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Friday, March 3, 2017

Player Profile: Daniel Strelitz, Winner of the 2017 LAPC Main Event!

Last night, local poker pro Daniel Strelitz kept the most prestigious title in Los Angeles, the LA Poker Classic, in house, when he defeated Simeon Naydenov heads-up. For his efforts, Strelitz took home over $1,000,000, as well as a seat to the $15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions in April. We had a chance to catch up with Strelitz after his win, alongside fellow media members Donnie Peters and Ryan Lucchesi of the WPT. You can check out the interview in it's entirety below.

Congratulations again to Daniel Strelitz, on what was quite simply a dominating performance in this Main Event.

Daniel Strelitz you just took down the LAPC Main Event. How do you feel? 

I feel amazing it's really unbelievable. It's just amazing. I can't believe it.

It has to be extra special because it's on your home turf, one of the most prestigious titles and toughest fields in all of poker. 

This event is especially important for me because I'm down so much at the Commerce. I've won a few tournaments at the Bike but at Commerce I haven't done anything so me making this run feels so good. I've been living in So Cal my whole life and this is the biggest tournament you can win in So Cal and to win it is unbelievable.

It seemed like the tournament was a dream for you. You had the chip lead for most of the last three days, tell me how that feels especially considering your game is most effective when you have a big stack. 

It was really intense on Day 1 I bagged like fourth in chips and Day 2 I was 4th. I think on Day 3, 4, 5, and 6 I was chip leader throughout the whole thing. It put alot of pressure on me because I felt like I needed to win since I had so many chips. It's a big relief to actually follow through with it.

Was some of that pressure from, you've had alot of big stacks before in big tournaments and haven't had this result. Was this sort of a monkey off your back thing thinking I can't screw this one up?

It all comes back to my 2012 Main Event when I was 2 of 27 and I got 24th. I had just so many chips in that thing and I blew it that's always in the back of my mind. It doesn't hurt so much anymore since it was 5 years ago but I feel like i should have been a millionaire back then and I wasn't. So to get it now and actually go on and win it's unexplainable.

Was there anything going through your mind today specifically when you started to slide a little and get out of the top spot? 

No I actually was really calm. My mom was actually freaking out more it was kind of like annoying me but I have my friend Niall Ferrell who's a WPT Champion and he said you're doing fine playing great and that calmed me down. Even when I started questioning things he was like nah you're good.

You mention your Mom. Your Dad has been sweating you as long as I've seen you in this event. What's it been like to have your family and friends here?

It's great I'm so happy my whole family is here my in-laws are here. And it's unbelievable my dad starting Day 2 he was there and he saw every single hand I played until now. From Day 2! It's a six day tournament! So his dedication it's unbelievable. He's a crazy person obviously. But I appreciate it so much.

The amount of pots that you were involved in is one of the highest I've ever seen. Is that mostly because you have the big stack or is that usually just part of your strategy.

All the factors led to me being able to open all the pots.If everyone was about even stack I would probably still open more than them but it wouldn't be nearly as wide. But because everyone was short and pay jumps and all they let me just open mostly every pot. So I did.

We talked about how special this title is but with this day and age of poker. No re-entry no re-buys, no bigger Day 2 buy-ins. It's a traditional freezeout which is rare these days. Talk a bit about that. 

I think freezeouts are the best I actually dislike re-entries so this being a freezeout where everyone is in there once it's great. That's how poker was and that's how it should be.

What's next for you? 

Heading up to Bay 101 going to fire as much as I can there and try to win that California Swing!

Included in your victory is a seat to the $15,000 Tournament of Champions. What's it like to know you are going to compete on that stage against some of the best of the best. 

