Poker News: Hollywood Park Casino Opening in October
These are good times for Los Angeles. The economy is healthy, tourism is up, and the NFL is back in town. The Los Angeles Rams have returned from St. Louis to great fanfare; nearly 90,000 fans packed the LA Coliseum for Saturday’s preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys, and they went home happy after the Rams won 28-24.
The Rams may be back at the Coliseum, but in 2019, they’ll be moving to the new City of Champions Stadium, which is being built at Hollywood Park. That means the poker room there needs a new home – and it’s getting one right next door. The Cary Grant Pavilion is part of the larger entertainment complex under construction in Inglewood, and it’s just about complete. The opening date is now official: October 22.
This could be the next mecca for LA poker. Hollywood Park has a sign out front that says “Raise Your Expectations,” and they seem prepared to go the extra mile, judging by their recent media tour of the pavilion. The space is beautiful, and there will be 125 tables ready for combat, including 15 tables in the high-limit area.
Those tables will be buzzing once the new stadium opens. In the meantime, Hollywood Park expects the local market to improve substantially over the next couple of years – which means more poker players and softer games for everyone. They’re even talking about spreading more mixed games and holding more tournaments.
The National Goes Global
Speaking of poker tournaments, Said El-Yousfi is over $340,000 richer after winning the WSOP Global Casino Championship on Thursday. El-Yousfi beat 125 other players at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina; the Moroccan-born resident of Zurich, Switzerland battled Yasin Ahmady heads-up, trading the lead back and forth before El-Yousfi’s Ace-Eight held up against Ahmady’s King-Queen.
With the victory, El-Yousfi becomes just the second non-American to win this tournament (previously known as the National Championship), following in the footsteps of the 2014 champion, Germany’s Dominik Nitsche. El-Yousfi also earns a WSOP gold bracelet, the last one for the 2015-16 season before the Main Event concludes in Las Vegas with the November Nine. Only one other Moroccan-born player has a WSOP bracelet: William Kakon, who won the $1,500 Limit Hold’em event last year.