Balakrishna Patur takes down WPT L.A Poker Classic for $1,015,000 payday

Geoff Fisk
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Posted on: May 18, 2021 4:21 pm EDT

Patur earns the biggest score of his poker career with the win

Balakrishna Patur put in the work last March, navigating through a 490-entry field to clinch a spot at the final table of the 2020 WPT L.A. Poker Classic. More than 14 months later, Patur finished the deal and pocketed the biggest payout of his poker career.

Delayed by COVID-19 considerations for more than a year, the 2020 WPT L.A. Poker Classic resumed Tuesday night. The tournament hit the restart button at the six-handed final table, and Patur emerged from that lineup with the win and a $1,015,000 first-place prize.

Patur entered final table play as the chip leader, bagging 6.32 million chips way back on March 4, 2020. Per the World Poker Tour’s standard procedure, all tournaments on the U.S. side of the tour are paused after the final table is set, with play resumed at a later date at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas.

COVID-19 forced several WPT events to endure delays of more than a year. This week saw a trio of WPT events from last spring finally resume at the Luxor.

The L.A. Poker Classic played out as the third of three WPT tournaments to finally finish up this week. The long-running live tournament began at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles on Feb. 29, 2020.

Nearly 15 months after that start date, the tournament crowned Patur as its champion on Monday.

2020 WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table results

PlacePlayer NamePrize
1Balakrishna Patur$1,015,000
2Matas Cimbolas$600,060
3James Carroll$431,585
4Scott Hempel$323,485
5Ka Kwan Lau$243,330
6Upeshka De Silva$185,330

Patur tops all-star final table for biggest career score

Patur might have entered the final table with a tournament-leading stack, but closing out the win came as no easy feat. Four of Patur’s five opponents at the final table boast career tournament earnings in the seven figures.

Among those contenders were Upeshka De Silva (6th – $185,330), Ka Kwan Lau (5th – $243,330), and James Carrol (3rd – $431,5850). Of the final six players, only Patur and Scott Hempel (4th – $323,485) entered Tuesday’s final table with less than a million dollars in career earnings.

Patur’s heads-up opponent, Matas Cimbolas (2nd – $600,060), was seeking his second career WPT title at the L.A. Poker Classic final table. Cimbolas’ previous WPT win came at the 2014 WPT Nottingham UK Main Event, and Cimbolas went into Tuesday’s action seeking to add a U.S.-based WPT championship to his resume.

Destiny favored Patur Tuesday night, however. Both players went into heads-up play with plenty of chips to play with, with Patur (76 big blinds) leading Cimbolas (55 big blinds) according to live reporting from the WPT.

The heads-up portion of the tournament lasted 29 hands, with Patur maintaining the lead throughout. The final hand saw all of the chips go in on both sides preflop, with Patur holding A9 and Cimbolas tabling K6♣.

No help came on the runout for Cimbolas, and Patur’s ace-high held for a championship-clinching pot.

The $1,015,000 score is by far the biggest of Patur’s career. The New Jersey resident has come close to WPT glory before, however, finishing second in the WPT Online Poker Main Event in December 2020.

In an interesting side note, the 2021 L.A. Poker Classic actually finished before the 2020 chapter of the event. The 2021 L.A. Poker Classic ran without the WPT sponsorship, with the entire tournament playing out at the Commerce March 19-21.

Featured image source: Twitter