2016 WPT L. A. Poker Classic Main Event Day 5: Anthony Spinella Leads Final Six for Million Dollar Payday
The final table is set for the World Poker Tour’s latest stop in southern California at the L. A. Poker Classic. Heading up the six-man final table will be 2015 World Series of Poker “hybrid” (online/live tournament) bracelet winner Anthony Spinella, who will come to the final table with a nice chip stack of 3.705 million.
It looked as if it would be a quick day for the 14 men who returned to action on Wednesday to work their way down to the final six. Chip leader Mike Shariati, looking for his second WPT championship of Season XIV, was in the lead with a massive stack of 2.45 million chips, while such players as three-time WSOP and former WPT champion John Hennigan, Jesse Yaginuma, Ty Reiman, David ‘Doc’ Sands and Seth Davies lurked behind looking to take him down. From the moment the call of “shuffle up and deal” was made, the action was frenetic.
Sands was all in on one of the first hands, his pocket Jacks running up against Farid Jattin’s Big Slick and turning an unnecessary set to make his victory a bit sweeter with the double up. On the other side, Yaginuma went the other way – out the door – when his K-J off suit couldn’t work a miracle against Spinella’s pocket Kings. In taking the hand, Spinella joined Shariati as the only players over the two million chip mark.
Davies would wait for the right moment to get his chips to the center but would be the victim of bad fortune. In a battle of the blinds, Davies would get his chips in against Binh Nguyen, his A♠ 10♠ way out in front of Nguyen’s K-6 off suit, and a ten in the window on the flop looked good. After the dealer fanned the flop, though, a King was revealed to put Nguyen in the lead. To make things more interesting, a Jack was also in the mix on the flop, giving Davies a shot at an inside Broadway straight with his Ace over card and pair of tens. Unfortunately for Davies, the eight on the turn and the four on the river didn’t help him as he headed to the Commerce Casino’s exits in 13th place.
With the elimination of Davies, Shariati made a move on another leaderboard. In the WPT Player of the Year race, Shariati passed Cate Hall for the lead (Hall, for the first time in her career, failed to cash in a WPT event) to take over the lead in the year-long standings. The points that he would earn would only go up the deeper he finished in the tournament (and so would his POY lead), so Shariati had some impetus to staying in the tournament.
Spinella would take over the lead after a battle against Reiman. After a raise from Reiman and calls from Spinella and Hennigan, a 10-6-4 flop saw everyone check to Spinella, who pushed out a bet of 77K. Hennigan made the call and Reiman sprang into action, check-raising Spinella to 245K. Spinella called and, after Hennigan opted out, a Jack came on the turn. Both men decided to check on the knave but, when the board paired with another ten, Reiman would check-call a Spinella bet of 285K. Reiman turned up his pocket Kings, a good hand in most cases, but Spinella’s A-10 had found a triplet on the river to give him the hand and the lead in the tournament.
After Sands was eliminated from the tournament in 11th place at the hands of Sam Soverel, the final 10 men came together to work to the final six. Spinella had cracked the three million chip mark by this point while Jattin and Dietrich Fast looked to catch up. Only two hands into the final table play, Fast would emerge as a challenger for Spinella when he eliminated Tim Cramer in tenth place.
At this point, the players seemed to realize they were playing for some significant money and the action slowed. It would be another 30 hands before Soverel would eliminate Reiman in ninth place, Soverel’s pocket Kings coolering Reiman’s pocket tens on an A-5-3-5-A board. Roughly ten hands later, another key hand would catapult one player to the final table and send another one to the rail.
After Nguyen made a raise from the button, Alex Keating three-bet out of the big blind and Nguyen moved all in. Keating made the call and, as the cards were turned up, the dealer noted that the chip stacks of the two men were quite similar. Keating’s A-K was in the race against Nguyen’s pocket fives and things looked good for Nguyen on the 10-7-4 flop. The Ace on the turn, however, changed the tune over to Keating’s liking. Once a nine came on the river, the chips were counted and it was found that Keating was all-in, while Nguyen had all but one chip – 5000 – at risk. With the hand, Keating went up to 1.715 million chips while Nguyen went out of the tournament in eighth place when he anted in his singular 5K chip on the next hand and lost.
On Hand 50, the final table was set. After Hennigan popped the betting from the button, Spinella three-bet him out of the big blind and Hennigan moved all in. Spinella made the call, tossing up his pocket Queens, while Hennigan could only groan over the cooler as he showed his pocket Jacks. The eight high board helped neither man, sending Hennigan to the rail in seventh place and setting the table for today’s determination of a champion:
1. Anthony Spinella, 3.705 million
2. Farid Jattin, 2.63 million
3. Mike Shariati, 2.535 million
4. Sam Soverel, 2.425 million
5. Dietrich Fast, 2.365 million
6. Alex Keating, 1.785 million
The final table of the 2016 WPT L. A. Poker Classic will begin at 4PM (Pacific Time) and will be taped for broadcast as a part of the Season XIV series on Fox Sports. It should be an exciting finale as Spinella looks to earn the second leg of poker’s Triple Crown, Shariati looks to possibly win his second WPT championship of the season or any of the other four men look to make their breakthrough on the WPT.
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