2010 LAPC Preview
March 1, 2022

You know, it seems quite apropos that the World Poker Tour Celebrity Invitational always takes place during the same tournament stop as Commerce Casino’s LA Poker Classic main event, because if there’s one thing “the Classic” does better than any other event on the WPT calendar, it’s create poker celebrities

For proof of the prestige associated with taking down this particular event - and the fame that often follows - one need only look at a list of past LAPC champions; a list that includes Phil Ivey, Eric Hershler, Alan Goehring, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, Antonio Esfandiari and “The Great Dane” Gus Hansen.

But the LAPC isn’t all about the fame, there’s also usually quite a bit of money, for instance last year’s winner, Cornel Cimpan, earned $1,686,760, when he joined the impressive list of LAPC title holders, an amount he certainly earned after outlasting a total field of 696 entrants and defeating a tough final table that included both former World Series of Poker Main Event champion Chris “Jesus” Ferguson and former WPT champion Chris Karagulleyan.

The final table finish positions for the 2009 WPT L.A. Poker Classic were as follows:

1st.  Cornel Andrew Cimpan - $1,686,760

2nd.  Binh Nguyen - $935,424

3rd.  Mike Sowers - $654,797

4th.  Chris Karagulleyan - $430,963

5th.  Pat Walsh - $310,694

6th.  Chris “Jesus” Ferguson - $240,538

This year’s WPT L.A. Poker Classic Main Event once again features a $10,000 buy-in ($9,600 + $300 + $100), and will start players off with 20,000 in tournament chips.  The blinds will begin at 25/50, with 90-minute levels all the way to the final table.

The tournament will, for the second year in a row, be overseen by tournament director extraordinaire, Matt Savage; which pretty much guarantees good decisions and relatively happy pros as play progresses.

For all these reasons, the LA Poker Classic is always fun to keep an eye on, but this year things should be even more interesting, thanks to a certain highly publicized prop bet between PokerRoad’s own Joe Sebok, Jeff Madsen and Gavin Smith.  

For those uninitiated, a few months back, these three pros decided to make a last longer bet for the upcoming Classic but instead of betting cash as usual, they bet skin - or the possibility of inking skin to be more exact.  The player that lasts the longest of the three will have the honor of having their likeness permanently tattooed on the other two players that busted before him, with the player that busted first earning the right to two tattoos, one of each player’s face that still had chips when he didn’t.

No doubt about it, it’s a bold bet, and one that seems particularly dubious for PokerRoad President Sebok as both his rivals, Smith and Madsen, have been out in the trenches lately, not only cashing, but winning major events over the past two months, while Joe’s been in LA doing episodes of his popular cable show Poker2Nite.

This arguably insane tattoo bet is sure to be a recurring topic of conversation as PokerRoad descends upon the Commerce with its many podcasts, blogs, and videos, and it’s a conversation that will certainly be well worth tuning in to, for any true fan of tournament poker.

Preview by Mark Anderson 

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