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[caption width="640"] James Romero earned almost million and etched his name on the WPT Champions Cup with his Season XV Five Diamond Win.(WPT photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] The World Poker Tour Five Diamond Poker Classic is one of the tougher WPT fields each year. The Bellagio event draws some of the best poker players in the world to Las Vegas each December and the list of previous champions is a testament to that. Daniel Negreanu, Gus Hansen, Mohsin Charania, Dan Smith and Antonio Esfandiari are just a few of the players who have captured the title. The record-sized field that showed up in Las Vegas this past week for the Season XV Five Diamond Classic was star-studded, but in the end it was a relatively unknown player, playing his first WPT event, that managed to capture the title and the nearly $2,000,000 first place prize. James Romero topped a final table that included Justin Bonomo, Igor Yaroshevskyy and Jake Schindler to earn the first live win of his career. Romero came in to the final table with over 40% of the chips in play and never relinquished his lead, eliminating four of the five players that stood between himself and the title. Yaroshevskyy was one of just two players at this final table and came in*with the fourth largest stack, but that didn't stop him from being the first*player eliminated. With blinds at 50,000/100,000, Yaroshevskyy moved all in*from UTG for 1,420,000 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="ts"] and Romero called from the big blind with*[poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="7h"][poker card="2h"][poker card="2d"] flop left Romero ahead and when Yaroshevskyy failed* to connect with the [poker card="9c"] turn or [poker card="3d"] river he was out in sixth place. The*$268,545 sixth place cash is he third biggest of his career, falling behind his*second place in a 2015 World Series of Poker $5000 NLHE Turbo ($303,767) and a*fourth place finish at the 2015 WPT LA Poker Classic ($333,680). Two hands later Justin Bonomo joined Yaroshevskyy in the payouts line.*Schindler raised to 225,000 from the cutoff before Bonomo moved all in for*995,000. Schindler called and tabled [poker card="7c"][poker card="7d"] while Bonomo showed [poker card="5h"][poker card="5s"]. The*[poker card="qc"][poker card="jc"][poker card="7s"] flop left Bonomo needing runner-runner fives. The turn was [poker card="ad"] to*officially seal Bonomo's fate before the [poker card="ah"] hit the river. Three hands later Romero found himself another victim. Action folded to Alex*Condon on the button and he moved all in for 1,170,000 with [poker card="qc"][poker card="9c"] and Romero*called from the big blind with [poker card="5c"][poker card="5s"]. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="jh"][poker card="8h"] flop gave Condon*extra outs but neither the [poker card="as"] turn or [poker card="7d"] *were any help and he was*eliminated in fourth place. After three eliminations in the span of five hands, the pace slowed down but at no point Romero continued to build up his lead. After 2.5 hours of three-handed play, and with Romero holding almost 75% of the chips, he used his overwhelming lead to bust another player. Ryan Tosoc folded his button, Romero called from the small blind before Schindler moved all in for just over 4,000,000 from the big blind. Romero called and tabled [poker card="kh"][poker card="jc"] while Romero showed [poker card="6c"][poker card="6h"]. The board ran out [poker card="kd"][poker card="3s"][poker card="2c"][poker card="8d"][poker card="2s"] to give Romero the pot and eliminate Schindler, the only other player with a WPT final table appearance, in third place. Heads up action between Romero and Tosoc began with Romero holding a 7-1 lead. Tosoc managed a nearly full double early, but it only took 16 hands for Romero to end the party. Down to just 2,000,000, Tosoc moved all in pre-flop and Romero called. Tosoc tabled [poker card="5c"][poker card="5s"] but found himself up against Romero’s [poker card="kd"][poker card="kh"]. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="jd"][poker card="9c"][poker card="4s"][poker card="6c"] run out made the elimination official and crowned Romero as champion, eliminating Tosoc in second place for $1,124,051. The $1,938,118 first place score doesn’t even push Romero’s lifetime live tournament earnings over $2,000,000. The 27 year old was previously focused on online poker and Las Vegas cash games. The event drew a field of 791 players, a record for this event. The previous largest Five Diamond field was in 2007 when 664 players entered the then-$15,000 buy-in event. The buy-in was lowered to $10,000 in 2010. The next WPT event is the Borgata Winter Poker Open in January. Final Table Payouts James Romero - $1,938,118 Ryan Tosoc - $1,124,051 Jake Schindler - $736,579 Alex Condon - $494,889 Justin Bonomo- $345,272 Igor Yaroshevskyy - $268,545
