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Poker News | World Poker News

WPT Partners with Chrysalis Non-Profit for February Invitational

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Since the World Poker Tour began, it has included an exciting tournament in each season just after the L.A. Poker Classic. The WPT Invitational has always been a fun mix of poker pros and Hollywood celebrities, all of who are invited to play the freeroll tournament with a charity aspect involved, not to mention some prize money given out by the WPT. But the upcoming Invitational will pattern itself after the new model of collaborating with a non-profit, and the 2010 partner for the event will be Chrysalis.

The 2010 WPT Invitational is set to run from February 20 to 21 at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, though in a new twist, the final table will be postponed until March 3, which will coincide with the end of the L.A. Poker Classic at the same casino. But beginning on the 20th, players who have earned their seats through satellites and invitations will join a room full of celebrities to play a fast-paced tournament with charitable donations at the fore. Some people also won tickets through a live auction established to benefit Chrysalis, and the highest bidders will also be invited to participate in the February 20th event.

The evening will begin with a red carpet and welcoming party, complete with food and drinks, and those wanting to dive right into poker can take part in a free WPT Boot Camp mini-seminar. Players will then take their seats in the tournament, of which the first two hours will consist of a single-option $200 rebuy for busted players, and the rebuy allows another chance to start the tournament. Each rebuy will be donated in full to Chrysalis, and if last year’s festivities were any example, the desire to donate offers a great deal of action, laughs, and entertainment. After the rebuy period, players proceed to the final table, where a $200,000 prize pool will be distributed to the participants based on finishes, and the winner will also receive a seat to the WPT World Championship in April worth $25,500. The tournament will be filmed by the World Poker Tour for broadcast on Fox Sports Net later in May 2010.

Organizers expect approximately 500 players this year, and among them will be some of the biggest names in the poker world as well as celebrities such as Ray Romano, Don Cheadle, Jason Alexander, and Mekhi Phifer, all of whom are regulars at such events.

John Griffo, Director of Poker Operations at Commerce Casino, noted, “This tournament has continued to grow and evolve over eight years, and this year will be even bigger and better than ever. We have added 100 additional invitational seats for play and the first 100 players to buy in to the LAPC main event will receive entry into this invite-only tournament.”

Chrysalis CEO Mark Loranger added, “It’s great when so much fun can also have such a positive impact. The funds raised at this event will allow us to help thousands of men and women suffering from poverty and homelessness in Los Angeles gain employment, earn a paycheck and get their lives back on track.”

The partnering charity, Chrysalis, is a 25-year old non-profit organization established to help people in the Los Angeles area who face economic disadvantages or homelessness, and they are given opportunities to reestablish themselves in the community through employment and housing. During a time that people are suffering economic hardships unlike any seen in decades, Chrysalis is needed to help more people than ever. More information, including ways to donate directly, is available at www.ChangeLives.org.

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