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Daniel Strelitz Wins 2017 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event

27-Year-Old Poker Pro Outlasts 521-Player Field To Win $1,001,110

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Daniel Strelitz has won the 2017 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Clasic $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. The 27-year-old poker pro based out of Orange, CA overcame a field of 521 players to win his first WPT title and the top prize of $1,001,110.

“I feel amazing, it’s really unbelievable," Strelitz told WPT reporters after winning it all. "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 can win in SoCal, and to just win it is unbelievable.”

This was Strelitz’s first-ever seven-figure score. His largest prior live tournament cash came when he finished second in a $5,000 no-limit hold’em event at last year’s World Series of Poker for $338,774. He now has career lifetime live earnings of $2,619,471.

In addition to the title and the money, Strelitz was also awarded 2,100 Card Player Player of the Year points. This massive win was enough to catapult him into third place on the Player of the Year leaderboard, which is brought to you in 2017 by the very same casino that hosted this tournament, the Commerce Hotel & Casino.

Strelitz came into the final day as the commanding chip leader, with his 6,485,000 stack being more than twice the size of any other stack belonging to the rest of the final six players. Although he had a sizable lead, he also had tough competition to deal with including three WSOP bracelet winners in Jesse Martin, Mike Sexton and Simeon Naydenov. Sexton was the only player at the final table going for a second title on the World Poker Tour, with the Hall of Famer and longtime commentator for the WPT having taken down his first in the WPT Montreal event last fall.

Strelitz eliminated Sexton, calling his short-stacked button shove from the big blind with the ADiamond Suit7Spade Suit. Sexton was ahead with the KHeart SuitKDiamond Suit but Strelitz overtook the lead right away with a flop of AClub SuitJSpade Suit7Club Suit. The turn brought the 9Club Suit and the river the ASpade Suit to lock up the pot for Strelitz, increasing his chip lead and sending Sexton to the rail in fourth place. Sexton earned $300,690 for his impressive run.

Three-handed play lasted for more than 60 hands. In the end Simeon Naydenov won a race with pocket eights versus poker pro Jared Griener ADiamond SuitQDiamond Suit to send him to the rail in third place ($431,340) and set up the final heads-up showdown.

Naydenov began with a slight chip advantage over Strelitz, but both players started two-handed play with more than 70 big blinds. The two battled for 40 hands, with Strelitz jumping out to quick lead. Naydenov was able to mount a few comebacks, but eventually Strelitz began to pull away.

By the time the final hand arose Strelitz had roughly a 2-to-1 lead with blidns at 60,000 – 120,000 with an ante of 20,000. Strelitz raised to 260,000 from the button and Naydenov called The flop brought the QSpade Suit7Club Suit6Spade Suit and Naydenov checked. Strelitz bet 325,000, and Naydenov opeted to go for the check-raise to 975,000.

Strelitz made the call and the turn brought the 8Heart Suit. Naydenov checked and Strelitz bet 1,350,000. Naydenov went into the tan a but before electing to move all-in for 3,860,000. Strelitz made a quick call with the 5Heart Suit4Spade Suit for a turned straight. Naydenov was drawing dead with the KClub SuitQDiamond Suit for top pair. The 4Diamond Suit on the river was a mere formality as the pot and title were already locked up for Strelitz. Naydenov earned $672,190 for his runner-up finish.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Daniel Strelitz $1,001,110 2100
2 Simeon Naydenov $672,190 1750
3 Jared Griener $431,340 1400
4 Mike Sexton $300,690 1050
5 Jesse Martin $230,380 875
6 Richard Tuhrim $191,490 700
7 Matt Berkey $161,320 525
8 Joseph Serock $128,650 350
9 James Calderaro $96,640 175

Winners photo courtesy of Joe Giron / World Poker Tour.