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Found 9 results

  1. It has been a monumental week for England's Chris moorman1Moorman (pictured), and that's probably an understatement. He started off March by becoming the first PocketFiver ever to earn four Monthly PLB titles, blowing away the competition in February by over 800 points, one of the widest margins ever. On Wednesday, he ascended back to the top of the PocketFives Online Poker Rankings, his 12th stint at #1. On Thursday, one day after he became the #1 player on PocketFives, Moorman won the World Poker Tour's LA Poker Classic for $1 million. "I finally did it! #lapc2014 #champ," Moorman posted on Twitter. He started the final table second in chips and got off to a hot start, taking down the first three hands and six of the first nine. It took all of 26 hands for Moorman to overtake Michael Rocco for the chip lead, and the most successful PocketFiver ever padded his edge by dispensing of Josh Neufeld in fifth place. Neufeld 4bet all-in before the flop with A-10 of hearts and Moorman looked him up with pocket tens. No drama was in store and Moorman scooped the pot to stack 163 big blinds, more than twice the second place total. Moorman won 14 of the first 40 pots, the most of anyone, but Rocco charged ahead, claiming seven of the next 20 pots compared to Moorman's three. Then, Patrick Bruel doubled through Moorman, Glenn Lafaye doubled through Bruel, and suddenly, Moorman, albeit by a small margin, was the low man on the totem pole. On the 102nd hand of final table play, Rocco doubled through Moorman, who was left with 23 big blinds. However, Moorman managed to buck Bruel from the LAPC shortly thereafter. Bruel moved all-in on a flop of J-8-2 and Moorman called, flipping over A-J for top pair, top kicker. Bruel showed K-8 for second pair and a running 9-Q sealed the deal for Moorman, who moved into second place and scored his second knockout. A three-way all-in trimmed the table even further. Rocco was all-in pre-flop with A-8, Moorman had 10-10, and Lafaye had both of his opponents covered with Q-J of diamonds. The flop came K-Q-J, giving Lafaye two pair, and a three on the turn set up what would have been a double elimination for the LAPC title. However, an ace on the river gave Moorman Broadway and sent Rocco to the rail. Moorman Tweeted about the miracle river card, "Ace on the river! Heads-up for it all now!" Moorman and Lafaye were virtually deadlocked in chips entering heads-up play. The Brit put on a clinic from there, at one point building a 7:1 chip lead. Lafaye doubled through to cut the gap to 3:1, but couldn't gain any more momentum. On the final hand of the WPT LAPC, Lafaye pushed all-in with 5-4 for an open-ended straight draw on a flop of J-6-7. It wasn't meant to be, as Moorman woke up with aces and held on for the win. Moorman knocked out four of his five final table opponents at his first WPT final table. In addition to the million bucks, Moorman took home a WPT Champion's Trophy, a Commerce Remington trophy, and a pair of Monster 24K headphones. Not too bad. Here were the payouts from the 2014 WPT LAPC: 1. Chris moorman1 Moorman - $1,015,460 2. Glenn Lafaye - $662,840 3. Michael Rocco - $423,440 4. Patrick Bruel - $332,190 5. Josh Neufeld - $264,520 6. Adam Friedman - $200,440 Congratulations for Moorman poured in on Twitter, where poker pro Jude Ainsworth wrote, "Congrats @Moorman1, sick result and well deserved." Craig mcc3991 McCorkell added, "Woke up to some great news! Congrats @Moorman1 #winningplayer." According to the Hendon Mob, Moorman has nearly $4 million in live tournament cashes and is #12 on the all-time money list for England. The LAPC marked his second seven-figure live score; the other came as a result of a runner-up finish in the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event in Cannes three years ago. He has the highest earnings of anyone in the world on PocketFives at $10.9 million. Congrats on Moorman on his WPT win! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. We're pretty sure Jason JAKoon1985Koon's favorite day of the week is officially Tuesday. Koon (pictured) has made the last two Tuesdays count, winning the PokerStars Super Tuesdayand LA Poker Classic Turbo High Roller on back-to-back weeks for a combined $550,000. We'll start with the Super Tuesday on PokerStars, which took place on February 24. His win in it was good for a blistering $111,000, as he defeated a field of 591 entrants. It was his first time winning a tracked online poker tournament in almost two months, and he certainly made it count, as he defeated a final nine that included two top-100 ranked PocketFivers. Koon held the chip lead entering the Super Tuesday final table. He told the PokerStars Blog of his strategy, "Coming into final tables with the chip lead is extremely valuable. Raw aggression deep is certainly something that is rewarded at the end. Being able to leverage other stacks and continually pick up chips is one of the most important parts to winning a poker tournament. This one wasn't a finale table where people would just lay down, though. Most of these players seemed very competent, so I had to tread pretty lightly the entire final table." Koon Tweeted when the Super Tuesday was over: Which brings us to the LAPC two days ago. There, Koon took down a $50,000 Turbo High Rollerfor $436,000 in "live monies" after a three-way