L.A. Classic first major poker tourney of the year

Jan 27, 2009 5:05 PM
The Inside Straight by Joe Awada |

There have been some interesting happenings unfolding for poker tournament players over the last couple of weeks. The L.A. Poker Classic, the first of several big tournaments leading up to the World Series, kicked off last weekend at the Commerce Casino in Southern California.

And here in Las Vegas, a couple of nice events are planned over the next couple of months. But more about those tourneys in a minute.

Regarding the World Series of Poker, its organizers are reportedly considering dropping "re-buy" events from its roster, as well as adding a "winner take all" event.

The WSOP top brass is also discussing the delayed final table of the main event, though it was "likely" the controversial format will remain this year.

As far as eliminating re-buy events, most of the reasoning is based on the concept that players with deep pockets can "buy" a bracelet by continuing to replace their chip stacks.

Those who support the concept suggest that the fields are so large a few re-buys wouldn’t make enough difference.

The notion of a "last man standing" event is intriguing, although most players would probably avoid a game in which they couldn’t "cash" along the way. Having just one winner leaves only one player satisfied, with a lot of near-misses lamenting the lost paychecks.

Getting back to the tournament scene, the L.A. Poker Classic kicked off Thursday and will continue through March 19. There are plenty of great events in between – No Limit and Pot Limit Hold’em and Omaha high-low – with buy-ins ranging from $500 to $3,000.

The main event is a World Poker Tour event, scheduled for March 16 with a buy-in of $10,000.

Closer to home, the Venetian kicks off its Deep Stack Extravaganza next Monday (Feb. 2) and continues through Feb. 25. There is a nice mix of events with affordable buy-ins. Plus, poker room manager Kathy Raymond always does a great job in taking care of her players in one of the city’s nicer poker rooms.

Following the Deep Stack Extravaganza is the Wynn Classic, Feb. 25 through March 19, at Wynn Las Vegas. That’s turned into a very competitive tournament with plenty of Hold’em events to choose from.

We’ll have more details on the Las Vegas tourneys in next week’s report.