The World Poker Tour traveled to the Bicycle Casino on Aug. 18 for the $1 million guaranteed WPT500 Los Angeles event. A total of 2,509 entrants joined the action in the span of 16 starting flights to put the prize pool up to $1,254,500. Day 2 started on Aug. 26 with 125 runners and finished up with the final nine playing to a winner on Aug. 27.
Michael Copeland finished on top of the field after starting the final table as chip leader to win the $181,950 first-place prize.
Final table lineup
Seat 1: Jorge Pineda – 7,200,000 (36 bb)
Seat 2: Erik Nason – 5,375,000 (27 bb)
Seat 3: Michael Copeland – 19,000,000 (95 bb)
Seat 4: Luke Nguyen – 2,775,000 (14 bb)
Seat 5: Jose Torres – 3,250,000 (16 bb)
Seat 6: Aaron Messmer – 4,725,000 (24 bb)
Seat 7: Travis Tachibana – 2,500,000 (13 bb)
Seat 8: Alexander Beleson – 2,250,000 (11 bb)
Seat 9: Sanjay Mayekar – 1,875,000 (9 bb)
Pineda does the early dirty work
Copeland’s wide chip margin at the start of the final table left a lot of ground to be made up by his competitors. Jorge Pineda did himself a few favors right away with two eliminations to bring the field down to seven.
Pineda busted Alexander Beleson with pocket aces versus ace-queen in the first level of the day to pick up a dozen big blinds. In the same level, Pineda sent Travis Tachibana out when his pocket queens held versus the ace-four offsuit of Tachibana.
Copeland regains control
Pineda lightened the field and Copeland then resumed building his stack in anticipation of shorthanded play.
With the blinds up to 125,000/250,000, Copeland dispatched Sanjay Mayekar’s last 4.325 million as a result of pocket kings flopping a set versus ace-queen after all the chips went in preflop.
Copeland added to his advantage by taking out Luke Nguyen. King-jack for Copeland turned a pair against Nguyen’s pocket sixes to put Copeland in front for the remainder of the event.
From five to two
The journey to heads-up play was quick with the blinds reaching peak proportions. Copeland and Pineda combined to hold 35 of the 50 million chips in play at this juncture. Soon enough, the pair was heads-up for the WPT500 title.
Erik Nason fell to Aaron Messmer to go out in fifth place. Nason shoved 4.65 million under the gun at big blind 300,000 with king-ten offsuit and Messmer called in the small blind with two nines. Messmer flopped a set and Nason failed to improve.
Messmer disposed of Jose Torres in fourth place to give himself a fighting chance three-handed. Torres pushed in 12 big blinds on the button with king-six offsuit and was met by Messmer’s ace-jack of hearts in the small blind. A straight draw flopped for Torres but he did not catch anything else to give him the pot.
Copeland felted Messmer and brought a strong chip lead into heads-up action versus Pineda.
The blinds were 250,000/500,000 when Messmer jammed 6.9 million on the button with seven-four of hearts. Copeland called in the big blind with ace-eight of diamonds. An ace appeared on the flop and Messmer never caught up.
Copeland started heads-up play with 71 big blinds to the 31 of Pineda and wasted little time in locking up the win.
Pineda moved all-in on the button for 20 bigs with ten-nine offsuit and Copeland found ace-jack of clubs to call. Both players flopped the better of their high cards to pair and Copeland survived to the finish line.
Final table results
1st place: Michael Copeland – $181,950
2nd place: Jorge Pineda – $120,610
3rd place: Aaron Messmer – $87,565
4th place: Jose Torres – $65,330
5th place: Erik Nason – $49,270
6th place: Luke Nguyen – $37,565
7th place: Sanjay Mayekar – $28,960
8th place: Travis Tachibana – $22,570
9th place: Alexander Beleson – $17,790
Lead image courtesy of WPT/Flickr