deal with JC Tran and Connor blanconegro Drinan. First place was originally scheduled to make $552,000, according to PokerNews, and the tournament itself sported a prize pool of $1.5 million. It was Koon's largest live cash and boosted his career live winnings to over $3.1 million, according to the Hendon Mob. Koon told PocketFives on Thursday, "It has been a fun week! I always love coming to Southern California. I got third in the High Roller last year here and was a bit bummed about not closing it out. It feels good to get that monkey off my back! Poker tournaments are very streaky, so I try not to get caught up in the highs and lows; that said, the heaters are always a good time." Koon is up to $3.7 million in online winnings in his PocketFives profile, the vast majority of which has come on PokerStars and Full Tilt. He plays on the latter as NovaSkyand was ranked as high as #39 on PocketFives in 2009. Congrats to Jason Koon on his rock solid Tuesday finishes! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  3. [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
  4. [caption width="640"] Daniel Strelitz beat out a stacked final table to win the World Poker Tour LA Poker Classic (WPT photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] Former World Poker Tour One to Watch Daniel Strelitz lived up to the billing Thursday night in Los Angeles. The 27-year-old overcame a final table that included a poker living legend and two other WSOP bracelet winners to take down theWorld Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic and walk away with just over $1,000,000 in prize money. It took just seven hands to go from six players to five. The action opened with Strelitz raising to 85,000 from the button. Action folded to Richard Tuhrim in the big blind and he moved all in for 545,000. Strelitz called and showed [poker card="kc"][poker card="qc"] but was behind Tuhrim's [poker card="as"][poker card="7s"]. The [poker card="7d"][poker card="4c"][poker card="3d"] flop didn't change anything and neither did the [poker card="9h"] turn but the [poker card="kh"] river gave Strelitz top pair and sent chess prodigy Tuhrim to the rail in sixth. The next elimination came in a blind vs blind battle almost 60 hands later. Action folded to Jesse Martin in the small blind and he moved all in for 745,000 and Jared Griener called from the big blind. Martin showed [poker card="qh"][poker card="6c"] and Griener tabled [poker card="8h"][poker card="8s"]. The board ran out [poker card="kc"][poker card="ks"][poker card="4d"][poker card="4h"][poker card="ah"] to eliminate Martin. Coming in to the final table all eyes were on WPT commentator Mike Sexton. Just a few short months after winning his first WPT title in Montreal, Sexton was at the LAPC final table seeking a second victory but it was snuffed out by Strelitz. Sexton moved all in from the button for 670,000 and action folded to Strelitz in the big blind. He called and showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="7s"] while Sexton showed [poker card="kd"][poker card="kh"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="js"][poker card="7c"] flop was bad news for Sexton though and neither the [poker card="9c"] turn or [poker card="as"] river were any help and Sexton was out in fourth. Three-handed play lasted 65 hands. Strelitz opened to 225,000, Simeon Naydenov called from the small blind but Jared Griener moved all in from the big blind for 1,755,000. Strelitz got out of the way before Naydenov called and showed [poker card="8s"][poker card="8h"]. Griener had [poker card="ad"][poker card="qd"] and needed help. The [poker card="as"][[poker card="9c"][poker card="8d"] flop paired Griener's ace but gave Naydenov a set of eights. The [poker card="js"] turn gave Griener extra outs to a straight but the river was the [poker card="qc"] and he was out in third place. When heads-up play began Naydenov had 8,475,000 in chips to Strelitz's 7,150,000 but a key full house over flush hand early on changed the dynamic and paved the way for Strelitz's win. On the 38th hand of heads-up action, Strelitz raised to 260,000 and Naydenov called. After the [poker card="qs"][poker card="7c"][poker card="6s"] flop, Naydenov check-raised to 975,000. The [poker card="8h"] turn got Naydenov to check, Strelitz bet 1,350,000 and Naydenov raised all-in to 3,860,000. Strelitz called and showed [poker card="5h"][poker card="4s"] tor a turned straight while Naydenov had [poker card="kc"][poker card="qd"] for top pair. The [poker card="4d"] river changed nothing and Strelitz picked up his third elimination of the final table to win the first major title of his career. Final Table Payouts Daniel Streliz - $1,001,110 Simeon Naydenov - $672,190 Jared Griener - $431,340 Mike Sexton - $300,690 Jesse Martin - $230,380 Richard Tuhrim - $191,490
