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Commerce Casino gearing up for LA Poker Classic

2 December 2008

COMMERCE, California -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Commerce Casino, the World's Largest Poker Room, is quadrupling the action at this year's LA Poker Classic (LAPC) January 22-March 2 and taking the event to a whole new level!

In addition to the prestigious $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Championship, televised on the World Poker TourĀ® (WPT) that draws 600+ players from all over the world and has an expected $6 million prize pool, this year players will also encounter three other $10,000 events-a Pot Limit Omaha, H.O.R.S.E. and a Heads-Up Championship. Commerce has never before offered these three styles of poker in a championship tournament format. H.O.R.S.E. tests a player's all-around skills, featuring rotating hands of different poker games -- Hold'em, Omaha, Razz, Seven-card Stud, Seven-Card Stud Eight or Better or Hi-Low. The Heads-Up Championship is two players meeting face-to-face and it will feature a double elimination format with a loser's bracket.

"We feel that the addition of these Championship events will add to the prestige of the LA Poker Classic and attract players from around the world to the Commerce, " says new LAPC Tournament Director Matt Savage.

The World Poker TourĀ® Celebrity Invitational winds up the action starting Feb. 28, Commerce is expected to attract poker's elite from around the globe for the duration of February. It's a real sweetheart month for poker players if they want to test their mettle against the best, try their hands at mega prize pools and see the hottest celebrity players.

"The L.A. Poker Classic is proud to offer three exciting new challenges for those poker players who really want to experience a wider range of high stakes tournament play in an elegant setting, surrounded by the sea and warm sunshine that only California can offer in the winter," said Commerce Casino Development Manager John Griffo. "With our visibility on the World Poker Tour, the LAPC is already one of the best regarded tournaments in the world and we believe that adding these three additional $10,000 Championship events really raises Commerce Casino's prestige on the world stage."

Complete Tournament Schedule

The 2008 LAPC handed out $12,977,200 to those among the 10,000 players that were in the money over the nearly 30 events. This year's edition will feature even more tournaments--35 events beginning with $335 buy-ins, rising up to the four $10,000 Championships. Highlights of the six week tournament include a $200,000 opening event, a $300,000 guaranteed Limit Hold'em, and the $250,000 guaranteed No-Limit Hold'em with rebuys.

Poker players can either buy-in 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 8 or Better, Omaha 8 or Better/Stud 8 or Better, Pot Limit Omaha, No Limit Hold'em 6 Handed, No Limit Hold'em, Heads Up and H.O.R.S.E. tournaments. A complete schedule can be viewed on the Commerce Casino website,

All tournaments will begin at 1 p.m. unless otherwise stated on the schedule. However, the LAPC No Limit Hold'em Championship starts at noon.

LA Poker Classic No Limit Hold'em Championship (A World Poker Tour Event)

It was at the 2008 LAPC that Phil Ivey finally broke through his WPT winless streak, capturing $1,596,100, after facing off against Nam Le and Phil Hellmuth, Jr. But they weren't the only ones that went home with a handsome paycheck--63 players placed "in the money" and claimed a portion of the $6,384,000 overall prize pool.

Easily, the most anticipated event of the six-week tournament is the L.A. Poker Classic No Limit Hold'em Championship, one of the largest competitions on the WPT. At the LAPC Championship event, everyday players just might end up sitting across from poker luminaries such as Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Harman, Barry Greenstein, Doyle Brunson, Ted Forrest, Phil Hellmuth, Gus Hansen, Erick Lindgren, Phil "The Unabomber" Laak, John Phan, Vanessa Rousso, Patrick Antonius, David Pham, Kenna James, Chris Ferguson, David Benyamine, Todd Brunson, John Juanda, Jamie Gold, Gavin Smith, Cyndy Violette, Scotty Nguyen and Joe Sebok. Top professionals consider the LA Poker Classic a "can't miss" event.

Held Feb. 21-26, the $10,000-buy-in event is expected to draw more than 600 players, including a stellar line-up of the game's icons and young stars, competing for millions of dollars of prize money. Other winners of the esteemed event have included Alan Goehring ($2,391,550), Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi ($1,859,909) and Antonio Esfandiari ($1,399,135.)

The anticipated prize pool will likely again be in the $6 million neighborhood, and the winner also garners a $25,000 seat to the WPT World Championship conducted each year in April at Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Buy-ins for various events can be as low as $40 via satellite. Friday, February 15-20th are Mega Satellite days - an entire day of satellites dedicated to winning entry into the L.A. Poker Classic main event.

One table satellites and "First Step" Satellites begin January 16. The 2009 L.A. Poker Classic WPT final table will be televised on FSN.

WPT Celebrity Invitational

For three nights 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, sports and poker to share the green felt.

Hollywood's poker passionate actors and actresses will be on hand February 28-March 2 for the exclusive invitation-only event that 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, Maura Tierney, Oliver Hudson, Ricki Lake, Michael Vartan, Jeremy London, Tia Carrere, Montel Williams, Josh Malina, Johnathon Schaech and Jeremy Sisto.

The celebrities will compete against poker players who have already entered the WPT World Championship. 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 charity of their choosing.

Viewing WPT Events

For those wishing to watch either of the WPT Final Tables (February 26 and March 2 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 3 p.m. on February 26 for the LA Poker Classic or 3 p.m. on March 2 for the WPT Celebrity Invitational in order to secure a seat. These times are subject to change, visit for the latest information.

The LA Poker Classic and WPT Celebrity Invitational will air on the FSN during the WPT's Season VII, which begins airing in April. The World Poker Tour inspired the worldwide poker phenomenon, with its revolutionary WPT hole card cams and thrilling brand of winner-take-all poker.

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