It's pretty great it's going to be a pretty small field and a big buy-in so I'm really excited to play it. I can swap with my friend now because we are both champions. It's crazy!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Congratulations to Daniel Strelitz, Winner of the 2017 LAPC Main Event! ($1,011,000)

It seemed like a matter of when, not if, Daniel Strelitz would take down this title. The 27-year-old poker pro bagged the chip lead at the end of Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5, and though he lost the chip lead briefly at this final table, he bounced back heads-up, and took down the title. For his efforts, Strelitz will take home over $1,000,000, as well as a seat into the $15,000 Tournament of Champions in Florida in April.

Congratulations to Daniel Strelitz on what can only be described as a dominant performance in this LAPC Main Event. Stay tuned for a full winner's interview with Strelitz to be posted tomorrow. Thanks for tuning into our coverage all series long. For the last time this series, good night from the Commerce Casino!

1. Damiel Strelitz - $1,011,000
2. Simeon Naydenov - $672,190
3. Jared Griener -  $431,340
4. Mike Sexton - $300,690
5. Jesse Martin - $230,380
6. Richard Tuhrim - $191,490

Simeon Naydenov Eliminated in 2nd Place ($672,910), Daniel Strelitz is the Champion!

Daniel Strelitz raised to 260,000, Simeon Naydenov called, and the flop came down [Qs][7c][6s]. Naydenov checked to Strelitz, who bet 325,000. Naydenov check raised to 975,000, and Strelitz called. The [8h] came on the turn, and Naydenov checked to Strelitz, who bet 1,350,000 this time. Naydenov thought for a bit before moving all in, and Strelitz snap called.

Strelitz: [5h][4s]
Naydenov: [Kc][Qd]

"I won!" Strelitz yelled to his rail when he saw the hands. Naydenov's top pair was drawing dead, and the meaningless river was the [4d].

Simeon Naydenov will take home $672,910, but the night belongs to Daniel Strelitz, who takes home $1,011,000, and the huge Remington Trophy! In addition, Strelitz earns an automatic bid to the Tournament of Champions in April!

Strelitz Back up to Ten Million

Daniel Strelitz starts the action with a raise to 225,000, and Simeon Naydenov defends his big blind. The flop comes down [Qc][Jd][10d], and both players check to see the [10c] come on the turn. A second check from Naydenov leads to a bet of 300,000 from Strelitz. Naydenov check raises to 1.15 million, and Strelitz calls to see the [Qh] complete a dangerous looking board.

Naydenov checks a third time, and Strelitz counts out a big bet of 1.725 million, and slides it in. Naydenov tanks for a few minutes before folding, and Strelitz takes in the nice pot.

Daniel Strelitz - 10 million
Simeon Naydenov - 5.6 million

Naydenov Shoves the River

Action starts with Simeon Naydenov raising to 250,000 preflop. Strelitz calls, and the flop comes down [Qc][Qd][2s]. Strelitz check calls a bet of 175,000 from Naydenov, and the [8s] comes on the turn. Strelitz checks again, and Naydenov fires 500,000. Strelitz comes back with a check raise to 1.6 million, and Naydenov gives it a good amount of thought before calling.

The [Ah] comes on the river, and Daniel Strelitz slows down with a check. Naydenov thinks it over for about 30 seconds before announcing all in, and Strelitz rechecks his cards, and sends them into the middle.

Naydenov gets a big boost with that pot, but Strelitz still has the lead.

Daniel Strelitz 8.5 million
Simeon Naydenov - 7.1 million

Strelitz Pulls Further in Front

Daniel Strelitz made it 225,000 to go preflop, and Simeon Naydenov called to see a flop of [Kd][Qs][2d]. Naydenov check called a bet of 275,000, and both players checked the [2c] turn. The [5c] completed the board, and Naydenov fired out 700,000. Strelitz called, and Naydenov showed [Qx][9x] for two pair.

It was no good though, as Strelitz rolled over [Kh][4h] for a better two pair. He scooped the pot, and has taken a near 3-1 chip lead in this heads-up battle.

