Commerce Casino: Celebrity Oasis

Commerce Casino bills itself as the Poker Capital of the World with “more gaming tables (243) than any other land-based card room globally”. I’m guessing the “land-based” qualification doesn’t actually mean there’s a larger card room on water or hovering midair and is used to distinguish itself from internet poker sites. But if I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an enormous poker room floating in the troposphere over Dubai.

wax affleckJust a few miles south of Hollywood off I-5, Commerce Casino is a magnet for poker-playing celebrities. The casino’s FAQ page even acknowledges the phenomenon:

Q. Do celebrities play there, if so who are they?
A. Yes, many do. But, to honor their privacy, we don’t disclose their names.

Privacy shmivacy. Their media kit offers full disclosure:

It is not unusual to see Ben Affleck, Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lou Diamond Phillips, James Woods, Maurice Chestnut, Jennifer Tilly and others at the Commerce poker tables for tournaments or occasional regular play.

diamond lou phillipsWhen we get the itch, my friends and I play low stakes no limit hold’em at Commerce. In addition to the aforementioned, we’ve played with and spotted Vince Vaughn, Jack Black and Jason Mewes among others.

Last week Paris and Nikki Hilton anted up at a table adjacent to us. I actually despise the cult of celebrity, yet I find the sport of celeb sighting irresistable. The two aren’t mutually exclusive–I’m sure there are bird-watchers out there who don’t actually like birds. And seeing the Hilton sisters in an LA poker room is the equivalent of an ornithologist spotting a pair of ivory-billed woodpeckers at a Red Lobster. Score.