Art Papazyan will look to capture his third WPT title of Season XVI in the L.A. Poker Classic. (WPT photo)

Art Papazyan won the 2017 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Thursday night at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles (WPT photo/Joe Giron)

The final table of the World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Thursday night in Los Angeles was a star-studded affair highlighted by Phil Hellmuth chasing his first WPT title. In the end though it was local cash game pro Art Papazyan who emerged victorious, beating Hellmuth heads up to capture his first WPT title and $668,692.

Joining Hellmuth at the final table were two two-time WPT champions J.C Tran and Marvin Rettenmaier.

Hellmuth started the six-handed TV final table third in chips and it took just eight hands for him to get some momentum going. He raised to 200,000 from the cutoff, Adam Swan moved all in from the small blind for 1,280,000 and Hellmuth called instantly. Swan showed AdJh and Hellmuth tabled QcQs. The KcJs3h flop kept Hellmuth in front and neither the 6d turn or 4h were any help for Swan and he was out in sixth.

Just 30 minutes later, one of the two-time WPT champions at the final table was eliminated. Rettenmaier moved all in from the button for 895,000 and both Art Papazyan and JC Tran defended their blinds. The flop came 8s6s3c, Papazyan checked, Tran bet 650,000 and Papazyan folded. Rettenmaier turned over QhTc and Tran showed 8d8h for top set. Rettenmaier could only collect his things after the Jd turn and 4h river failed to keep him alive.

The first two eliminations came within the first hour, but the remaining four players wanted no part of continuing the fast bustout trend. It took nearly six hours before another player hit the rail.

Hellmuth limped from the button, DJ Alexander called from the small blind before Papazyan shoved from the big blind. Hellmuth folded and Alexander called. Papazyan turned over Ah6h and Alexander showed Ad2d. The Td8s6c flop made a chopped pot an unlikely scenario and left Alexander drawing to running diamonds, deuces or ten-eight. The Jh turn ended all drama and Alexander was eliminated in fourth place. The meaningless river was the 9c.

One hour later the other two-time champion at the table saw his run end early. JC Tran came into the day with the chip lead but after surrendering it to Papazyan, found himself shaking hands on his way out the door a few hands later. Tran moved all in from the button for his last 3,000,000, Hellmuth called from the small blind and Papazyan folded the big. Tran showed AdTs and found himself ahead of Hellmuth’s KhQh. The KdJh5s flop put Hellmuth ahead, but gave Tran a Broadway draw to go with his ace. The turn was the 4h to take away two of Tran’s outs. The 2d river was a complete blank and Tran was eliminated in third place.

The two players were nearly dead-even in chips when heads up play began. Papazyan had just two more big blinds than Hellmuth but that didn’t make for a long battle between the two. It took just 13 hands for Papazyan, who makes his living playing high stakes cash games in the L.A. area, to finish Hellmuth off.

On the final hand, facing a 3.5-1 chip deficit, Hellmuth opened to 600,000 and then called when Papazyan moved all in. Hellmuth found himself in great shape with AhKd against Papazyan’s KcQs. The QhTh8c flop changed everything though as Papazyan moved ahead with a pair of queens. The 5h turn gave Hellmuth a flush draw to go with his straight draw and ace. The river though was the 3s and Hellmuth simply stared at the board for a minute, realizing he was out in second place and denied his first WPT title.

Papazyan’s win earned him $668,692 and his first WPT title.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Art Papazyan – $668,692
  2. Phil Hellmuth – $364,370
  3. J.C. Tran – $217,040
  4. D.J. Alexander – $161,490
  5. Marvin Rettenmaier – $120,775
  6. Adam Swan – $91,825