Matt Savage Named TD at Commerce

by Lou on November 25, 2008

Veteran tournament director Matt Savage has been named to head the 2009 L.A. Poker Classic, which runs from Thursday, January 22 through Monday, March 2, 2009.

Savage is excited about managing the showcase event at the World’s Largest Poker Room.
“My goal is to continue to improve on what is already one of the world’s top-notch events and ensure it remains a world-class tournament,” said Savage.

The search for a new L.A. Poker Classic manager began when longtime tournament director Cheri Dokken retired. Tim Gustin, casino manager at Commerce Casino, said management was looking for someone who already had a lot of experience handling large, high-profile, big-money events. Additionally, Savage brings a wealth of experience in handling televised tournaments, which will make for a seamless transition. Commerce Casino Development Manager John Griffo said Savage also possesses some personal traits that make him the perfect person to fill the slot left vacated by former tournament director Cheri Dokken.

“Savage has a reputation for running smooth, fair tournaments,” according to Griffo. “But he also oversees tournaments as if he was hosting a party. He is well liked and connects on a personal level with everyone. That is something L.A. Poker Classic players have become accustomed to at Commerce Casino, and I believe that will continue with Savage at the helm.”

In 2001, along with Linda Johnson, Jan Fisher and David Lamb, Savage founded the Tournament Directors Association, an organization that works to standardize poker tournament rules all over the world. The TDA has become the worldwide standard for tournament rules and is now used in most major tournaments.

In 2002, Savage was invited to direct the World Series of Poker at a critical time. Over the course of three years, the main event prize grew from $6 million to $25 million. His tenure at the WSOP made Savage one of the world’s top poker tournament directors, and in 2003 he earned the inaugural Benny Binion award for outstanding service in the poker industry. Since then he has managed televised poker games for shows on ESPN, GSN, Fox Sports and Travel Channel. He has also hosted the nationally televised show “Inside Poker,” and appeared in the movie “Lucky You.”

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