The 2010 PokerStars.net North American Poker Tour Los Angeles Main Event wrapped up Wednesday night at the Crystal Casino in Compton, California. The venue had been changed for the final day to film the final table. Walking away with the title, the trophy and $725,000 in cold hard cash was Joe Tehan after defeating Chris DeMaci in heads-up play.
The final table was stacked. DeMaci entered the day as the big chip leader, holding nearly 2.5 million chips more than his closest competitor, Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier. Mercier represents Team USA on his PokerStars patch, but he wasn’t the only team member at the final table. Canadian pro Anh Van Nguyen also found his way to the final eight. Throw in Michael Binger, Tehan, Ray Henson, Al Grimes and lead PokerNews Strategy instructor Jake Toole and you’re looking at an amazing lineup.
Toole was the first player to hit the rail. After he had opened with a raise to 115,000, Tehan three-bet to 300,000. Action got back around to Toole who four-bet all-in for 1.755 million. Tehan made the call holding the and was up against the for Toole. After the board ran out , Toole was left with nothing but the felt in front of him and eighth-place money in his pocket. He collected $60,000 for his finish while Tehan propelled himself to the chip lead.
Next to go was the player everyone thought was going to walk away with the title. Mercier even wore his lucky shirt to the final table, which he wore during his wins at EPT San Remo, EPT London and NAPT Mohegan Sun. Unfortunately for Mercier, he’d only be leaving Compton with $84,857 in his pocket after going out in seventh place.
Mercier opened with a min-raise to 120,000, and Henson flatted in position and on the button. DeMaci was in the small blind and also made the call. Tehan stuck in a three-bet to 515,000 from the big blind. Mercier four-bet to 1.1 million straight and that folded out Henson and DeMaci. Tehan then announced that he was all-in. Mercier made the call and put himself at risk for 3.645 million.
At the showdown, Mercier tabled the for two overcards against the for Tehan. The board ran out and Tehan won his second massive flip at the final table to bust Mercier in seventh and increase his chip lead.
Just one hand passed after Mercier hit the rail before the next elimination. Binger was that unfortunate player to exit in sixth place. Tehan raised to 125,000 and Binger reraised to 330,000. Tehan then grabbed a handful of chips and stuck out a reraise that committed Binger for all of his chips. Binger quickly made the call and tabled the up against the for Tehan.
Tehan had faired extremely well in races up until this point and things wouldn’t change this time around. The board ran out to give Tehan the win. Binger collected $114,000 for his finish.
Tehan did what the big stack is supposed to do after he eliminated Binger. He constantly raised and constantly put pressure on the shorter stacks at the table. When DeMaci wasn’t in the hand, Tehan was often times shoving all-in to put pressure on the much shorter Nguyen, Grimes and Henson. That’s what led to the next bust out.
DeMaci had folded and Tehan moved all-in to put pressure on the shorter stacks behind him. Nguyen made the call from the button and then Henson tank-called all-in from the big blind. Tehan had the chance to bust two players and with the way he had been running, it was almost inevitable that it was going to happen. Tehan held the worst of it with the . Nguyen had the and Henson the . Tehan was plenty live though.
The board ran out to give Tehan the best hand with two pair, kings and nines. A final count was conducted to see which player finished where. Henson had less chips than Nguyen so he finished in fifth place for $145,000 while Nguyen became the fourth-place finisher and will take home $195,000.
Just minutes later, Grimes got all of his money in with the against the for Tehan. Grimes had done an amazing job to get that far and figured he had to make a stand at some point. He took the lead after the flop came down but lost it on the turn when the fell. The river completed the board with the and finished things off. Grimes took home a cool $250,000 for his finish in third place.
With Grimes out in third place, the stage was set for heads-up play. After Grimes busted, the two players took a one-hour dinner break with the chips standing at 14.595 million for Tehan and 6.35 million for DeMaci.
Things stayed pretty much even until Tehan was able to make a big call and knock DeMaci down to around 3.7 million. Tehan raised to 200,000 on the button, the minimum raise allowed. DeMaci made a reraise to 550,000 and Tehan called. The flop came down and DeMaci fired 450,000. Tehan made the call, and just like that, over two million chips were in the middle.
The turn card brought the and both players checked. Another lady, the , appeared on the river and DeMaci fired out 1.125 million after taking some time. “I hope you’re not bluffing with the best hand,” Tehan said before firing in the chips to make the call. DeMaci simply replied “You got it” and showed the for jack high. Tehan had called with the for king high and won the pot.
The two battled a bit more before heading on a 15-minute break with DeMaci down to 2.54 million and Tehan holding 18.405 million in the lead. Shortly after they returned from break, the last hand came to fruition.
Tehan raised from the button to 240,000 and DeMaci made the call. The flop came down and DeMaci checked. Tehan fired 375,000 and DeMaci moved all-in. Tehan quickly called and tabled the best hand. He held the , outkicking the for DeMaci. The turn paired the board with the and left DeMaci drawing to just a chop to stay alive. The river was the and that was it. DeMaci and Tehan got up to shake hands and congratulate each other on their respective finishes. DeMaci took home $440,000 for his runner-up finish and Tehan netted the first-place prize of $725,000.
Locking up this way put Tehan over the $3 million mark for live tournament earnings. Coming into this final table, Tehan boasted a career in which he has won over $2.3 million. What’s amazing is that this $725,000 score isn’t even the largest of his career. He scored $1,033,440 for winning the WPT Mandalay Bay Poker Championship in 2006.
|4th||Anh Van Nguyen||Canada||$195,000|
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