2017 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Day Two: Nick Maimone Maintains Pole Position
The World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic has been a part of the WPT since the tour’s inception, but in recent years, it has become almost an outlier. It is one of the few WPT Main Events that still costs $10,000 to enter and is also one of the few that is a good, old freezeout, rather than a re-entry tournament. The WPT L.A. Poker Classic Main Event finished its Day 2 on Sunday and with 111 players remaining, it is Day 1 chip leader Nick Maimone who held onto the top spot for a second straight day, finishing the night with 567,400 chips, the only player above the half-million mark.
My colleague Earl Burton was dead on when he said yesterday that because of the late entry possibilities on Day 2, “There’s a good possibility that the 2017 field will eclipse that of last year (515 players), but it will be a stretch to see it go much further.”
In addition to the 498 players who started on Day 1, another 23 entered the tournament on Day 2, resulting in a field of 521 players, just beating out last year’s total and, as Earl put it, not going much further.
Literally one fewer player would have put the total prize pool below $5 million. As the tournament did get to 521 players, the prize pool ended up at $5,001,600. 66 players will make the money with the winner taking home $1,001,110.
Maimone readily admitted to WPT.com that the poker gods smiled on him at a couple key points.
I got very fortunate in a couple of hands,” Maimone said. “I got pocket queens against ace-jack on a jack-high board to bust a guy. In one of the biggest hands of the day, I had queens against ace-queen on a Q♠-8♠-2♥-2♣-2♠ board.
On the latter hand, Maimone knocked out Stefan Schillhabel. They four-bet up to 20,000 chips pre-flop and after the flop came down, Maimone bet 13,000 and was called by Schillhabel. Another bet and call on the turn and when the river produced the third Two, Maimone bet enough to put Schillhabel all-in. Schillhabel called instantly, but his Deuces over Queens full house was destroyed by Maimone’s Queens over Deuces.
“Nothing he can do, I was very blessed there,” Maimone said.
He also noted he got lucky late in the night when he raised pre-flop with just J-7 and was called by Jordan Cristos. Maimone flopped two pair and the two men got all their chips in. Cristos had pocket Aces and couldn’t catch any more cards.
“There wasn’t really much else I could do,” Maimone said. “He had aces and I held.”
Day 3 has just gotten underway at the Commerce Hotel & Casino as the remaining players set their sights on at least making the money.
2017 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders
1. Nick Maimone – 567,400
2. Matt Berkey – 493,100
3. Mohsin Charania – 435,400
4. Daniel Strelitz – 410,000
5. Bryce Yockey – 354,800
6. William Vo – 350,000
7. Antonio Esfandiari – 349,300
8. Daniel Lawrence – 317,200
9. Igor Yaroshevskyy – 314,400
10. Mike Sexton – 270,400
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