Bjerno wins Cal State Poker Championship

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It seems lately that a day in Los Angeles without a tournament series is nearly as rare as a day with rain. May was another big month for Los Angeles poker.

Commerce Casino held its California State Poker Championship, made most notable when actor Ben Affleck won its main event in 2004.
This year’s series consisted of 19 events, the championship a $2,080 affair that drew 316 entrants. The prize pool was $613,040 and Nathan Bjerno of Corona, Calif., won $133,075.

If you played any of these events hoping to see a well-known pro, it’s likely your hopes were fulfilled. Allen Cunningham had a top-10 finish in Event 1 and a top-20 finish in the main. Jerry Yang, the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event champ, final-tabled Event 15, the $1,050 no-limit hold’em. Joining him at the final table was Gavin Griffin, who also posted a top-25 finish in the championship. WPT champions Cornel Cimpan and Steve Brecher had strong championship finishes.

Among the winners, Bruce Buffer, the official voice of the MMA and well-known poker enthusiast, took down Event 18, the $1,100 NLHE bounty turbo. Possibly having the best series, though, was Marsha Waggoner. She not only won Event 3 ($340 Omaha/8), but captured Event 7 ($340 Omaha-stud/8) and final-tabled Event 9.

BICYCLE DEEPSTACK: Closing out the month was the Bike’s deepstack series. This 13-event series, which ran May 23-30, targeted the recreational player. Ten of the 13 events were NLHE and buy-ins started at $60. The largest buy-in was a $345, $100K guarantee, and was scheduled over the holiday weekend with multiple entry days. The event shattered its guarantee with a prize pool of $148,410. Karnik Gulesserian took first for $34,540.

• Coming up in July is the Stars and Stripes at the Bicycle Casino, which runs through July 13 and buy-ins are $150-$300.

On the horizon is the Grand Slam of Poker at Hustler Casino (July 13-28). As of this column deadline, the schedule hadn’t been finalized, but check out Hustler’s website for more details. Immediately after that, the Legends of Poker at the Bike begins July 28.

— Dave Palm is Ante Up’s Los Angeles Ambassador. Email him at LA.AnteUp@gmail.com.

Cal State Championship, Commerce Casino, May 2-20

Event 1 • $225 NLHE
Entries: 1,853 • Pool: $400,000
Peter Tran, $83,710*
Event 2 • $65 NLHE
Entries: 355 • Pool: $17,750
Troy Donaldson, $4,770
Event 3 • $340 Omaha/8
Entries: 106 • Pool: $30,210
Marsha Waggoner, $6,585*
Event 4 • $340 Bounty
Entries: 340 • Pool: $66,000
Michael Noori, $11,770*
Event 5 • $340 H.O.R.S.E.
Entries: 90 • Pool: $25,650
Adam Kipnis, $5,770*
Event 6 • $340 NLHE
Entries: 167 • Pool: $47,595
Huicun Qiao, $8,560*
Event 7 • $340 O/8-S/8
Entries: 78 • Pool: $25,000
Marsha Waggoner, $5,490*
Event 8 • $340 NLHE
Entries: 194 • Pool: $55,290
David Singontiko, $13,675*
Event 9 • $120 AIOF
Entries: 154 • Pool: $25,000
Ardashes Mazmanian, $7,300*
Event 10 • $150 NLHE
Entries: 2,343 • Pool: $300,000
Nicholas Elliott, $52,230*
Event 11 • $125 w/rbs
Entries: 204 • Pool: $57,285
Bryan Kelley, $8,655*
Event 13 • $550 NLHE
Entries: 120 • Pool: $57,600
David Forster, $13,200*
Event 14 • $125 NLHE
Entries: 143 • Pool: $14,300
David Van Beveren, $3,000*
Event 15 • $1,070 NLHE
Entries: 61 • Pool: $59,170
Adam Weinraub, $16,910*
Event 16 • $125 PLO/8
Entries: 112 • Pool: $30,495
Michael Noori, $10,075
$2,080 Main Event
Entries: 316 • Pool: $613,040
Nathan Bjerno, $133,075*
Event 18 • $1.1K Bounty
Entries: 59 • Pool: $29,500
Bruce Buffer, $11,500
Event 19 • $225 NLHE
Entries: 129 • Pool: $25,800
Chris Swan, $4,845*
* Denotes chop

Deepstack Series, Bicycle Casino, May 23-30

Event 1 • $60 NLHE
Entries: 328 • Pool: $16,400
Moshe Golan, $3,810
Event 2 • $75 NLHE
Entries: 496 • Pool: $51,157
L.D. Gray, $12,001
Event 3 • $120 HE Mix
Entries: 109 • Pool: $15K
Mike Rios, $4,425
Event 4 • $125 NLHE
Entries: 303 • Pool: $36,738
Erick Rosales, $8,808
Event 5 • $345 NLHE
Entries: 510 • Pool: $148,410
Karnik Gulesserian, $34,540
Event 6 • $150 H.O.R.S.E.
Entries: 123 • Pool: $15K
Ted Janis, $4,350
Event 7 • $150 NLHE
Entries: 387 • Pool: $46,923
Stephen Machado, $11,278
Event 8 • $150 Omaha/8
Entries: 126 • Pool: $15,227
Henry Ferguson, $4,497
Event 9 • $75 NLHE
Entries: 524 • Pool: $55,173
Leigh Nicolai-Moon, $12,788
Event 10 • $120 NLHE
Entries: 125 • Pool: $11,875
Vincent Franco, $3,500
Event 11 • $150 Bounty
Entries: 301 • Pool: $37,525
Roger Eicher, $7,200
Event 12 • $60 NLHE
Entries: 233 • Pool: $11,300
Jay Bautista, $2,715
Event 13 • $75 NLHE
Entries: 403 • Pool: $42,195
Sam Renshaw, $10,066