Posts Tagged ‘Strelitz’
After holding the lead since the second day of the event, Daniel Strelitz continued his domination of the proceedings at the Commerce Casino in Bell Gardens, CA on his way to winning the World Poker Tour’s L. A. Poker Classic Main Event championship.
Strelitz took the lead after Day Three of the tournament and really didn’t have a threat. Coming into the final table, his 6.485 million chip stack covered everyone on the table. His closest competitor, Simeon Naydenov (2.86 million), couldn’t even muster half the chips that Strelitz held, while Jesse Martin (2.54 million) looked to catch Naydenov first before concentrating on Strelitz. Covering the bottom three slots were Jared Griener (1.895 million), Season XV WPT champion Mike Sexton (1.165 million and looking for his second title of the year) and the short-stacked Richard Tuhrim (680,000) as the cards hit the air on Thursday afternoon.
Tuhrim needed chips badly and had to find a hand early to become relevant in the tournament. On the second rotation around the table, Tuhrim found an A-7 to his liking in the big blind and pushed it to the center of the table after Strelitz had opened the betting from the button. Strelitz’s K-Q was live, but the 7-4-3-9 flop and turn not only kept Tuhrim in the lead but strengthened said lead. A King on the river was a fortunate card for Strelitz, not because by winning the hand he saved some chips but because he eliminated Tuhrim from the tournament in sixth place.
After Tuhrim’s departure, the remaining five men settled into a slog but Strelitz’s stack kept growing. After 45 hands of play, Strelitz held more than 50% of the chips on the table and nothing seemed to slow him down. Griener would knock off Martin in fifth place and, on Hand 78, Strelitz would score the knockout that seemed to seal the deal for him.
A short-stacked Sexton moved in from the button and, quickly glancing at his cards, Strelitz made the call. Sexton held a powerful pair of Kings to start the hand and, while Strelitz only could muster an A-7 off suit for battle, it still statistically had a good chance against the Cowboys (roughly 30% of the time winning). That “good chance” became a great one when the flop came A-J-7, giving Strelitz two pair and leaving Sexton looking for one of the two Kings in the deck. The nine on the turn didn’t help him and another Ace on the river only made Strelitz’s hand stronger in sending Sexton out the door in fourth place.
Down to three players, Strelitz (8.895 million) had more chips than his two competitors, Griener (3.38 million) and Naydenov (3.35 million) combined. That didn’t seem to bother either Griener or Naydenov as, over the next 30 hands, they held their own against the massively stacked Strelitz. In fact, on Hand 103 Naydenov would double up through Strelitz to pull him closer and, four hands later, would knock Strelitz from the top spot for the first time since Tuesday.
The lead change lasted for all of seven hands. After Naydenov kicked the action on Hand 114 to 200K, Strelitz took it to 680K out of the big blind. Naydenov called and the duo eyed each other on the J-7-4 flop and, after a five came on the turn, Strelitz check-called a 550K bet out of Naydenov. Both players checked the ten on the river and Strelitz, first to act, turned up pocket nines. Surprisingly, Naydenov had air as his cards headed to the muck and Strelitz picked up the sizeable pot to retake the chip lead.
As Strelitz and Naydenov ping-ponged the chip lead, all Griener could do was watch. His chip stack would slowly dwindle until, on Hand 143, Griener felt he’d found his spot. After Strelitz raised and Naydenov called, Griener pushed his 1.7 million-plus stack into the center. Although Strelitz wanted nothing to do with Griener as he quickly mucked, Naydenov wanted to take a look in making the call.
It was a race situation, Naydenov’s pocket eights with the edge over Griener’s Big Chick (A-Q), and an Ace in the window bode well for Griener. Unfortunately, when the dealer fanned the flop, there was an eight as well to give Naydenov a set. A Jack on the turn opened the possibility of a straight for Griener, but the Queen that came on the river only made him Queens up against Naydenov’s winning set, sending Griener to the rail in third place.
Down to heads up, Naydenov was doing something few had against Strelitz in the tournament – take the lead from him. Holding a roughly 1.3 million chip lead over Strelitz, Naydenov’s time at the top would only last two hands. On the second hand of heads up play, Naydenov would river a spade flush which, under other circumstances, would have been a great hand. Unfortunately for Naydenov, Strelitz had trapped him well after turning a full house, treys over Queens, that couldn’t be caught. The 4.6 million pot shifted the lead back to Strelitz and he would not let go of it again.
That was not from the lack of Naydenov fighting the good fight. It would take another 38 hands before the penultimate moment would occur and, when it did, it would be in the fashion that Strelitz had played the tournament – dominantly. On a Q-7-6-8 flop and turn, Naydenov checked to see Strelitz fire a sizeable 1.35 million bet into the pot. Reading it for a bluff, Naydenov check-raised Strelitz all in, only to see Strelitz immediately make the call. Naydenov showed a nice K-Q off suit for top pair, but the tournament was over; Strelitz’s 5-4 completed its open ended straight draw on the turn to leave Naydenov drawing dead. Once the formality of the final card was dealt (a four, for the record), Strelitz seized the championship of the WPT L. A. Poker Classic and the largest payday of his career.
