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Final Thoughts on The LAPC

by Roy Winston |  Published: Mar 06, '09


I am once again sitting on an airplane, this time from Miami to NY City, and with the LA Poker Classic having just finished, I put together some final thoughts about the event. As anticipated, it was greatly improved. The re-structuring of the events proved to be just what the doctor ordered. Although not what you would term "deep sack" the structures allowed for substantial play during all stages of the events. Sometimes deep stack structures are good early, but you pay for it towards the end when the blind go up meteorically. In addition to the improved structures, the number and type of events were really well thought out. The starting times were also moved two hours earlier from 3pm to 1pm, which gives you two more hours at the late end, where it's needed. The addition of a heads up event was also good. The way it was organized, with a double elimination structure, and a winner and loser's bracket, was excellent. Now for the negative; I hate having "by's" in tournaments. It happened at last year's WSOP, it happens online, and it happened at the LAPC. The event originally slated to have a 64-player cap, was expanded to 128, which resulted in several players receiving by's in the first round. They are random draws, so you can make the case for it being fair, but I for one, don't like it.

The live action was just plain crazy. Any size game and any game you wanted to play were pretty much available. The wait times to get into a game were reasonable and the customer service at the Commerce as the best anywhere. From the way the games are spread, to the chip runners, tournament registration, free food in the medium sized games on up, plenty of massage therapists at reasonable rates, and now fresh frozen yogurt with great toppings which can be ordered while playing.

I was involved in an interesting situation that developed during a cash game, and I thought I would share with you all. This was my usual 20-40 no limit holdem with a $200 ante on the big blind. The game has a $5,000 minimum buy in, with most players $10,000 to as much as $40,000 deep. The game had its usual assortment of pro's and recreational players, which included a notable local, Julian, who has become a regular and brings a lot of action. Now I have known Julian for years. I met him in Palm Springs years ago and have been friends with him since I was a recreational player, and actually worked for a living. In fact, he introduced me to my first wife, whom come to think of it, I have never held him accountable for, although I guess I was the one who choose to play that "hand", which was marginal at best, and I seemed to be out of position as well. Anyway, Julian, who plays virtually every hand seems often times to wind up heads up on the turn playing against the same recreational player who is at the Commerce on a very regular basis. He does something in the movie business, and often time's sneaks away from work and his wife, although he is panicked about her finding out about the magnitude of his poker "habit." The hand usually begins multi-way and then by the turn the two of them are heads up, having raised everyone else out, and one says to the other; "do you want to chop the pot?" They often agree on this option, end the hand and divide the pot. Now let me say this, I am not against chopping the blinds pre-flop when it is folded around, or if two players find themselves all in pre-flop with the same hand, let's say pocket aces, or AK for example, and want to chop it and eliminate either player getting lucky with a flush. To chop a pot in the middle of a hand, especially once you squeeze out other players is destructive, and may border on dishonest, furthermore, it is against the house rules at The Commerce. This same player, a couple of days prior, was all in against another player and had an ace high flush, on a board which was unpaired, but there was a potential two card straight flush. I guess fearing the straight flush, he offered the other player a chop on the river. Now I can't speak for the other player, but if I have a straight flush, the nut of all nuts, there is no way I'm chopping the pot, so basically he allowed the other player off the hook if he had him beat, or was getting turned down if he was behind. It could only of been a lose-lose for him. Bobby Hoff said that in all his years playing poker it was the worst play he had ever seen, and he's seen a lot of bad plays.

So the second time it happens, I announce to the table that if it happens again, I will take any and all money I have put in the pot out. Several players at the table agree and then the movie guy started insulting me about a practical joke I did in a home game over a year ago, which he wasn't even a part of. Throughout it all I have to say thatJulian remained calm and didn't get involved in the exchange. So the insults flew back and forth and I guess I kind of did call him out. He jumped up from the table coming over to fight, and was restrained by two players. First off, I would like to say I haven't been in a fight since 8th grade, and I hope it stays that way, but I did grow up in Brooklyn, and was taught from a young age not to back down from a bully, especially a yum yum, full of himself movie producer from LA, (hmmm, did I just think that or did I actually write it). Besides I did receive instruction in hand-to-hand combat from a Marine Drill Instructor while in the military, so I have that going for me. On a serious note, I will say that I was very disappointed with myself for having allowed the situation to get out of control to that degree. Often times at a poker table tempers can flare and I try to the best of my ability not to incite or instigate such a situation, in fact I am usually the one trying to defuse just such a situation.

My only real negative about the LAPC is the level of cleanliness of the facility, and if cleanliness is next to godliness, I can say with a large degree of confidence, I don't expect to see god at the Commerce anytime soon. A deep cleaning of the entire place, including the hotel is necessary, and the bathrooms are nothing short of disgusting. I have been to third world countries with cleaner rest rooms. It is reminiscent of that scene from Slum Dog Millionaire with the outhouse, Okay, it isn't quite that bad, but you get my drift. Still, all in all Commerce is The Poker Mecca, so who cares about a little filth.

For more information on Roy Winston, you can visit his website: or send an email to: with your questions or comments. The contents presented herein on this blog are purely the opinions of Roy Winston, and are not intended to reflect or promote the opinions of any other person, group, or entity. If you like what I write than thanks for reading, and if not well, thanks anyway.

Roy Winston finished 16th in 2007 Card Player, Player of the Year race. He won the WPT Borgata Poker Open and finished the year with well over $2 million in tournament poker winnings. Roy plays online exclusively at Full Tilt. For more information on Roy Winston, you can visit his website: or send an email to: with your questions or comments. The contents presented herein on this blog are purely the opinions of Roy Winston, and are not intended to reflect or promote the opinions of any other person, group, or entity. If you like what I write than thanks for reading, and if not well, thanks anyway.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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