The World Poker Tour will close out 2018 action with the prestigious WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. The tournament, held at the iconic Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, will be the eighth WPT Main Tour stop of Season XVII. It’s an event that comes with a $10,400 buy-in and has been a part of the World Poker Tour schedule since the very first season. The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic $10,400 Main Event kicks off Tuesday, December 11, 2018, and runs through Saturday, December 15. The format calls for 40,000 in starting chips, big blind ante, registration until the start of the 12th level, and unlimited reentry until the close of registration. Levels will be 60 minutes long on Day 1 and 90 minutes long on Day 2, 3, and 4. The final table will be played with 60-minute levels until heads-up play. The full tournament festival begins Thursday, November 29. Rich Prizes, Storied History, and Legendary Champions The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic was the very first event on the World Poker Tour, held all the way back in 2002 when the WPT got its start. In that inaugural event, 146 players ponied up the $10,000. The one and only Gus Hansen emerged victorious to claim the $556,460 top prize and his first of three WPT titles. In Season III, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic had a $15,300 buy-in and an incredible first-place prize of more than $1.77 million. Winner the event was none other than Daniel Negreanu after he defeated the popular Humberto Brenes in heads-up play. Season V of the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic attracted 583 entries and awarded a first prize of more than $2.2 million. Walking away with the title was Joe Hachem, who had just won the World Series of Poker Main Event one year prior. With the WPT Five Diamond victory, Hachem became the fourth player in poker history to own both WSOP Main Event and WPT titles, alongside Doyle Brunson, Scotty Nguyen, and Carlos Mortensen. More stars of the game captured WPT Five Diamond titles in Season VI, Season VII, and Season VIII of the World Poker Tour. First, it was Eugene Katchalov winning in Season VI for $2.482 million. In Season VII, Chino Rheem took the title and $1.538 million. For Rheem, it was his first of three WPT titles. In Season VIII, Daniel Alaei scored first place for $1.428 million. As if the likes of Hansen, Negreanu, Hachem, Katchalov, Rheem, and Alaei weren’t enough, Antonio Esfandiari earned his second WPT title when he won the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Season IX for $870,124. Esfandiari returned to the final table the following season and earned a sixth-place finish worth $119,418. Then in Season XI, Esfandiari was back at the final table, taking fourth for $329,339. To date, Esfandiari has cashed six times in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic at Bellagio, earning more than $1.4 million in total from the event through its first 16 editions. Dan Smith earned the WPT Five Diamond title for $1.161 million in Season XII. Then in Season XIII and Season XIV, both Mohsin Charania and Kevin Eyster won WPT Five Diamond for their second World Poker Tour titles. Charania won for $1.177 million, and Eyster won for $1.587 million. Record-Breaking Turnouts and Tosoc’s Back-To-Back Success In Season XV, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic drew a mammoth field of 791 entries, setting a new record for the WPT Five Diamond tournament and tying the all-time record for a $10,000 buy-in event in WPT history. That tournament created an enormous prize pool of more than $7.67 million and saw the top two places walk away with seven-figures scores - first place earned $1.938 million and second place won $1.124 million. James Romero defeated Ryan Tosoc in heads-up play to win the event. The following season, an even larger field turned out for the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, with 812 entries setting new records for the largest turnout in the WPT Five Diamond event and a $10,000 buy-in WPT event. Nearly $7.9 million was up for grabs, and once again the top two places earned seven figures - first place took home $1.958 million and second place earned $1.134 million. In a jaw-dropping back-to-back run, Tosoc, who placed second the year before for $1.124 million, won the event for $1.1958 million. From the two-season WPT Five Diamond run, Tosoc earned $3.082 million in total prize money. Big Buy-In Events Galore In addition to the $10,400 Main Event, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic schedule features several big buy-in tournaments. Included in the Season XVII schedule are seven other events with buy-ins of $10,000 or more. They are, as follows. - Wednesday, December 5, at 2 p.m.: $10,000 buy-in Bellagio 10K PLO 02 - Thursday, December 6, at 2 p.m.: $10,000 buy-in Bellagio 10K PLO 03 - Friday, December 7, at 2 p.m.: $15,000 buy-in Bellagio 15K 8-Game 01 - Saturday, December 8, at 2 p.m.: $25,000 buy-in Bellagio 25K 01 - Monday, December 10, at 2 p.m.: $25,000 buy-in Bellagio 25K 02 - Friday, December 14, at 2 p.m.: $25,000 buy-in Bellagio 25K 03 - Saturday, December 15, at 2 p.m.: $100,000 buy-in Bellagio 100K 01 There are also two $5,200 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournaments on the schedule. The first starts on Sunday, December 9, at 1 p.m., and the second starts on Thursday, December 13, at 1 p.m. *Photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour.
