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[caption width="640"] The World Poker Tour's Five Diamond World Poker Classic returns next week.[/caption] On December 5, the World Poker Tour returns to the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas for the $10,400 buy-in WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event. The six-day affair promises to be a massive event as the tournament has made a millionaire out of every winner since 2012. Looking to take a dive into the deep end? Here’s what players need to know about the tournament itself: the Five Diamond Main Event is one of the deepest offerings on the WPT schedule lasting a full six days with Day 1 starting on December 5 and cards in the air at Noon Las Vegas time. With 90-minute levels (up until the Final Table) and 30,000 in chips, there’s plenty of room to maneuver but should the deck turn cold on you, players are allotted unlimited re-entry through Level 9. That isn’t expected to hit until approximately 5:15 pm on Day 2. Late registration runs until that time as well should your travel schedule keep you from arriving earlier or you’re simply adverse to those pesky “early levels.” One of Las Vegas’ premier poker destinations, the Bellagio Resort and Casino plays host to the tournament as it has since it’s inception as the first event of Season I when a young Danish poker player named Gus Hansen bested the field of 146 to claim the first WPT title and $556,460. In fact, it can be argued that the Five Diamond World Poker Classic is the most recognizable of the WPT tour stops due to it’s rich history of massive prizepools and final tables packed with superstars. A list of past winners of the event reads like a fantasy team of poker all-stars that includes Daniel Negreanu, Joseph Hachem and Eugene Katchalov (when it was briefly re-branded as the Doyle Brunson North American Poker Classic), David ‘Chino’ Rheem, Daniel Alaei, James Dempsey and Antonio Esfandiari. In more recent years, as the number of entries began to swell, some of the most talented rising stars helped solidify their names as top professionals with victories including Mohsin ‘chicagocards1’ Charania, Ravi Raghavan and regular high roller “King” Dan Smith. One of the players to watch here in 2017 is last year’s winner, the defending Five Diamond champion, James Romero. Last year Romero bested a record field of 791 players, including fellow final tablists Justin Bonomo and Jake Schindler to take home over $1.9 million. The victory easily represented the largest score of the young Oregonians career and it not only launched him into the poker spotlight but sent him into a year of live grinding that brought him over $200,000 in earnings in 2017. This is the final event of the calendar year, but it’s just past the halfway point in the WPT season. Still, the chances are fewer for players to catch the current runaway WPT Player of the Year, Art Papazyan. But if history is an indicator, the field is expected to be on the larger size and, with it being the first $10,000 buy-in of the season, first place could be more than double any other first-place prize this season, including the Guo Liang Chen’s $789,058 take home for his win at the Borgata Poker Open. Preliminary events are running now with a pair of $25,000 High Rollers scheduled for December 8 and 9. For those looking to win their way into the Main Event, the Bellagio is holding a series of $1,100 satellites from December 3-6. The Final Table, set to take place on December 10, will be filmed for television complete with anchor Lynn Gilmartin and commentators Vince Van Patten and Tony Dunst on hand. Additionally, every hand will be streamed live via the PokerGo app.
[caption width="640"] 'C Darwin' booked a big win this week and held on to the top spot.[/caption] There was very little change in the top five spots in the PocketFives Rankings this past week, with ‘C Darwin2’ continuing to hold down the top spot thanks to more than 10,000 PLB points. Steven 'SvZff' van Zadelhoff hasn’t moved from #2 and wasn’t able to improve much on the 800-point gap between his current position and #1. ‘C Darwin2’, who has held down the #1 spot for 14 of the last 15 weeks, won the $2,600 buy-in partypoker Super High Roller this week for $52,246 and 469.04 points. Now more than a month removed from his PokerStars WCOOP Main Event victory, van Zadelhoff continues to collect qualifying scores. The Malta resident collected four cashes for 765.58 points. The only change in the top five came at #5 as Andreas 'r4ndomr4gs' Berggren moved from #6 to #5 while ‘veeea’ dropped from #5 to #6. The real movement began at #9 as ‘Ariados’ jumped from #13 to #9 after three cashes on partypoker for a total of 423.03 points. Roman 'Romeopro' Romanovsky moved up one spot from #11 to #10 while former #1-ranked Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen dropped from #9 to #11. Fabrizio 'SixthSense19' Gonzalez fell from #10 to #13. The #2-ranked player in Russia, ‘josef_shvejk’ debuted at #16 this week thanks to three qualifying cashes. Sandwiched in between final-tabling the PokerStars $109 on October 22 and a $530 buy-in partypoker High Roller on October 24, ‘josef_shvejk’ won the partypoker Heavyweight Title Fight on October 22 for $31,639 and 425.44 points. There was plenty of shuffling in spots #11 - #25 with all but four spots changing positions. The only player to drop out of the Top 25 was Russia’s ‘NoPlanB’ who went from #25 to #26. PocketFives Top 25 RANKPLAYERPOINTSPREVIOUS 1C