Nearly 3,500 people entered the opening event of the 2018 LA Poker Classic, a $350 buy-in event that posted a whopping $1 Million Guarantee. After a week of play, the dust settled with Northern Californian and part-time professional Chris Hinchcliffe finishing on top of a three way chop, earning over $142,000 for his efforts, the second biggest cash of his career, and biggest since 2004.
“I feel outstanding. I’ve been heads up here at the LAPC twice and this time it was an ICM chop 3 handed I had 56 million of the 90 million in play and the short stack offered it. The other guy offered it, and I gotta work, so I’m happy for the win and ready to get back to work,” Hinchcliffe said after his victory.
Hinchcliffe came into the final table fifth in chips of nine, but despite having the second most tournament earnings at the final table, he told us after his victory that he had been struggling with his confidence.
“To be very honest with you, my conversations with my friends was that my confidence was pretty low. This is my third final table in consecutive weekends, first was a 30k, last weekend was a 100k, and now this, but my confidence, I didn’t feel like I was doing what I needed to win.”
Jonathan Khalifa started the final table as the chip leader, and extended that lead with a double knockout on the first hand. But from there, it was all Hinchcliffe, as he would eliminate three of the next four players on his way to a hefty three handed chip lead. The final three looked at an ICM chop, and agreed after moving some small numbers around.
“I told my friends this morning was that I was going to approach it like single table satellite. I was going to approach it in the fashion of, I’m going to see what other people are doing, let them make their moves, and then apply pressure with my premium hands. And fortunately it worked out. I didn’t think it could happen until I got most of the chips and then I thought, we can play it out or chop either way I’m winning,” he said after the win.
Hinchcliffe lives up in the Thunder Valley area, but was convinced by tournament director Justin Hammer to come down and play the Million Guaranteed, despite there being a $300,000 Guaranteed Event at his home casino. It turned out to be a good decision, and one that has changed his schedule for the rest of the series.
“It absolutely changes my plans I will definitely be playing the Main this year. I have yet to play in that ever. And I’ll be back for three other events I’m aware of, but I do have a job, so whatever my schedule allows I will play and now I’m going to rush back to Thunder Valley and play the Monster stack.”
Congratulations again to Chris Hinchcliffe on winning the opening event of the 2018 LAPC! For those who enjoyed the special big blind ante structure that this event used, you can look forward to seeing it again in most or all of the $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em Events.