For the first two days, Nick Maimone maintained a chip lead at the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic. For the second two days, Daniel Strelitz lorded over the remaining field with the biggest chip stack as he has finished Day 3 and now Day 4 as the leader with 2,020,000.
WPT commentator and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton also remains in the hunt after bagging the eighth biggest stack with 908,000 as blinds head to 10,000/20,000/3,000 with just 18 of 521 players remaining.
Sexton hit a nice double to about 60 big blinds early on when he called a four-bet shove from Simeon Naydenov holding . He was glad to see Naydenov turn over a dominated and a king on the flop ended any suspense for Sexton’s tournament life.
After losing with a set of tens to John Conkright’s open-ended straight draw that turned into a backdoor flush, Sexton was back down to 34 big blinds. However, a couple of timely pairs of aces in the hole propelled him back up. First, Rainer Kempe three-bet and called a four-bet shove from Sexton while holding tens and watched as the rockets held up unimproved.
Then, Sexton opened to 27,000 at 6,000/12,000/2,000 and Kempe again came after him with a reraise to 84,000 in the hijack. Bart Hanson put in the cold four-bet to 225,000 and Sexton stuck his 554,000 in. Hanson called with kings after Kempe mucked, but he needed to catch against Sexton’s aces. After a dead runout, Sexton had more than 100 big blinds.
Matt Berkey was another player continuing a strong run, bagging in fifth with 1,118,000. Berkey made a huge call with ace-high on Day 2 of the event and proved it was no fluke as he did so again on Day 4.
This time, Berkey saw an early raise and two callers were in front of him before he looked down at . He put in a reraise to 100,000 and both flatters — Danny Fuhs and defending champ Dietrich Fast — called. The flop came and Berkey bet 80,000, receiving action from only Fast. After both checked the , Fast put Berkey all in for 245,000. Berkey tanked until Fast clocked him and then eventually called, winning against .
The defending champ was unable to recover and his spirited bid for a second straight title ended when he lost a flip to Fuhs. Other notable eliminations included Mohsin Charania, Seth Berger, Gavin Griffin, Garrett Greer, Nam Le, and Hanson. Maimone who finished in 34th after running ace-king into William Vo’s kings.
Live updates for Day 5 are available here.
Top 10 Chip Counts
Photo courtesy of WPT
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