If Mike Sexton is going to win a second World Poker Tour title, after making the L.A. Poker Classic final table, he's going to have to overcome one of the more overwhelming chip leads held in recent memory at a major event.
The final six players have booked their seats for the TV final table, and five of them will be looking way up at Daniel Strelitz, who holds 6,485,000, worth over 200 big blinds.
Official Final Table Counts
The penultimate day of the $10,000 freezeout began with just 18 players remaining.
Sexton nearly got off to a roaring start. He played one of the first big pots of the day, which saw him in a three-way all in with against Visnja Leutic's and German high roller Rainer Kempe's . The flop came jack-high and the turn was a queen, so while Sexton profited a bit with a sizable side pot, he lost a main pot that would have pushed him to nearly 100 big blinds.
Allan Le came into the day second in chips, but joining his brother Nam Le as a WPT champion wouldn't be in the cards as he went out 13th when his kings were outdrawn by the ace-king of eventual final tabler Richard Tuhrim in a preflop all in worth over 100 big blinds total.
Dzmitry Urbanovich has been one of the hottest players on the tournament circuit the past few years and was looking to make his first big splash on American soil. The young Polish phenom shoved over a raise and a call with just short of 20 big blinds holding with 11 players left. Unfortunately for him, Simeon Naydenov had flatted with and crushed the tens despite a flop opening up some equity for Urbanovich.
Strelitz made John Cynn the first victim of the unofficial final table when Cynn jammed and ran into Strelitz's . Then, James Calderaro fell with ace-queen against Jesse Martin's queens.
Meanwhile, Strelitz continued to build his stack past the 4 million mark. He hit a snag when Joe Serock three-outed him by flopping trips all in preflop with ace-five against ace-queen, but Strelitz would get it all back after he opened cutoff to 65,000 at 15,000/30,000/5,000. Serock called on the button, as did Tuhrim in the big blind. The flop came , and Strelitz bet 100,000. Serock made it 250,000, Strelitz jammed and Serock called with . Strelitz had him crushed with and saw a clean runout to get to almost 5 million.
On Hand #67 of the unofficial final table, Strelitz dealt a fatal blow to Matt Berkey. Berkey limped for 30,000, and both blinds saw a flop with him. Action checked to Berkey, who bet 80,000. Strelitz made it 260,000 and called Berkey's all-in shove for 820,000.
Strelitz hit his flush with a on the river after a brick turn, giving "deoxyribo" the massive stack he will tote into the final table.
Final table action gets rolling at 4 p.m. local time. Check out all of the live updates on WPT.com and be sure to come back to PokerNews for a recap when the event is over.
Photo courtesy of WPT
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