2017 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Day Three: Strong Final Level Gives Daniel Strelitz Chip Lead



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111 players returned to the famed Commerce Casino for Day 3 of the 2017 World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic Main Event on Monday; just 45 made it through to Tuesday as the tournament now gets down to the nitty-gritty. Daniel Strelitz is the chip leader with 1.051 million, the only player with over a million chips.

Strelitz has over $1.6 million in lifetime live tournament earnings, but is still trying to pick up his first major tournament title. He came oh so close this past summer when he finished second in the World Series of Poker $5,000 No-Limit event, earning $338,774.

Strelitz didn’t expect to amass the chip stack that he did going into the final level, as he only had 560,000. Not that that is a paltry sum, as it would still put him in the top ten, but just about doubling that in one level was a bit of a surprise.

In the hand that got him over the million chip plateau, Strelitz raised to 14,000 pre-flop with pocket Sevens, Ted Gillis re-raised to 27,000, and Strelitz called. Strelitz flopped a set on a Nine-high board and checked to Gillis, who saw that as an opening and bet 60,000. That was just what Strelitz wanted (unless Gillis had Nines, but that obviously was quite unlikely), so he check-raised to 130,000. Gillis then moved all-in for 280,000 and Strelitz made the easy call.

Gillis had pocket Queens for an overpair to the board. The turn and river were no help and he was eliminated while Strelitz nabbed the chip lead.

Speaking with WPT.com after the day was over, Strelitz looked back on his crazy final level.

“It was crazy,” he said. “I started with 560k, and I instantly played two three-bet pots and won them both to get up to seven something. Then I flopped a set against a guy who clearly had an over pair, and so I played it aggressively and that pushed me over a million, it was pretty sweet.”

He is not taking anything for granted, though, as he knows good feelings can be fleeting in poker.

“There is still a long way to go, I’ve been in this spot before and gotten 30th. There is still a long, long way. There are still two or three more days to go until the final table. It’s a long tournament,” he said.

Day 4 is underway out in California. All 45 players who entered the day are already in the money, so Tuesday is about getting paid more and possibly putting oneself in position to make the final table. There will be eight hours of poker play, not counting breaks, so while the final table isn’t likely to be determined, it should be within sight by the end of the night.

2017 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

Daniel Strelitz – 1,051,000
Mike Sexton – 739,000
Gavin Griffin – 714,000
Mike Eskandari – 688,000
Allan Le – 606,000
Omar Zaza – 594,000
Simeon Naydenov – 579,000
Sameer Aljanedi – 565,000
Visnja Luetic – 551,000
Danny Fuhs – 485,000

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