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  1. The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic and the televised WPT Alpha8 Las Vegas both wrapped up in recent days, with two members of the PocketFives community taking home titles. We'll start with the larger payday, $2.1 million, which went to Andrew luckychewy Lichtenberger (pictured) for taking down the Alpha8 event. In fact, it was the largest Alpha8 ever. The tournament attracted 55 entries and generated a prize pool that passed $5.3 million. In the end, Lichtenberger took home his first career seven-figure tournament score and outlasted Tom Marchese heads-up. It was his third WPT final table and amazingly all three have come in Las Vegas; he added to a fifth place finish in the Season XI WPT Five Diamond and a fourth place run in the Season X WPT Five Diamond. Lichtenberger has $2.1 million in online tournament cashes, highlighted by a $172,000 SCOOP victory in 2009. That came one year after final tabling the Sunday Million for $127,000. This year, "Chewy" final tabled SCOOP and WCOOP Cubed events for $126,000 total. Marchese, meanwhile, took home $1.2 million after getting second place, his third seven-figure score of 2014. He finished third in a $100,000 Super High Roller event in Las Vegas in June for $1.4 million and won the Aria Super High Roller in September for $1.3 million. He is over $4 million in live tournament winnings this year alone and approaching $9 million all-time. Here were the results of the Alpha8 Las Vegas event: 1st Place: Andrew luckychewyLichtenberger - $2,104,245 2nd Place: Tom Marchese - $1,240,965 3rd Place: Brian tsarrast Rast - $755,370 4th Place: Noah Schwartz - $539,550 5th Place: Jason Les - $431,630 6th Place: Bryn BrynKenney Kenney - $323,730 Mohsin chicagocards1Charania (pictured) won the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $1.4 million and his second WPT title. Charania was down 4:1 in chips against Garrett gdub2003 Greer entering heads-up play and fell to just six big blinds before a wild comeback that saw him double up five times. Charania's first WPT title came in the Season XII WPT Grand Prix de Paris, where he earned $449,000. There were 586 entries in the Five Diamond, which meant a prize pool of $5.6 million. Here's how the final six cashed out: 1st Place: Mohsin chicagocards1Charania - $1,477,890 2nd Place: Garrett gdub2003Greer - $869,683 3rd Place: Brett Shaffer - $562,736 4th Place: Ryan RJules12 Julius - $383,684 5th Place: Ryan Fee - $272,842 6th Place: Tobias Reinkemeier - $218,842 Congrats to Charania and Lichtenberger on their WPT titles! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. The 2015 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) is underway and, already, Mohsin chicagocards1Charania (pictured), who is playing under the user name sms9231, has made waves, taking down Event #4's high-stakes version for $198,000. The $1,050 No Limit Hold'em Turbois one of just four Turbos on the schedule and was the first SCOOP event to finish. There were 1,100 players, which meant that the tournament's guarantee of a half-million dollars was more than doubled. By the time registration actually closed, there were 801 players remaining and by the time the final tabled rolled around, Charania had built better than a 2:1 lead in chips over the next closest person. A deal was briefly discussed three-handed, but nothing came to fruition. Charania took down the first four pots after that and then busted Benny toweliestarSpindler in third place with A-2 against J-10. Three hands later, the tournament was all over after Ryan urbanlights Yu moved all-in with ducks and lost a race against A-8. Charania won his first SCOOP title five years ago in a $2,100 No Limit Hold'em Two-Day Event for $380,000. He finished third in the Sunday Million back in 2008 for $84,000. His biggest claims to fame in the poker world are taking down the World Poker Tour's Five Diamond World Poker Classic last December for $1.1 million and scoring a win in the European Poker Tour's Grand Final in 2012 for $1.7 million. According to the Hendon Mob, Charania owns $4.5 million in career live poker winnings, good for 145th on the all-time money list and #2 for his home state of Illinois. Here's how the SCOOP final table shook out: 1. Mohsin sms9231Charania (Canada) - $198,000 2. Ryan urbanlightsYu (South Korea) - $143,000 3. Benny toweliestarSpindler (Austria) - $106,700 4. ekziter (Belarus) - $79,750 5. IFiNishfish (Finland) - $55,440 6. jus2awsum (Canada) - $44,000 7. pedro323 (Canada) - $33,000 8. torino2000 (Ireland) - $22,000 9. tinchoarce (Argentina) - $13,200 Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  3. [caption width="640"] Harrison Gimbel now has a WPT title to go with his PCA Main Event victory (Joe Giron photo)[/caption] Harrison Gimbel burst onto the live poker scene in 2010 when