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Cornel Cimpan Wins the L.A. Poker Classic

Cimpan Walks Away with $1,686,760


LAPC TrophyThe final six players in the 2009 L.A. Poker Classic took their seats at 4 p.m. today at the final table in the $10,000 no-limit hold'em championship event of this marquee tournament series. Here is a look at the starting stacks when the final table began:

1: Chris Karagulleyan -- 4,080,000
2: Mike Sowers -- 2,405,000
3: Pat Walsh -- 2,200,000
4: Binh Nguyen -- 1,895,000
5: Cornel Cimpan -- 1,740,000
6: Chris Ferguson -- 1,565,000

It took 66 hands before the first player fell, and it was the most notable professional at the table who was the first victim. Chris Ferguson busted in sixth place and he took home $240,538 in prize money. Pat Walsh was able to double up a few times after that on a short stack, but he was the second player to leave the table in fifth place ($310,694) 96 hands into play. Things picked up in speed after that as the blinds and antes left players with 20 big blinds on average, and the next two players fell quickly. Chris Karagulleyan was eliminated in fourth place ($430,963) and Mike Sowers fell in third place ($654,797).

That left Binh Nguyen, who stormed into the chip lead heading in the heads-up match, and Cornel Cimpan, who tread the path of survival to make the final two. The heads-up match lasted five and a half hours, with Nguyen running over Cimpan at the start, only to see Cimpan flop two pair when Nguyen had him dominated preflop to prolong the match. That process repeated itself three times as Cimpan continued to double up until he took the chip lead. In the end, Cimpan won the tournament shortly before 3 a.m., and he walked away with $1,686,760 in prize money. Nguyen was the runner-up, taking home $935,424 in prize money.

Here is a look at the bustout hands as featured in's live updates:

Chris FergusonChris Ferguson Eliminated in Sixth Place ($240,538)

Chris Ferguson raised to 300,000 from the small blind, and Cornel Cimpan made the call in the big blind.

The flop came down 10 8 8, and Ferguson checked. Cimpan then moved all in for 2,050,000, which covered Ferguson and his 1.3 million.

Ferguson made the call and showed A K, but Cimpan was ahead with 4 4. The turn and river came 6 and 3, and Ferguson was eliminated from the tournament in sixth place, earning $240,538.

Pat WalshPat Walsh Eliminated in Fifth Place ($310,694)

Binh Nguyen raised to 250,000 on the button, and Pat Walsh reraised to 950,000 from the blinds. Nguyen moved all in, and Walsh called all in after a few seconds of thought.

Walsh revealed A 2 but it was dominated by Nguyen's A J.

The board scared Nguyen with chop outs, but his hand held when it ran out 10 10 7 3 5.

Walsh earned $310,694 for his fifth-place finish. Nguyen now has 5.315 million in chips.

Chris KaragulleyanChris Karagulleyan Eliminated in Fourth Place ($430,963)

Cornel Cimpan open-shoved from the small blind for 1.25 million, which covered Chris Karagulleyan in the big blind. Karagulleyan called and turned over A 9, which was ahead of Cimpan's Q 8.

The flop came A Q 10, and both players paired up. The turn was the Q, and Cimpan made trips. Karagulleyan needed one of the remaining two aces on the river to stay alive, but the river was the 7, eliminating him in fourth place.

Karagulleyan earned $430,963 for his finish. Cimpan is now up to 2.415 million.

Mike Sowers Eliminated in Third Place ($654,797)

Mike SowersMike Sowers raised to 300,000 preflop from the button, and Binh Nguyen reraised from the small blind to 1 million. Sowers moved all in for 2,425,000. Nguyen made the call, and they turned up their cards:

Nguyen: Q Q
Sowers: 4 4

Board: J 9 8 J K

Nguyen won the hand, and Sowers was eliminated in third place. He will take home $654,797 in prize money.

Cornel Cimpan Wins the 2009 L.A. Poker Classic

Cornel Cimpan moved all in, and Binh Nguyen made the call. Cimpan showed K 5, and Nguyen was ahead once again with A 9.

Nguyen had the lead in the hand, but he didn't feel too confident. He had the best hand four times with a chance to win the tournament tonight, and the L.A. Poker Classic title slipped out of his grasp each time thanks to the poker gods.

The board ran out 10 5 3 10 4, and Nguyen was eliminated in second place, earning $935,424. Cimpan won the 2009 LAPC, and he will take home $1,686,760 in prize money.