The 2018 edition of the WPT500 Los Angeles is now in the books. The tournament drew 2,509 entries who challenged their luck and tested their skills against each other at one of California’s hottest poker destinations – The Bicycle Casino. In the end, it was Michael Copeland who posed for a celebratory picture and then pocketed the first-place prize of $181,950 for outlasting his many opponents.
The final day of the tournament was played on Monday at the host casino. Nine players returned to play the final table and determine the champion. And Copeland led them into that final stage of the game with a massive chip lead.
It was a relatively short day at The Bike. The final table took less than four hours for the start-of-the-day field of nine to be whittled down to the champion. The first elimination occurred half an hour into action when Alexander Beleson’s [Ac][Qs] ran into Jorge Pineda’s pocket aces. An ace on the flopped pretty much sealed it for Pineda, while Beleson hit the rail for $17,790.
Players walked out one after another until there were just two players left at the table. More about the heads-up duel shortly. It is first important to note that Copeland entered the final day of the WPT500 as the chip leader with a massive advantage over the rest in contention with his stack of 19 million. And he never really lost momentum throughout the day.
The eventual champion was the first and only one to pass the 30 million chip mark yesterday. That happened during three-handed play. At that point, he was in possession of half of all chips in play.
Copeland faced Pineda heads-up. The eventual winner had nearly three times more chips than his final opponent at the time cards were thrown in the air for the two-handed match. And it was not a long battle. It actually took around ten minutes for Copeland to finish off his last opponent.
On what turned out to be the final hand of the tournament, Pineda shoved pre-flop for 10.125 million and Copeland called. The eventual winner flipped over [Ac][Jc] to Pineda’s [10c][9h]. The board ran out [Ad][10s][8c][8s][4s] to bring the tournament to an end. Pineda hit the rail in second place, good for a cash prize of $120,610.
The WPT500 Los Angeles was the second event of the WPT500 series to take place this year, which means that it closed the popular WPT brand’s fifth season. The event featured a record number of starting flights – 16 overall. As mentioned earlier, it attracted a little over 2,509 entries who paid a buy-in fee of $570 to generate a prize pool of $1,254,500. Each of the nine players who played the final table was guaranteed a minimum cash of $17,790. And the winner scooped a first-place prize of $181,950, the WPT500 champion’s trophy and another trophy from the host casino.