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2013 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Day 1: Joe Hachem, David Pham Among Leaders

Joe Hachem

The World Poker Tour landed in California on Saturday for the start of the 2013 L.A. Poker Classic at the world-famous Commerce Casino. The $10,000 buy-in event attracted many of poker's biggest names, and by the end of Day 1, 505 players had taken their seats at Commerce. That number is expected to increase before registration closes at the start of Day 2.

Day 1 ended with 375 survivors and California native Kamaleddin Abdolrahimi leading the way with 140,000 in chips. He was joined at the top of the counts by Wartan Jalnakrian, Joel Micka, Joe Hachem and David Peters.

2013 WPT LA Poker Classic Day 1 Top 10 Chip Counts

PlacePlayerChip Count
1Kamaleddin Abdolrahimi140,000
2Wartan Jalnakrian131,075
3Joel Micka121,900
4Joe Hachem116,700
5David Peters113,300
6Michael DiVita110,750
7David Pham101,000
8Levon Khachatryan100,350
9Cylus Watson100,000
10Dan Callaghan99,050

Hachem is one of many former WPT champions still in the field. He started Day 1 off nicely by knocking out another former WPT champ, Antonio Esfandiari. According to the WPT Live Updates Team, Hachem got involved in a three-way preflop confrontation against Esfandiari and Darryll Fish which saw Hachem jump up the leader board. Fish had both opponents out-chipped and at risk, but his {A-}{K-} was trailing Hachem's {K-Hearts}{K-Spades}. Esfandiari was third best with pocket tens. The board ran out {7-Hearts}{6-Spades}{8-Spades}{Q-Diamonds}{K-Diamonds}, and Esfandiari was eliminated. Fish was left with just 3,000 after the hand and eventually busted before the end of the day.

Others who failed to survive Day 1 were Dan Smith, Jeff Madsen, Greg Mueller, Tom Marchese, Vanessa Selbst, Jonathan Duhamel, and WPT Champions Club members Matt Waxman, Nam Le, John Phan, Jonathan Little, Will "The Thrill" Failla, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Andy Frankenberger, Eugene Katchalov and Dominik Nitsche.

Despite those early exits, the field is still stacked with many of the game's top talents. Players taking healthy stacks into Day 2 include Maria Ho, Scott Seiver, Jennifer Tilly, Shannon Shorr, David Chui, Joe Serock, Victor Ramdin, David Williams and defending champ Sean Jazayeri. Last year, Jazayeri scooped his first WPT trophy and $1,370,240 after defeating a tough final table that included David "Doc" Sands, Dan Kelly, Noah Schwartz and Jason Somerville.

Day 2 will begin at Sunday at noon PST, at which point registration will officially close. Stay tuned to PokerNews.com for a full recap of the day’s action upon the completion of play.

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