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Prahlad Friedman Wins the WPT Legends of Poker

Pockets $1,009,000 and Adds a WPT Title to His WSOP Bracelet


Prahlad FriedmanWhen the final table at the 2009 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker $10,000 no-limit hold’em championship began, Kevin Schaffel held the chip lead. Schaffel was appearing in his first live tournament after making the November Nine in the World Series of Poker main event, and he was riding a world of momentum as he stacked chips throughout the week in L.A.

While Schaffel is still looking for his first WSOP gold bracelet, Prahlad Friedman was one of two players at the Legends final table who already held one (Toto Leonidas being the other). By the end of the night, Friedman had captured his first WPT title before Schaffel, as well, beating out the November Niner in the heads-up final to win the first-place prize of $1,009,000. Friedman proved once again that poker is fun for everyone — except for his opponents.

Mike Krescanko fell quickly in sixth place to begin the action shortly after play began this afternoon, and then there was a long lull in the action. This was partially due to slow play at the table, but also due to a series of technical difficulties. It took a couple of hours before Sam Stein fell in fifth place and the final four was set.

Leonidas was the next to fall after hanging on for a long time with a short stack. He doubled up multiple times, but he eventually fell in fourth place. Todd Terry looked like he might be the favorite to win the tournament during the final two days of play as he flirted with the chip lead, but his fortunes changed during the final stretch of play as he busted in third place.

The heads-up final began with Friedman holding a healthy portion of the remaining chips in play (6,605,000). Schaffel entered heads-up play with just 1,850,000, but he was able to to double up quickly to bring the chip counts close to even. Just 14 hands later, though, the final table came to a close, and Friedman was the champion.

Here are the final results:

1: Prahlad Friedman — $1,009,000
2: Kevin Schaffel — $471,670
3: Todd Terry — $231,300
4: Toto Leonidas — $144,600
5: Sam Stein — $116,225
6: Mike Krescanko — $89,220

Here are the elimination hands from’s live updates:

Mike KrescankoMike Krescanko Eliminated in Sixth Place ($89,220)

Prahlad Friedman raised to 65,000 from the small blind, and Mike Krescanko (pictured right) moved all in for 450,000. Friedman made the call, and they flipped up their cards:

Krescanko: ASpade Suit QClub Suit
Friedman: KHeart Suit KSpade Suit

Board: KClub Suit 9Heart Suit 2Diamond Suit QDiamond Suit 8Diamond Suit

Friedman won the hand with a set of kings, and he now held 2,070,000. Krescanko was eliminated in sixth place and he will take home $89,220 in prize money.

Sam SteinSam Stein Eliminated in Fifth Place ($116,215)

Kevin Schaffel raised from the cutoff to 150,000, and Sam Stein (pictured left) moved all in from the big blind for 755,000. Schaffel called and they flipped up their cards.

Schaffel: 7Club Suit 7Heart Suit
Stein: KHeart Suit QSpade Suit

Board: 8Club Suit 7Diamond Suit 3Spade Suit 2Heart Suit 2Club Suit

Stein was eliminated on the hand in fifth place, and he will take home $116,215 in prize money. Schaffel increased his chip lead to 3.5 million.

Prahlad FriedmanToto Leonidas Eliminated in Fourth Place ($144,600)

Prahlad Friedman raised to 200,000 under the gun preflop, and Toto Leonidas (pictured right) made the call from the button. The flop was dealt KSpade Suit 6Club Suit 2Club Suit, and Friedman bet 350,000. Leonidas thought for a moment and then moved all in for 1,390,000. Friedman made the call and they flipped up their cards:

Friedman: ASpade Suit KDiamond Suit
Leonidas: AClub Suit 9Club Suit

Turn and River: JSpade Suit 2Spade Suit

Leonidas was eliminated on the hand in fourth place, and he will take home $144,600 in prize money. Friedman grew his chip stack to 4,445,000 and took the chip lead.

Todd TerryTodd Terry Eliminated in Third Place ($231,200)

Prahlad Friedman raised in the small blind to 200,000, and Todd Terry (pictured left) moved all in from the big blind for the rest of his stack. Friedman quickly called with the AClub Suit QClub Suit, and Terry was racing with pocket fours.

The board came QDiamond Suit JHeart Suit 6Diamond Suit KSpade Suit KDiamond Suit, and Terry was eliminated in third place. After the hand, Friedman’s stack grew to nearly 7 million.

Prahlad FriedmanKevin Schaffel Eliminated in Second Place ($471,670) Prahlad Friedman Wins 2009 WPT Legends of Poker Main Event ($1,009,000)

All things considered, the end came quickly, despite a final table that featured numerous delays and unscheduled breaks.

Kevin Schaffel opened with a raise on the final hand to 300,000, and Prahlad Friedman (pictured right) reraised to 800,000. Schaffel thought it over for about 30 seconds before moving all in, causing Friedman to go into the tank.

With 2.8 million more, Friedman decided to make the call with AHeart Suit QSpade Suit. Schaffel turned over KHeart Suit JClub Suit and had live cards to double up.

Kevin SchaffelThe dealer rolled over a board of 10Club Suit 3Heart Suit 2Heart Suit 4Diamond Suit 9Heart Suit, and Schaffel (pictured left) was eliminated. Friedman celebrated in the stands with wife Dee Luong and the rest of his cheering section.

Schaffel clearly didn’t practice avoidance, but was rewarded with $471,670 for his efforts. Friedman earned $1,009,000 in victory along with a $25,000 seat to the Bellagio WPT Championship in April.



over 11 years ago

What a blowup by Schaffel, 4 bet shove with KJ o with around 35BB, pretty optimal strategy imo


over 11 years ago

Ha ha ha, no one is every gonna let Prahlad live down that horrible excuse for "rap" on ESPN some years ago! Well done, Ryan. (For the clueless: "Friedman proved once again that poker is fun for everyone — except for his opponents," and "Schaffel clearly didn’t practice avoidance.")


over 11 years ago


over 11 years ago

What kind of technical difficulties?


over 11 years ago

I see 2 mistakes on was a $400k push w JK, and the other was being in a final table where his "Nov Nine" opponants can learn even more about him...if this was televised or on line feed...the other 8 can really get to know more about him. He may have won almost 1/2 mil, but will that cost him a couple of mil??? Start watching the feed too Kevin...then try to play different. That will be the mark of a good poker player.


over 11 years ago

very good comment pokerfacesinc if the other 8 of the November Nine focus on this especially Ivy then Schaffel is in a world of hurt. He definately better change his scheme of things, especially how he acts when bluffing etc. Should be very interesting how the other players react to this. But then again hell he might not want to change much he made through the huge donkfest field of the WSOP main event and then played through some very talented players in this WPT event so he may need to just keep playing his A game! Regardless I wouldn't want Phil Ivy to be able to see how I play and then play him ....jeez


over 11 years ago

I don't think it is that great of a comment. I highly doubt this will be airing before November, so not much can be learned except from the written hand histories, which are very faulty to begin with.