When the going gets rough, the rough hit the road...
The best investment I ever made was to buy into the $200+15 poker tournament at The Wildhorse Resort and Casino in Pendleton Oregon a few days before we moved here to Kauai. That was in April of 2007 and I got an 11,000% return on my money. That’s a tricky way to say I turned $200 into $22,000 over night. There is a new series of those tournaments starting on Nov. 5th this year and if you are any kind of a medium bankrolled poker player, you should drop by these events.
It used to be just one of the best series of tournaments in the country and now there are hardly any that can even be considered in its league. Jack Binion’s in Tunica is gone. The Reno Hilton is no longer, its replacement sucks and you might get a field of 33 people. I used to play a lot at Hollywood Park, now it’s a joke. $55+15? That’s unbeatable.
The Wildhorse Round-Up is not only good –Its FAIR. You know how much harder it is to deal a $1000 tournament than it is to deal a $200 tournament? Exactly. It’s the same, so the juice should be the same. Not only that but there is no juice in the super-satellites to get into the smaller tournaments. And when there is juice for a tournament its $15 as in the first tournament on Nov.15th-- $200+15. Juice needs to be less than 10% of the buy-in for even the slightly above average player to be able to beat the game.
Now here’s something even better- They add $3000 in prize money in that $200+15 so its like the first 200 people’s “juice” goes back in the pot. Ask them to do that in L.A. or Vegas or anywhere else and see the look on their faces. They also add $10,000 to the $1000 NLHE tournament on Nov 15th and the juice is still only $15. In fact they add at least $3K to every tournament and even $1K to the mega-satellites into the $1000.
The only tournament they don’t add money to is the Seniors event and instead they cut the juice. Old people don’t need money anyway. They can’t chew anything hard, why spend money to look good when you are old anyway, and how long are they likely to remember a windfall anyway? See? They think things out up there in Pendleton.
I’m not going to go too far into how good the side cash games are but I wrote an article about them not too long ago and I honestly compared the local players to brain damaged, no-short-term-memory accident victims kind of like the lead character in the film ‘Memento.” Suffice it to say that if you flop trips (not a set)on say A22 and you check the flop, you can fire the next two streets and get paid off in full by any Ace.
If I was an ardent or committed cash game player I would never share this information with you. In fact I have gotten more negative emails from that original article than from all my other ones combined( I know, hard to believe). It was as if I was the masked magician on t.v. revealing how the woman was sawed in half, the bunny drawn from the hat.
As an added bonus this time The Wildhorse has bought up a bunch of Caribbean poker cruise vacations and are giving away 14 of them to tournament winners etc. Unlike some other venues they do not “pay” for these out of the tournament pool. They actually reach into their own pockets and pay for the things. There’s also free buffet dinners and tours of the famous Pendleton Underground and special bounties on “bounty players” and a bunch of cool extras like that.
I’ve won and made quite a bit of money from time to time in my life but I can honestly tell you the money I made by winning that tournament was about the sweetest I ever came by. It was two years into this bad run I am still within and I played the whole day short stacked and with no cards. Ten hours in and down to two tables the best starting hand I had held all day was 88 and the best made hand was two pair. But the structure was fair enough that I could use my powers of patience and concentration to persevere. There’s not that many low buy-in tournaments that allow you such a possibly and the structures are even better today than they were back then.
My only peeve is that they seemed to have eliminated the golf tournament and even in the one they had back last April they got rid of the longest drive payout. I had plans for that money.
Thanks for reading.
Poker PS. Played two tournaments a $20+2 and a $200+15.
First one had an okay stack and then rr a single limp from the button 200 to 900. The SB rr me to 1800, limp folded and I pushed w the dreaded AA. He had KQ and flop came QQ4- so I'm medium stacked.
Two hands later I raise w JJ 200 to 750 and guy with 88 pushes for 2200. I call and lose.
Two hands after that one guy limps for 300 another goes all-in for 5400 and I have A Q in BB with 1500 back. What's the difference? I call. he has KK and I'm out.
Big tournament I build it up a bit then go card dead. I sit for two hours and then rr a limp from butt holding A Q . He calls. Flop Q 4 3 . He goes all-in. Hmmm. I call he has K Q and hits K river, I'm short.
I limp without getting rraised in late position 5 times w small pairs and brick and fold. I pick up some pots bluffing but I'm just hanging in and I have little belief anything good is going to come my way. And I'm starting to want to go run the bay- not a good sign.
Four limps and i call too w A 2 on button and flop comes Q 5 2 . Guy pots for 750 I go all-in for 2000 he calls w K Q. I turn and ace then he runner runners a flush. Thanks for playing. Come again soon.
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