Opened in 1983, the privately-owned Commerce Casino and Resort sits a mere five miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles in the city of Commerce. The Commerce poker room is the largest— based on number of tables—in the world. With 243 tables—and plans for 100 more in the near future—the Commerce is internationally renowned, largely due to its association with numerous prestigious poker events and the high-profile players who play there.
The Commerce poker room is so large, in fact, that it is separated into quadrants with each quadrant having its own information screen that informs players of the various games being held at the time. The Commerce also has a dedicated high-stakes room with more than 40 tables and no-limit stakes as high as $400/$800.
Many celebrities frequent this famous and iconic cardroom. It’s common to see upwards of 8,000 people in the room on any given day.
Comfort and amenities
The well-lit Commerce poker room offers spaciousness with comfortable chairs and well-spaced tables that are welcome during long days at the poker table. The spacing is so generous, in fact, that there is ample room for spectators to watch the action. Televisions adorn the walls for sporting events and to provide tournament players with blinds, cashes, and other valuable information.
Of particular interest, the Commerce poker room is entirely smoke-free, so smoke doesn’t accidentally waft in from the rest of the casino as is common with many Las Vegas poker rooms.
Additionally, tableside dining is available 24 hours per day from the Sports Bar and Grill menu. There is also tableside drink and chair massage service.
Front money accounts are available for players who have such an account set up through the cashier cage. Finally, security is always around, and for large wins, officers will escort the lucky winner to his/her vehicle, if desired.
However, the poorly-lit Commerce Casino parking lot draws much criticism, and, given its location, this could be greatly improved.
Cash games at the Commerce
In addition to spreading multiple games of no-limit (NL) Hold’em, limit Hold’em, and pot-limit Omaha (PLO) at various levels, the Commerce poker room also offers an impressive array of other games: 7-card stud and stud high low split, lowball, draw poker, 5-card stud, Pineapple, Crazy Pineapple, Razz, regular and open-face Chinese poker, mixed games, split-pot games, and much, much more.
From low-stakes to high-roller, any player can find a table with the perfect game and limit.
Commerce poker tournaments
The Commerce poker room offers several daily tournaments in addition to various special tournaments and series.
- Mondays-Fridays at 12 p.m.: $65 NL Hold’em Deepstack with 10,000 in starting chips, 15-minute levels, and a $2,500 guarantee.
- Saturdays at 1 p.m.: $150 NL Hold’em Megastack tournament that features a 15,000-chip starting stack, 15-minute levels, and a $15,000 guarantee.
- Mondays-Thursdays at 6 p.m.: $125 NL Hold’em Deepstack tournament with 15,000 in starting chips, 15-minute levels, and a $2,500 guarantee.
- 6 p.m. Friday: $150 NL Hold’em “Six Hours and Time’s Up” tournament with 30,000 in starting chips, 15-minute blinds, $50 bounties, and a $5,000 guarantee. Additionally, in this tournament, per the Commerce’s website, “Level 19 will consist of 15 hands at each remaining table, with tables being balanced after hands 5 and 10. At the completion of level 19, ‘Time’s Up.’ Payouts are determined by chip count equity.”
The Commerce hosts numerous other high-profile tournaments including the Million Dollar Hold’em Series, L.A. Poker Open, California State Championships, Celebrity Invitational, and the prestigious World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic.
L.A. Poker Classic at the Commerce
Commerce poker room promotions
The Commerce’s promotions change frequently, and many of them are game-specific. As for poker, specifically, the Commerce offers a $100,000 Super Jackpot and $150,000 Super Jackpot for Hold’em, Stud, and Omaha with a standard “bad beat jackpot” requirement—a player must lose with any four-of-a-kind to another four-of-a-kind with both players holding pocket pairs. These promotions run at various hours throughout the day, and more information—including new promotions—is available on Bravo Poker Live or on its website.
Like most casinos, the Commerce offers a free player’s club and loyalty rewards program that is available for any player. Players earn comp points redeemable for hotel rooms, travel, food, gifts, chair massage, and more. Frequent players earn even better rewards. For example, those at the Elite and Platinum tiers are privy to exclusive discounts, special promotions, and members-only tournaments.
The bottom line
Reviews run the gamut from excellent to horrible. Players who truly enjoy the casino emphasize the friendly dealers, great action, wide variety of games and limits, well-run tournaments, and relatively soft low-limit games. Many also seem to enjoy the “church basement” atmosphere and absence of typical Las Vegas glitz and neon. Also, if you are a people person who enjoys meeting folks from different countries and walks of life, this is definitely the place to go.
On the other hand, complaints generally focus on rude floor people and inept dealers, the number of players at any given time in the room, long waiting lists, and favoritism—especially with regulars and pros. Another complaint is that the room itself is dated, somewhat dirty—one reviewer used the word “seedy”—and in need of a serious renovation. However, for some, this just adds to the Commerce’s character.
Los Angeles definitely has its share of popular casinos, with the Commerce and Bike being the two most frequented. Next time you’re in the area, head on over to the Commerce and try it out.
Have you played at the iconic Commerce poker room? Please share your thoughts and experiences below.
Until next time.
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