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Welcome to The Syndicate

The San Diego Syndicate – WSOP Qualifier Series

The Syndicate was formed by a group of friends/poker players who wanted to send a representative to the WSOP Main Event.  There were ten events that first season culminating with Chris Gregg going to the Main Event in the summer of 2006.  The Syndicate is now in its 12th consecutive season and is still going strong.  Last season we sent 3 players to the Main Event and 9 others to $1,500 tournaments.  This time you could be the one that goes to Vegas to represent us at World Series of Poker!

Here’s how it works

We run a 16 tournament series where cash and points are awarded every time you play. At each event 50% of the cash is awarded to that night's winners and the remaining 50% is saved toward our year-end prizes. At the end of the season your top 12 scores are totaled and the winners get to play in the WSOP Main Event!

We also award entries into lower buy-in tournaments, usually at $1,500 buy-ins, for our runners up and even more seats are awarded in an end of the season playoff event. Then, when our players cash in the WSOP they keep 50% of their winnings and the Syndicate shares (and distributes) the other 50%. Everyone who plays in a tournament gets one share in the Syndicate for each event they enter*.

For the 2016 World Series, The Syndicate had 3 grand prize winners who each won a $10,000 seat to the WSOP Main Event; the next 5 places (4th through 8th) earned $1,500 seats and another 4 seats were awarded in our playoff tournament.  For 2017 there will be a change to our prize structure: 1st and 2nd place will receive Main Event prize packages; places 3 through 8 will receive $1,500 tournament entries; and four more $1,500 seats will be awarded in our playoff.  Then players 3 – 8 plus the playoff winners will play in a bonus tournament to determine our final Main Event winner.

Here are some highlights:

·         We take only a player’s top 12 finishes in points over the course of the season to determine the winner.

·         The top two champions of the series win a $10,000 entry into the Main Event.

·         The next top finishers (projected to be places 3 – 8) receive guaranteed WSOP seats ranging from $1,500 to $2,500.

·         The top 18 players that did not receive a “guaranteed seat” will compete for additional $1,500 seats in our playoff tournament.

·         The Guaranteed Seat winners plus the Playoff winners will then play a single table tournament with the winner earning a $10,000 Main Event seat.  This is called our “Bonus Tournament”.

·         Players can earn bonus points & playoff chips just by participating - check the full rules for more details.

·         We hold four Major tournaments that feature deeper starting stacks and bonus playoff chips.

·         We hold two special tournaments that emulate day 2 of the WSOP Monster Stack event and day 4 of the WSOP Main Event.

*  In order to qualify for the distribution of WSOP earnings a player must play in a minimum of 5 events.

** All prizes are based upon the amount the Syndicate saves and the tournaments offered by the WSOP. Be sure to check the full rules as well as our structure page for more information and all the details.

Latest News:
Saturday November 19
Season XII – Event 7:  Congratulations to Alan who won our first Main Event Day 4 tourney.  This is Alan’s third win overall and his first since he won two events back in Season 7.  In 2nd place was Paul R with his second final table of the season.  In 3rd was Keith for back to back finishes in that spot.  Chad came in 4th, followed by Don C and Wayne to round out our money winners.


At this event, which sold out with 50 players, we started with 800,000 chips at the 4000/8000/1000 level.  Just like in the Monster Stack Day 2 tourney, we lost several players earlier than usual.  The final table started at about 10:15with the stacks averaging around 35BB.  We didn’t have another knockout until 11:30 when Farid, who had been nursing a short stack for some time, finally bowed out.  After that players busted out pretty quickly.  Craig, who had recently had the chip lead, lost a monster pot to Alan, then to Paul R (JJ vs QQ) and finally lost a race with Keith to come in 9th.  After that Jacob and George busted out to leave us with our money winners.