Darwin210,551.811 2Steven 'SvZff' van Zadelhoff9,752.832 3lena9008,556.513 4Joao 'joaosimaobh' Simao8,333.764 5Andreas 'r4ndomr4gs' Berggren7,668.296 6veeea7,594.475 7Sheater7,529.837 8Robin 'inhoo' Ylitalo7,209.738 9Ariados7,003.5913 10Roman 'Romeopro' Romanovsky6,994.9411 11Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen6,986.239 12Laszlo 'omaha4rollz' Bujtas6,944.3512 13Fabrizio 'SixthSense19' Gonzalez6,921.9310 14DeathbyQuads6,857.5620 15Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar6,841.3917 16josef_shvejk6,756.27NR 17Andras 'probirs' Nemeth6,718.1114 18Patrick 'pleno1' Leonard6,700.4218 19nilsef6,631.6319 20Conor '1_conor_b_1' Beresford6,583.8316 21Ramiro 'rayastar' Petrone6,570.5021 22Kenny 'SpaceyFCB' Hallaert6,565.6124 23Jonatan 'Pot4teUS' Hellman6,549.2915 24Pedro 'PaDiLhA SP' Padilha6,523.4422 25Chris 'Apotheosis' Kruk6,490.3023
Hosted by PocketFives President and Editor in Chief Lance Bradley and poker writer Matt Clark, The Fives runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and interview players and industry leaders. DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE IN ITUNES It's Episode 25 and Lance Bradley and Matt Clark are talking about the latest news in the Matt Kirk lawsuit against King's Casino founder Leon Tsoukernik, the ins and outs of the player sharing agreement between New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, the Poker After Dark big game and the Triton Cup.
Running February 1-9, Poker Central presents the US Poker Open, a series of made-for-streaming high-roller events. The ARIA Resort and Casino is set to host eight events of intense high stakes action that pits the best in the world (and those that have the cash to challenge them) in a series of tournaments that include the disciplines of No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha and an Eight-Game Mix event. A high stakes pro looking to play every event is going to need to have a healthy amount of cash on hand as the total for just firing a single bullet in each event will run $180,000. The scheduled breakdown of events includes two $10,000 No Limit Hold’em contests, three $25,000 No Limit Hold’em, one $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha, the $25,000 Mixed Game Championship and the $50,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event. All of the events are single re-entry. The majority of the No Limit Hold’em tournaments, as well as the lone Pot Limit Omaha tournament, are scheduled to run for two days. The Mixed Game Championship and the $50,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event are slated for three days. The Mixed Game Championship features a bevy of games that audiences aren’t used to seeing broadcast including Limit Hold’em, 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw, Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, Razz, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better as well as mainstays No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha. Much like the Poker Masters, where a tailored Purple Jacket was presented to the winner, the inaugural USPO comes with a special trophy that will be bestowed upon the player who performs the best over the course of the series. The best part for poker fans is that the entire slate of events will be available for viewing on PokerGO. Veteran poker announcer Ali Nejad will be joined by World Series of Poker Main Event final table participant Jeremy Ausmus in calling all of the action. Every final table will be live-streamed and both the $25,000 Mixed Game Championship and the $50,000 Main Event will be shown from Day 2 through the crowning of a winner. As to who will show up to claim the newly made trophy that’s anyone’s guess, but a few players are speaking up and throwing their hat in the ring. Poker Central ambassador Daniel Negreanu is looking to play all the events, even offering another “must-win” prop bet of $50,000 against all comers. One of those who may take him up on the offer is Phil Hellmuth who is currently in Los Angeles shooting segments of “The Raw Deal” for the World Poker Tour. He's just a private plane ride away from Las Vegas. The GPI American Player of the Year Bryn Kenney took to Twitter looking to bet on himself to win the trophy. Adrian Mateos, coming off his runner-up finish in the $25,500 Lucky Hearts Poker Open High Roller, has also confirmed he’ll be firing in some events including the Main Event. While attendance for any poker events is never assured, other possible (and perhaps, likely) attendees include Nick Schulman, since he’s not in the broadcast booth. Also perhaps a trio of partypoker ambassadors in Jason Koon, Isaac Haxton and Fedor Holz. The Aria is an Uber ride away for Las Vegas residents Brian Rast, Tom Marchese, and Andrew Robl if they are in town. It’s also likely that viewers will the chance to see some of brave “businessmen” taking their shots including PokerStars PCA High Roller Champion Cary Katz, Lauren Roberts and Streamboat captain Bill Perkins. While the cards are in the air on February 1, viewers will get their chance to watch it all go down starting on Feb 2 with the final table of Event #1. US Poker Open Schedule of Events February 1 - $10,000 No Limit Hold'em February 2 - $10,000 Pot Limit Hold'em February 3 - $25,000 No Limit Hold'em February 5 - $25,000 Mixed Game Championship February 6 - $10,000 No Limit Hold'em February 7 - $25,000 No Limit Hold'em February 8 - $25,000 No Limit Hold'em February 9 - $50,000 No Limit Hold'em MAIN EVENT