Sixty-seven events, more than 18,500 entrants, nearly $12 million in prize money and a World Poker Tour bracelet: That’s a busy seven weeks for the L.A. Poker Classic at the Commerce Casino.
In the biggest tournament series outside of the World Series of Poker, this year’s event can only be labeled a rousing success. With buy-ins starting at $225 with any game you could think of, in addition to the recreational weekend player, this series also brought out the pros.
It was like reunion week for 2010 November Niners. John Dolan, sixth-place finisher at that WSOP main event an 2012 Ante Up Player of the Year, won Event 55, the $1,600 bounty championship. Runner-up in the November Nine, John Racener, took down Event 65, the $2,080 eight-game mix, where 2010 world champion Jonathan Duhamel was at the final table.
Plenty of other pros made waves over the span of the series. McLean Karr and Bryan Devonshire booked five and four cashes, respectively. “Devo” took second in Event 25 ($340 NLHE) and won Event 30 ($550 mixed hold’em). Other pros with at least three cashes included Chris Tryba, Cyndy Violette and Men “the Master” Nguyen. Jon Turner turned in two cashes, but both were titles as he won Event 56 ($340 NLHE) and Event 63 ($550 PLO).
Paul Klann won the main event for $978,590, plus a $25K seat into the World Poker Tour Championship. This was back-to-back months where relative unknowns had huge scores. Before this win, Klann had only three cashes with the largest being $16,498.
The much-anticipated Open-Faced Chinese poker tournament was canceled.
With March being led by the Bicycle Casino’s Winnin’ of the Green tournament series, April brings yet another of the seemingly endless Los Angeles tournament options. Beginning April 5, the Liz Flynt Spring Poker Classic starts at the Hustler Casino. This is another one that caters to the everyman with a limited bankroll. At press time, the detailed schedule hadn’t been published, but check out hustlercasino.com for more details.
— Dave Palm is Ante Up’s L.A. Ambassador. Email him at LA.AnteUp@gmail.com.