DeMaci Leads, Mercier Headlines NAPT L.A. Final 8

Jason Mercier
Jason Mercier

Chris DeMaci will take a massive chip lead into a star-studded final table at NAPT Los Angeles Wednesday.

The 27-year-old pro from Newport Beach, California has earned more than a million dollars online and needs just a sixth-place finish to eclipse his largest live cash to date – a $98,933 score he collected finishing seventh in one of the many $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em bracelet events at the 2009 WSOP.

But despite a 2.5 million chip lead on his nearest competitor, the final table will be no cake walk for DeMaci.

Team PokerStars Pro and PokerListings blogger Jason Mercier will bring his better than $5 million in career earnings and a boatload of final table experience to the final Thursday.

The hottest player in poker over the past three years, Mercier will come in second in chips looking to secure his second NAPT title after a win in the NAPT Mohegan Sun High Roller Bounty Shootout this past April.

Plus, WPT title holder Joe Tehan and 2006 WSOP Main Event third-place finisher Michael Binger are in the mix.

2007 WSOP Main Event 12th-place finisher Ray Henson, Canadian Team PokerStars Pro Anh Van Nguyen, New Yorker Al Grimes and 21-year-old Penn State student Jacob Toole make up the rest of the final eight.

The $5k PokerStars NAPT L.A. main event drew 701 players to the Bicycle Casino, creating a $3.2 million prize pool with $725,000 reserved for first.

The final table will go off at 2 p.m. PT Wednesday at the Crystal Casino & Hotel in Compton, California to accommodate the ESPN2 film crew.

Here's how the final eight stack up:

1 Christopher Demaci 6,283,000

2 Jason Mercier 3,800,000

3 Ray Henson 3,268,000

4 Jacob Toole 1,975,000

5 Joe Tehan 1,907,000

6 Michael Binger 1,670,000

7 Anh Van Nguyen 1,058,000

8 Al Grimes 982,000

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