It may have taken Mike Sexton almost 10 years to bag his first World Poker Tour title, but he's aiming to make sure the wait for No. 2 is much shorter.
After Day 3 of the L.A. Poker Classic $10,000 Main Event, Sexton sits second in chips with 739,000, trailing only Daniel Strelitz, who is seeking his first major live title and has 1,051,000 for a sizable lead.
Sexton, the longtime WPT commentator, won WPT Montreal last November for $317,817.
He moved into the chip lead in the penultimate level of the night after taking down a couple of pots with check-raises, one against start-of-day leader Nick Maimone. Then, Sexton opened from the button with kings and called a 19 big blind ship from Richard Sciato, who had . A king on the turn let Sexton turn Sciato dead.
Strelitz has had a number of close calls at the World Series of Poker, finishing second and third in a couple of events since 2014 that banked him over $500,000 in prize money.
He was fortunate to flop a set in a three-bet pot late in the day with sevens against the queens of Ted Gillis. That pot of over 600,000 in the last level of Day 3 vaulted Strelitz into the lead.
Also of note is the survival of defending champ Dietrich Fast. The German banked over $1 million in the 2016 LAPC and heads to Day 4 with an above average stack of 369,000.
Fast eliminated Valentin Vornicu during Level 16 (2,000/4,000/500) when Vornicu tried shoving for 67,000 in the big blind after Fast raised it up with . Fast decided to call after some thought and was able to hold against as neither player received help from the community cards.
Gavin Griffin (714,000), Matt Berkey (478,000), Jesse Martin (453,000), Maimone (363,000), Dzmitry Urbanovich (280,000) and Mohsin Charania (210,000) also remain in the 45-player field.
The money bubble burst about midway through the day with a little over half of the 111 players who started destined to receive payouts. Some of those who cashed among the top 68 included Anton Astapau, Maria Ho, Tim Reilly, Aaron Massey and Ismael Bojang. Benny Glaser, Antonio Esfandiari, James Romero, Niall Farrell, Stephen Chidwick and Chino Rheem busted outside the money.
Day 4 play began a short time ago, with live updates available here.
Top 10 Chip Counts
Photo courtesy of WPT
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