After a series of “almosts” in his search for a poker breakthrough, Daniel Strelitz finally scored a first-place finish when he dominated a field of 521 players at the World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic. The score put over $1 million in his bank account. The California native called the win “unbelievable.”
Given how the final table began, it was no surprise that Strelitz came out on top. His chip stack was more than double that of his nearest opponent and it took just seven hands for him to score his first elimination.
Richard Tuhrim was the final table’s short stack and he shoved all-in with an A♤-7♤ against Strelitz’s K♧-Q♧. The board ran blank at first and it looked like Tuhrim would live to see another hand, but a king on the river sent him to the rail. Sixth place earned him $191,490.
Jesse Martin was next to go despite being second in chip count when the table was in its early stages. After a few bad hands saw Jared Griener drain him of chips, the two clashed again in what would ultimately be Martin’s last hand. He shoved on a weak Q♡-6♧ and wasn’t able to overcome his opponent’s pocket eights, going home in fifth.
Mike Sexton, fresh off a win at the WPT Montreal, couldn’t carry the momentum to another title. He went home in fourth after running a pair of kings into Strelitz’s aces. Griener’s luck quickly ran out as well when he couldn’t keep up with big dogs Strelitz and Simeon Naydenov. The latter, a Bulgarian, took Griener down in third when he flopped a set of eights against an A-Q.
Naydenov lost his small lead to Strelitz almost immediately after heads-up play began and never really grabbed a foothold. The final hand saw Naydenov shove with a K♧-Q♢ on a board showing Q♤-7♧-6♤-8♡. Strelitz snap called with a 5♡-4♤ and the straight carried him to his first major title.
Final table results:
Featured photo credit: WPT
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