1 Alan
2 Paul R
3 Keith
4 Chad
5 Don C
6 Wayne
7 George
8 Jacob
9 Craig
10 Farid
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Upcoming Events:
Event 8 Sat Dec 17 1:00PM Major
Event 9 Sun Jan 8 1:00PM Deep Stack
Event 10  Sat Jan 21  2:00PM  Re-entry 
Event 11  Sat Feb 4  2:00PM  Day 2 Mnster 
Event 12 Sat Feb 11 1:00PM Major

Click HERE for the full Season Schedule
Current Rankings:

1 Jonkey 290
2 Michael Kahn 230
3 Matt B 215
4 Paul R 180
5 Craig 175
5 Don C 175
7 Farid 165
8 Keith 160
9 Dana 155
10 Alan 150

Click HERE to see the Complete Results

The Leaderboard: This was a good week for the field to catch up with the leaders as our top-3: Jonkey, Michael K, and Matt B, all finished without points – though Matt had the most fun, busting out in 13th on the points bubble!  Moving up behind them then was Paul R, whose 2nd place finish moved him up from 16th to 4th.  After that Don C. moved up into a tie with Craig in 5th place. They’re followed by Farid, who dropped one spot to 7th place, and Keith, who moved up 10 spots from 18th to 8th.

Coming Up:   Our next tournament will be on Saturday, December 17 at Jill & Jamie’s house in Carlsbad.  This will be a MAJOR deep stack event. The starting stack will be 30,000 with 30 minute levels.  There are also bonus playoff chips awarded to the top five finishers.  The buy-in is $125 + $10.  

ALSO:  The WSOP Circuit Event Series is coming up from December 2nd – 12th.  There will be several players going up on Sunday the 4th to play in the Monster Stack tournament.  This $365 event with a $250k guarantee has a 20,000 chip starting stack.  There are four starting flights, two each on Saturday and Sunday.  Day two is on Monday the 5thwith the final table on Tuesday the 6th.  I’m sure players will be going up for other events as well.

Saturday November 5

Season XII – Event 6:  Congratulations to Jim Hernandez who, in just his third Syndicate event, hung on to win one of the longest Syndicate events ever.  The action started at 2:17pm with 47 players and after 17 re-entries we had 1.28 million chips in play.  When Jim knocked Keith out in 3rd place at 1:46am he and Jonkey had about equal stacks.  About 20 minutes of back and forth followed until the penultimate hand played out like this:  the blinds were now 20k/40k/5k (!!) and Jonkey had built about a 2 to 1 chip advantage.  Jim limped his button and Jonkey shoved from the BB and got a call from Jim.  Jonkey shows A5 to Jim’s K9.  The board ran out  T7T68 to give Jim a straight and a double up.  On the very next hand Jonkey shoves with A4 from the button and gets called by Jim holding A2.  When a deuce landed on the flop it sealed the deal for Jim and it was over at 2:07am – almost 12 hours after it started!  In 4thplace was Joy for her best Syndicate finish ever.  Wendi was right behind her in 5thplace  with her best finish since a 2nd place back in season 9.  Newcomers Mark S and Johnny G came in 6th and 7th respectively to round out the money winners.
1 Jim H  
2 Jonkey
3 Keith
4 Joy
5 Wendi
6 Mark S
7 Johnny G
8 Michael
9 Alan
10 Sharon

The Leaderboard: With a 2nd place finish Jonkey moved back into the top spot on the leaderboard.  Michael Kahn, who won last week and came in 8th place this week, now moves into 2nd place.  These results dropped Matt B down a couple of notches into 3rd place.  An absent Dana stayed in 4th followed by Craig, Farid, Don C, Jamie and Mark Ross – all in the guaranteed seat section.  The big mover of the week of course was Jim H, who went from how’s it going way down there all the way up to 10th place!

Coming Up:   Our next tournament will be on Saturday, November 19th at Jill & Jamie’s house in Carlsbad.  This will be a Special WSOP MAIN EVENT DAY-4 TOURNEY. The starting stack will be 800,000 with the  35 minute levels starting at 4000/8000/1000.  The purpose of this event is to give us practice playing in

Saturday October 29

Season XII – Event 5:  Congratulations to Michael Kahn for his first Syndicate victory!  After scouring the internet for all known results it has been confirmed that this was Michael’s best finish since he came in 4th place (out of 2,160) in the 2016 Chicago Poker Classic. In 2nd place was two-time Syndicate Main Eventer Dana, followed by everybody’s favorite poker-chef, Patsy. In 4th place was Spork followed by Bob C and Matt B to round out our money winners.
1 Michael Kahn
2 Dana
3 Patsy
4 Spork
5 Bob C
6 Matt B
7 Dr. John
8 Wendy
9 Joy
10 Jon T
The Leaderboard: With a 6th place this week and his third final table in a row, Matt B took over the top spot on the leaderboard.  Just 5 points behind him is our previous leader, Jonkey, and another 10 points back is this week’s winner, Michael Kahn.  The rest of our guaranteed seat players right now are: Dana, Craig, Farid, Don C, Jamie and Mark Ross.