Anton Suarez usually makes his living playing cash games live or online. For the last five days, however, the Swedish poker pro has been unable to do so as he splashed around on the tournament side. He'll be able to get back to his day job on Monday, however, and he'll have an extra $1,000,000 to work with after beating out the 529 other players to win the partypoker MILLIONS UK Main Event. While 12 players returned for the final day, the final table actually started eight-handed after Alex Lindop busted in 10th and Jamie O'Connor went out in ninth on the same hand. Maria Lampropulos, who won the inaugural partypoker MILLIONS at Dusk Till Dawn in 2017, started the final table as the short stack and managed to last just 30 minutes. From the cutoff, Jack Hardcastle raised to 3,500,000 with [poker card="9d"][poker card="9s"] before Lampropulos moved all-in for 19,100,000 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qc"] and Hardcastle called. The board ran out [poker card="jh"][poker card="td"][poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"][poker card="6d"] to give Lampropulos a short sweat before eliminating her in eighth place. Hardcastle's stay only lasted another 45 minutes. From UTG+1 the young Brit raised to 4,500,000 with [poker card="kd"][poker card="td"]. Action folded to Christian Rudolph in the cutoff and he re-raised to 11,000,000 with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"]. Hardcastle called to send both players to a [poker card="jd"][poker card="9h"][poker card="3d"] flop. Hardcastle checked, Rudolph bet 9,000,000, and Hardcastle moved all-in for 43,700,000. Rudolph called. The turn was the [poker card="6c"] and the river was the [poker card="ts"] to miss all of Hardcastle's outs and eliminate him in seventh. A blind-versus-blind battle lead to the end of the road for Weijie Zheng. Action folded to Zheng in the small blind and he moved all in for 38,400,000 with [poker card="7s"][poker card="5d"]. Rudolph called from the big blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="8d"] after using two of his time extensions. The [poker card="td"][poker card="9d"][poker card="6c"] flop gave Zheng a gutshot straight draw. The [poker card="ac"] turn gave Rudolph top pair and left Zheng drawing to one of three eights. However, the river was [poker card="3d"] and Zheng was sent to the rail in sixth place. An hour later, the other Swedish player at the final table was eliminated. Fredrik Andersson looked down and [poker card="ad"][poker card="9d"] in the hijack and moved all-in for 30,500,000. Suarez called from the button with [poker card="ah"][poker card="td"] before James Romero folded [poker card="as"][poker card="qh"] from the big blind. THe [poker card="jc"][poker card="5h"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2d"][poker card="5d"] runout couldn't save Andersson and he was eliminated in fifth. The Dusk Till Dawn rail lost one of their own just a few hands later. Suarez called from the small blind with [poker card="9h"][poker card="4h"] and James Clarke checked with d[poker card="4d"]. The [poker card="6h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="4s"] flop gave both players trip fours. Suarez checked, Clarke bet 2,500,000, and Suarez called. The turn was the [poker card="th"] and Suarez bet 12,500,000 before Clarke moved all-in for 71,000,000 and Suarez called. The [poker card="qh"] river gave Suarez a flush and forced Calrke to settle for a fourth place finish. Three-handed play lasted nearly an hour before Suarez found another victim. Rudolph folded the button, Suarez called from the small blind with [poker card="2c"][poker card="2s"] and Romero checked with [poker card="kd"][poker card="jd"]. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="qd"][poker card="2h"] flop gave Suarez bottom set and Romero top pair. Suarez bet 3,000,000 before Romero made it 10,000,000 and Suarez called. The turn was the [poker card="8d"] and Suarez check-called Romero's 20,000,000 bet. After the [poker card="5s"] river, Suarez checked, Romero moved all-in for 42,000,000 and Suarez called to eliminate Romero in third and send the tournament to heads-up with stacks nearly dead even. Each player took turns as the chip leader over the next two hours before Suarez took the chip lead for good. Down to just 10 big blinds, Rudolph moved all-in from the big blind with [poker card="7h"][poker card="4h"] after Suarez completed from the button with [poker card="ad"][poker card="8h"]. Suarez called and then watched the [poker card="kc"][poker card="9d"][poker card="2d"][poker card="as"][poker card="9c"] runout eliminate Rudolph in second place and give Suarez his first major title. partypoker MILLIONS UK Final Table Payouts Anton Suarez - $1,000,000 Christian Rudolph - $620,000 James Romero - $420,000 James Clarke - $311,000 Fredrik Andersson - $230,000 Weijie Zheng - $170,000 Jack Hardcastle - $130,000 Maria Lampropulos - $100,000 Jamie O'Connor - $80,000