WSOPC returns to NorCal's Thunder Valley on Sept. 6

August 29, 2018, Dan Ross, Rob Solomon, Jay Zeman, Philip Chow, Kittie Aleman  

The World Series of Poker Circuit returns Sept. 6-17 to Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, Calif., for the first of its two stops here this season. The opening-weekend $400 event has five starting flights and a $300K guarantee. It drew nearly 1,600 entries in January. The $1,700 main event on the final weekend has two starting flights and a $500K guarantee. Please see the ad of our latest issue on Pages 16-17 for more details.

LUCKY CHANCES CASINO: Results from the PokerStars Moneymaker Tour event in late August weren’t completed at press time. Look for a recap in a future issue.

JACKSON RANCHERIA: The schedule has changed with $500 guarantees each Tuesday and Wednesday night. The first
36 entries receive a free entry into the $1,500 guarantee the first Wednesday of the next month. As for promotions, spin the wheel for $1 and sit in a $3-$6 limit game with your winnings every Friday and Saturday night starting at 6.

GRATON CASINO: High hands get big on Saturdays (noon-8) with aces full needed to qualify for the $500 per hour. High hands Monday-Friday (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.) are $100 per hour, with a chance Fridays (5-10 p.m.) to spin for $1K.

LIVERMORE CASINO: Play the $175 deepstack re-entry tournament the third Saturday every month with $2K for first place if at least 20 players enter.

CAPITOL CASINO: The house adds $1K to the prize pool for the 11 a.m. tournaments the first and second Saturday each month. Those $100 events have 6K stacks and a 2K bonus for a $5 add-on.

CALIFORNIA GRAND CASINO: The progressive bad-beat jackpot (quad eights) starts at $140K but there’s a twist. It’s available daily from 2-4 a.m. and 8-10 a.m. Aside from the players in the hand who get most of the winnings, all active players in the room get $200 each.

— Dan Ross owns Hold’em Media Group, including the Hold’em Radio Poker Podcast Network and Hold’em Live Updates, doing tournament reporting across America. You can reach him at dan@holdemradio.com.

Southern California
Simon Lam, owner of Rollin Deep Ice Cream in Costa Mesa, Calif., scooped the victory for $565K in the WPT Gardens Poker Festival Main Event.

He entered heads-up play, after surviving nearly 600 entries, with a 4-to-1 lead against Jake Schindler and it took just 10 hands for Lam to win it all.

On the final hand, Lam’s J-9 pipped Schindler’s J-8 on a board of J-7-2-3-2, earning Schindler $366,740 for second, followed by Men Nguyen ($270,430), Craig Varnell ($201,615), Saya Ono ($151,995) and Jared Griener ($115,885).

BICYCLE CASINO: The poker room will host a series Oct. 1-2 with a variety of games, formats and buy-ins. Game choices include hold’em, HORSE and Omaha. There will be deepstack, no ante and Quantum formats offered. Buy-ins are $150-$4,300. Go to thebike.com for more details.

PECHANGA RESORT CASINO: The Endless Summer Poker Series, featuring NLHE events, runs Sept. 18-23. There will be two survivor events for $70, three megastacks with $20K or $30K guarantees, a women’s survivor event for $150 and a $400 main event with a $200K guarantee and four Day 1s. For more, go to pechanga.com.

OCEAN’S 11: WPT DeepStacks San Diego Series returns Oct. 6. The $1,100 main event runs Oct. 11-15 and features 25K chips. Go to oceans11.com for the schedule.

Reno

HARVEYS LAKE TAHOE: The annual WSOPC returns Oct. 25-Nov. 5. Stay tuned for more details. 

ATLANTIS CASINO: Players earn $4 comps for every hour of cash-game played until the end of the year.

SILVER LEGACY: The next freeroll tourney will be Nov. 2. Qualify by logging 25 hours of live play in October.

