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WPT L.A. Poker Classic Reaches Star Studded Final Table
One of the biggest WPT L.A. Poker Classic Main Events in recent history has reached its final table. Some 490 players bought in for $10,000 and only six of them remain in the hunt for the title.
Each of the six finalists is guaranteed $185,330, but one of them will scoop $1,015,000 and the Champions Club trophy.
WPT L.A. Poker Classic Final Table Seat Draw
|1||Scott Hempel||United States||1,670,000|
|2||James Carroll||United States||4,125,000|
|4||Ka Kwan Lau||Spain||2,250,000|
|5||Upeshka De Silva||United States||930,000|
|6||Balakrishna Patur||United States||6,320,000|
The top 62 finishers each received a slice of the gargantuan $4,727,550 prize pool. A min-cash weighed in at $16,905 but everyone had an eye on a final table seat under the spotlight.
Day 3 started with 104 players and ended with only 39. Nobody wanted to finish in 63rd place and burst the bubble, but someone had to. Jordan Cristos was that someone.
With blinds at 3,000/5,000/5,000a, Claude Codru raised to 12,000 from middle position. Former WPT champion Cristos called from the small blind. The flop fell 8s-Js-5d and Cristos checked. Codru continued with a 14,000 bet before calling Cristos’ check-raise all-in for 128,000.
Cristos showed Ad-Jd for top pair and Codru the Ks-Ts for a flush draw. The Qs turn improved Codru to a flush, with the 2d river busting Cristos.
Big Names Fall Before Final Table
A host of star fell by the wayside, although with some prize money to show for their efforts.
Former Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein was one of the first players to cash. Garrett Greer, Jesse Silva, Toby Lewis, Chance Kornuth, and Lee Markholt joined Greenstein on the rail.
Day 4 saw the 39 returnees whittle to a more manageable field of 11. The waters grew less infested with sharks when Ali Imsirovic busted in 39th place. John Hennigan, J.C. Tran, and Matt Giannetti were some of the more high profile bustees.
Final Table Set on Day 5
Amazingly, Isaac Baron went from having 119 big blinds and the chip lead to being the 11th place finisher.
Baron, who won a WSOP bracelet last summer, lost a coinflip against Charles Kassin early on Day 5. He then lost a relative cooler of a hand against Ka Kwan Lau. Baron’s run at the final table ended with pocket eights against Scott Hempel’s tens on a nine-high flop.
Kevin Eyster crashed out in 10th place before Kassin ran tens into Hempel’s queens. The final eight became seven when Daniel Strelitz busted and the official final table was set when Shi Chen crashed out.
Chen was going great until his ace-king lost to Lau’s aces. He then pushed the rest of his chips in the middle with ace-eight and lost to Upeshka De Silva’s jacks.
Who Will Win the WPT L.A. Poker Classic Main Event?
This tournament could be won by any of the six finalists as it’s a star-studded affair. Balakrishna Patur is the man to catch thanks to a 158 big blind stack.
Patur is a 45-year old recreational player originally from India but now reside in New Jersey. Sixth-place money here is Patur’s largest live score.
Lithuania’s Matas Cimbolas has a 108 big blind stack and the experience of already winning a WPT event. Cimbolas won the UK Main Event in Season XIII for $313,328 and is one of the favorites here. He also finished second in the Season XVI WPT Tournament of Champions for $265,590.
Don’t write off the chances of Hempel, James Carroll, or the talented Lau. Upeshka De Silva may only have 23 big blinds at his disposal, but he’s one double away from being back in contention.
The six players now go on hiatus until April 2nd because the live-streamed final table takes place in Las Vegas. The HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino is where the final table concludes. It’s a strange concept, but one that helps push the game of poker to a wider audience. That cannot be a bad thing at all.