Cornel Andrew Cimpan Captures LAPC Title
February 27, 2022

In his pre-final table World Poker Tour interview (hosted by Amanda Leatherman), Cornel Andrew Cimpan commented that even with the tough competition, he had never before felt so comfortable as a short stack in a tournament. Well apparently that feeling continued, because despite entering the stacked final table of the WPT L.A. Poker Classic with the second shortest stack of the six, Cimpan eventually was able to claim the prestigious title, along with a top prize worth $1,686,760.

Cimpan started the day with 1,740,000 in tournament chips, ahead of only Chris "Jesus" Ferguson with 1,565,000, and substantially behind chip leader and previous WPT champion Chris Karagulleyan's stack of 4,080,000. Given Ferguson's vast experience, many wouldn't have been surprised to see him rally back to life, but few focused much on Cimpan, whose solid, snug style of play went largely unnoticed by the poker pundits.

Ferguson, for the record, did build his way out of the basement numerous times during the final table but it seemed whenever he would begin to make real progress something would knock him down again. Eventually "Jesus" went out exactly where a computer using ICM (Independent Chip Modeling) or some similar process would have predicted, sixth place out of sixth.

The other big guns at the table, including online pro Mike "SowersUNCC" Sowers, didn't fare much better. Neither Sowers nor Karagulleyan were able to make it into the heads-up portion of the evening, leaving Cimpan to compete against Bihn Nguyen, who until today was even less known in the poker world than Cimpan was.

The heads-up battle raged for more than five hours but eventually after a series of fortunate double-ups, Cimpan was able to dispatch Nguyen and earn the right to call himself a WPT champion.

The final table finish positions for the 2009 WPT L.A. Poker Classic were as follows:

1st. Cornel Andrew Cimpan - $1,686,760

2nd. Binh Nguyen - $935,424

3rd. Mike Sowers - $654,797

4th. Chris Karagulleyan - $430,963

5th. Pat Walsh - $310,694

6th. Chris "Jesus" Ferguson - $240,538

For more information on yesterday's exciting final table at the Commerce Casino, visit, for updates, photos and plenty of Amanda Leatherman videos, bringing you all the stories you want to know straight from the tournament floor.

Story by Mark Anderson

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