Balakrishna Patur won the 2020 World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic Monday night and now we are all caught up. The WPT L.A. Poker Classic was the last of the three delayed WPT final tables that had to be postponed for over a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And now Mr. Patur is a millionaire (less taxes, I suppose).
The six players reached the final table back in March 2020 and expected to resume play on April 2, 2020, but as we know, the pandemic shut poker down until recently. The WPT Gardens Poker Championship wrapped up two months ago and the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open’s final table finally completed just this past weekend. So, from here on out, everything will be current.
Patur was the chip leader going into final table play and by a fairly sizeable margin. He had 6.320 million chips, 2 million more than his closest competition. He proceeded to knockout three players to get to heads-up against Matas Cimbolas, himself a former WPT champ, with a lead of about 3 million chips. And though heads-up lasted a while, it was one of the few one-on-one matchups at the end of a WPT event in which the runner-up never really mounted much of a comeback.
Patur extended his lead right off the bat and never looked back. Sure, Cimbolas doubled up at one point, but he was still several million behind. On the final hand, Cimbolas shoved for 3.7 million chips and Patur made the call after a bit of thought with A-9. It wasn’t a lock, but he was easily ahead of Cimbolas’s K-6.
None of the community cards helped either of their hands – though the three diamonds on the flop gave Cimbolas a sweat with a flush draw – so Patur took down the pot and the World Poker Tour title, getting his name etched on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup.
Afterward, Patur tried to express his joy to WPT.com, saying, “It’s incredible. I can’t express my happiness right now. To me, it was such a long time … and the table, with such good players, it was anybody’s game and I played well and ran well.”
The name on the trophy wasn’t lost on Patur, either.
“Mike is such a nice guy, an incredible guy,” Patur says. “He’s such a good person and always a pleasure to talk to. To see him is a great pleasure, he’ll be remembered for a long time. I wish he was here next to me winning this.”
The win was extra special for Patur, considering the disappointment he experienced in December when he bluffed off a significant portion of his stack heads-up in the WPT Online Poker Open, resulting in him finishing second.
“That was such a disgusting moment for me,” he said. “This time, I made sure I wasn’t going to do that. I wanted to be energized and make sure to stay focused at all times.”