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[CAPTION=100%]Dietrich Fast added a WPT title to his resume Thursday night in L.A.[/CAPTION] Dietrch Fast denied Mike Shariati a chance at World Poker Tour History Thursday night at the Commerce Casino and captured the L.A. Poker Classic Main Event title for just over $1 million. Shariati, who won the Legends of Poker at the Bicycle Casino last August, was looking to become the first player to win both Los Angeles-based WPT events. It wasn't meant to be, though. Fast, who started the final table fifth in chips, eliminated the final three players to claim the title. Anthony Spinella, winner of the online WSOP bracelet event last summer, started the final table with the chip lead, but was actually the first player eliminated. The downhill slide for Spinella began on just the fifth hand when he dropped nearly 1 million chips to Fast. Seven hands later, he dropped another million to Sam Soverel and before 20 hands had been played, Spinella doubled Alex Keating up as well. The 27th hand spelled the end for Spinella. Left with just 550,000, Spinella moved all in from the cutoff and Fast and Soverel called from the blinds. Fast and Soverel checked the [poker card="6c"][poker card="5c"][poker card="5d"] flop. After the [poker card="qs"] turn, Fast checked and Soverel bet 475,000, forcing Fast to fold. Spinella turned over [poker card="kc"][poker card="jh"] and Soverel showed [poker card="as"][poker card="td"]. The [poker card="tc"] river was no help for Spinella and he was out in sixth. It took 31 more hands for the next elimination. After Keating raised to 195,000 from the cutoff, Farid Jattin moved all in from the big blind. Keating called instantly and tabled [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"]. Jattin showed [poker card="9d"][poker card="8s"]. The board ran out [poker card="kh"][poker card="qd"][poker card="8h"][poker card="jh"][poker card="2c"] and Jattin was out in fifth. With just four players left, Fast went to work. His first victim was Soverel in a blind vs blind battle. Action folded to Fast in the small blind. He called and Soverel checked. After the [poker card="8c"][poker card="4c"][poker card="4d"] flop, Fast bet 110,000 and Soverel called. After the [poker card="6h"] turn, Fast bet 225,000 and Soverel called. The [poker card="ad"] river got Fast to bet 450,000 before Soverel tanked for nearly a minute. He moved all in for 2,750,000 and Fast took his time in the tank. After nearly four minutes, Fast called and after Soverel showed [poker card="5h"][poker card="3d"] for a busted straight, Fast turned over [poker card="jd"][poker card="js"] to take the pot, eliminate Soverel in fourth, and assume the chip lead for the first time. Fast didn't wait long to bust somebody else. On the very next hand, Keating raised from the cutoff to 250,000, Fast re-raised from the button to 675,000. Keating announced he was all in for 4,885,000 and Fast called. Keating turned up [poker card="ah"][poker card="qh"], but found himself behind Fast, who held [poker card="ad"][poker card="kc"]. Keating found no help on the [poker card="8d"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4h"][poker card="8h"][poker card="jd"] board and was out in third. Thanks to those two eliminations, Fast held 11,975,000 of the 15,445,000 chips in play. It took only two hours for Fast to end the tournament. Despite a small double-up from Shariati, Fast held control for the entire heads-up battle. On the final hand of the night, Fast opened with a raise to 450,000 before Shariati moved all in for 4,850,000. Fast took his time before calling and tabling [poker card="ac"][poker card="9h"]. Shariati showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="8d"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="js"][poker card="4c"] flop changed little, but the [poker card="8c"] turn put Shariati ahead, but the [poker card="jh"] river counterfeited Shariati's second pair and gave the title to Fast. Fast, who won the €550 Oktoberfest event at WSOP Europe in October 2015, pocketed $1,000,800 for the victory. He also gets a pair of gold Monster 24K headphones, a Hublot King watch, and a seat into the WPT Tournament of Champions next month in Florida. Final Table Payouts Dietrich Fast – $1,000,800 Mike Shariati – $656,540 Alex Keating – $423,890 Sam Soverel – $316,440 Farid Jatten – $238,070 Anthony Spinella – $191,250
[caption width="640"] Mike Shariati has gone from low-stakes grinder to WPT Player of the Year. (Joe Giron/WPT photo)[/caption] This time last year, Mike Shariati was just another poker player dreaming of a big break while grinding away in the low-stakes dailies at the Commerce or the Bike or Hawaiian Gardens in Los Angeles. On Wednesday, as the World Poker Tour season was winding down, 42-year-old Shariati locked up WPT Player of the Year honors after the last player with a shot at catching him, Cate Hall, busted the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in ninth place. Along with having his name run alongside previous winners like JC Tran, Betrand Grospellier and Daniel Negreanu, Shariati also gets a prize package that includes a one-of-a-kind Hublot watch, hotel accommodation and ground transportation for all WPT main tour stops and a trophy. Shariati’s amazing run from low-stakes grinder to POY started with a win in the $130 buy-in Mega Millions at the Bicycle Casino worth a whopping $275,000. "Last year, the Mega Millions at the Bike, it was over 4,500 players. It took a whole ten days and I made the final table,” said Shariati. “I was down 6-1 heads-up, I came back and won it and that gave me good confidence." It wasn't a WPT event, but it gave Shariati with a bankroll and the belief that he could play. From there, he won a WSOP Main Event satellite and headed to Las Vegas. He didn’t cash, but in true grinder fashion, he found himself in a Daily Deepstack at the Rio that he found a small score in. That would be the last of his small scores for a while. In August, Shariati played a satellite at the Bike for the WPT Legends of Poker and won his way into the $3,700 buy-in event. His run good continued as he outlasted 785 other players and beat Freddy Deeb heads-up to win the event and $675,942 first place prize money. Rather than jump onto a plane and start playing more big buy-in events around the country, Shariati went right back to playing the dailies. His next cash came in a $130 buy-in event and earned him $250. He cashed six more times over the next four months leading up to the WPT L.A. Poker Classic, but Shariati wasn’t ready to put up that $10,000 buy-in himself. “The same day (LAPC) started, they had this satellite, the last satellite. The (LAPC Main Event) started at 12 o’clock and the satellite started at 5 o’clock. So I played the last satellite,” said Shariati. “So at 12:30 that night I got qualified. I entered the LAPC on Day 2 with 30,000 - lower than average - and I got down to two chips - a 1,000 and a 5,000 - at the end of the second day and came back and finished second.” That runner-up finish earned him $656,540 and put him into the lead for WPT POY. There were still a few events left on the schedule and although his lead was anything but safe, Shariati held off all comers thanks to a 21st place finish in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown to wrap up the POY award on the second-to-last day of the WPT season. “A few people were on my heels for the Player of the Year, so I was fortunate enough to finish up as Player of the Year,” said Shariati, who didn’t call himself a professional poker player until recently. “I’m a biochemist. I also invented a medical device that I’m putting a lot of time into, to patent it. So probably 6-7 months into it. So hopefully that works out, that would be great,” said Shariati. “I’m getting my partner more involved so I can travel more (to play).” Shariati wants to take his shot as a poker pro now and still find time to run his business. He knows that finding a repeat of this season is a near impossibility, but he just wants to enjoy the ride. “I don’t think I can ever have the same year, but I’m grateful,” said Shariati.