PEPPERMILL CASINO: The daily tournaments gradually are changing their structures into big blind antes. Looking ahead, Jason Somerville’s Run It Up charity series is Oct. 19-29. Look for more details soon.

Pacific Northwest

MUCKLESHOOT CASINO: The Fall Poker Classic runs Sept. 21-30 in Auburn, Wash. Events 1-3, which are $300 and $400 NLHE and $200 limit, respectively, run the first weekend. Events 4-7, which are $200 Omaha/8, $500 and $750 NLHE and $300 NLHE, respectively, are the second weekend. There will be $500K in guarantees, plus $20K distributed to the top four players in overall tournament performance.

SNOQUALMIE CONTROVERSY: The poker room closed Aug. 2, but that wasn’t the lead story from the Washington property. A $2 player-supported jackpot drop had built a healthy fund and, assumed by many, needed to be purged before the closure, awarding the money to poker players. The room kept taking the drop after the announcement and didn’t award the cash in time. The remainder was given to the Ultimate Texas Hold’em jackpot, angering its poker players.

The Washington Gambling Commission doesn’t see any issue with using the money in this way, though cardrooms in the state are prohibited from using cash-poker-player money to promote tournaments or table games.

Las Vegas

An Ante Up Poker Tour event will be part of the next big tournament series at The Venetian Las Vegas.

The Venetian Las Vegas DeepStack Extravaganza III runs Sept. 3-23 at the iconic resort on the Las Vegas Strip. The series includes 32 events, all with prize-pool guarantees. Event 17 will be the three-flight AUPT event Sept. 13-16, featuring a $600 buy-in and a $200K guarantee. Players will start with 20K units and levels will be 40 minutes.

For more details, please visit Venetian.com/Deepstack or VenetianPokerRoom.Blog.

In other news, the October Extravaganza runs Oct. 15-21. A $400 Monster Stack tournament has three starting flights beginning Oct. 18. Players start with 30K chips and play 30-minute levels on Day 1, 40 minutes on Day 2. The prize pool guarantee is $150K. The series starts off with a $340 doublestack with a $100K guarantee. It has two starting flights, a 25K starting stack and 40-minute levels. The evening events are a mix of bounty, rebuy and regular NLHE events, all priced at $200.  

A monthly $400 seniors tournament runs the first Thursday of each month. The starting stack is 15K, the levels are 30 minutes and the guarantee is $25K.

The room is running a high-hand-of-the-hour promo in October. Between noon and midnight, the highest hand each hour will earn $1K. 

In tourney news, Pavel Plesuv from Russia won the $3,500 Mid-States Poker Tour event in late June, earning $640K. Yat Cheng from North Carolina received $393K for second and James Romero from Oregon took home $291K for third. The event drew nearly 1,100 entrants and had a prize pool of $3.5M.

The $5K main event went to Boston’s Anthony Zinno, who earned $467K. The United Kingdom’s Ben Jones received $391K for second and New York’s Bryan Piccioli scored $238K for third. The total prize pool was $3.5M and the event drew 547 entrants.

BINION'S: The room is closing out the year with something new for its Saturday afternoon tournaments. The $300 tourneys, all starting at noon, will offer a different discipline each week.

The first Saturday of each month will feature HORSE. Players start with 25K chips and 30-minute levels.  

The second Saturday features a bounty event. The starting stack is 25K and levels start at 30 minutes, increasing to
40 minutes at Level 13. The bounty is $100 and the tournament uses the big-blind-ante format.

The next week is pot-limit Omaha with the same levels and 25K stack.

The fourth Saturday introduces the Downtown Button Straddle. It’s a NLHE event but with the straddle option, a staple of cash games but unusual for tournaments. The first straddle option belongs to the button, who can straddle any amount double the big blind or larger. When the button straddles, play begins with the small blind. If the button doesn’t straddle, the player under-the-gun may straddle for double the big blind. The big-blind-ante format is featured with the same stack and levels.

