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Surprise At The L.A. Poker Classic
AGAIN THIS YEAR, the best players in the world flooded the Commerce Casino for the World Poker Tour’s Los Angeles Poker Classic. In total, 549 players entered the WPT Main Event, creating a massive prize pool of $5,270,400. Crowds of poker fans, press and television cameras followed the high-stakes action, leading to a stacked WPT final table.
The field was packed with the toughest pros on the planet. The final TV table had five successful young pros and one much older amateur who had attended a trio of WPT instructional weekends to improve his game. And the amateur must have learned something, because after fours hours of back-and-forth play, WPT Boot Camp alumnus Sean Jazayeri defeated well-known online pro David “Doc” Sands heads-up to capture his first WPT title and $1,370,240 in prize money. Yes, that’s over a million bucks. That will pay for a lot of boot camps!
Immediately after the win, Jazayeri exclaimed, “You dream about it, you fantasize about it, but in my heart I never thought this could happen. It’s a real dream come true.”
The young pros had their black clothes, staredowns, and attitude – their own exclusive club. But the middle-aged amateur, with some heart and some luck, decided to crash their party.
To etch his name onto the WPT Champions Cup, Jazayeri had to overcome an impressive international field that featured 45 WPT Champions Club members. Several past LAPC winners entered the event, including Michael Mizrachi, Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Ivey, who bubbled the money. The LAPC traditionally attracts one of the toughest fields of the year – on any tour.
As with every televised tournament during WPT Season X, the LAPC will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net in three separate episodes. They begin June 24.
Allen Carter was the final table bubble boy after falling to Sands. Joining Sands at the live-streamed final table were WSOP bracelet winners Jason Somerville and Dan Kelly, young gun Jason Burt, three-time WPT final-tablist Noah Schwartz, and Sean Jazayeri, the amateur player who has attended three WPT Boot Camps.
Following introductions by WPT announcer Ali Nejad, play began with a bang on the final day as Jason Somerville shoved on only the second hand. A quick call by Jazayeri led to a race in which Somerville held the lead until the eventual WPT champion paired his queen on the river and sent Jason to the rail. Just ten hands later, the other Jason at the table would experience a similar fate. Jason Burt called Dan Kelly’s all-in shove on the turn and looked poised to double-up. Unfortunately for Burt, an ace on the river gave Kelly the nut straight and a big boost to his chip stack.
Less than an hour later, Noah Schwartz’s Ac-Jh fell victim to Jazayeri’s pocket kings. While Jazayeri held a sizeable chip lead as play turned three-handed, David Sands proceeded to win a number of sizeable pots before busting Dan Kelly.
At the start of heads-up play, Sands carried a 9.47M to 7M chip advantage versus Jazayeri. However, the biggest hand of the night doomed Doc as his pocket queens lost a race against Jazayeri’s Big Slick.
Jazayeri claimed victory on the following hand, when his A-5 suited defeated Sands’ K-Q after another all-in preflop showdown.
Celebrating its phenomenal twentieth anniversary, the L.A. Poker Classic at Commerce Casino offered 51 events over 44 days. Throughout the WPT Main Event, the world’s largest poker casino was bursting at the seams with non-stop action.
THE PAYOUTS:1. Sean Jazayeri .............$1,370,240
2. David Sands ..................$806,370
3. Dan Kelly ......................$521,770
4. Noah Schwartz .............$355,750
5. Jason Burt ....................$252,980
6. Jason Somerville ..........$202,910