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LA Poker Classic kicks off next week

10 January 2012

COMMERCE, California -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Tournament poker's major championship season begins January 18 with the much-anticipated 20th anniversary LA Poker Classic at Commerce Casino.

The 45-day event features 50 separate tournaments offering an anticipated $20 million prize pool, with a wide range of open poker events of varying limits, games and buy-ins.

The signature event is slated for February 24-29 when the World Poker Tour televises the LA Poker Classic No Limit Texas Hold 'em Championship Tournament.

The anticipated prize pool of $6 million and a $10,000 buy-in, the No Limit Texas Hold 'em Tournament will attract many of the world's finest poker players, including defending champion Gregory Brooks, whose first visit to Commerce Casino in 2011 produced a perfect storm and a $1.6 million payday.

The LA Poker Classic offers something for everyone with events ranging from Mega Satellites, Limit Hold 'em, Knockout Bounty No Limit Hold 'em, a special one-day event with $100,000 guaranteed, H.O.R.S.E., Doublestack, 7-Card Stud, Omaha 8 or Better, and many other variations. In addition, a Facebook Fan Exclusive Tournament with $25,000 guaranteed is scheduled for January 21.

The LA Poker Classic provides the best cash games of the year -- and more cash games under one roof than anywhere else in the world at any time.

WPT Champion Brooks, from Wyckoff, N.J., knows all about the cash games at the LA Poker Classic.

"When I was there last year, what most impressed me was the variety and also treatment of the side games -- the cash games," said Brooks, whose preferred cash game is Pot Limit Omaha. "I was really impressed with how organized everything was and how easy it was for me, as an outsider."

Brooks expects to be at Commerce Casino "for most of the series, and at least the second half.

"I enjoyed Commerce Casino a lot," he said.

Brooks' first appearance at the LA Poker Classic was a charm. Initially, Brooks had framed the tournament as "an ancillary event to be out on the West Coast to visit some friends." It became much, much more as his first major victory catapulted him into the upper echelons as a WPT champion.

The victory in LA Poker Classic, Brooks said, "was really crazy -- the first thing that happened was complete numbness to everything." Once a certain level of normalcy set in, Brooks was able to turn his attention to the future and that's when he made a decision on the rest of his tournament activity for 2011.

"I made a personal commitment to myself, having been injected in the Player of the Year race, to make a significant effort to play in major tournaments in the United States and Europe," said Brooks, who went on to win a European Poker Tour event in Madrid worth $195,094 last May and finished seventh in the WSOP Pot Limit Omaha Six-Handed.

"Winning allowed me to track poker throughout the industry, to travel and be a little more relaxed, gave me clairvoyance to step back and re-evaluate. I had a lot of flexibility."

In order to qualify for the Facebook event, a person must be 21 and over and have a Facebook account, LIKE the Commerce Casino Facebook page www.facebook.com/commercecasino ) and RSVP to the Commerce LA Poker Classic Facebook Fan Exclusive Tournament on the Events Tab before 7:00pm PST on January 20. Players must sign up for a Commerce Casino Players Card in person, if they don't already have one, at the Casino Services desk prior to the start of the Tournament. Valid government-issued photo identification is required for admission.*

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