  5. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters are LIVE from the HyperX Esports Arena covering the World Poker Tour final tables. This episode features a full recap of David Baker's win in the LA Poker Classic final table including a conversation with an emotional Baker after his win. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  6. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. The World Poker Tour has taken over Las Vegas this week with three final tables at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel and Casino. The LA Poker Classic, the Gardens Poker Classic, and the Borgata Winter Poker Open are all going to crown champions this week and Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters preview all three final tables in the first of four podcasts from the city of Las Vegas. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  7. Controlling your emotions is a key component of being a winning poker player and Monday night in Las Vegas, David Baker put on a master class on how to do just that as he won the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic for a little over $1 million. In the afterglow of his win, as the WPT television crew was setting up for one final shot, Baker let go of that control, looked skyward and let out a very visible, audible deep breath. After years of playing poker, with a good amount of time spent at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, Baker finally erased some of what he considered were glaring omissions from his poker résumé. "It kinda sounds corny, but it means so much to me," Baker said. "I've battled my whole life in this business. I care about this business. I care about the prestige of these things and I know sometimes some of the guys are a little too cool for school to say that, but I do. I've got a good résumé, I've been there a lot, but I've never won a major No Limit Hold'em tournament, I've never won a WPT, I've never had a million-dollar score and I just get to check off all of those boxes today and I'm overjoyed." Fairly or unfairly, the win also changes the way Baker is viewed by the poker community and his peers and Baker admitted that's important to him - if only for him to be able to put his head on his pillow every night knowing that the people he respects, respect him for the work he's put in over the years. "I know that I'm considered a good poker player and even probably really good by my peers, but I want to be elite, I want to be thought of as elite," Baker said. "I know I'm not an elite No Limit Hold'em player. I know I'm not sitting down in the $100Ks and battling with the GOATs of GOATs, but I can still play man, I can still play with these guys in the $10Ks and all-around, I'll take my all-around poker game versus anyone. I've always had this chip on my shoulder that I don't know if I've always felt that I've gotten the respect that I deserve. I really feel like being able to put this on my resume really helps, at least helps me mentally just being able to do that." The final table might have been in Las Vegas, but the fact that this was the L.A. Poker Classic and not just some other WPT event, was another important component of why the win was so important for Baker. Over the course of his poker career, the Commerce Casino, the host of the LAPC, has become his home away from home - to the point that a good number of people are actually under the impression that he does live there year-round. "I haven't been able to live where there's a poker room for the last 20 years because of family," Baker said. "I've still been able to support my family by traveling 2-3 weeks a month every single month for the last 15 years and my major destination spot is the Commerce. I've grinded the cash games there since at least 15 years. I stay at the Commerce Casino 200 days a year and it's my home away from home. I go there, I know everybody, everybody knows me. Most of the people there don't even realize that I don't live there because I basically do live there." The HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor is designed to hold a good-sized crowd. Over the nine hours of play on Monday night, most of the seats were filled by Baker's friends and family and each of them served an important role throughout the night. Some were there for moral support, others were watching the live stream and helped Baker understand what his opponents were doing and how he should adjust to them. "I had the three or four people that I really wanted to talk to; Cord (Garcia), (John) Racener, Josh Arieh, Ray Henson," Baker said. "Those were basically like my four guys. My wife, my mom, my other friends, they all just left us all alone. I jumped off the stage, I went, we talked, they got me in the right state, they pumped me up, they brought me down, whatever needed to happen. We discussed a strategy of how we were going to start and what we were going to do if things changed. Then they left me by myself for a few minutes, I could unwind. My crowd was great. A lot of crowds they just want to talk and bombard you, and drink and joke and do all that. My crowd was perfect. The four people who I needed, came to me, gave me what I needed, the rest of them left me alone and cheered and it was perfect. This is surreal. This is what I dreamed of and everybody around was a part of it." The million-dollar score isn't just some box Baker checked off. The financial windfall served as a reminder of some of the hard times Baker has endured over the course of his career and the impact those tough times have had on the people he loves most. The tough times, including spending upwards of 250 days a year on the road away from his family, are part of the sacrifice Baker has made to reach this point in his journey. Having had to share the tough times with his family, he's now happy to share the joy of the win with them as well. "My wife has been through the war," Baker said. "I do OK, but there have been many times