The WPT LA Poker Classic is now underway and as I write this there are 727 players who have sat down to play this popular tournament at the Commerce Casino. Tournament Director, Matt Savage, expects the number to go up to about 735 players before the registration period closes in two hours, which although is not a record, easily beats last years total of 696 players.
At this early stage in the tournament all the Partypoker players are still in the tournament and looking to start chipping up. Canadian George Grant got off to a great start, twice being dealt pocket aces in the opening half hour. George was able to even flop quad aces to pick up a couple of sizeable pots early on and ease any early tournament nerves he may have been feeling.
Mario from Germany has also had some nice hands. More importantly he was able to bully his opponents off of pots by some clever and imaginative post flop tactics. “This table is really soft” Mario whispered to me as he raked in another nice pot. Let’s hope he can continue.
Here are a few of our PartyPoker players.
Some of the famous players who have stumped up the $10,000 buy-in include Daniel Negreanu, Scotty Nguyen, Partypoker Premier League winner David Benyamine, JC Tran, Chino Rheem, Steve Sung and Barry Greenstein.
Sitting here on the media stage, I can see that Phil Hellmuth has just walked into the room (only 4 hours late). Now he is being taken to sit at the same table as Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, which has caused a lot of humourous shouting and jokes as the two friends greeted each other. Mike is apparently selling signed copies of his autobiography. I might see if I can get one at a discounted price. I need something to read on the long flight home.
After 5 hours of play all the Partypoker players are still in the tournament and although they have varying chip stacks, they are all still smiling. The players all started with 20,000 chips and play will last from 12pm until 8.30pm. The early finish is due to having no long dinner breaks and only having short breaks every 2 hours. Players will no doubt take advantage of the early finish to either hit the cash tables downstairs or head into town and have some fun. We’ll be back as play progresses.