Saturday October 15

Season XII – Event 4:  Matt Burley returned to the winner’s circle last night for his 5th victory since starting Syndicate play back in Season 9.  Nobody else has more than three wins during that period.  In 2nd place was Bob W whose previous best was a 7th place finish back in Season 10.  In fact his deep run was so surprising here’s how the conversation went with his wife when they were 3-handed:  “really honey, I’m still in the tournament…”, “yes, they really do go this late if you don’t bust out early…” In 3rd and 4th place were Michael Kahn and David Benjamin respectively – each making their first final table appearance of the season.  In 5th place, with his third final table finish, was Jonkey.  And Steve A came in 6th place to round out our $ winners.  Also, the top five finishers earned bonus playoff chips should they qualify for the Playoff Tourney.
1 Matt B
2 Bob W
3 Michael Kahn
4 David B
5 Jonkey
6 Steve A
7 Monte
8 Wayne
9 Craig
10 Mark Ross

The Leaderboard: With a 5th place finish last night and his third final table in four events, Jonkey maintained his 1stplace position on the leaderboard.  Right behind him is Matt B, who has back to back final table appearances including a 6th place finish last week and his victory last night.  Craig moved from 5th place to 3rd with his 10th place showing last night to go along with his runner-up finish in event 2.  This all dropped the rest of the leaders down a notch with Farid and Don C. now tied for 4th &  Jamie and Mark Ross tied for 6th.  Bob W moved into 8th place.

Coming Up:   Our next tournament will be on Saturday, October 29th  at Jill & Jamie’s house in Carlsbad.  This will be a regular deep stack event. The starting stack will be 20,000 with 30 minute levels. The buy-in is $125 + $10.

Saturday September 10

Season XII – Event 3:  
Last Saturday we held the first edition of our WSOP Monster Stack Day-2 Event.  The goal of this tournament was to approximate what it’s like to come back for day two of this annual WSOP event.  At this point in the tournament, the play is significantly different from most of the day one action.  The average stacks are shallower, the pots are larger, and it requires an expanded skillset and a lotmore focus to go from un-bagging chips at the beginning of the day to getting into the money and then to bagging chips again that night.  Each summer the majority of our players enter this event and the reality is that we haven’t fared very well.  Hopefully by being able to practice this during the season we can improve our chances in Vegas next summer.  The next time we run this event we will probably change it up a bit by starting with 120k in chips (100BB) and shortening the levels to 35 minutes.

At this tournament you could really tell the difference from our usual format by how rapidly players were busting out.  Out of the 49 players that started, only 19 remained by the end of level six.  After the early spate of bust-outs, things settled down considerably.  While we were down to just two tables by 
7pm, we didn’t begin the final table until almost 10pm.  Then things slowed even further until we saw the final hand play out at 12:35am.  With the blinds at 30k/60k (there were 4.41 million chips in play) Farid and Mark Ross got it all in on the first hand of heads-up action.  Farid, who had about a 3 to 2 chip advantage, showed AJand Mark tabled 77.  A jack hit on the flop and it was over just like that!  Afterwards Farid was proud to share that at one point he was down to just two yellow 1k chips.  That was clearly enough though since with a little luck, and some very creative final table play, Farid was able to earn his fifth Syndicate victory in eight campaigns.  In 3rd place was Paul R, followed by Jamie, who was on the receiving end of one of Farid’s innovative plays, in 4th.  New/old player Sharon came in 5th place to round out our money winners.
1 Farid
2 Mark Ross
3 Paul R
4 Jamie
5 Sharon
6 Matt B
7 Gary F
8 Gary B
9 Bob C
10 Chad

The Leaderboard: It’s no surprise that the first three winner of the season occupy the top three spots.  Jonkey, with two final tables (and one VERY early bust-out) is still in the top spot with  135 points.  Behind him in 2nd place is Farid with 115 points and Don C. in 3rd with 110 points.  Behind them in order are: Jamie, Craig, Anders, David R and Mark Ross (the final two are tied for 7th).