in my career where I've had struggles. I've got very high expenses because of my family situation, my children and she has children from a previous marriage. We've battled a lot. Everyday," Baker said. "There's nobody who works harder than me, honestly, when it comes to the poker arena. I'm traveling and I'm at the Commerce 2-3 weeks a month, sometimes month round. I start the games, I end the games. I quit the game, I go play a tournament, I bust the tournament, I go back down and play the cash game. I work hard." Those cash games almost kept Baker from even entering the LAPC Main Event - even though he's played in it every year for the last dozen or so years. Baker didn't want to give up his seat in a game he enjoys playing to play a five-day tournament. A good satellite system, putting lots of qualifiers into the tournament who normally wouldn't play a $10,000 buy-in event, was part of the reason he decided to play, but so was the scheduling. "Our game really runs Monday through Friday, so I could play (the Main) Saturday, play Sunday and if I was still in Day 3, which was Monday, it was fine to miss a game or two," Baker said. "Had this tournament started on a Monday, I probably wouldn't have played, honestly, but the Saturday start got me to pony up." Baker isn't sure what's next. It might be a vacation with his wife and it might just be a return trip to the Commerce to get back to the high stakes mixed game. "I'm in a mixed game now that I just love, I love the people, I love playing it, it's fun, Baker said. "I'm a poker player man, some of these people they play just for the money and they just want to be lazy. I'm a poker player, I love this shit."
  8. David Baker has done it. He has won the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event for $1.015 million. For Baker, it was a career achievement held in the highest regard, as he considers the WPT L.A. Poker Classic to be the most prestigious major tournament title to win other than the WSOP Main Event. Baker also earned a Hublot Big Bang watch with the victory and a $15,000 seat into the season-ending Bacarrat Crystal Tournament of Champions, in addition to moving to more than $5.4 million in live tournament earnings. WPT L.A. Poker Classic Final Table Results 1st: David Baker - $1,015,000 2nd: Matas Cimbolas - $646,930 3rd: Darren Elias - $473,280 4th: Jean-Claude Moussa - $346,550 5th: John Smith - $267,400 6th: Steve Yea - $201,650 Darren Elias entered the final table with the chip lead, holding more than 40% of the chips in play to start the final six. After John Smith doubled early to climb off the short stack, Steve Yea was eliminated in sixth place. Yea went out to Matas Cimbolas on the 33rd hand of the final table when his [poker card="Ah"][poker card="3h"] lost out to Cimbolas’ [poker card="Jc"][poker card="Jd"]. Despite the early double, Smith didn’t last much longer and was out on the 36th hand of the final table. Again, it was Cimbolas doing the deed. This time, it was Cimbolas’ pocket kings beating the pocket fives of Smith to send the 72-year-old home in fifth place. Four-handed action only lasted a handful of hands, as Jean-Claude Moussa fell to David Baker in fourth place. Moussa was all in with the [poker card=“Ah”][poker card=“Tc”] and busted to Baker’s [poker card="Qs"][poker card="Qd"]. Three-handed action lasted quite some time as Cimbolas, Baker, and Elias battled back and forth with several lead changes. No one wanted to give an inch, but eventually, it was the four-time WPT champion Elias who ran into Baker’s aces to bust in third place. On his final hand, Elias, who had just doubled up Baker a few hands prior, moved all in from the button with the [poker card="7c"][poker card="4c"] for 950,000 with the blinds at 75,000-150,000 and a 150,000 ante. Cimbolas called from the big blind with the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="2d"]. The board ran out [poker card="Qc"][poker card="Td"][poker card="5c"][poker card="Kh"][poker card="Qh"] to eliminate Elias in third place. Heads-up play began with Baker in the lead by a sizable margin. At the start of the final duel, Baker had 15.375 million to Cimbolas’ 6.475 million. Baker stretched his lead in the early portion of the heads-up match, but then Cimbolas found a double up when he picked up two tens and Baker three-bet shoved on him with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="3d"]. Cimbolas flopped a set of tens and held from there to move to 8.6 million in chips. Baker was knocked back to 13.25 million. Baker went right back to work and he began stretching his lead once again. The next thing everyone knew, Cimbolas was pretty short once again and needed something to pull him back into the match. It wouldn’t be in the cards, though. On the final hand, Cimbolas limped the button with the blinds at 150,000-300,000 with a 300,000 ante. Baker checked and the flop came down [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="3s"]. Baker checked, Cimbolas bet 300,000, and Baker called to see the [poker card="6h"] land on the turn. Baker checked, Cimbolas bet 600,000, and Baker called. The river was the [poker card="2h"] and Baker announced a bet of 10 million. Cimbolas tanked for a bit and then called for his tournament life. Baker tabled the [poker card="5c"][poker card="4c"] for a straight to beat Cimbolas’ [poker card="Ts"][poker card="5d"] and win the tournament.
