LA Poker Classic Main Event - Day 5
2006, Jason Kirk  

After an intense session on Day Four, which saw 17 players eliminated from the field to leave a single ten-handed table, the action was sure to be quick on Day Five. Rather than play through to the money the previous evening, the WPT had stuck to the previous schedule even though only four players had to be eliminated on Day Five to make the TV table lineup. The ten players coming into the day's action were seated as follows:

1 Steven Simmons $1,270,000
2 JC Tran $1,245,000
3 Anahit Galajian $480,000
4 Kevan Casey $2,030,000
5 David Chiu $305,000
6 Michael McClain $664,000
7 Michael Woo $1,665,000
8 Alan Goehring $2,315,000
9 Daniel Quach $1,425,000
10 Per Ummer $2,455,000

Less than fifteen minutes after the day began, David Chiu became the first casualty of Day Five. He limped into a pot with JC Tran, Alan Goehring, and Kevan Casey, and saw a flop of Q-7-5 with two spades. Casey led out for $70,000, Chiu called, and Tran raised an additional $140,000. That knocked Casey out of the pot, but Chiu was committed and called off the rest of his stack. His 8-6 gave him an open-ended straight draw, but Tran's Q-9 and top pair held up to send Chiu home in 10th place with $73,075.

Only minutes later, Michael McClain - the "Agony of Defeat" man from ESPN's 2004 WSOP coverage, was eliminated in 9th place. When two players limped in front of him, McClain moved all-in on the button in a steal attempt with T-3 offsuit. Unfortunately for McClain, Michael Woo woke up with Q-Q in the small blind and ended his tournament. McClain earned $99,648 for his performance.

The level would go up to $20,000-$40,000 with a $5,000 ante and an hour and a half would pass before Kevn Casey became the 8th place finisher. Alan Goehring, JC Tran, Kevan Casey, and Michael Woo all limped in to see a flop of T-3-2 with two clubs. Casey led out from the small blind for $100,000, and his only caller was Tran. The turn brought the 5 of hearts. Casey led out again, this time for $300,000, and Tran once again called. The river was the jack of diamonds. Casey led out a third time for $200,000, but this time Tran raised to $500,000. Casey pushed all-in and Tran called instantly, showing 5-5 for a set against Casey's 5-2 of clubs. Casey held the chip lead at various points through Day Tree and Four, and played well to get to 8th place and $132,864.

Anahit Galajian had nursed her short stack through the last two days of play and survived to the final seven players. It was obvious that she wanted badly to make the TV table, but the odds were stacked against her. From the big blind, she came over the top of Daniel Quach's middle position raise with A-6 of spades and was called down by Quach. He turned up 9-9, making him a solid favorite to win the hand. The J-8-4 flop brought two spades to give Galajian hope, but her flush draw never came home and she was eliminated on the TV bubble in 7th place with $166,080.

In less than 3 hours, play was completed for the day, surely setting an all-time record for the shortest day of WPT tournament play. With the TV table set, players and spectators alike would have to wait until Tuesday to find out who would take home the title - and the $2.3 million for 1st place.

TV Table Chip Counts

1. JC Tran 3,720,000
2. Per Ummer 2,870,000
3. Michael Woo 2,195,000
4. Alan Goehring 1,900,000
5. Daniel Quach 1,655,000
6. Steven Simmons 1,505,000

Day Five Money Winners

7th Anahit Galajian - $166,080
8th Kevan Casey - $132,864
9th Michael McClain - $99,648
10th David Chiu - $73,075

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