LA Poker Classic Day 1: Ryan Laplante, Ted Forrest Among Big Stacks

Plethora of Big Names Advance to Day 2 at 2020 LA Poker Classic

At the end of Day 1 of the 2020 LA Poker Classic, Demo Kiriopoulos bagged the biggest stack among the many talented pros in attendance. Many other well-known pros, including Ted Forrest, also finished the day with impressive stacks.

LA poker classic Ted Forrest

Ted Forrest built up a big stack on Day 1 at the WPT LA Poker Classic. (Image:

Forrest, a six-time WSOP bracelet winner and WPT champion left the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles on Saturday night with 135,200 chips, which puts him well above the average stack. Kiriopoulos, the chip leader, bagged 255,600.

The bad news for Kiriopoulos is the Day 1 chip leader rarely wins lengthy, large-field tournaments. This year’s $10,000 buy-in WPT LA Poker Classic had 461 entries on Saturday. Of those, 271 advanced to Day 2, but that doesn’t include the defending champ — David “ODB” Baker — who already busted.

Registration remains open until around 3:30 pm on Sunday, or the start of Level 11. Re-entry isn’t allowed, which means, with Baker’s elimination, the tournament is guaranteed to have a different champion this year. Play resumes at noon PT on Sunday.

LAPC Brings Out the Old-School Legends

One of the many things poker players love about the LA Poker Classic is that they always seem to run into some of the old-school greats who are no longer regulars in the poker community or on the World Poker Tour. Forrest, known more for his prowess in high-stakes stud and mixed games, is certainly one of those players.

He doesn’t grind the tournament circuit these days, and it’s been over a decade since his last WPT cash. But he’s back in action in Los Angeles in search of his first World Poker Tour title since the 2007 Bay 101 Shooting Star.

Forrest isn’t the only old-school pro who bagged chips on Saturday. John Hennigan (103,700), John Esposito (90,100), Barry Greenstein (57,200), Joe Hachem (41,700), Billy Baxter (39,500), Layne Flack (37,300), and Mike Sexton (24,200), will all be back looking to chip up on Sunday.

As for the new-school pros, many other big names bagged and tagged on Day 1. That list includes CardsChat ambassador Ryan Laplante (176,000), recent WPT Fallsview Poker Classic champion Eric Afriat (111,000), Chance Kornuth (96,500), and high-roller superstar Ali Imsirovic (72,300).

Other Notable LA Poker Classic Day 1 Chip Stacks

  • Kelly Minkin (71,600)
  • Chris Moorman (67,500)
  • Bill Klein (63,600)
  • J.C. Tran (56,500)
  • Kristen Bicknell (55,400)
  • Sam Soverel (34,500)
  • Richard Seymour (28,000)

You can bet on many other big-name players late registering on Sunday. The 2020 LA Poker Classic is scheduled to run until March 4 in Los Angeles when it plays down to the final table. The final table will then shift to Las Vegas on April 2 at the HyperX Esports Arena inside the Luxor, for the second straight year.

Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

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