  9. The World Poker Tour heads back to fabulous Las Vegas on Monday, March 11, for the first of three consecutive final tables at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. The three final tables to play out are, in order, the WPT L.A. Poker Classic, WPT Gardens Poker Championship, and WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. The WPT L.A. Poker Classic is headlined by four-time WPT champion Darren Elias and has a $1.015 million first-place prize up for grabs. What Are They Playing For? The winner of the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic will take home $1.015 million in first-place prize money. That includes a $15,000 seat into the season-ending Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions. As this event is a televised WPT event, the winner will also score a luxurious Hublot Big Bang timepiece. 1st Place: $1,015,000 2nd Place: $646,930 3rd Place: $473,280 4th Place: $346,550 5th Place: $267,400 6th Place: $201,650 Click here to read about how the final table was set. [caption id="attachment_623033" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] HyperX Esports Arena (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] How To Watch the WPT L.A. Poker Classic Final Table The final table for the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic takes place March 11 starting at 4 p.m. PT at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The event will be filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s televised schedule of events. You can wait for that airing on FOX Sports Regional Networks, or you could tune in live to the stream of the events that can be viewed on PokerGO. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan. Now, let’s meet the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table. [caption id="attachment_623037" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Jean-Claude Moussa (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 1: Jean-Claude Moussa - 1,250,000 Jean-Claude Moussa is a 36-year-old player from Massachusetts, who entered this event with $516,544 in live tournament earnings. He has two prior WPT Main Tour cashes on record, including his career-best live tournament score of $321,840 when he finished fifth in the WPT L.A. Poker Classic back in Season VIII. Other notable results for Moussa included a deep run in the 2011 PCA Main Event for $45,000 and two cashes in the World Series of Poker Main Event for $25,027 and $24,808. Moussa enters the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table in fourth chip position with 1.25 million. [caption id="attachment_623039" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Matas Cimbolas (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 2: Matas Cimbolas - 4,675,000 Lithuania’s Matas Cimbolas seems to be becoming more and more of a fixture on the World Poker Tour by the day. The 25-year-old already has one WPT title to his credit thanks to winning WPT Nottingham in Season XIII for $313,327. At the end of last season, he made his way to the WPT Tournament of Champions final table and ultimately finished second for $265,590. Those are the two biggest scores of his live tournament career. Interestingly enough, when Cimbolas made the WPT Tournament of Champions final table, it was played out at the HyperX Esports Arena in Vegas. Whereas the enormity of the arena might cause some players to feel a little less comfortable, Cimbolas has the experience of playing there already under his belt. Another interesting note is that Darren Elias, who leads the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table, finished third in the WPT Tournament of Champions event that Cimbolas took second in, so these two have a bit of history on the very stage they’ll be competing on come Monday. Cimbolas entered the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic with just shy of $2 million in live tournament earnings. A third-place finish or higher would move Cimbolas ahead of Dominykas Karmazinas and into second on Lithuania’s all-time money list. Cimbolas enters the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table second in chips with 4.675 million. [caption id="attachment_623038" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] John Smith (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 3: John Smith - 895,000 John Smith is by far the oldest player at the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic. He’s also the shortest stack remaining. Don’t let those two things fool you, though. Smith packs plenty of game that’s received a popular following in recent years due to his success in the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship at the WSOP. In that event, Smith has results of 11th place in 2014 for $26,584, second place in 2016 for $198,192, and second place again in 2017 for $208,154. As Sean Chaffin wrote for the WPT, Smith served in the U.S. Army when he was younger. He was in Vietnam in the 1960s when a tank he was in hit a landmine. Everyone in the tank died, but Smith survived. He would later receive a Purple Heart for his service. Ahead of this event, Smith had $1.256 million in live tournament earnings. He has five prior WPT Main Tour cashes, with his best being a 20th-place result in the $25,000 buy-in WPT World Championship in Season III