To live or die in L.A... $1 million was on the line at Commerce Casino, located just outside the Los Angeles city limits. Daniel Strelitz won the 2017 L.A. Poker Classic Main Event. The $10K buy-in attracted 521 entrants and had a prize pool that topped $5 million. The California pro survived a tough final table that included bracelet winners Mike Sexton, local cash game pro Jesse Martin, and Bulgarian pro Simeon Naydenov. When the dust settled, Strelitz won his first-ever WPT event. First place paid out a cool $1 million.
He was always a bridesmaid, but never a bride! Dan 'deocyribo' Strelitz came close to winning several major events...both live and online. In 2009, he was runner-up in the Sunday Million on PokerStars. The young up and coming player cashed $177K for his second-place finish. That would be his first six-figure score online and certainly not his last.
Strelitz came close to winning a WSOP bracelet a couple of times. Last summer, he was a runner-up in a 5K NL event and took home $338K for second place. A couple summer earlier, he took third in a 6-handed NL event. Overall, he had won $1.6 million in live events and another $1.1 million in online tournaments.
Ah, but now you can add another million to his career earnings. Strelitz took down a little over $1 million for shipping the WPT LAPC. He also won a $15,000 seat to the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.
Mile Sexton, the voice of the World Poker Tour, made another WPT final table. Last November, Sexton won a WPT event in Montreal in an insane comeback. He could not replicate the feat and busted in fourth place.
Jesse Martin won a WSOP bracelet, but he's a high-stakes cash game grinder in L.A. Martin does not play too many tournaments, but he liked the schedule for this year's LAPC Main Event and decided to take a shot. Martin busted in fifth place.
Strelitz defeated Simeon Naydenov heads-up for the win. Naydenov is the second most successful player from Bulgaria. He won a WSOP bracelet back in 2014.
“It's unbelievable, this is crazy,” Strelitz told the WPT crew in his post-victory interview. “Making this run just feels so good, especially since I've been living in SoCal my whole life. This is the biggest tournament you can win in (Southern California), and to just win it is unbelievable.”