The World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event returned six players on Thursday to play for a seven-figure score. An accomplished TV Final Table of six players featured three WSOP bracelet winners but Daniel Strelitz picked up the chip lead on Day 3, held it most of the way and won his first WPT title, a seat to the Tournament of Champions and $1,001,110.
“I feel amazing, it’s really unbelievable, this is crazy,” Strelitz said after the win. “Me making this run just feels so good, especially since I’ve been living in SoCal my whole life. This is the biggest tournament you win in SoCal and to win it is unbelievable.”
Strelitz took the chip lead on Day 3 and nearly never lost it leading up to the final table. He brought a huge chip lead to the final with 6.4 million with Simeon Naydenov second in chips with 2.8 million.
“It was really intense,” Strelitz said about leading the event for so long. “On Day 1 I was fourth in chips, Day 2 I was like fourth in chips and then on Days 3, 4, 5, and 6 I was chip leader. It was pretty crazy and it put a lot of pressure on me. I felt like I need to win because I had so many chips.”
The event saw a huge turnout with 521 entries for a $10,000 buy-in with no re-entries. The field built a $5 million prize pool to pay out the top 68 finishers.
Mike Sexton made his second final table since November on the WPT and finished in fourth place. Mixed Game specialist Jesse Martin finished in fifth place while Matt Berkey, Joe Serock and James Calderaro bubbled the TV final table.
Strelitz had a large rail of his family and friends supporting him during the final table. His father, along with pros Chris Moorman and Niall Farrell we on-hand for the final moments.
The WPT continues its California Swing next week with the $7,500 Shooting Stars Classic at the Bay 101 Casino March 6 -10. Then it’s to the Thunder Valley Casino Resort for the WPT Rolling Thunder – a $3,500 main event.
Final Table Payouts
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