1. Daniel Strelitz, $ 1,001,110
2. Simeon Naydenov, $ 672,190
3. Jared Griener, $ 431, 340
4. Mike Sexton, $ 300,690
5. Jesse Martin, $ 230,380
6. Richard Tuhrim, $ 191,490
2017 WPT L. A. Poker Classic Day Five: Daniel Strelitz In Charge at Final Table with Mike Sexton Lurking
For the third consecutive day and in dominant fashion, Daniel Strelitz has set himself as the man to beat at the 2017 World Poker Tour L. A. Poker Classic at the Commerce Casino in Bell Gardens, CA. He will be leading the final table this afternoon when play reconvenes and faces a daunting challenge in a group of men that includes 2017 WPT champion and commentator Mike Sexton.
16 players came back to the tables on Wednesday, looking to whittle the contenders down to the official WPT final table of six. Strelitz was carrying the chip lead, as he did after Day Three of the tournament, and was the only player left with better than a two million chip stack (2.02 million, to be exact). There was a litany of contenders looking to derail Strelitz’s run, however, including Matt Berkey (1.118 million), former WPT Player of the Year Joe Serock (1.157 million), Rainer Kempe (798K), Sexton (908K), Simeon Naydenov (478K) and a short stacked Dzmitry Urbanovich (288K).
With a million-dollar payday awaiting the eventual champion, the players were deliberate in the actions and looking for the best opportunity to move up the pay ladder. Naydenov found an early double up through Donald Maloney in a classic race situation – Maloney’s pocket Queens against Naydenov’s Big Slick – that saw Naydenov flop a King to take the hand. Meanwhile, Sexton was the beneficiary of some of Kempe’s chips when he eliminated the German but tripled up Visnja Leutic when she caught Queens up against Sexton’s pocket Kings.
Strelitz wasn’t sitting back on his laurels, however. He knocked off Dean Baranowski in 17th place and, within a couple of hours of the opening bell, was sitting on a stack of 2.6 million. Strelitz continued to dominate the field and, after Naydenov eliminated Urbanovich (who survived much longer than many thought) in 11th place, headed to the unofficial final table of ten men with 3.45 million in chips.
He could have just sat back and cruised into the final table with the chips that he had, but Strelitz kept getting strong cards. He knocked off John Cynn in tenth place, adding Cynn’s roughly 500K in chips to his stack, and approached the four million mark in forcing Serock off a hand only seven hands into play at the unofficial final table. He didn’t slow down over the next rotation around the table either, putting together some more moves to bring his stack to 4.42 million. About the only player who could slow down Strelitz was Sexton, who chipped a couple small pots out of Strelitz to stay viable in the tournament.
After a break in the tournament to move to Level 25, Strelitz exploded on the remaining field. On Hand 55, Strelitz was able to eliminate Serock in eighth place after sparring with him over several hands and, only twelve hands later, showed Berkey the door in seventh place after rivering a miraculous nut flush against Berkey’s flopped Broadway straight. In knocking off three of the four players at the unofficial final table, Strelitz’s chip stack soared over six million to set him up as the dominant force at the official WPT final table:
1. Daniel Strelitz, 6.485 million
2. Simeon Naydenov, 2.86 million
3. Jesse Martin, 2.54 million
4. Jared Griener, 1.895 million
5. Mike Sexton, 1.165 million
6. Richard Tuhrim, 680,000
While Strelitz’s run has been quite impressive, the eyes of the poker world are set firmly on Sexton. After being barred from playing on the circuit for much of its fifteen-year history, Sexton would win his first WPT championship at the WPT partypoker.net Montreal tournament in November 2016, Sexton has catapulted himself into the race for the Season XV Player of the Year competition. With a victory here at the LAPC, Sexton will be barely behind the current leader Benjamin Zamani, with plenty of time to pass him before the season’s conclusion.
Don’t leave anyone else out of pulling a surprise, however. Naydenov is particularly dangerous and, as the player closest to Strelitz in the chip count and on Strelitz’s immediate left, only needs a couple of breaks to catch up. It might be a task for Martin, Griener or especially Tuhrim (as the short stack) to make any big moves, but there’s plenty of chips out there that can easily switch hands should the fortunes change.
The final table of the WPT L. A. Poker Classic will begin at 4PM (Pacific Time) and is set to be recorded for broadcast on the Season XV schedule of the WPT on Fox Sports 1 (there is no live stream of the tournament). At stake for the remaining six men is the lion’s share of the $ 5 million prize pool, including the top prize of $ 1,001,110 for the eventual champion.
Daniel Strelitz went into Day 4 of the 2017 World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic as the chip leader and ended it in the same spot as just 18 players remain in one of the WPT’s original tour stops. Finishing with 2.02 million chips, he nearly exactly doubled his chips from the start of the day to the finish.
After Day 3, Strelitz was the only player with more than 1 million chips. Similarly, he ended Day 4 as the only one with more than 2 million. The next closest player is Allan Le, with 1.68 million. After the two of them, just four other players have at least 1 million.
