California State Poker Championship off to strong start at Commerce Casino

California State Poker Championship off to strong start at Commerce Casino

May 02, 2017 3:10 AM


The California State Poker Championship kicked off at Commerce Casino on Friday, April 28 with Event No. 1: $50,000 Guarantee No Limit Hold’em Double Stack featuring a $175 buy-in.

The series is off to a great start as this weekend saw some great turnouts. There were 465 players in Event No. 1. Jered Wood from Granada Hills, Calif., won $11,495 for first place. Ryan Hanna from Imperial Beach, Calif., and Eduardo Mayor from Placentia, Calif., took home second and third place respectively.

But it was Event No. 2: No-Limit Hold’em Triple Stack, or the so-called “Social Experiment,” that generated the most buzz. This event featured a $350 buy-in, a $100,000 guarantee and a 30,000 starting stack.

What was different about this particular event was that no cell phones, sunglasses, headphones or hoodies were allowed at the table. There was much debate both pro and con on social media about this social experiment.

I followed the reaction on Twitter. On the day of the tournament Tournament Director Matt Savage tweeted, “People are talking, laughing, and having a good time. Some players complained, but the turn out was proof that players are willing to give new ideas a try.

As Matt says, “511 entries for a tournament many said they would never play. Amazing! No real issues – 6 penalties all day and only because people forgot.

“Players communicated, laughed, and really seemed to enjoy it. There was much quicker play because people were paying attention, and they were getting different tells without the phones.”

According to Commerce’s tournament blog, Matt explains how he came up with the idea: “A guy named Scott Wilson, who started Paradise Poker, which was

one of the original Internet companies, sent a tweet saying we should run a tournament without using electronic devices.”

Matt continues, “We took that idea, ran with it and expanded on it by not only not allowing electronic devices, but also headphones, hoodies and sunglasses.”

“I think social interaction is what poker is about, and I think we’ve lost some of that with all these devices at the table.”

I agree with Matt. One of the best parts of playing poker is the social interaction. Of course, it’s a personal decision each player is allowed to make regarding how much they want to interact at the table.

I think the social experiment was a noble effort, and I look forward to more innovations by Matt.