Daniel Strelitz - 11.4 million
Simeon Naydenov - 4.2 million

Strelitz Takes Monster Pot on First Hand

On the first hand of heads-up play, Daniel Strelitz raised to 225,000. Simeon Naydenov called, and the flop came down [Qd][Qh][5s]. Naydenov check called a bet of 150,000, and the turn brought the [3s]. Naydenov check called another bet, 525,000 this time, and the [As] completed the board.

A third check from Naydenov drew a third bet from Strelitz. This time it was for 1.4 million. Naydenov called, and Strelitz rolled over [3d][3c] for a full house. Naydenov let out a chuckle, and flashed [Js][8s] for a rivered flush as he kicked his hand in.

After that pot, Strelitz is back in the lead with 9.5 million, while Naydenov falls to 6.1 million.

Heads Up Play Underway

After a short break, Daniel Strelitz and Simeon Naydenov have taken their seats. Naydenov has the lead with 8.475 million, while Strelitz has 7.15 million. With the blinds at 50,000-100,000, we could be looking at a length battle tonight.

Good luck to both!

Jared Griener Eliminated in 3rd Place ($431,340)

After Simeon Naydenov raised in the small blind, Jared Griener moved all in from the big blind. Naydenov thought for a bit before calling, and we were off to the races.

Griener: [Ad][Qd]
Naydenov: [8s][8h]

An ace popped right into the window, but Griener's joy was short lived, as the flop completed [As][9c][8d]. This gave Naydenov a set, and Griener would now need runner runner to win. The [Js] on the turn was one of those cards, as now a ten would do for Griener. The river wasn't a ten, and to rub some salt in, it was the [Qc], giving him two pair, which was still no good.

We are now heads up between Simeon Naydenov and Daniel Strelitz. Naydenov has 8.5 million to the 7.1 million of Strelitz. Heads-up play should start shortly.

Griener Shoves the Turn

All three players saw an all spade flop of [As][Qs][7h], and all three players checked that flop. The [2d] hit the turn, and it checked to Jared Griener, who bet 200,000. Daniel Strelitz called, and Simeon Naydenov raised to 710,000. Griener counted out his chips, and thought for about 45 seconds before moving all in for two million.

Both Strelitz and Naydenov immediately fold, and Griener scoops a nice pot to get back over three million.

Daniel Strelitz - 7.5million
Simeon Naydenov - 5 million
Jared Griener - 3 million

Strelitz Back in the Lead

Simeon Naydenov raised to 200,000 on the button, and Daniel Strelitz reraised to 680,000 in the big blind. Naydenov called, and the flop came down [Jd][7s][4c]. Both players tapped the felt, and the [5c] hit the turn. Strelitz check called a bet of 550,000, and both players checked the [10s] river.

Strelitz tabled [9h][9c], and Naydenov mucks his hand, sending the pot and the chip lead back to Strelitz.

Daniel Strelitz - 6.2 million
Simeon Naydenov - 5.3 million

Exact Counts on Break

Blinds: 40,000-80,000

Simeon Naydenov - 7.11 million
Daniel Strelitz - 4.94 million
Jared Griener - 3.485 million

Griener Shoves the Flop

After a raise to 200,000 from Daniel Strelitz, Jared Griener reraised to 660,000 in the big blind. Strelitz called, and the flop came down [4c][2h][2s]. Griener counted out his chips, and thought for a bit before moving all in. Strelitz eyeballed the stack as it went in, but then he released his hand.

This jumps Griener back up to 3 million, but more importantly, this is the first time in over two days that Strelitz has not had the chip lead, as Naydenov has him outchipped by 100,000.

Naydenov Scores Big Double Through Strelitz

Daniel Strelitz raised to 200,000 from the small blind, and Simeon Naydenov reraised to 660,000 from the big blind. Strelitz moved all in, and Naydenov called to create the biggest pot of the tournament so far.

