On February 24, 2007, it was announced that the LA Poker Classic will be held at the Commerce Casino. The tournament is expected to be the largest poker tournament to date for a World Poker Tournament event with a $10,000 buy-in fee. 790 poker professionals and amateur players are expected to join the event, which will have a prize pool of about $7,593,600 million.
The champion of the event will take home about $2,429,970 in prize money and a $25,000 poker seat at the WPT World Championships in April that will be held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The runner-up in the tournament will take home around $1,177,010. About 54 poker players will be sharing the rest of the prize pool.
The LA Poker Classic Tournament is the biggest WPT tournament, with one of the biggest buy-ins ever held at a land based casino. The Manager of the Commerce Casino, Tim Gustin, said that they are proud of the fact that they are continuing to grow and attract customers and that they are the venue of one of the biggest poker tournaments non-championship event.
Poker professionals, such as Daniel Negreanu, Kathy Liebert, Barry Greenstein, Todd Brunson, Ted Forrest, Gus Hansen, Erick Lindgren, Chip Reiss, Cyndy Violette, Antonio Esfandiari or Phil "The Unabomber" Laak, Ted Forrest, Chau Chiang, Jamie Gold, Joe Hachem, John Hennigan, Mike Matusow, John Juanda, Michael Mizrachi, John Gale, David Williams and even new professionals at the game of poker, like Gavin Smith, Vanessa Rousso, Patrik Antonius, Michael Gracz, David Benyamine, Kenna James, J.J. Liu, Isabelle Mercier, Nam Le, John Phan, Erica Schoenberg, Johan Storakers, Nick Schulman and Joe Sebok are expected to participate in the event. Alan Goehring, the champion last year, has gone home with $2,391,550 in prize money.
The champion back in 2005, Michael Mizrachi, has taken home about $1,859,909 and the 2004 champion, Antonio Esfandiari, has taken home around $1,399,135. Viewers can watch the final table of the LA Poker Classic on March 1st on a first come, first serve basis. Viewers should come to the Commerce Casino by 3:00 p.m. in order to get a seat. The tournament will be shown on the Travel Channel on June 27, 2007. The World Poker Tour (WPT) is shown every Wednesday night at 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time/Eastern Time.