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Day Four at the WPT L.A. Poker Classic

A Tale of Two Phils During a Quick Day at the Poker Tables


The fourth day of the WPT L.A. Poker Classic began with a flury of eliminations. Eighteen players of the 58 who started the day were lost in the first level, as the chips were flying after a prolonged money bubble the day before.

Here is a look at the notable eliminations amongst the early chaos:

Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth at Opposite EndsPhil Ivey was also quite busy during the first level of the day. He began day 4 with 656,000 and then doubled up to take the chip lead. The pivotal hand occured when Scott Montgomery raised to 25,000 from the small blind and Ivey decided to reraise to 80,000 from the big blind. Montgomery reraised again to 180,000 and Ivey moved all-in for 300,000 more. Montgomery made the call with A 9, while Ivey exposed A K. The board came J 10 4 7 K and Ivey doubled up to 955,000. Ivey continued this success by becoming the first player in the millionaire club a few hands later. He stole a six-way pot on the river with a bet that forced everyone else to fold. The pot wasn't huge, but it was enough to take Ivey to 1,005,000.

After the first break, Shawn Buchanan was the first notable player to make his exit, in 39th place, and he was followed to the rail by two professionals a few hands later:

Alan Goehring moved all in for 2,000 from the small blind when Noah Schwartz limped in for 10,000. WeiKai Chang reraised to 30,000, and Schwartz called to create a side-pot. The flop rolled out J 8 6, and Chang bet 40,000. Schwartz made the call, and the turn brought the J. Chang bet 125,000, and Schwartz moved all in. Chang called and flipped over A J, while Schwartz turned over 9 8. A blank hit on the river and offered no help to Schwartz (36th place), or to Goehring (37th place), who exposed 10 7. Chang eliminated both players in the same hand, and his stack grew to 750,000.

The consistent eliminations continued leading up to dinner, and lost on the journey to the final three tables was another pair of notable players:

Phil Hellmuth then made his largest move of the tournament, and in doing so defeated his LAPC antagonist. Neil Ho had been involved in many large pots with the Poker Brat, and at times he was able to put Hellmuth on tilt. But Hellmuth got the last laugh when he eliminated Ho in 31st place:

Ho was all in preflop for about 175,000 with pocket sixes and up against the A K of Hellmuth. The board came A K4 Q 3, and Hellmuth flopped two pair to win the pot and bust the thorn in his side. After the hand, Hellmuth joined Ivey in the millionaire club. Hellmuth held an even 1 million in chips, while Ivey still led the field with 1,243,000.

Another familiar star from the tournament trail joined the millionaire club when Nam Le doubled up shortly before theNam Le dinner break:

Brian McCann raised 52,000 preflop, and Le reraised to 150,000. McCann reraised all in, and Le made the all-in call for 410,000. They opened up their hands and McCann held A Q to Le’s pocket kings. The board rolled out Q 6 4 3 4 and Le doubled up on the hand to increase his stack to 1,165,000.

The players returned from dinner at 7 p.m., and the final four eliminations stood in the way of the end of play. It took an hour and 15 minutes for their final stand to expire, and at the end of play, the following players had fallen to the wayside:

22: Mike Hamparsomian
21: Lance Allred
20: Colin Wickersheim
19: Paul Smith

Here is a look at the final chip counts:

1. Phil Ivey — 1,543,000
2. Blair Hinkle — 1,541,000
3. Phil Hellmuth — 1,399,000
4. Nam Le — 1,254,000
5. Michael Carson — 1,029,000
6. Michael Watson — 987,000
7. Charles Moore — 921,000
8. WeiKai Chang — 751,000
9. Quinn Do — 695,000
10. Matt Brady — 497,000
11. Jennifer Tilly — 417,000
12. Jeff Schwimmer — 413,000
13. Theo Tran — 410,000
14. Scott Montgomery — 386,000
15. Pete De Best — 291,000
16. David Singer — 285,000
17. Brian Taylor — 228,000
18. Yury Parad — 214,000

The final two tables will return tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. PST to play down to a final television table of six. We’ll see if Ivey can make his seventh final table in as many cashes and if Hellmuth can make the third WPT final table of his career. It will be an interesting day tomorrow. Don’t miss any of the action in live updates, chip counts, photos, and videos on