the then 19-year-old took down the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure to become the youngest winner in the history of that event. On Wednesday night, Gimbel added another title to his resume after defeating Mohsin Charania heads-up to win the World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder event and pocket $275,112. Along with the cash, Gimbel earns entry to the WPT Tournament of Champions next month in his home state of Florida. Charania was hoping to become the fourth player to capture three WPT titles joining Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen and Anthony Zinno, but Gimbel wouldn’t be denied. Starting the TV final table with the lowest chip stack, Derek Wolters knew he had some work to do. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out for the 26-year-old poker pro. Wolters raised from UTG to 90,000 and Gimbel called from the big blind. After a [poker card="9h"][poker card="8d"][poker card="5s"] flop, both players checked. The [poker card="th"] was enough for Gimbel to lead out for 85,000. Wolters responded by moving all-in for 565,000 and after 90 seconds thinking it over, Gimbel called and tabled [poker card="jd"][poker card="9c"], while Wolters showed [poker card="kd"][poker card="td"]. Wolters was ahead, but the [poker card="9d"] river gave Gimbel trip nines and Wolters was eliminated in sixth. Russell Garrett opened from the button to 80,000 and Hafiz Khan moved all-in from the small blind. Garrett called and showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"] and was up against Khan’s [poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"]. The board ran out [poker card="7c"][poker card="7s"][poker card="5d"][poker card="5h"][poker card="9h"] to counterfeit Khan’s pair and send him home in fifth place. The third elimination of the night happened just 15 minutes later and again began with Garrett opening to 80,000. Gimbel called from the button before Markus Gonsalves made it 275,000 to go from the small blind. Garrett folded, but Gimbel took some time before announcing he was all-in. Gonsalves quickly called and tabled [poker card="ad"][poker card="js"] and found himself ahead of Gimbel’s [poker card="kh"][poker card="qh"]. The flop came [poker card="qd"][poker card="td"][poker card="8c"] to put Gimbel ahead with top pair, but Gonsalves picked up a Broadway draw. The [poker card="qc"] turn put Gimbel further ahead with trips and the [poker card="jc"] river was no help for Gonsalves and he was eliminated in fourth. Three-handed play went on for 90 minutes before Garrett, who began the day with the chip lead, and Charania clashed. Gimbel raised to 120,000 from the button, Charania called from the small blind and Garrett moved all-in from the big blind for 1,770,000. Gimbel folded, but Charania eventually called and tabled [poker card="7d"][poker card="7s"] and found himself racing against Garrett’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="qh"]. The [poker card="js"][poker card="8d"][poker card="5c"] flop was no help for Garrett and the [poker card="kh"] turn and [poker card="3c"] river were both bricks, sending him out in third place and leaving Charania and Gimbel to play heads-up for the title. When heads-up play began, the two players were separated by just 55,000 in chips - less than one big blind. While it took a little over two hours and 107 hands to go from six players to two, the duel between Gimbel and Charania lasted much longer. The two players played 116 hands of heads-up play with Gimbel and Charania trading the chip lead back and forth at least four times before it finally came to an end. With blinds of 100,000/200,000 and Gimbel holding the lead, Charania limped his button and Gimbel moved all-in. Charania called and showed [poker card="kh"][poker card="qh"], while Gimbel turned over [poker card="5h"][poker card="4h"]. The [poker card="js"][poker card="3s"][poker card="2h"] flop gave Gimbel extra outs for a straight. The [poker card="5d"] turn put Gimbel ahead and the [poker card="5s"] river sealed the deal to eliminate Charania in second place and give Gimbel his first WPT title. The next WPT stop is already underway as WPT Vienna began Tuesday and wraps up Sunday. From there the WPT heads to Florida for three events; the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale and the WPT Tournament of Champions. Final Table Payouts Harrison Gimbel - $275,112 Mohsin Charania - $192,132 Russell Garrett - $123,682 Markus Gonsalves - $91,616 Hafiz Khan - $68,712 Derek Wolters - $54,970
