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Commerce Casino hosts multi-million $$ poker tourney

Press Release,  Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 5:13:13 PM

Los Angeles’ Commerce Casino will be in the international poker spotlight throughout January, February and March as the casino hosts the highly anticipated annual L.A. Poker Classic.

Beginning January 24 and wrapping up March 3 with the World Poker Tour® (WPT) Celebrity Invitational final table, the world’s largest poker room hosts non-stop poker action with 30 different tournaments -- including two Super Satellite sessions. The featured event for this premiere California tournament starts February 23 with the $10,000 buy-in L.A. Poker Classic Championship, a WPT event filmed for broadcast around the globe.

The world’s top poker players fill Commerce Casino’s tables throughout the preliminary tournaments to grab a slice of the total prize pool expected to be nearly $17 million. But the real goal is to claim a WPT title and the lion’s share of the $7 million prize pool anticipated for the L.A. Poker Classic main event.

To cap off the whole six-week event, Commerce Casino welcomes Hollywood’s poker-playing celebrities for the always glamorous and exciting WPT Celebrity Invitational -- an event that brings together the stars of film, television and poker to share the green felt.

The 2007 LAPC events drew a total of 13,400 entrants. Here’s a look at the full slate of events for 2008:

Complete Tournament Schedule In its totality, the L.A. Poker Classic encompasses a series of 30 different events leading up to the $10,000 Championship. Players can either buy-in directly or win their way into individual events by entering satellite tournaments. Scheduled now are No Limit Hold'em, Limit Hold'em, 7-Card Stud, Omaha Hi/Low Split, 7-Card Stud Hi/Low, and Turbo No Limit Hold‘em 6-Handed tournaments. A complete schedule can be viewed on the Commerce Casino website,

Again this year there will be points awarded to the top 16 finishers in 22 of the 30 games being played, with the top four finishers at each event receiving 50 points. At the conclusion of the entire LAPC, the top five point getters will split a $50,000 bonus.

For those people wishing to experience a fun and unique poker adventure, the No Limit Hold’em Tag Team event will take place again this year on Valentine’s Day, Feb.14. Bring a buddy, a girlfriend or boyfriend, husband or wife to team up and conquer all others. Teams of two trade off each time the blinds go up, and the winning team splits the prize money! Last year’s winning team captured a $25,610 first prize.

This year, the schedule again includes the renowned $1,065-buy-in No Limit Hold 'em LAPC Ladies Event being conducted Feb. 2.

L.A. Poker Classic No Limit Hold’em Championship Easily the most anticipated event of this tournament is the L.A. Poker Classic No Limit Hold‘em Championship, one of the largest competitions on the WPT. At the LAPC’s main event, everyday players just might end up sitting across from poker luminaries such as Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Harman, Barry Greenstein, Doyle Brunson, Ted Forrest, Phil Hellmuth, Gus Hansen, Erick Lindgren, Cyndy Violette, Phil “The Unabomber” Laak, Gavin Smith, Vanessa Rousso, Patrick Antonius, Kenna James and Joe Sebok.

Held Feb. 23 - Feb. 28, the $10,000 buy-in event is expected to draw more than 750 players, including a stellar line-up of the game’s icons and young stars, competing for millions of dollars of prize money. Last year’s champion, Eric Hershler of Los Angeles, went home with $2,429,970 after just five days of work. In the previous year it was Alan Goehring who walked away with the win and $2,391,550. In 2005, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi claimed $1,859,909 and his first WPT title, preceded in 2004 by Antonio Esfandiari who won $1,399,135.

The anticipated prize pool will be nearly $7 million. The winner also garners a $25,000 seat to the Season VI WPT World Championship held in April, 2008 at Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Buy-ins for various events can be as low as $40 via satellite. January 31 and February 22 are Super Satellite days - an entire day of satellites dedicated to winning entry into the main event. Single-table satellites begin January 7. The L.A. Poker Classic WPT final table will be televised on WPT’s new network home, GSN, in 2008.

WPT Celebrity Invitational Hollywood’s poker-passionate actors and actresses will be on hand for the WPT Celebrity Invitational held March 1 - March 3 at Commerce Casino. This prestigious invitation-only event on the World Poker Tour pits celebrities against the world’s top professional poker players. Players in previous years have included Paris Hilton, Vince Vaughn, James Woods, Ray Romano, Jason Alexander, Don Cheadle, Ron Livingston, Mimi Rogers, Stephen Collins, Ed Asner, Jennifer Tilly, Jon Favreau, Anne Heche, Mekhi Phifer, Sharon Lawrence, David Sutcliff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Norm MacDonald, Dean Cain, Camryn Manheim, Cheryl Hines, Kathy Griffin, Shannon Elizabeth and Maura Tierney.

Ranging over three days this year; film, television and sports celebrities will compete against past WPT champions and other world-class poker players. The $200,000 prize pool is compliments of Commerce Casino. Celebrities will also be playing for a $25,000 seat in the WPT World Championship and a WPT donation to the charity of their choosing.

Viewing WPT Events For those wishing to watch either of the WPT Final Tables (February 28 and March 3 respectively), a limited number of spectator seats are available on a first come, first serve basis. It is highly suggested that audience members be at Commerce Casino by 2 p.m. on February 28 for the LA Poker Classic or 2 p.m. on March 3 for the WPT Celebrity Invitational in order to secure a seat.

The LA Poker Classic and WPT Celebrity Invitational will air on GSN during the WPT’s much-anticipated Season VI, which begins airing Monday nights in Spring of 2008. The World Poker Tour inspired the worldwide televised poker phenomenon and since 2002 has been licensed for broadcast in over 150 countries and territories around the world.

“The L.A. Poker Classic is easily the most anticipated yearly tournament in Southern California,” said Commerce Casino Manager Tim Gustin. “People visiting Commerce Casino will have the chance to watch the world’s top pros in action and even take a shot at beating them. There are not too many sporting events where everyday people can jump in and compete against superstars. But poker rewards any skilled player with perhaps millions of dollars in prize money. And for those not looking to take on champions, Commerce Casino has plenty of other low-cost events that allow people to learn a little more about the game of poker and perhaps see why so many others find the game so challenging and fun.”

About Commerce Casino Commerce Casino is the largest poker casino in the world. There are more than 200 poker tables featuring just about every form of poker: Texas Hold ‘em, 7-Card Stud, Omaha, Lowball, Pot Limit, Mexican Poker, Pineapple, Draw, Low-Ball and many others. Also offered are Pan and California games. Commerce Casino is also recognized for its innovative “Bring Your Home Game to Commerce” program which enables poker fans to invite their friends and family for a casual home game, bachelor party or birthday celebration with a professional dealer in the casino setting.

Commerce Casino is located at 6131 East Telegraph Rd., Commerce, CA 90040, just off the Santa Ana (5) Freeway at the Washington Blvd. exit. The phone is (323) 721-2100. For more information, go to the source
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