With 39 players returning to action at The Commerce Casino, it took four two-hour levels to reduce the field to just 11 by the close of Day 4 as the L.A. Poker Classic gained momentum and lost legends along the way.
As Day 4 began, it was Balakrishna Patur who led the way on well over two million chips, but despite surviving to the close of play, Patur would remain at that level when he bagged chips. Whether he deals well with reaching a plateau between days we’ll only know when play restarts on Day 5, but Patur will be a threat.
It was Isaac Baron who grabbed the lead as the day ended and having been the leader at the end of Day 2, Baron recovered from a slight dip on Day 3 to reach the top of the leaderboard at this crucial stage. One hand that helped him progress with the most chips was when he was all-in with the ace-king of spades against Blair Hinkle’s ace-king, and saw three spades make him a flush by 5th street to eliminate Hinkle before the play went to three tables.
Plenty of other big names had already departed. Ali Imsirovic (39th) and John Hennigan (34th) each cashed for $24,375, while J.C Tran (29th) and Mike Eskandari (25th) joined Hinkle in 27th as they all cashed for $28,275. Other former champions were out too, with Dylan Linde one of the biggest names to get close to the business end of the tournament, but not close enough, cashing for $58,215 in 14th place.
With just a few more players to bust before the chips were bagged and tagged, Baron held on as the power source in The Commerce Casino. While another WPT Champions Club member in James Carroll also applied pressure to the other remaining players, Baron stacked up 2,970,000 in chips, a decent amount ahead of Scott Hempel (2,725,000, Patur (2,480,000) and Carroll (2,370,000), who will be in hot pursuit.
There are still plenty of other champions in the field, including Season 15 LAPC champion Daniel Strelitz (2,280,000), and WPTDeepStacks champion Upeshka De Silva (2,250,000), both of whom will be dangerous players when play resumes. Other players with less chips that shouldn’t be disregarded include former WPT champions Matas Cimbolas (1,405,000).
With $1,000,000 the top prize, somebody is about to carve their name into poker history.
WPT L.A. Poker Classic Final Day Table Draw and Chipcounts:
Seat 2: Balakrishna Patur – 2,480,000 (99 bbs)
Seat 3: Matas Cimbolas – 1,405,000 (56 bbs)
Seat 5: Shi Chen – 1,255,000 (50 bbs)
Seat 6: Daniel Strelitz – 2,280,000 (91 bbs)
Seat 7: James Carroll – 2,370,000 (95 bbs)
Seat 2: Charles Kassin – 435,000 (17 bbs)
Seat 3: Kevin Eyster – 440,000 (18 bbs)
Seat 4: Isaac Baron – 2,970,000 (119 bbs)
Seat 5: Upeshka De Silva – 2,250,000 (90 bbs)
Seat 6: Ka Kwan Lau – 985,000 (39 bbs)
Seat 8: Scott Hempel – 2,725,000 (109 bbs)