  4. [caption width="640"] Paul Volpe was all business after winning second bracelet.[/caption]Paul Volpe won his second WSOP bracelet on Sunday at the Rio at the 2016 World Series of Poker. The Millionaire Maker field finally combined for the first time while two vastly different events kicked off. Paul ‘paulgees’ Volpe Wins Second Bracelet in Eight Game Mix Paul Volpe won his second WSOP gold bracelet and is the first former PocketFives Number 1 ranked player to win in 2016. Volpe won $149,943 after defeating Jason Stockfish heads-up. Volpe’s win is his second final table of Series after stretch of two runner-ups and two other final tables reaching back to 2015. Volpe’s approach to the game was clear in his post-win comments, “With me, poker is mostly about the money. I know with the World Series of Poker there’s so much history and I respect that,” he said. “But I am here to earn a living, make money and support my family.” The event drew 101 more players than 2015 with 491 and built a prize pool of $662,850. The result may be an effect of the schedule this year with two Dealers Choice events, HORSE, Pot Limit Omaha and Razz events all drawing early interest from players. Final Table Payouts 1. Paul Volpe - $149,943 2. Jason Stockfish - $92,638 3. Ron Ware - $60,882 4. Benjamin Ludlow - $40,911 5. Anthony Lazar - $28,123 6. Gavin Smith - $19,787 Mohsin Charania Tops Milly Maker Field Two starting flights with single re-entry drew a monster field of 7,190 entrants of the Millionaire Maker, but they all in the same room together for the first time on Sunday with 1,172 returning players. After a long day of action Mohsin Charania leads the 124 surviving players with 1.6 million. The money bubble burst at 1,079 players and all Day 3 players are guaranteed $7,589. Five-figure payouts begin at 90 players and ninth place is good for $96,091. Many players were surprised to see first place earn $1.065 million, runner-up making an even $1 million but third place falls short with $500,000 – which is sure to have a huge effect on play. Garrett Greer, Adam Levy, Max Silver, Loni Harwood, Ismael Bojang, Matt Affleck and Simon Deadman all survived the day’s action but outside the top counts. Charania hasn’t had breakout success at the WSOP but has four cashes on the Series and bubbled the final table of the Top Up Turbo event. Top Ten Chip Counts 1. Mohsin Charania – 1,664,000 2. Frank Rusnak – 1,348,000 3. Jorge Eghi – 1,289,000 4. Kyle Arora – 996,000 5. Mikhail Semin – 973,000 6. Dylan Kehoe – 937,000 7. Danny Elmore – 936,000 8. Benny Chen – 926,000 9. Louis Salter – 915,000 10. Dale Beaudoin – 900,000 Jason Mercier Looks for 4th Bracelet in No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship The $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship attracts the best poker players in the world – drawing from the tournament world and cash game world. An even 100 players entered the event, 34 survived to Day 2 and Jason Mercier leads the final nine to Day 3. Mercier is the only player over a million with one elimination away from the official final table. A stacked field of Mike Watson, Stephen Chidwick, David Grey and Jesse Martin all return. Anthony Zinno just missed the cut bowing out in 10th place – also making the money, but not Day 3 were Brian Hastings, Mike Matusow and Daniel Negreanu. Day 2 Chip Counts 1. Jason Mercier – 1,023,000 2. Mike Watson – 853,000 3. Stephen Chidwick – 770,000 4. Benny Glaser – 706,000 5. David Grey – 534,000 6. Alex Leneau – 442,000 7. Jesse Martin – 248,000 8. Herezel Zalewski – 238,000 9. Lamar Wilkinson – 194,000 Event 17: $1,000 No Limit Hold’em The first $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event of the Series kicked off on Sunday and made the money before any players put chips in the bag. The tournament drew 2,242 entrants and only 239 advance to Day 2 with Stacey Nutini leading the way with 174,300 Daniel Weinman continues his hot early run bagging up in the top ten, but moving on with more modest stacks are Martin Staszko, Keven Stammen, Carlos Mortensen and Steven Gee. The field generated a prize pool north of $2 million for 337 players to finish in the money. All returning players have $1,628 guaranteed but have a pay jump five spots away. The final four players all join the six-figure club and the winner earns $316,920. Top Ten Chip Counts 1. Stacey Nutini – 174,300 2. Franklin Yao – 151,800 3. Koray Aldemir – 140,000 4. Koray Aldemir – 140,000 5. Matthew Schreiber – 129,300 6. Stefan Clemens – 125,000 7. Daniel Weinman – 122,000 8. Fabrice Halleux – 121,800 9. Pedro Oliveira – 120,300 10. William Firebaugh – 119,000 Event 18: $3,000 HORSE The late afternoon tournament saw 400 players enter and 144 bag up chips at the end of play. George Trigeorgis has a sizable lead heading into Day 2 with twice the average stack separating him from the field. The field juiced the prize pool to $1,092,000 for the top 60 finishers. The big money starts at 14 players with five-figure payouts. Brock Parker, Taylor Paur, Justin Bonomo and $10,000 Seven Card Stud Champ Robert Mizrachi all bagged up in the top half of the counts. Top Ten Chip Counts 1. George Trigeorgis – 160,200 2. Nicholas Kiley – 103,500 3. Brett Reichert – 102,200 4. Jared Talarico – 99,400 5. Andrey Zhigalov – 98,800 6. John Crisp – 96,000 7. Thao Thiem – 94,300 8. Par Hilderbrand – 89,400 9. Chino Rheem – 89,000 10. Mike Leah – 85,000 Just Another Manic Monday Monday’s action sees only one final table – the Deuce to Seven Championship – and the Millionaire Maker plays down to the final nine players. The early event is repeat of the weekend’s PLO madness with a $1,000 event kicking off and the $10,000 Razz Championship has cards in the air at 3 pm.