Strelitz: [Ad][4d]
Naydenov: [7d][7h]

The flop of [Jh][9s][4s] pairs up Strelitz, but keeps Naydenov in the lead. The [6d] on the turn keeps it that way, as does the [5h] on the river.

Naydenov doubles up to 6.1 million while Strelitz tumbles down to 6.9 million after that pot.

Strelitz Nearing Ten Million

After Jared Griener raised to 125,000 from the button, Daniel Strelitz reraised to 435,000 in the small blind. Simeon Naydenov folded, and Griener called to see the flop come down [Qh][6d][2c]. Strelitz bet out 340,000, and Griener thought for a bit before folding.

After that pot, Strelitz is up to 9.8 million, and has about 2/3 of the chips in play.

Mike Sexton Eliminated in 4th Place ($300,690)

Mike Sexton moved all in for the second hand in a row, and Daniel Strelitz quickly called from the big blind.

Mike: [Kd][Kh]
Daniel [Ad][7s]

The flop of [Ac][7c][Js] is a disaster for the WPT Commentator, who now needs a king or runners for a straight. The [9c] on the turn is no help to Sexton, and the river [As] gives Strelitz a full house.

Strelitz is up to 8.3 million after that hand, while a valiant effort from Sexton falls short in fourth place.

Griener Up to 3.5 Million

Jared Griener and Daniel Strelitz go heads up to a flop of [Jd][4s][2d]. Griener fired 100,000, Strelitz called, and the [9s] hit the turn. Griener checked to Strelitz, who bet 175,000. Griener called, and the [2c] completed the board.

Griener checked again, and Strelitz bet out 400,000. Griener spent about a minute in the tank before calling, and Strelitz could only muster up [Qd][3d] for queen high. Griener tabled [Qs][9h] for two pair, and he took down the pot to get up to 3.5 million, while Strelitz falls to 7.5 million.

Updated Chip Counts From the Final Four

Blinds: 25,000-50,000

Daniel Strelitz - 8.08 million
Simeon Naydenov - 4 million
Jared Griener - 2.85 million
Mike Sexton - 680,000

Jesse Martin Eliminated in 5th Place ($230,380)

Action folds around to Jesse Martin in the small blind, and he moves all in for about a million. Jared Griener takes a look at his hand in the big blind, and quickly calls.

Jesse [Qh][6c]
Jared [8s][8h]

The flop brings two face cards, but they are both kings: [Ks][Kc][4d].  The [4h] hits the turn, and Martin will need a queen to win, or a four to chop. The [Ah] comes instead, and Martin wishes the table luck before he heads to the rail.

Griener is up to just under three million after that pot, and we are down to just four players!

Naydenov Takes From Strelitz

Daniel Strelitz, Simeon Naydenov, and Jesse Martin go three ways to a flop of [8c][8s][4d]. It checks to Strelitz, who bets out 180,000. Naydenov is the only caller, and the [Jh] hits the turn. Strelitz checks that card, and Naydenov fires 275,000. Strelitz calls, and both players quickly check. Strelitz shows a four in his hand, but it's no good, as Naydenov rolls over [6c][6h] for a better two pair.

Naydenov is up to 3.6 after that hand, while Strelitz falls back below the seven million mark.

Fortunate River Gives Sexton a Chop

Mike Sexton moved all in preflop, and Daneil Strelitz immediately called out of the big blind.

Mike [Ah][6h]
Strelitz: [Ac][10s]

The flop of [Kh][Qd][3d] doesn't give Sexton much help, as he needs a six or running hearts. The [7c] on the turn doesn't change anything, and at first it doesn't seem like the [3s] river does either. However, announcer Tony Dunst is quick to announce that the card makes it a chopped pot, and Sexton's supporters erupt in cheer knowing that their man is still around for another hand.

