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WPT -- L.A. Poker Classic Day 1

Field Tops Out at 696 to Create a $1,686,760 First-Place Prize


Day 1 at the 2009 World Poker Tour $10,000 no-limit hold’em championship of the L.A. Poker Classic began promptly at noon today, and the tournament room at Commerce Casino was packed full. It was so full, in fact, that the tournament field had to play in the overflow area outside in a tent. The players kept streaming in until registration closed, and the final number of entries in the field topped off at 696 players (an increase of 31 players over 2008). This created a total prize pool worth $6,681,600, with $1,686,760 going to first place.

Here is a look at the prize pool for the event as well as how this year’s numbers stack up against the WPT L.A. Poker Classic fields of the past:

2009 LAPC Prize Pool

Commerce Casino1. $1,686,760
2. $935,424
3. $654,797
4. $430,963
5. $310,694
6. $240,538
7. $180,403
8. $133,632
9. $96,883
10-12. $64,477
13-15. $57,796
16-18. $51,114
19-27. $44,433
28-36. $38,085
37-45. $32,740
46-54. $27,395
55-63. $23,052

Past LAPC Field Sizes

Season I: 136 playersScotty Nguyen
Season II: 382 players
Season III: 538 players
Season IV: 692 players
Season V: 791 players
Season VI: 665 players
Season VII: 696 players

That made this year’s LAPC the second-largest ever, and that also meant that many players were going to bust out of the large field during day 1. That common tournament wisdom held true as just 412 remained at the end of play. Here is a look at the notable eliminations on day 1: Erick Lindgren, Kathy Liebert, David Benyamine, Shawn Buchanan, Shaun Deeb, Robert Mizrachi, Jonathan Little, John Juanda, Bill Edler, Jean-Robert Bellande, Billy Baxter, Freddy Deeb, Ralph Perry, Grant Hinkle, Chino Rheem, Mike Leah, Scott Montgomery, and LAPC $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. champion Scotty Nguyen.

Too many pros to mention here still remain in contention, but among those are former LAPC champions Phil Ivey, Eric Hershler, Antonio Esfandiari, and Michael Mizrachi. Gus Hansen did not play in the event, and Alan Goehring fell during the day. Here are the top obstacles these former champions will have to overcome tomorrow if they hope to become the first repeat champion in LAPC history, the chip leaders from day 1:

Daniel NegreanuKasey Nam: 141,000
Daniel Negreanu: 128,000
Jeff Madsen: 112,500
Bertrand Grospellier: 86,000
Danny Wong: 79,500
Nick Schulman 79,000
Phil Ivey: 75,000
Kofi Farkye: 68,000
David Chiu: 68,000
Steve-Paul Ambrose: 65,000

The remaining players will return tomorrow at noon for five levels of poker, and things should end just after 8 p.m. Check back at for all of the action in live updates, chip counts, photos, and videos.