  5. [caption width="640"] More WSOP bracelets on the line as the 2016 WSOP heads into Week 3 (WSOP image)[/caption] As the 2016 World Series of Poker enters it’s third week of action, the schedule just keeps trucking along. Over the next seven days there will be another 12 bracelets awarded including four in $10,000 buy-in Championship events. This coming weekend brings the Electric Daisy Carnival event which regularly draws away a number of the whipper snappers allowing the WSOP schedule to focus on the Seniors. Championship Events The final table of the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven event is Monday. Jason Mercier has the chip lead with nine players left but he’ll have to contend with Mike Watson, Stephen Chidwick, Benn Glaser, David Grey and Jesse Martin. Four other $10,000 buy-in events get underway this week: Razz, HORSE, Limit Hold’em and Omaha Hi-Lo. Championship Event Schedule Razz: June 13 - 15 HORSE: June June 15 - 17 Limit Hold’em: June 17 - 19 Omaha Hi-Lo: June 19 - 21 In 2015, Phil Hellmuth won his 14th bracelet in the $10,000 Razz by beating out 103 players. Andrew Barber won the first WSOP bracelet of his career in the $10,000 HORSE event, which drew 204 players. Ben Yu won the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship by outlasting 117 players. Daniel Alaei won his fifth career bracelet in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo event after topping the 157-player field. Two Seniors Events One of the more popular events has always been the $1,000 buy-in Seniors Event, which allows players players that are at least 50 years old to play for the bracelet and the Golden Eagle Trophy. Last year the WSOP added the Super Seniors event, another $1,000 buy-in, this one with a minimum age of 65. Both events are on the schedule this week and based on field sizes the past two years, the Seniors Event this year could reach around 4,500 players all playing in a single flight on Friday. The Super Seniors event begins Sunday. 2015 Winners Seniors Event - Travis Barker ($613,466) Super Seniors Event - Jon Andolvec ($262,220) The Millionaire Maker Final Table On Tuesday two players will win $1,000,000. Well, one will win $1,065,000 and the bracelet while the runner-up is going to have to settle for $1,000,000. The Millionaire Maker final table is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and will be streamed by WSOP.com. As of Monday morning just 124 players remain with Mohsin Charania leading the way. Charania just needs a WSOP bracelet to complete poker’s ‘Triple Crown’. Other notables still chasing the seven figure dream include Sofia Lovgren, Adam Levy, Max Silver, Loni Harwood and Ismael Bojang. Other Notable Events This Week There are also two lower buy-in Six Max events on the schedule this week. The first, a $3,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em tournament, runs Tuesday through Thursday. Last year the event had 319 entrants with Matthew Elsby coming out on top. The second one might just prove to be the more popular of the two. The $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha event runs Saturday through Monday. Last year Vasili Firsau topped 681 other players in the event to win his first career bracelet.
  6. [caption width="640"] Mohsin Charania won his first career WSOP bracelet on Thursday to add his name to the list of Triple Crown winners (WSOP photo)[/caption] Two more players earned their first World Series of Poker bracelet on Thursday with one player finally completing live poker’s version of the Triple Crown and another player winning an event in a game he just doesn’t play that often. The second-to-last $10,000 Championship event before the Main Event moved on to Day 3 as did the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event. Mohsin Charania Defeats Cary Katz to win $1,500 NLHE and Lock Up Triple Crown Coming into the 2017 WSOP, Mohsin Charania was one of just a few players who had a shot at completing live poker’s version of the Triple Crown: a World Poker Tour title, a European Poker Tour title and WSOP bracelet. Charania had two WPT wins (2013 & 2014) and won the Season 8 EPT Grand Final in 2012. Thursday night he rode a roller coaster of a final table to take home his first WSOP bracelet. At the start of the day Charania had the fifth biggest chip