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Commerce Casino Gears Up For Jam-Packed L.A. Poker Classic Series Schedule

$10,000 World Poker Tour Main Event Begins Feb. 25

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Jan 18, 2017


Some say that Los Angeles is the poker capital of the world, and the Commerce Casino is out to prove them right with their upcoming L.A. Poker Classic (LAPC) series. With 60 events scheduled, the 2017 L.A. Poker Classic is guaranteed to be one of the biggest poker festivals of the year.

The series, which will also feature a $10,000 buy-in main event, has been a staple of the World Poker Tour since the first season in 2003 when Gus Hansen was awarded $532,490 for defeating a field of 136 entries.

This year, Hansen’s score might not even be enough to cover the third-place prize. The Commerce is home to the largest poker room on Earth, with 160 tables ready for action all day, every day, and if the 2016 edition of the LAPC is any indication, there won’t be many empty seats on the property during the series.

“The WPT LAPC main event is one of the poker majors,” said WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage. “It features an extremely generous structure with 60, 90, and 120-minute levels creating deeper play as the money is reached. The Commerce only has a $100 entry fee for the WPT main event and no re-entry, which is almost unheard of in poker today. This tournament has also helped create some of the biggest names in the game today.”

Last year, Dietrich Fast came out on top of a tough field to earn more than $1 million. In addition to Fast and the aforementioned Hansen, other notable winners have included the likes of Antonio Esfandiari, Michael Mizrachi, Chris Moorman, Anthony Zinno, and Phil Ivey.

While the main event will get most of the focus, and the cash games will be as lively as ever, the Commerce Casino has also built a reputation as a top tournament destination, with a number of options available on their schedules.

The LAPC is sure to have something for players of all bankroll sizes with buy-ins ranging from as little as $75 up to the $25,000 high roller event. The games being spread are even more varied, including no-limit hold’em, Omaha eight-or-better, stud eight-or-better, H.O.R.S.E., limit hold’em, stud, triple draw, 2-7 single draw, dealer’s choice, and more.

Additionally, players can get into these potentially life-changing tournaments for a discount if they win their seats in a satellite. For just $75 you can win a $570 seat. For $150 you can win a $1,100 seat. If you want to play in the main event for cheap, you can win your seat from a $225 super satellite running every night at 7 pm. Jan. 15-Feb. 21, or you can put up $1,100 every Saturday at 7 pm between Jan. 14-Feb. 18.

The Commerce has also decided to sweeten the pot by awarding two $10,000 seats into the WPT main event in special freerolls for the players. There is absolutely no obligation to the players, anyone 21 years or older can simply show up on Feb. 3 or 12 to try and win their seat. There will also be a Player of the Series freeroll that will award three additional seats.

If you’re more of a cash-game grinder than tournament player, then the Commerce has you covered as well. Whether you are just killing time at the low-stakes or playing for six-figure pots in the high stakes area, there is something for everyone. The pot-limit Omaha games, in particular, have been booming at both the high and low limits in the months leading up to the LAPC, and casino staff expects that action to continue.

Player room rates are just $134 plus taxes, per night. You can book your room or check out the full tournament schedule at

Commerce Tournament Coordinator Justin Hammer Talks About LAPC

Card Player: Can you talk about how you ended up at the Commerce as the Tournament Coordinator?

Justin Hammer: I was born and raised in Southern California, but I moved to Las Vegas in my 20s to get some experience. When I found out Commerce was looking for a Tournament Coordinator leading into last year’s LAPC, it was like a dream come true. I was lucky enough to work with Matt Savage during the first two WPT 500s and formed a great relationship that has continued to grow at Commerce. Getting to do what I love and come back home was a great opportunity for me.

CP: What are you the most excited about when it comes to the LAPC?

JH: The atmosphere during LAPC is amazing. There is poker everywhere. There are new tournaments and new structures. Longer levels and more chips. Huge guarantees and even freerolls. This year will also see the return of the Player of the Series, which will award three $10,000 WPT main event seats. Matt Savage and I have put in tons of hours to help make sure this is the best LAPC we’ve ever had. When you put so much time and energy into organizing such a huge series, the absolute most exciting part is getting to watch all of the players come out and enjoy it.

CP: What are some of the challenges you face when putting together an ambitious schedule like the LAPC?

JH: Being ambitious without being reckless! I love offering huge guarantees and making play last longer. I also have bosses and shareholders to answer to. Making sure both sides are satisfied with what we are offering can be tough, but I think we’ve accomplished it with this year’s schedule.

CP: Is there anything new on the schedule or in general that the players can look forward to?

JH: Absolutely. We have two main event freerolls with absolutely no obligation. Anybody (21 or older) has a chance to show up and play. Commerce was generous enough to add $10,000 WPT seats so that we could pull this off. We also have an LAPC WPT Player of the Series making its return. Players that participate throughout the LAPC will be invited back to a third freeroll tournament, where the top three players will get to play in the WPT main event.

CP: What do you think separates the LAPC from the other stops on the tournament circuit?

JH: Even with the proliferation of poker series in recent years, there are almost none that offer the kinds of games and opportunities that players get at the LAPC. Whatever game you’re into, there are multiple opportunities to play. Where else can you walk right in, put down zero dollars, and have an opportunity to play a $10,000 WPT main event?

The History of the WPT L.A. Poker Classic Main Event

Year Entrants Prize Pool Winner First-Place
2003 136 $1,360,000 Gus Hansen $532,490
2004 382 $3,781,500 Antonio Esfandiari $1,399,135
2005 538 $5,166,414 Michael Mizrachi $1,859,909
2006 692 $6,643,200 Alan Goehring $2,391,550
2007 791 $7,593,600 Eric Hershler $2,429,970
2008 665 $6,288,000 Phil Ivey $1,596,100
2009 696 $6,681,600 Cornel Cimpan $1,686,760
2010 745 $7,152,000 Andras Koroknai $1,788,001
2011 681 $6,537,600 Gregory Brooks $1,654,120
2012 549 $5,270,400 Sean Jazayeri $1,370,240
2013 517 $4,963,200 Paul Klann $1,004,090
2014 534 $5,126,400 Chris Moorman $1,015,460
2015 538 $5,164,800 Anthony Zinno $1,015,860
2016 515 $4,944,000 Dietrich Fast $1,000,800