for $75,485. Smith enters the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table as the shortest stack with 850,000. [caption id="attachment_623034" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Darren Elias (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 4: Darren Elias - 9,070,000 A four-time World Poker Tour champion, Darren Elias is "Mr. WPT." No one has won more WPT titles than Elias and on Monday he could better his record by scoring an unprecedented fifth. Elias’ first WPT title came in the Season XIII WPT Borgata Poker Open. There, he topped a field of 1,226 entries to win $843,744. Less than a month later, Elias beat a small but tough field of 118 entries in the WPT Caribbean for a score of $127,680. Elias’ third WPT win came in Season XV when he scored first place in the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic for $346,776. He then won the final event of Season XI, the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, for $387,580. In addition to a victory on Monday being Elias’ fifth World Poker Tour trophy, he’d earn the largest live tournament score of his career. As mentioned above, the 32-year-old Elias has experience playing at the HyperX Esports Arena. On Monday, he’ll start the final table with a sizable lead on the other five. His stack of 9.07 million in chips in 41.5% of the chips in play and nearly double anyone else. [caption id="attachment_623035" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] David Baker (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 5: David Baker - 4,760,000 David Baker, better known as "ODB" to many in the poker world, has put countless hours into poker. In 2012, he finally won the elusive WSOP gold bracelet. Now he has a chance to win his first WPT title and a huge score of $1.015 million. https://twitter.com/audavidb/status/1103776743091953665 Baker has one previous WPT final table on record, coming back in Season V when he took fifth in the WPT Festa Al Lago tournament for $125,240. Money-wise, this is his best WPT result, but he’ll need to jump up two more places to make it his top finish. Second place or better will give Baker the largest tournament score of his live poker career. A win would mean his first World Poker Tour title and first million dollar tournament payday. Baker comes into the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table second in chips with 4.76 million. [caption id="attachment_623040" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Steve Yea (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 6: Steve Yea - 1,205,000 If you’re a diehard follower of poker, you’ve heard the name Steve Yea. For casual fans, his name might not be so common, but Yea has been around for quite some time. Yea has live tournament results dating back to 2007 and he’s amassed more than $630,000 in live tournament winnings entering this event. He hails from South Korea and is making his first WPT Main Tour cash. Yea’s largest live tournament score came from a second-place finish on the Asian Poker Tour in 2008 when he won $250,000 in an event in Macau. He also placed second in an APT event in 2009 in Manila for $100,000 as the second biggest live tournament score of his career. Yea enters the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table fifth in chips with 1.205 million. [caption id="attachment_623036" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Hublot WPT Player of the Year and Baccarat Crystal (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Hublot WPT Player of the Year Implications With a prize pool of more than $5.1 million, the maximum amount of points in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race are up for grabs in the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic. The winner gets 1,400 points, with the rest of the point earnings for the final table as follows. 1st Place: 1,400 points 2nd Place: 1,200 points 3rd Place: 1,100 points 4th Place: 1,000 points 5th Place: 900 points 6th Place: 800 points As it stands, Ping Liu is the man to catch at the top of the Hublot WPT Player of the Year leaderboard. He has 1,900 points thanks to six cashes and two final tables in Season XVII. For the six players at this final table, the points would mean the most for Elias, as he’s the only competitor remaining with points entering this event. Elias has 150 points on the season and could shoot up to 1,550 with a win. That would put him in fourth place overall on the Hublot WPT Player of the Year leaderboard. For the other five, a victory would place them in sixth place on the leaderboard. Despite all of his success on the World Poker Tour over the years, Elias has never been crowned WPT Player of the Year. He has had some close calls, though. Last season, Elias finished third in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. In Season XV, he finished sixth. In Season XIV, he ended up in 12th. In Season XIII, he finished second to Anthony Zinno, who also won two WPT titles that season. At the end of Season XVII, the Hublot WPT Player of the Year will win a $15,000 WPT Passport that can be used as buy-ins to any Season XVIII global WPT event and a Hublot watch. Second place in the race earns a $7,500 WPT Passport and third place gets a $2,500 WPT Passport.
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