When the month has a fifth Saturday, the game will be PLO/8, with the same details as the PLO event. 

Sunday through Friday at 1 p.m., and every evening at 7, the room offers a $60 tournament with a 10K stack, 20-minute levels and a $20 add-on for 10K more.

BOULDER STATION: The room has plenty of promotions for Omaha and hold’em players. The newest Omaha promotion is a unique one. It runs Tuesdays and Saturdays and will award players $1K if they’re dealt quads as their hole cards.

Other Omaha promos include a progressive bad-beat jackpot, a $500 high hand of the day on Sundays and Mondays and a $200 high-hand-of-the-shift three times a day on Thursdays.

The $4-$8 Omaha game with a half-kill always has multiple tables running and has a $40 minimum buy-in.

The hold’em promos include progressive quads and straight-flush payouts. Flopping quads is good for $500 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays. There’s also a progressive full house promo on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Full houses with deuces as the pair portion get a bonus, starting at $100 and increasing to $1K.

GOLDEN NUGGET: The newest promo is the High Hand of the Hour during graveyard hours, paying $100 hourly between midnight and 8 a.m. If no hand qualifies, the money rolls over to the next hour. There still are progressive high hands and a bad-beat jackpot.

A $2-$4 limit game with a $20 minimum buy-in runs 24-7, as does a $1-$2 NLHE game with a $100 minimum and no maximum. You can often see huge stacks in play in this game.

WYNN: Florian Duta won the $1,600 Wynn Classic Championship for $430K in July. Yuliyan Kolev of Bulgaria claimed second for $284K and Cy Williams of Northern California earned $196K for third. The event drew 2,100-plus players, creating a prize pool of $3M-plus, smashing the $1.5M guarantee.

The $400 seniors event is the first Wednesday of the month, has a 15K starting stack, 30-minute levels and a $25K guarantee. On those days, it replaces the $140 daily that runs Monday-Thursday. On Fridays and Sundays, a $200 event runs with a $10K guarantee. The Saturday tournament features a $25K guarantee and a $225 buy-in.

ARIA: The big-blind-ante format is featured in all of the room’s daily tournaments. Monday through Thursday at
1 p.m. is $140 for 12K chips and 30-minute levels. The same tournament runs at 7 p.m. on the same days. Friday through Sunday, the tournament starts at 11 a.m. and has a $240 buy-in. The starting stack is 20K and the levels are 30 minutes. Friday through Sunday at 7 p.m., the $140 tournament offers 20-minute levels and a 20K stack.
— Check out Rob Solomon’s blog at robvegaspoker.blogspot.com .

Meet Andrew Neeme

Andrew Neeme is a pro poker player and vlogger who moved to Las Vegas after working in marketing and the music industry in Los Angeles.

How did you get started in poker and vlogging? I got started playing online on a handful of sites that became popular after the Moneymaker boom. Online poker was easy back then and I was able to grind up a roll from the micros to a healthy $5-$10 no-limit stake. As the percentage of my income grew in that pursuit, I decided to make the leap full time and moved to Las Vegas in 2008.

After playing poker full time in Las Vegas for about eight years, the grind had started to burn me out a bit. Or a lot. I was missing a creative outlet and felt a bit lonely at times, since the only real outcome from my work was a small uptick or downtick in my net worth. I wanted to share the ride with an audience I thought might get a kick out of having a window into the low or midstakes grinder life, with Las Vegas as the main backdrop. The vast majority of the poker media coverage was focused on nosebleed cash games and tournaments, while the biggest portion of the audience would never be able to sit in those games. I wanted to showcase the games that people were actually playing without sacrificing too much production quality.

What are your poker goals?  I want to keep moving up in stakes. I want to win a million dollars. The usual stuff. And with the vlog, we’ll eventually get to 100K subscribers on YouTube. All of that stuff will happen, and it’s only a matter of time. — Rob Solomon