By Barbara Engler
On Friday May 4 DeepStacks Live came to the Turlock Poker Room for a one-day seminar, followed by a tournament with all the pros on Saturday and Sunday.
The team was headed by DeepStacks founder, president, and CEO Chris Torina and lead instructor Jason Lee. Originally Michael Mizrachi was scheduled to attend but had to cancel at the last minute. No problem. Enter four-time bracelet winner and former world champion Tom McEvoy to pick up the slack.
Others in attendance as instructors were Chip and Karina Jett, and Darrel Dier, a young pro from Sacramento on his first DeepStacks assignment. Filling out the roster was poker announcer and NorCal resident Lon McEachern to act as host, emcee, and all-around good guy.
Torina, a former Florida police officer who started DeepStacks in 2007, likes to think of his outfit as a “one stop shop of poker service.” In addition to the live seminars they also have online training, a research division, and have begun their own series of live events called the DeepStacks Poker Tour.
“Turlock is probably in my top three of favorite places to come,” Torina said. “They’ve just been great to work with. I love coming up here just because of how nice people are and how excited they are about DeepStacks.”
Some of the things they went over during the six-hour seminar included: know why you are raising and the preflop raise size that will get you the result you want; avoiding trap hands; getting value from small pairs; and when and how to bluff.
A lot of it might have been familiar to many of the campers, but, as Torina said, “The things you know you may not be applying correctly.” He added that everyone should, “Get one or two things from the camp and the rest will filter in over the next few months. You’ll be in a situation and will remember what you learned.”
When the 2nd Annual Central California Summer Poker Classic began on Saturday morning they had 106 entries at $300 + $40 creating a prize pool of $31,800. Players started with 12,000 chips (or 15,000 for a $10 staff bonus). Levels were 40 minutes and play continued for 15 levels that day.
DeepStacks pro Jason Lee was the chip leader at the end of Day 1 and jokingly boasted, “It’s pretty much game over for everybody. They’re just not aware of it.”
He continued to lead through most of Day 2 right through to the final table. When most of the dust had settled the final three players were Lee, McEvoy, and last year’s runner-up Scott Nguyen of Ripon. At that point that made a three-way deal that paid them each $4,823, but they continued to play for the trophy and bragging rights. Lee was the first one eliminated and his earlier boast had been reduced to, “I apparently can’t win coin flips against world champions.”
McEvoy and Nguyen battled for another hour before Nguyen was victorious, claiming the title, trophy, and one year’s worth of free entries to all TPR tournaments.
After being relegated to second place, McEvoy said, “It was a lot of fun. He’s a real good player. He came in second they said—last year in this event—so I was trying to make it two-in-a-row for him. But everyone here was super nice.”
Nguyen gushed, “Thank you to the owner of the Turlock Poker Room for having this kind of event. I really love it and I really enjoyed playing with all the pros. I feel really great and I was lucky to beat the pro.”
It’s not too early to plan on attending next year in early May, as the Turlock Poker Room plans to continue holding both the seminar and the Summer Poker Classic every year for the foreseeable future.
DeepStacks will be returning to the Turlock Poker Room even before next May!
Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi will be the featured player when TPR holds the 1st Annual “Grinder” Open on Oct. 13 and 14. Details to come!
Every Saturday at 11:45 p.m. They will be hosting a Midnight Madness tournament with a $35 + $3 buy-in for 3,000 chips, with an optional $2 dealer appreciation fee for an additional 1,000 chips.
TPR will be adding $100 to the prize pool. A mininum of 10 players will be required to get the tournament going.