With just five events to go, the 15th season of the World Poker Tour is rolling towards the Tournament of Champions. Last week's event was held in Los Angeles at the Commerce Casino and it was fitting that the winner is a California native that grew up about 25 miles from Commerce. He had come close in the past in other World Poker Tour events, but Daniel Strelitz has finally cashed in on a huge win.
He last won in January 2016 in an eight-handed H.O.R.S.E tournament in the Bahamas, and since then he has been pretty consistent in making deep runs but has failed to close the deal. He finished second at a $5,000 No Limit Hold 'Em World Series Of Poker tournament in Las Vegas last June and then he finished fifth in a $25,500 No Limit Hold 'Em event in Hollywood, Florida two months later. However, after finishing 87th in a World Poker Tour event in Los Angeles in February, Strelitz routed the field for a massive win at the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic. There was a $10,000 buy-in for this No Limit Hold 'Em event and Strelitz maintained his grip almost the whole way as he was the chip leader at the end of all three days.
Taking a closer look at the final table, it didn't take long for Richard Tuhrim to exit as he was bounced in seven hands. He was taken out by Strelitz but Tuhrim still took home $191,490 for his efforts. Next was Jesse Martin, who was eliminated by Jared Griener, but a fifth-place result would net Martin $230,380. In fourth place was Mike Sexton, who is known for being a commentator on the World Poker Tour, and he won the event in Montreal in November. Again, the eventual winner would strike as he beat Sexton on a flop, leaving Sexton to take home $300,690.
Griener would make it to third place, which earned him $431,340 as he spent a while watching Strelitz and Bulgaria's Simeon Naydenov go head-to-head. However, eventually Naydenov would take down Griener, setting up a heads-up showdown with Strelitz. Naydenov was actually leading going into this one-on-one matchup but that didn't last long as Strelitz slowly built up his lead. On the 183rd hand of the final table, Strelitz would finish the Bulgarian off.
Naydenov would still win $672,190 for his efforts, but the big winner was obviously Strelitz, who won a cool million dollars; $1,001,110, to be exact. It was, by far, the biggest win of his career and it meant that much more to Strelitz that it was in Southern California, which is his stomping grounds.
Next on the World Poker Tour schedule is the Bay 101 Shooting star, which is held at the Bay 101 Casino in San Jose and will begin on March 6. The Tournament of Champions is on April 7, and with three tournaments to go there are only a trio of chances to make it to the finale at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, which actually hosts the last three events of the season.