In Los Angeles, the biggest poker event of the year is the Los Angeles Poker Classic, or LAPC for short. It’s played at the Commerce Casino and is the final event in what is now a month-long extravaganza of tournaments with famous pros and amateurs alike wanting a piece of the action. The $10,000 Main Event at the LAPC is actually a World Poker Tour (WPT) stop that will have its final table filmed for television and air on Fox Sports Net in the United States.
If you’ve never been to the Commerce Casino, there is no other place like it in the world. With all respect to the card rooms in Las Vegas as well as the very impressive poker room at Foxwoods, Commerce really is a one-of-a-kind nirvana for poker players.
For one, there are more poker tables here than there are at all other L.A. area casinos combined. It’s massively bigger than anything Las Vegas has to offer and even players like Doyle Brunson have gone on record as saying the best big games are at the Commerce. Cash games dominate the downstairs area with stakes starting at $1/$2 with a $40 buy-in and moving up to nosebleed games rarely seen anywhere else on Earth.
This year’s LAPC Main Event wasn’t necessarily a slam dunk to be a huge hit since PokerStars recently announced its NAPT stop at The Bike in just a couple of weeks. Some thought that the NAPT might reduce the number of players here, but as it turns out, there has been a fantastic turnout, in excess of 600 players, making the prize pool nearly hit the $6 million mark once the rake is accounted for.
The WPT brass is also out in style, as Mike Sexton, Vince Van Patten, and many of the WPT staff are here railing the action. It’s also absolutely impossible to miss the Royal Flush Girls, who are also here signing autographs and posing for pictures with players who find them interesting. There are camera people from the WPT production team here capturing the action as the WPT’s new focus on capturing bits of the entire tournament takes shape.
Some of the notable players in attendance include Daniel Negreanu, Johnny Chan, Erick Lindgren, and Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier. After looking around the grand ballroom where the tournament is taking place, the “table of death” would be the one that has Poker Hall of Fame member and Full Tilt Poker pro Erik Seidel sitting with Justin Bonomo and 2010 November Nine member Joseph Cheong.
Speaking of the November Nine class, several members of the group are here playing. We interviewed Matt Jarvis and he’s in excellent spirits. Jarvis talked about his November Nine reunion, which didn’t just happen at the tables at Foxwoods. Apparently he, Jason Senti, and Cheong went bowling together the night before, as they’ve developed friendships coming out of their mutual Main Event runs. Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi is here at the LAPC along with his brother Robert. Other WSOP Main Event final table members here include the aforementioned Senti as well as John Dolan.
There’s no question that this is a really tough field here with practically every table sporting a big-name internet or live tournament pro. It all should make for a great final table to air for the WPT.