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Your Muckleshoot Spring Classic Player of the Series is…

March 22, 2018

…me!

Ship that extra $6000 my way!

But not without controversy.

I’m going to tell this story how it happened, even though it will probably upset some of the parties involved. Because maybe they are going to look bad. But that’s not my fault. It’s their fault.

So heading into Day 2 of the Main Event, I was in first place by myself in the Player of the Series standings. 34 players were returning for Day 2 and I knew that if I didn’t add to my point total by final tabling, there were a couple guys still in that could pass me if they finished in 8th or better. I also knew that if they played down to a single winner, the winner would get 150 points plus whatever participation points they had and that person could pass me also.

Well, I busted out in 29th for no additional PotS points and I didn’t want to stick around much, so I headed to Fortune to kill a few hours playing $8/$16 and planned to head back to Muck when they reached the final table and make sure I wasn’t the victim of any shenanigans. I was messaging Flexx via Facebook and he was keeping me in the loop of what was going on. While I was playing, The Leak messaged me and basically summoned me home, saying she hadn’t seen me all week and she wasn’t wrong, so I decided to go home instead of playing a cash game I wasn’t really interested in and sweating a final table I wasn’t playing at.

So I headed home and Flexx kept me in the loop of what was going on in the Main Event. One of the guys that could catch me busted out in 17th. The other guy that could catch me ended up final tabling and passing me in points, but as I mentioned in a previous blog, you had to enter four tournaments in order to qualify for Player of the Series (more on that later) and he didn’t do that and couldn’t qualify. Ouch for him.

Of course, this was information I was getting from Flexx, not from anyone actually running the series, so while it seemed somewhat reliable I wasn’t exactly banking on it just yet. I would need official word before I got truly excited about it, but my understanding was that the only way I could fall behind on the series leaderboard was if someone that had played in at least four events ended up finishing in at least second place. I suppose if there was an even chop there was some way I could be passed, but it seemed unlikely.

A little before midnight on Monday I got a phone call from Flexx saying they were doing a 4-way chop and that he didn’t want to collude with the points to take first place in the Player of the Series race. I am very non-confrontational, especially when taken by surprise, so I didn’t really know what to say to him. He was acting like he was doing me a favor by not cheating and taking enough points to pass me and even asked me to give him $500 for doing me this huge solid. I was admittedly bewildered and didn’t really know what to make of it. Since when does someone ever intentionally cost themselves thousands of dollars so that someone else can have it? I was taken aback, not able to fully absorb what was happening in the moment and told him I would consider it.

It didn’t take me long to realize it didn’t make any sense and that I should definitely NOT be giving him any of my money. He had mentioned something about he could play it out and maybe win it and pass me legitimately and it occurred to me that that is exactly what he would do if he had any real chance in this tournament still. There’s no way he’d be chopping if his chances of finishing first were greater than his chances of finishing fourth (more on that later).

Anyways, I went to bed thinking that I had won Player of the Series and that I would be not giving Flexx $500. Still, I wouldn’t really believe it until someone from Muckleshoot told me it was true.

Tuesday I went to see Red Sparrow with a friend and before I left my house, I had tagged a Muckleshoot employee in a Facebook poker group and asked him to post the final standings. Someone made a disturbing comment, they said: “[Flexx] won POS … I believe..?” This was on my mind as I was watching the movie and I was having a really hard time paying attention. When my Dexcom warned me of low blood sugar, I used it as an excuse to step outside, get some popcorn, and check to see if the standings were posted yet. That’s when I saw it:

1. K.Seachao 152 points
2. M.Coombs 150 points

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

I was boiling mad. It shouldn’t have been possible. And it was exactly what Flexx had called me the night before to insure me would NOT happen. And yet there it was. He was first and I was second.

When I walked back in the theater, I was pretty relieved to hear my friend say, “it’s still as bad as it was before” and I said “let’s go then.” I could barely concentrate on the movie before but now I was fuming. There was no way I was going to finish watching it.

Time to put The Dark Knight’s detective skills to work.

Adding up the remaining points available for the final four players and dividing by four, I discovered that it was possible that Flexx could pass me. He could get 127 points for the chop plus 25 points for participation. That did equal 152. But the only way this should be allowed to happen was if the prize pool was also divided up evenly. If someone got more money than anyone else, then they were indisputably the winner of the tournament and should receive first place points. Or, at worst, the remaining points should be divvied up by the same percentages that the prize pool was. If this sounds like too much work for the staff, well, boo fucking hoo. There are thousands of dollars on the line and staff laziness shouldn’t be a factor in who wins Player of the Series.

So I asked them to post the payouts and saw that someone got $35k, two players got $30k, and Flexx got $25k. There is no way he should have or could have passed me in points.

I called to protest. I was told that’s how they always divide up the points and I immediately called bullshit. Literally four days earlier when I won the Friday night tournament, I got twice as much money as the other players so I got first place points and they divided the rest of the points up evenly. That makes a lot of sense. I was the clear winner of the tournament so I got first place points. They all got the same amount of money so they all got the same amount of points. Good job, Muckleshoot staff! Now what’s this crap you’re telling me about how this is how you “always do it?” The tournament director was silent for a bit and then said he would get back to me.

I’m happy to report they called me back rather quickly and said that I won Player of the Series. I wish I could applaud them for fixing it in a rather timely fashion, but it’s hard to commend them for not allowing me to be screwed out of $2000. If I didn’t question the final standings, I would have lost $2000. If I accepted the TD’s attempt to dismiss me by saying “that’s how we always do it” then I would have lost $2000.

