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WPT -- L.A. Poker Classic Begins Friday

The $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Tournament is One of the Biggest of the Year

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Cornel Cimpan Wins the 2009 WPT L.A. Poker ClassicThe World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic $10,000 no-limit hold’em championship event begins tomorrow at the Commerce Casino in Southern California. The tournament will begin at noon PST and will crown a winner on Thursday, Mar. 4. Card Player’s live reporting team will be providing full live coverage along with videos from Card Player TV all next week during this marquee event.

The L.A. Poker Classic has produced one of the most impressive lineups of WPT champions in the history of the tour. Former winners include Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen, Michael Mizrachi, and Antonio Esfandiari. Last year, Cornel Cimpan defeated 698 opponents to take home the top prize worth $1,686,760. That victory propelled Cimpan to a strong year that saw him finish in second place in the Card Player Player of the Year race.

The championship event is the 49th event on the long schedule of tournaments that make up the L.A. Poker Classic. The 50th event will be a $25,000 high-roller no-limit hold’em tournament that begins on Sunday, Feb. 28. You can check out the full list of results for the preliminary events on the tournament’s landing page. The highlight of the preliminary events was a rematch of last year’s championship match between Chris Moore and Vivek Rajkumar in the $10,000 heads-up championship. This year Moore exacted some revenge on the defending champion Rajkumar by defeating him in the first match of the final.

Players will begin with 20,000 in tournament chips in the WPT championship event and blinds will begin at 25-50 for the first 90-minute level. Days 1-4 will all be five levels long, so players should finish up at about 8:30 p.m. each evening. Here is a look at the full schedule for the event:

NOTE: All tournament days begin at noon, except final tables, which begin at 4 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 26: Day 1 (play five levels)
Saturday, Feb. 27: Day 2 (play five levels)
Sunday, Feb. 28: Day 3 (play five levels)
Monday, Mar. 1: Day 4 (play five levels)
Tuesday, Mar. 2: Day 5 (play down to final table of 6)
Wednesday, Mar. 3: Final table of the WPT Celebrity Invitational
Thursday, Mar. 4: WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table

2008 L.A. Poker Classic:

Buy-in: $10,000
Number of Entries: 696
Total Prize Pool: $6,681,000
First-Place Prize: $1,686,760
Places Paid: 63

1: Cornel Cimpan — $1,686,760
2: Binh Nguyen — $935,424
3: Mike Sowers — $654,797
4: Chris Karagulleyan — $430,963
5: Pat Walsh — $310,964
6: Chris Ferguson — $240,358

Past Champions:

2009: Cornel Cimpan
2008: Phil Ivey
2007: Eric Hershler
2006: Alan Goehring
2005: Michael Mizrachi
2004: Antonio Esfandiari
2003: Gus Hansen