The California State Poker Championship, usually held during the fall, has been moved up this year to take place during the final weeks leading up to the 2009 World Series of Poker. The series, hosted at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, will start April 30th and run through May 22nd. A total of 24 events fill the busy schedule, leading up to the $5,100 buy-in No-Limit hold'em Championship that begins Friday, May 22nd.
Several new events have been added to the line-up this year, including two H.O.R.S.E. events (one with a $545 buy-in, the other $1,065), a $200 no-limit hold'em event with rebuys, and a $545 double-elimination NLHE heads-up tournament. In addition to the many other NLHE tournaments on the schedule, the series also includes events in Omaha 8-or-better, stud, and stud 8-or-better.
Matt Savage, fresh off helping run the WPT L.A. Poker Classic, will be the tournament director for the California State Poker Championship. "I'm excited to be back at Commerce Casino to provide players with great tournament structures and different games," said Savage.
The championship event will have guaranteed prize pool of $1 million. The $5,100 buy-in for the championship marks a significant jump in the buy-in from last fall's $1,580. Commerce Casino spokesman John Griffo noted that the higher buy-in was established so as to increase the profile of the tournament, elevating it to the status of a major tournament.
Meanwhile, the change to a spring series was done with eye toward providing players with a meaningful warm-up as they ready for a summer of tournaments poker in Vegas. "We opted to make changes to the Cal State Poker Championship to provide players a way to focus their skills leading into the World Series of Poker," said Griffo. "By adding additional games and increasing the stakes, we hope to have created an opportunity for players to hone their skills or fatten their bankroll before facing the masses at the WSOP."
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