1800bb in less than an hour, but I was chasing the tournament dragon and those 4¢ big blinds get gobbled up pretty fast.
Some ambitious soul put me into some America’s Card Room medium-low PLO tournaments around the same time—my one and only experience with being staked—but I’m afraid this horse was one of those eaten by the dragon. I’ve racked those up as (mostly) losses on my personal database, even though the cost was borne elsewhere. I did manage to claw out a 60th-place finish in an 815-entry $30K guarantee, which got me a profit of less than that of the 2¢/4¢ game on Nitrogen. (I did enjoy getting to play some 7-Card Stud and 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo.)
Big Dog was another of the sites that was pumped locally. I played a few of their Big O tournaments for old-times’ sake, but no good for me.
Most of the year on Ignition has been a downswing for me. Things looked hopeful around the beginning of August, I had a couple satelllite wins and cashes in one of their series (min-cashes). I was runner-up in a $5K guarantee NLHE 6-Max for four figures, then made the final table of a 215-entry PLO8 game, cashed a Thousandaire Maker, then another 6-Max final table. Then it stopped and I was back to playing increasingly-smaller Jackpot Sit-and-Go tournaments and trying to jump-start my bigger tournament wins every few weeks.
Late in November, Portland Meadows paired up with Bomb Pot Poker for another couple online series. I managed to enter a couple of the first series (I’m not saying what I did in them was playing), and I got into three of the Oregon State Championship Series 6-Max games without any results.
So, the year has not helped me recover from the bust of the PacWest series at all. I did manage to contribute to my holiday cheer the other day by late-begging an $11 tournament on Ignition where you start with 50,000 chips and the blinds are 5 minutes long. Got to the final six (from a field of 342) and had A
Gonna need a lot more of those in the next week to get the year even, though. Just won a satellite to one of this weekend’s $221K guaranteesâ€¦.
Losing the Spirit
Dan Beecher on the NW Poker Facebook Page posted a letter from Spirit Mountain Casino, announcing the closure of their Poker Room and their plan to disburse their promotional poker jackpot funds of nearly $120,000. Their “known carded Poker players” are eligible to qualify via a promotional kiosk game running 1—15 January 2021, with the drawing for prizes worth $100,000 from the jackpot on 16 January.
I haven’t gotten a letter myself, so I’m not sure that I qualify, but I’m holding out hope. I do have a Coyote Club card in my stack, and while I didn’t play there often (what with bigger-field tournaments kind of being my thing), I did chop the top prize at a Top of the Mountain series event back in 2013, so hopefully I’m still on the rolls!
Never good to see another venue close.
Bimb Pot Poker Oregon State Online Championship
The afore-mentioned Oregon State Championship Series went off for two weeks in December, with 29 events and $40K in guarantees total, including a $220 NLHE Championship, some 6-Max, some NL Omaha, and a bunch of bomb pot and double-board (sometimes both) mixed in.
So much pot splitting you want a computer to do the work.
Hosted online by Bomb Pot Poker, I’ve got no idea what the payouts from any of the events actually were. Most were in the $500 to $1500 guarantee range, with the championship guaranteeing $10K.
One Jungleman took the win of the Championship, with The Ponz making series point leader, cashing in nearly a third of the offered tournaments.
Apparently, gone are the days when someone who doesn’t even make a final table in a series can win a trophy around these parts!
Spirit of Giving
In these hard times, it’s important to remember the people trying to help and Ben May at Final Table had a Thanksgiving give-away I should have caught in the post earlier this month. Final Table gave away $2,000 in gift cards to people in need the day after the memorial tournament for Heath Bloodgood.
Also worth a mention here is Kat Mullins, who has worn a number of poker hats around town over the years as well as posting contact info for racial justice protests here in Portland through the summer and fall, is leaving (or left by now) our burg for San Diego.
Pacific Northwest Poker Leaderboard
There’s not a huge amount of info to cover since early this month, but it is kind of big information. No new players to report on, but cash game veteran Chris Brewer from Eugene started banging out some tournament cashes in the international leg of the summer’s WSOP on GGPoker, then hit the Wynn High Roller series this month to pick up three cashes in the $10K buyin events. One, we reported on earlier in December, but since then, in two smaller events, he took third (18 entries) and a win (20 entries, beating Alex Foxen and Sam Soverel). These aren’t huge ROI, but the quantities are decent. Those two cashes move him 120 places, up to #156 on the PNW Leaderboard.
Then there’s Max Young, who won the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event, which had 779 entries and a prize pool of $1.2M. Max doesn’t move anywhere from his #5 spot on the Leaderboard, but he’s incredibly close to breaking the $2M mark for live earnings. He broke the $1M mark a little over two years ago, and it’s all a long way from playing at Aces on Powell.
Interviews with Max indicated he might be thinking of moving to Florida, which would take him out of the purview of the Leaderboard, but I’m hoping he makes the $2M mark before that happens!