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Ray Padgett wins $100,000 in Commerce Casino turbo tournament

18 May 2011

COMMERCE, Calif. (PRESS RELEASE) -- When Santa Paula's Ray Padgett drag races as a hobby, he's racing to the finish line. But it was being slow, steady, calm and patient that paid off for the local handware store owner and general engineering contractor, as he laid claim to the $100,000 winner's share at Commerce Casino's $300,000 No Limit Hold'em Turbo event.

After buying in for $125, Padgett bested 3,761 players who had combined for a $376,100 prize pool in the tournament which is part of the casino's Cal State Poker Championship.

With his wife, adult children, friends and relatives from as far as Idaho watching the live webcast of the tournament, Padgett never lost his cool, even after dropping from 267,000 to 40,000 chips on the second day of the event. He tripled up by pulling an ace on the board to pair his A5.

He even was penalized an entire round for revealing one of his cards in the closing playdown of the tourney.

"That's when I could have been knocked out," says Padgett, whose only other substantial payday was $15,000 at the Bellagio, "but I just stayed calm and never got nervous. I was patient and confident the whole time. I was having a good time and I felt good. I was just happy to have made the final table."

When it came down to heads-up, Max Davids of Granada Hills was the chip leader and he declined to "chop" or divide up the pot. Padgett welcomed the opportunity to keep forging ahead. Not more than 20 minutes later the tables had turned and Padgett took home the title.

Padgett says he'll share some of his winnings with his immediate family and likely take his wife to Hawaii for a nice, slow, restful vacation.

"Congratulations to Ray Padgett who showed that being slow and steady in a fast turbo tournament can pay dividends," said Matt Savage Tournament Director. "The Cal State Championship events are paying off in a big way for local players who enter our big guarantee events. We're looking forward to another great Main Event."

In other news, Frank Mariani, long-time partner with Jerry Buss in Mariani-Buss Associates real estate company, claimed the Cal State Championship H.O.R.S.E. tournament for $8,140 to bring his career winnings to just under $400,00.

With more than $1.5 million in guarantees, Commerce Casino's Cal State Poker Tournament is in its final week. The 19-days of tournaments culminate in the $2,575-Buy-In Cal State Poker Championship on Friday, May 20, featuring a $500,000 guarantee. But getting in is as easy as winning one of the nightly supersatellites starting at $120 that offer a guaranteed seat in the Main Event.

Still to come:

THE ETERN-AMENT (Tuesday, May 17 at 2 p.m. $335-Buy-In): This two-day event has two- hour levels and a $50,000-guarantee. The blinds start low at 25-25,and increase at a much slower pace. There's a $2,575 seat in the Main Event for the winner.

The Exclusive Facebook Fan Touranment (Saturday May 21st, 1 p.m.): In order to qualify, a person must be 21 and over and "LIKE" the Commerce Casino Facebook page ( commercecasino) and then RSVP before May 20th at 11:59 p.m.

A host of other great events featuring No Limit Hold'em, Knock out Bounty, DoubleStacks, H.O.R.S.E, Omaha 8 or Better, and Six Handed No Limit Hold'em are also on the schedule.

Commerce Casino has also planned several $335-Mega Satellite events--including three on Thursday, May 19 that will give players a shot at Commerce Casino's famous Golden Bear trophy and the title of Cal State Champion.

To view the full event schedule and starting times, go to or call (323) 721-2100 .To follow the tournaments, go to

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