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2007 L.A. Poker Classic Day Five

J.C. Tran Takes Chip Lead Into WPT Televised Final Table; Paul Wasicka, Chau Giang, Jacobo Fernandez, David Bach, and Eric Hershler Advance

In a secluded corner of the Commerce Casino tournament area, 18 players gathered to fight for six seats at the L.A. Poker Classic's televised final table. The 791-player starting field, the largest for a WPT $10,000 event, generated a $7.5 million prize pool, which meant that each of the remaining participants stood only 17 eliminations away from the tournament's $2.4 million first-place cash prize.

Day five play began at 3:30 p.m. PST with $12,000-$24,000 blinds and $4,000 antes.

Ten minutes into action, Richard Munro became the first player to bust from the final two tables. Munro started action with a $150,000 raise, and despite meaning to move all in, left himself with $17,000 after saying "call" to Jacobo Fernandez's $350,000 reraise. Following the K 8 2 flop, Munro tossed his remaining chips in the pot, but earned an 18th-place finish ($58,470) when his A 10 failed to catch up to Fernandez's 3 3.

Moments later, Paul Wasicka made Shan Jing the tournament's 17th-place finisher ($56,470) after his A K paired a king to best Jing's 4 4.

For Kristy Gazes, the tournament's last female participant, her 2007 LAPC ended courtesy of a rivered pair. Gazes (A J) pushed all in over the top of a David Bach (K 10) $72,000 raise. The 9 8 5 3 board put Gazes one card away from doubling, but Bach paired his king on the K river. The seventh-place finisher in last month's Aussie Millions main event, Gazes exited the LAPC in 16th place ($58,470).

At 4:22 p.m., the fourth elimination in the day's first hour occurred when J.C. Alvarado reraised all in with pocket nines and Ben Johnson, holding pocket tens, called. The board brought no help, and Alvarado dropped in 15th place ($72,140).

Two run-ins with A-K (and J.C. Tran) proved to be the last major hands for Joe Cordi at the 2007 LAPC. Cordi doubled up through Tran after his A-Q paired a queen to crack Tran's A-K. Following the break, Cordi again tangled with Tran in an all-in hand. In round two, however, Cordi's A 2 failed to improve against Tran's A K, and Cordi busted as the 14th-place finisher ($72,140).

A middle stack for much of the day, Chris Bell soon followed Cordi to the payout desk. After suffering a $250,000 hit to Bach, Bell battled at the bottom of the leader board before pushing all in from under the gun for his last $125,000. Bell's Q 8 put him in good position to double through Jason Strasser's 5 2, but Strasser spiked a pair on the river (5) and sent Bell home in 13th place ($72,140).

Five minutes later, Strasser hit the rail himself (12th place - $91,125) when his all-in reraise with Q10 collided with Fernandez's A J.

The last elimination in two-table play also marked the end of one of the LAPC's most improbable runs. At one point down to three times the big blind, Tad Jurgens' two-day climb up the leader board culminated with an 11th-place finish ($91,125). Jurgens busted on the unofficial final table bubble after his all-in A 9 reraise bricked out against Eric Hershler's pocket fours.

Following a redraw, the 10 remaining players consolidated to the LAPC's final table. Chip counts and seating were as follows:

1. J.C. Tran - $4,030,000 (seat No. 7)
2. Ben Johnson - $1,890,000 (seat No. 2)
3. Jacobo Fernandez - $1,865,000 (seat No. 3)
4. Vincent Procopio - $1,735,000 (seat No. 8)
5. David Bach - $1,330,000 (seat No. 9)
6. Bill Edler - $1,190,000 (seat No. 6)
7. Chau Giang - $1,170,000 (seat No. 4)
8. Paul Wasicka - $1,135,000 (seat No. 5)
9. Eric Hershler - $885,000 (seat No. 10)
10. Jay Chang - $385,000 (seat No. 1)

The final table short stack, Jay Chang's LAPC concluded when he moved all in with K Q, and Tran called with pocket fours. Tran raked the pot with a flopped set, and made Chang the tournament's 10th-place finisher ($91,125).

Minutes after Chang's departure, Johnson plummeted down the leader board when his flopped set of queens fell to Bach's rivered nut flush. Down to one $5,000 chip, Johnson "pushed" all in for the ante. Following a checked-down Q 9 4 3 2 board by Bill Edler and Tran, Johnson exited in ninth place ($121,500) after Edler showed A 9 to Johnson's K 4.

Two cracked big pocket pairs resulted in an eighth-place finish ($151,870) for Vincent Procopio. First, Fernandez rivered a flush to best Procopio's pocket aces, and Wasicka finished off the Philadelphia native when his A-K cracked Procopio's pocket queens on the K 8 7 K 2 board.

At 11:09 p.m., a short-stacked Edler moved all in with 4 3, and Tran, holding A K, called. The J 10 9 9 4 board gave Tran the superior heart flush, and Elder walked off the tournament floor as the seventh-place finisher ($189,840).

The chip counts for the 2007 L.A. Poker Classic final table are as follows:

1. J.C. Tran - $3,470,000
2. Paul Wasicka - $3,390,000
3. Jacobo Fernandez - $3,370,000
4. Eric Hershler - $2,160,000
5. David Bach - $2,070,000
6. Chau Giang - $ 1,370,000

Action resumes at 5 p.m. PST and will conclude with the crowning of a new LAPC champion.

Stay tuned to for complete final table coverage.

Quote of the Day: "You might be crazy, my man, but I might be crazier." - J.C. Tran on his mental state versus Eric Hershler's.


15 years ago

Nice writeup buddy, I really enjoyed it.