The WPT L.A. Poker Classic field settled in at 546 players at 108 of them are on to Day 3 at Commerce Casino. Leading the charge is Andrey Zaichenko (pictured), who surged up the leaderboard to bag 946,500. The field is weighted with professionals looking to top Zaichenko but for now, the Russian pro and bracelet winner is top dog heading into Day 3.
“Every big pot, I won,” exclaimed Zaichenko. “I didn’t bluff at all. I played good, I wasn’t loose. Had so many straights and flushes, and every time, they pay me.”
When play starts on Day 3, Zaichenko will be 39 players away from his first cash on the World Poker Tour. A social media friendly 69 players will make the money in LAPC with first place netting out at an even $1 million up top.
David Gonzalez (860,500) was in the driver’s seat for most of the day but is still in a good spot to pick up his first payout on the World Poker Tour. Behind Zaichenko and Gonzalez, a sea of pros lies in waiting.
Brian Yoon (646,500), Ryan Hughes (600,500), and WPT Champions Club member Taylor Paur (523,000) are the three other players with more than a half-million in their bags.
Four-time Champions Club member Darren Elias sits right outside of the primary pack with 385,000. Elias spoke to WPT’s Sean Chaffin on Day 4 about his recent experience speaking to his alma mater and how a professor helped him to chase the poker dream.
Others in the Champions Club with a chance to win another title are James Carroll (321,000), Mike Del Vecchio (256,500), Tony Tran (252,500), JC Tran (155,500), Andy Frankenberger (140,500), Asher Conniff (114,500), Mohsin Charania (88,500), Matas Cimbolas (60,000), and Nam Le (54,500).
WPT Raw Deal host Phil Hellmuth, Season XVI WPT Tournament of Champions winner Matthew Waxman, Randall Emmett, Anthony Zinno, Jennifer Tilly, Maria Ho, Shannon Shorr, ClubWPT qualifer Steve Kintzel, Antonio Esfandiari, and Daniel Strelitz were just a few of the more than 200 players who hit the rail on Day 2.
Season XVII WPT Gardens Poker Festival runner-up Jake Schindler was among the last group of players to register on Day 2 and wound up with 328,500 to play with tomorrow.
1,400 Hublot WPT Player of the Year points sits up top and while a win is a long way away for Schindler, he is one of a few players who can pass current points leader Ping Liu with a podium finish. That list will be culled down quite a bit on Day 3.
Start of Day 2 chip leader Blake Bohn improved on his stack and is in the hunt with 281,000.
72-year-old Purple Heart recipient and Heads Up fan favorite John Smith will compete with 301,000 on Day 3.
Season XVII WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final tablist Joseph Di Rosa Rojas kicked his stack down the road to a grouping of 86,000 in pursuit of his second final table at HyperX Esports Arena starting on March 11.
A full list of chip counts and the Day 3 seat draw can be found here.
Day 3 at Commerce Casino starts at 12 p.m. with the Action Clock presented by Protection Poker in play one table from the money. Every player would like to cash for at least $17,230 but the $1 million set up top is what the real attention is on. Tomorrow, the field will move one step closer to the March 11 final table and the seven-figure dream.
Until then, stay tuned to WPT.com for complete coverage of the WPT L.A. Poker Classic.
Photography by Joe Giron / PokerPhotoArchive.com
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