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California native impressive at Cal State Poker Championships

14 May 2010

COMMERCE, California -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- One hundred must be Paul Liu's lucky number. It was the 100thtime that Liu has cashed in a poker tournament that brought him the $125,000 first prize in the opening tournament of Commerce Casino's three-week long Cal State Poker Championship. The $500,000 series opener, which allowed people to buy-back in each day when they busted out, was the largest guarantee ever for a low-stakes poker tournament.

It is not the first time that Liu, of Irvine, CA, had done well in one of the Cal State Championship events. He topped the field at one of the No Limit Hold'em events in the 2007 Cal State, claiming $131,024. In Sept, 2006, he won a No Limit Hold'em Turbo event and took home $28,938. He also captured a Limit Hold'em event at Commerce's Heavenly Hold'em for $25,085 in May, 2006.

"Paul Liu has clearly demonstrated his 'home court advantage' at Commerce Casino," said Matt Savage, Tournament Director. "He has established himself as a premiere player in our events and earned his Golden Bear trophy fighting through a very tough field this past week. We congratulate him for a big win."

The field for the opener included 3,220 hopefuls, which ultimately added up to a tidy $611,800 prize pool. The final nine were:

1 Paul Lui, Irvine, CA $125,000
2 Jack Taylor, Eagle, ID $70,000
3 Scott Barrows, Glendale, CA $40,050
4 Jeffrey Oh, San Pedro, CA $31,960
5 Ashot Darbinyan, Sunland, CA $26,240
6 David Pony, Las Vegas, NV $20,990
7 John Taussig, Corona Del Mar, CA $15,740
8 Frank Weigel, San Diego, CA $10,490
9 Vonn Schopp, Torrance, CA $6,730

TV host/actress Ricki Lake made it the final Sunday showdown of 72 players, but ended her run at number 50. Lake, a regular at the World Poker Tour Celebrity Invitational held each year at Commerce, has proven herself an adept tournament player who doesn't hesitate to stand up to the pros. Also making appearances in some of the Cal State events are actress Shannon Elizabeth, Laker's owner Jerry Buss and blackjack star Hollywood Dave Stann.

Commerce Casino's annual California State Poker Championship continues through May 23 with affordable buy-ins, high payouts and unique tournaments that will keep players on their toes. More than $1,000,000 in prize money is guaranteed.

There is a full slate of poker tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $120 to $1,575, plus the storied Cal State Championship Main Event, whose past winners include actor Ben Affleck. The $3,085-buy-in Main Event on May 21 serves as a great warm-up for players headed to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

During the 22-tournament schedule poker enthusiasts will encounter $1,150,000 in guaranteed prize money parceled out over nine of the events. Four events provide a $3,085-seat in the Main Event for the winner. Commerce Casino has also planned several Mega Satellite events--including three on Thursday, May 20--so players can spend as little as $335 to win their way into the Main Event.

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