Phil Ivey has been playing the "close-but-not-quite" game with the World Poker Tour for quite some time. After seven previous final-table finishes in events, Ivey finally got his win Thursday night at the L.A. Poker Classic.
When the televised final table began play on Thursday, Phil Ivey was sitting pretty well in the lead with $4,100,000 in chips. His closest competitor was Scott Montgomery with $2,680,000, but not far behind him was Phil Hellmuth.
As Owen Laukkanen so succinctly put it in his blog:
"It was pretty well Steve Lipscomb's best-case scenario. Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth, together two of the most successful and recognizable poker players on the planet, both facing off under the mood lighting for a shot at their first WPT title ever."
Hellmuth First to Exit Proceedings
However, Hellmuth would be the first person to exit the proceedings, leaving Ivey to battle Montgomery, Charles Moore, Quinn Do and Nam Le.
Hellmuth's slide toward the rail started when a short-stacked Le doubled through him. Hellmuth lost a chunk of his chips, and his cool, causing him to open-shove a few hands later with A-9 and get a call from Moore with A-Q.
The board came A-J-2-7-Q, leaving Hellmuth plenty of time to get back to Las Vegas for today's National Heads-Up Poker Championship start.
Despite coming in with the second-highest chip stack, Montgomery was the next to go. Meanwhile Ivey was building back his lead after donating a large portion of it to Moore soon after play began.
In the end it came down to Ivey and Do in heads-up action. There wasn't much action to watch though as it took only two hands for Ivey to finally get his WPT title.
The final-table results were:
For more in-depth analysis of the L.A. Poker Classic and how the final table played out, check out our Live Tournaments section.