Patur Takes Down Delayed L.A. Poker Classic ($1,015,000)

Balakrishna Patur the WPT L.A. Poker Classic champion

Balakrishna Patur sat down at the delayed WPT L.A. Poker Classic Main Event as the chip leader. Some 188 hands of poker later, Patur became a World Poker Tour champion, an accolade that came with $1,015,000 in prize money.

The WPT L.A. Poker Classic began in February 2020 and saw 490 players buy in for $10,000. Sixty-two players shared the $4,727,550 prize pool, and some elite stars were among those finishing in the money places.

Barry Greenstein, Toby Lewis, Chance Kornuth, Dylan Linde, and Isaac Baron were among those who padded their bankrolls.

The tournament paused with only six players remaining. Those six were meant to head to Las Vegas, Nevada, shortly after, but the COVID-19 pandemic put paid to those plans. The final table finally got underway last week. Here is how it went down.

Patur Sits Down as the Final Table’s Chip Leader

Patur was the man to catch when the dealer pitched the first cards, but he was not the favorite to win. Several established professionals flanked Patur, each having won major titles in their careers.

It took 30 hands before the final table lost a player, Upeshka De Silva being that busted. De Silva was down to only ten big blinds when he open-shoved for 500,000 with Ac-2s. Patur called with Ah-Kh from the big blind, and his ace-king held as the five community cards ran Tc-8h-4c-5c-Th. De Silva banked $185,330 for his sixth-place finish.

Fifth place and $243,330 went to Ka Kwan Lau, the 2020 Player of the Year. Matas Cimbolas moved all-in from the small blind with Qd-7h, and Lau called off his 7.75 big blinds with As-Js. Lau looked set for a timely double until the board ran Kd-7c-2c-6h-8d.

It took 92 hands to lose two players and another 96 to bust the remaining stars.

Canada’s Scott Hempel crashed out on the 153rd hand of the final table. Blinds were 75,000/150,000/150,000a, and Hempel raised to 350,000. Cimbolas three-bet to 1,200,000 and called when Hempel jammed for 4,850,000. Cimbolas flipped over Qs-Qh and Hemepl Tc-Ts. The pot slid to Cimbolas, who made a full house on the 9h-7h-7c-4h-Qs board.

Heads-Up Set

James Carroll crashed out six hands after Hempel fell by the wayside. Patur made it 400,000 to go from the button, and Carroll shoved for 1,650,000. Patur snap-called and revealed the Kh-Kd; Carroll could only muster Kc-9s. The red kings held on a Qc-Jh-5s-4d-7s board, which resigned Carroll to a $431,585 consolation prize. Carroll was looking for his third-WPT title. The wait for a hattrick continues.

Patur held an 11,400,000 to 8,200,000 chip lead over Cimbolas going into heads-up. Cimbolas is a seasoned professional, while Patur is a math genius. The one-on-one fight was an interesting one; it went Patur’s way.

Cimbolas could not claw his way back no matter how hard he tried. Hand 188 of the final table was the fateful one. Cimbolas raised all-in for 3,700,000, approximately 15 big blinds, with Kd-6c. Patur called with Ah-9d, and the dealer spread the Jd-7d-2d-8s-5h board. This busted Cimbolas in second place for $600,060 and left Patur to bank $1,015,000.

WPT L.A. Poker Classic Final Table Results

Place Player Country Prize
1 Balakrishna Patur United States $1,015,000
2 Matas Cimbolas Lithuania $600,060
3 James Carroll United States $431,585
4 Scott Hempel Canada $323,485
5 Ka Kwan Lau Hong Kong $243,330
6 Upeshka De Silva United States $185,330

Patur had $243,104 in live tournament winnings before this incredible result. He is now a poker millionaire and a delighted one at that.

“I can’t express the feeling right now. Every poker player dreams of getting a WPT. Getting next to these big names that you watch all the time, getting my name to them is an awesome feeling.”

Patur $1,015,000 prize included a Hublot watch and a set of Baccarat Crystal. It also contains $15,000 cash in lieu of a WPT Tournament of Champions seat that is scrapped this year because of the uncertainty around the coronavirus.

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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