Commerce Casino needed three starting days to hold the masses, but by the time the dust cleared, it had made history. The casino hosted the largest non- World Series of Poker live poker tournament ever this past week, welcoming 3,967 entrants to its $220 buy-in event at its new Hold’em Series .“Commerce was jam packed this past weekend,” said Tournament Director Matt Savage. “It shows that a little creativity and an opportunity for a second chance at hundreds of thousands of dollars can reinvigorate poker. Commerce continues to stay at the cutting edge of the poker world and this remarkable turnout is a fantastic start to the casino’s newest series.”The “second chance” that Savage is referring to was Commerce’s decision to allow players who busted from the tournament on day 1A or day 1B to pay another $220 to be able to sit down in a subsequent day 1.The tournament featured a $500,000 guarantee, but it easily surpassed that total — boasting a prize pool of $753,730. Local L.A. player Moshe Mashiah won the event, taking home $164,627. With the robust starting field, 369 players made the money.Even including WSOP events, the event still ranks seventh all-time in terms of number of entrants for a live poker tournament.This tournament was the first of 17 events at the Hold’em Series . There are a few other unique events remaining on the schedule.Commerce will host a $545 heads-up event (with double elimination) on Sept. 22 at 2 p.m., as well as a $335 bounty tournament the same day at 5 p.m.It will also host a $1,600 Ironman tournament with $10,000 added on Sept. 23. There are a couple interesting caveats with that event — there will be no breaks of any kind, so players may have to jog when they use the restroom for fear of being blinded out, and there will be no deals allowed at the final table, with the winner to receive 50 percent of the prize pool.The $2,580 main event will kick off Sept. 25.
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