So no, I’m not exactly grateful about it because I’m not sure that it was an honest mistake. They were either standing by while I was getting screwed over or they need to be more in tune to what’s actually happening. I shouldn’t have to overcome laziness or turning a blind eye in order to win Player of the Series – and no one else should ever have to worry about it either.

After I walked out of the movie, I went to Palace to try and handle this situation and ran into John Kim (more on him later), the guy that ended up taking the lion’s share ($35k) of the 4-way Main Event chop, and he told me a much different story than the one Flexx was trying to sell me. He said that Flexx was doing everything he possibly could to make sure he won Player of the Series. Unfortunately, this sounds more like the Flexx I know than the one that was telling me “I don’t care about Player of the Series” and “I hope you win it.” It makes me think that his phone call to me was an attempt to net an extra $500 in case he didn’t win PotS (note: even after talking to Flexx after posting this, I still don’t get why he thought I should give him $500). John also told me he shouldn’t have made the deal because he had over 3 million in chips, the other two had around 2 million, and Flexx only had about 500k (like I said, Flexx wouldn’t be chopping if he wasn’t on the ropes).

(Note: Flexx says these chip counts are wrong. Maybe they are. I was told what they were and kind of estimated but the impression was John K had lots of chips and Flexx was the short stack by a decent margin so the point remains – no one was doing me any favor).

So am I happy that I won Player of the Series? Of course! It’s an extra $6000! But it does feel a bit tainted since I had to call a referee timeout and get a reversal from New York in order to win it.

Do I think I deserve Player of the Series? Honestly? Not really. The requirement that you have to play at least four events to qualify is absolutely silly. The Wednesday, Thursday and Friday tournaments start at noon. How many people with day jobs can realistically make the four tournament requirement without requesting time off from work? Someone could work those three days, win the $500 and Main Event back-to-back and not be eligible for Player of the Series.
That is simply garbage. Perhaps a better requirement is that you have to cash at least two events? It makes sense that in order to be Player of the Series, cashing in multiple events should be more important than playing a certain amount of events. If this was the case, then Flexx wouldn’t have even been in contention to swoop in for a possible win and I wouldn’t have even won it.

John Kim played a better series than I did. He not only won the Main Event, but he also final tabled the $300 event that I won. And the guy played his ass off. He made some mistakes at the $300 final table, but I have no doubt that he played better than I did to get there. He’s an accumulator and I’m a survivor and if I had to pick what style I admire more, I definitely think the accumulators are playing better poker. Plus, after telling me that he regretted his play at our final table, he went out and shipped the Main Event instead. Congrats dude! He also passed me in points and would have won Player of the Series if he had played in at least four events. Not my fault, but it does seem pretty shitty.

Tommy Kivela also passed me in points. He had a sick week. We both final tabled the Little Creek Main Event on Sunday, we both final tabled the Limit Omaha 8 or Better tournament at Muckleshoot, then he was part of another final table chop and capped off his ridiculous week by finishing 7th in the Muckleshoot Main Event. I would have been okay losing Player of the Series to Tommy because he had an amazing week, but he didn’t play in four events either. I noticed that I didn’t get participation points for the Omaha event, so if Tommy missed out on winning Player of the Series because the Omaha didn’t count as an entry, well, then that’s just total crap.

Josh Sepulveda also had a huge showing at this series. I’d never heard of or seen this kid before but I was incredibly impressed with his play. He looked pretty young, probably in his early or mid twenties and if this series was any indication, he has a bright future ahead of him – at least in no limit hold’em tournaments. He played the hyperLAG style to perfection and almost always had a mountain of chips in front of him and any time I saw him lose a big pot, he was right back in the thick of it, winning those chips back almost immediately. Because of his super loose and aggressive style, I was forced to play extremely snug or get into high variance leveling wars with him, and I chose to take the former route and I have to say, at times, it was rather humiliating. Josh ended up chopping with the other three players in the $300 event that I won and he made a deep run in the Main Event, busting in 17th I believe. Josh didn’t pass me in points, but he sure impressed the hell out of me and if I had to say which one of us played better, I’d say he did. I have a feeling he will be doing big things in the near future.

I definitely think the Player of the Series race needs to be tweaked and more closely moderated. The four event qualification should be replaced by a minimum of two cashes and, for goodness sake, if you’re going to have an Omaha event, it should count as an entry and be eligible for points. It shouldn’t be advertised as part of the series if it’s not actually part of the series. Finally, the points should be awarded carefully and consistently. There are thousands of dollars on the line in this race and being wishy washy and hands off about how they are distributed is a good way for something like this to happen. Maybe someone important from Muckleshoot will read this and make the necessary changes or maybe they won’t. If they do, I’ll go ahead and add that they absolutely need to have a pot limit omaha event. It’s 2018 for crying out loud. We are still playing five no limit hold’em events?? Really?

I’m not mad at Flexx for being Flexx. It’s hard to be mad when I have an extra $6000 in my pocket now! I half expect him to read this and think he’s still drawing live at that $500 he asked me for.

Lastly, what a monkey off my back. I can finally stop marking the Muckleshoot Classic on my calendar as my semi-annual donation to the local player pool. The Muck went from being my all-time worst location to… somewhere in my top 5. I have to say I enjoy my tendency of taking my worst locations and turning them around with massive statements. I hope it’s something I can continue to do in the future. Next up: Commerce!

One comment

  1. […] not grab me at all. To be fair, I was incredibly distracted while watching it, as I explained in this post, but even if I was focused on the movie, I don’t think I would have been impressed. This is […]



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