The field at the World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic Main Event was whittled from 102 to 31 on Monday as the money bubble burst. Jeremy White is the chip leader with 1.552 million chips, giving him a sizable advantage over the field, as the closest competitor, Manuel Martinez, has 1.035. They are the only two players with more than 1 million chips.
White told WPT.com that it helped to be a big stack at his table most of the day, as he was able to swing his chip towers (figuratively) like a cudgel.
“Having chips is obviously a big advantage,” White said. “Just like today, there weren’t many people with chips at my table, and I was really able to put them to the test. So I will try to do the same thing tomorrow.”
This is already the second-largest cash of White’s career. According to TheHendonMob.com, he has four live tournament cashes totaling just over $71,000. Most of that came from a $50,000 score in a World Series of Poker Circuit event in October. Should he be the first eliminated on Tuesday (which he probably won’t be), he would earn $27,830. The next pay increase will happen with the 25th place elimination.
White went on a tear late, leaving wreckage all around him at his table. As early evening became night, he eliminated Frank Lin in 41st place. After White raised pre-flop, Lin moved all-in for 110,000 chips with pocket Aces. This being poker, White had pocket Sevens and was able to spike a Seven on the river to take out Lin.
Right after that, Kristina Holst was all-in pre-flop was A-Q and White called with pocket Sixes. Holst was unable to improve and she was gone in 40th place.
Then, just a short time later, White took care of a man we all know has an idea of how to navigate the end game of major tournaments. According to WPT.com, Tan Nguyen raised pre-flop, 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event champ Joe McKeehen called, White called, and Udaid Habib called. The four saw a flop of A-9-7 and it was checked around to Nguyen, who led out with a bet. McKeehen called, but then White, perhaps wanting to throw his weight around, raised all-in, having everyone covered. Habib and Nguyen folded, but after some thought, McKeehen called for 115,000 chips. He had A-J for top pair, while it looks like White probably had A-Q for top pair with a better kicker – it was unclear from the WPT report. But since the Queen on the turn gave White “a winning two pair,” it does seem like A-Q were his hole cards, as that made the river meaningless. The 2015 WSOP champ was out in 37th place.
Also of note is the presence of Phil Hellmuth in the top ten. Hellmuth, though he has won a record 14 WSOP bracelets, has never won a World Poker Tour title.
2018 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event – Day 3 Chip Leaders
1. Jeremy White – 1,552,000
2. Manuel Martinez – 1,035,000
3. Dennis Blieden – 907,000
4. Chance Kornuth – 715,000
5. Toby Lewis – 670,000
6. Mark Briggs – 666,000
7. Benjamin Zamani – 650,000
8. John Misirian – 600,000
9. Victor Crisostomo – 591,000
10. Phil Hellmuth – 566,000