Coming Up:   Our next tournament will be on Saturday, October 15h at Hacienda Hickerson in Carlsbad.  We’ll have more about our return to Jill & Jamie’s place closer to the event.  This will be a Major Deep-Stack tournament with a 30,000 chip starting stack and 30 minute blinds.  There are no re-entries.  The buy-in is $125.

Saturday September 10

Season XII – Event 2:  The winner of our second event of the season was Don Curtis.  Don was only able to play an abbreviated schedule last year but plans to play much more this season.  And he’s off to a great start with his first ever Syndicate win!  In second place was Craig “sure I’ll have another” Combs, followed by our other money winners: Eddie, Matt H, Dana, Jamie and Rob.

1 Don C
2 Craig
3 Eddie O
4 Matt H
5 Dana
6 Jamie
7 Rob
8 David R
9 Don B
10 Jonkey


The Leaderboard: Jonkey added a 10th place to his victory in Event #1 to pad his early lead.  He is of course followed by Don C, who won event #2.  Behind him, tied for 3rd, are our two runners up: Anders and Craig Combs.  David Rimi, who also has made two final tables (6th and 8th) is alone in 5th place.  Eddie O and Jill, who each have 3rd place finishes are tied for 6th and Linn is all by himself in 8th place.

Coming Up:   Our next tournament will be on Saturday, September 24th at Patsy and Farid’s house.  This will be a special WSOP Monster Stack Day 2 event.  The starting stack will be 90,000 starting at the 600/1200/200 level.  Levels will be 40 minutes. The buy-in and all re-entries are $125.

Sunday August 28

Season XII – Event 1:  Welcome back Syndicators – we have returned for a 12th season of poker hijinks!  For this new season we have decided to shake things up a bit, including introducing two new tournament formats and awarding our third Main Event seat in a bonus tournament that should give almost every Syndicator a shot at a grand prize all the way to the end of the season!  You can check out the Rules and Structure pages of our website for more details, but here are the basics: there are two special formats that we will run twice each.  The first will emulate day two of the WSOP Monster Stack tournament when we will start with 60k in chips at the 600/1200 level.  The second will emulate day four of the WSOP Main Event.  For this tournament we will start with 400k in chips at the 4,000/8,000 level.  The goal for these tournaments is for us to get more experience playing at the deeper levels of a big field event so that we have a better chance when we go to Vegas in the summer.  The other big change is how we will award our third Main Event seat.  This season, our top two players will still receive Main Event packages and places 3 through 8 will earn guaranteed $1,500 seat packages.  Then we will hold our playoff tournament for the next 18 finishers.  The 4 winners from the playoff will then join the 6 guaranteed seat winners in a Main Event Bonus Tournament.  This event will be structured like the final table of the Main Event with about 342 million chips in play.  The players will be seeded according to their finish with stacks ranging from 30m for the 4 playoff winners to 42m for our 3rd place finisher.  This new format will allow anyone with a mathematical chance of making the playoffs on the last event (last season that was down to 51st place) to still have a shot at going to the Main Event!

And look who is starting out in the lead!  Your faithful commissioner took down the first tournament of the season.  This is Jonkey’s first ever win to start off a season in 11 tries (he wasn’t around for the inaugural event) and when interviewed for this blurb he stated that he was “thrilled to be sitting atop a leaderboard filled with such esteemed players!”  Almost as excited as Jonkey was our runner-up that night, Anders Wright, as this was Ander’s best Syndicate finish since a couple of 4
th places last season.  In 3rd place, continuing her hot streak from the end of last season, was Jill.  She was followed by Anthony, Linn and David Rimi to round out our money winners.
1 Jonkey
2 Anders
3 Jill
4 Anthony
5 Linn
6 David R.
7 Jon T
8 Jacob
9 Gary F
10 Steve A


The Leaderboard: Since Jonkey’s motion to declare the results of event #1 as being the final results of the season was denied by the committee, we will go ahead with our plans to play the rest of the season.  Thus the leaderboard looks just like the Final Table above.  

Coming Up:   Our next tournament will be on Saturday, September 10th at Patsy and Farid’s house.  This will be a re-entry tournament with a 20,000 chip starting stack and 30 minute blinds.  Re-entries are allowed through the end of level 6.  There is also a surrender option available at that time.  The buy-in and all re-entries are $125.

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