After the night was over, Strelitz spoke with WPT.com about his day, saying that he didn’t expect to be the chip leader again, as he had lost a large chunk of chips early. When asked how he ran his stack up again, Strelitz replied, “I just kept making lots of strong hands. I was opening a lot, and they were letting me kind of just win the blinds over and over, and then I made two straights, made a flush, and got paid off a bunch.”
Both of those straights came late in the evening. The first was against Visnja Luetic, who raised pre-flop to 35,000 and was called by Strelitz. The flop was J-9-5, at which point Luetic bet 75,000 and Strelitz called. The turn was a 7 and once again, Luetic bet 125,000 and was called by Strelitz. I think you can see what’s coming. It was the same betting on the river after a 4 was dealt and Strelitz showed T-8 for a straight, beating Luetic’s J-9, two pair. That hand got Strelitz over 2 million chips.
The second straight was ALSO against Luetic, though Luetic didn’t take as much damage this time. Luetic once again raised to 35,000 and both Strelitz and Rainer Kempe called. The flop was Q-8-8 and this time Luetic checked. Strelitz bet 55,000, Kempe bailed, and Luetic called. Both players checked the King on the turn. Luetic checked the river 9, but called Strelitz’s 140,000 chip bet. Strelitz showed J-T for a straight Luetic mucked her cards.
Strelitz could have finished Day 4 with even more chips, but doubled-up Matt Schultz late to retreat back to the 2 million mark.
One interesting, non-Strelitz note for the day: after the re-draw for the final three tables, Allan Le was seated next to his brother, Nam Le. After Nam was eliminated in 27th place (not by his brother), he told WPT.com of the experience having to compete directly against Allan, “It’s kind of awkward, but it’s bound to happen if we keep playing tournaments and get deep.”
Day 5 will begin at noon PT Wednesday and will conclude when the official six-handed final table is determined.
2017 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event – Day 4 Chip Counts
1. Daniel Strelitz – 2,020,000
2. Allan Le – 1,680,000
3. Jesse Martin – 1,581,000
4. Joe Serock – 1,157,000
5. Matt Berkey – 1,118,000
6. William Vo – 1,081,000
7. John Cynn – 922,000
8. Mike Sexton – 908,000
9. Rainer Kempe – 798,000
10. Richard Tuhrim – 753,000
11. Donald Maloney – 727,000
12. Jared Griener – 618,000
13. Matt Schultz – 577,000
14. Simeon Naydenov – 448,000
15. Visnja Luetic – 365,000
16. James Calderaro – 318,000
17. Dzmitry Urbanovich – 288,000
18. Dean Baranowski – 273,000
111 players returned to the famed Commerce Casino for Day 3 of the 2017 World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic Main Event on Monday; just 45 made it through to Tuesday as the tournament now gets down to the nitty-gritty. Daniel Strelitz is the chip leader with 1.051 million, the only player with over a million chips.
Strelitz has over $ 1.6 million in lifetime live tournament earnings, but is still trying to pick up his first major tournament title. He came oh so close this past summer when he finished second in the World Series of Poker $ 5,000 No-Limit event, earning $ 338,774.
Strelitz didn’t expect to amass the chip stack that he did going into the final level, as he only had 560,000. Not that that is a paltry sum, as it would still put him in the top ten, but just about doubling that in one level was a bit of a surprise.
In the hand that got him over the million chip plateau, Strelitz raised to 14,000 pre-flop with pocket Sevens, Ted Gillis re-raised to 27,000, and Strelitz called. Strelitz flopped a set on a Nine-high board and checked to Gillis, who saw that as an opening and bet 60,000. That was just what Strelitz wanted (unless Gillis had Nines, but that obviously was quite unlikely), so he check-raised to 130,000. Gillis then moved all-in for 280,000 and Strelitz made the easy call.
Gillis had pocket Queens for an overpair to the board. The turn and river were no help and he was eliminated while Strelitz nabbed the chip lead.
Speaking with WPT.com after the day was over, Strelitz looked back on his crazy final level.
“It was crazy,” he said. “I started with 560k, and I instantly played two three-bet pots and won them both to get up to seven something. Then I flopped a set against a guy who clearly had an over pair, and so I played it aggressively and that pushed me over a million, it was pretty sweet.”
He is not taking anything for granted, though, as he knows good feelings can be fleeting in poker.
“There is still a long way to go, I’ve been in this spot before and gotten 30th. There is still a long, long way. There are still two or three more days to go until the final table. It’s a long tournament,” he said.
Day 4 is underway out in California. All 45 players who entered the day are already in the money, so Tuesday is about getting paid more and possibly putting oneself in position to make the final table. There will be eight hours of poker play, not counting breaks, so while the final table isn’t likely to be determined, it should be within sight by the end of the night.
2017 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders
Daniel Strelitz – 1,051,000
Mike Sexton – 739,000
Gavin Griffin – 714,000
Mike Eskandari – 688,000
Allan Le – 606,000
Omar Zaza – 594,000
Simeon Naydenov – 579,000
Sameer Aljanedi – 565,000
Visnja Luetic – 551,000
Danny Fuhs – 485,000