Strelitz Three-Bets Preflop

Action folded around to Jared Griener in the small blind, and he raised to 125,000. Daniel Strelitz three-bets from the big blind to 350,000, and Griener calls to see a flop of [Qc][3d][3s]. A check from Griener sees Strelitz bet 225,000, and Griener thinks for about 30 seconds before releasing his hand.

Griener is back below two million after that hand, while Strelitz is up to about 7.5 million.

Few Flops Since the Break

We have seen mostly raise and take it preflop pots since that double up for Jared Griener. Jesse Martin and Mike Sexton have both shoved recently without getting called, while Daniel Strelitz took a couple small pots as well. It seems like another all in confrontation is bound to happen sooner rather than later.

Jesse Martin Shoves Two Hands in a Row

Jesse Martin is the short stack after he shipped the double up to Jared Griener, and he has been active with it, shoving two hands in a row. On the first shove, Griener tanked for a bit before folding, while the second shove saw quick folds all around.

After scooping those pots, Martin has jumped Mike Sexton in the chip counts.

Griener Doubles Through Martin

Action folded around to the small blind Jesse Martin, and he moved all in, having Jared Griener covered in the big blind. Griener looked down at his cards, then called off his final 1.2 million holding [Ac][Qh]. Martin had [Jd][9h], and he would need to improve to knock Griener out. The hand was all but over after the flop came down [As][Ah][7d], giving Griener trip aces. The [9s] on the turn ended the hand, and Griener doubles up to 2.5 million, while Martin falls to a million.

Updated Chip Counts on Break

Mike Sexton has shoved three times now, and wasn't called on any one of them. He and Jared Griener are still the short stacks, while Daniel Strelitz remains the dominant chip leader. Here are the chip counts as we are about to enter the 25,000-50,000 level. 

Daniel Strelitz - 7.12 million
Simeon Naydenov - 3.9 million
Jesse Martin - 2.2 million
Jared Griener - 1.22 million  
Mike Sexton - 1.1 million

Richard Tuhrim Eliminated in 6th Place ($191,490)

Daniel Strelitz raised it up from the button, and Richard Tuhrim moved all in from the big blind. Strelitz immediately called, and the cards were flipped.

Strelitz: [Kc][Qc]
Tuhrim: [As][7s]

The flop of [7d][3d][4c] paired Tuhrim up, but Strelitz could still win with a king or queen. The [9h] on the turn was no help, but the [Kh] slammed down on the river to give Strelitz the winning hand. This leaves us with five players left.

All in and a Call on the Second Hand!

It didn't take us long to see our first all in confrontation, but it ended up being rather anti-climatic. Jesse Martin started the action with a raise to 85,000. Daniel Strelitz three-bet it to 235,000, and it folded back to Martin. He thought for a bit before moving all in for over 2.5 million, and Strelitz scratched his head for a bit before announcing a call.

Strelitz: [Ac][Kh]
Martin: [Ah][Ks]

The flop of [8c][7c][3h] drew a small reaction from the crowd, as it meant that Strelitz could now hit running clubs to take the pot. The turn card was black, but it was the [7s]. Martin breathed a sigh of relief as he headed toward the rail, and the pot was chopped up.

Cards in the Air: Final Table of the LAPC Main Event!

It's time to find out who will become the next champion of the LA Poker Classic, as the final table has just gotten underway! Young pro Daniel Strelitz holds a massive lead with nearly 6.5 million in chips. The next closest stack, Simeon Naydenov, has just under 3 million. All eyes will be on Mike Sexton though. Sexton is usually at the commentator booth for these final tables, but he is making his second appearance on the other side of the felt. His first appearance? Victory at the WPT Montreal Event late last year. It should be a fantastic final table, so let's get it started!

Seat 1: Mike Sexton - 1.165 million
Seat 2: Jesse Martin - 2.54 million
Seat 3: Jared Griener - 1.895 million
Seat 4: Daniel Strelitz - 6.485 million
Seat 5: Simeon Naydenov - 2.86 million
Seat 6: Richard Tuhrim - 680,000