Eric Hershler merciless winner of L.A. Poker Classic

Eric Hershler

One hand of heads-up play against J.C. Tran was all Eric Hershler needed to seal the victory in the L.A. Poker Classic. His two-pair of jacks and sixes proved to be worth $1,252,960 - the difference in prize money between first and second place. In total, Hershler won $2,429,970, a World Poker Tour (WPT) ring, and a seat in the WPT Championship.

Before the final hand of the WPT tournament, Hershler had a narrow lead with $8.5 million in chips against J.C. Tran's $7.3 million, and everyone at the Commerce Casino expected to see a tough heads-up battle between the two.

Eric Hershler, however, had other plans. When the money presentation ceremony that is standard with two players left in a WPT event was over, Hershler was merciless.

He limped in from the small blind in the first hand of heads-up play, and then called again when Tran raised $700,000. The flop came Ad-Jc-6s, and Tran bet $1,200,000. Hershler pondered the situation for a long time, and then finally moved all-in, and Tran called.

Hershler showed Jd-6d for two pair, and Tran flipped over Ac-7c for a pair of aces. No card came to save Tran on the turn or river, and Eric Hershler had won the L.A. Poker Classic.

"I was already in for $400,000 and he raised it $700,000 before the flop. I think if you had been monitoring me before that you never would have been able to put me on J-6. I thought that if a jack and a six came, or running sixes, I could bury him. The miracle flop came and he had an ace, he just couldn't put me on J-6," Hershler told in a post-tournament interview.

The abrupt ending to the tournament stood in great contrast to the slow start of the final day. It took several hours before the first player, David Bach, had to leave the final table, eliminated by Eric Hershler.

J.C. Tran then took out Chau Giang and Paul Wasicka, before Hershler busted Jacobo Fernandez to set up the heads-up described above.

If you want to know more about the many dramatic hands played on the final table, you will find everything you need in the Live Tournament Section. There you will also find exclusive interviews and blogs from reporters Owen Laukkanen and Matt Showell.

Final table results from the L.A. Poker Classic:

1 Eric Hershler $2,429,970
2 J.C. Tran $1,177,010
3 Jacobo Fernandez $607,490
4 Paul Wasicka $455,615
5 Chau Giang $341,710
6 David Bach $257,425

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