stack, but found himself swinging up and down the chip counts as the day progressed. "I kind of felt, maybe a little bit of pressure coming into the day because I had a lot of chips," said Charania. "And then the day just didn't work out for me in the beginning, so I was like seven of 10. It was really kind of a straightforward final table. I didn't get into any crazy spots, so I didn't have to make any massive decisions, so I never felt like any intense pressure." Charania eventually found himself heads-up with Cary Katz with a nearly 3-1 chip lead and it took him only 30 minutes to finish off Katz to win his first career bracelet. "This is pretty damn awesome," said Charania. Charania had a large and loud rail at the Rio cheering him on, but the 32-year-old from Chicago still managed to maintain his focus. "This happens when I'm just playing online on Tuesday, so I'm used to it. Wait until you see me get deep in like a $109 [online]. It's just chaos," said Charania. "No, you get used to it and you learn to block it out and you know like you're kind of excited because you know that when you win a pot, everyone is going to cheer for you, so it's kind of nice." Katz, who made his fortune in the student loan business and now owns PokerCentral and PokerGO, earned $225,181 for his runner-up performance. It’s the second time he’s finished runner-up in a WSOP event. In 2013 he finished second to Davidi Kitai in a $5,000 Pot Limit Hold’em event. Ian Steinman, the #4-ranked online poker player in Nevada, finished seventh for $48,276. He actually had the chip lead with seven players remaining but lost a series of pots including the last one which saw him racing with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"] against Brandon Ageloff’s [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"]. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="qd"][poker card="qc"] was a disaster for Steinman and when the turn did not produce an ace, he was out in seventh place. The five-figure score was by far the largest live score for the online pro. His previous best WSOP cash was for $5,199. Final Table Payouts Mohsin Charania - $364,438 Cary Katz - $225,181 Brandon Ageloff - $161,844 Andy Frankenberger - $117,611 Mikhail Rudoy - $86,424 Samuel Phillips - $64,226 Ian Steinman - $48,276 Yanki Koppel - $36,708 Milan Simko - $28,239 No Limit Specialist Max Silver Wins $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold’em [caption width="640"] Max Silver doesn't play much Limit Hold'em, but on Thursday he won his first career WSOP bracelet and it was in a Limit event (WSOP photo)[/caption] Max Silver has 25 career WSOP cashes and 21 of them are in No Limit Hold’em - seven of which came last summer. On Thursday, the British pro won his first WSOP bracelet, but it wasn’t in the game he specializes in, it was a Limit Hold’em bracelet. Silver beat San Francisco’s Guowei Zhang to win the $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold’em event and $172,645. It’s the British pros third cash of the 2017 WSOP, with the previous two coming in NLHE. "I've had several nice scores, but this, this is just amazing,” said Silver after his win. Zhang’s runner-up payday of $106,694 was the largest score of his career. Silver had the chip lead throughout the final table and eliminated only two of his final five opponents. Afterwards Silver, who developed the SnapShove app to help No Limit players, joked about the future of his product. Final Table Payouts Max Silver - $172,645 Guowei Zhang - $106,694 Mickey Craft - $69,789 Ayman Qutami - $46,871 Lena Wang - $32,345 Georgios Kapalas - $22,952 Scott Clements Leads $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship There was a time where Scott Clements was considered one of the best Omaha tournament players on the planet. That may still be the case after the two-time WSOP bracelet winner stormed to the chip lead on Day 2 of the $10,000 Eight-handed Pot Limit Omaha Championship with just 39 players remaining. Clements bagged up 1,700,000 and now holds a commanding lead over the rest of the field heading into what is scheduled to be the final day of play. Michail Karapanos sits second with 1,133,000 while Ben Lamb and Ryan Miller each ave 1,090,000 and 1,011,000 respectively as the only players with seven-figure stacks. Recent bracelet winner John Racener rounds out the top five with 987,000. Other notables still in the field include Johnny Lodden (672,000), Jason DeWitt (657,000), eoghan O’Dea (376,000), John Monnette (246,000) and Mike Gorodinsky (228,000). There were 26 players who managed to finish in the money before busting on Thursday night including Toby Lewis (64th - $14,930), Ian O’Hara (59th - $14,930), Stephen Chidwick (52nd - $15,934) and defending champion Brandon Shack-Harris (45th - $17,420). Action resumes at Noon PT on Friday. Top 10 Chip Counts Scott Clements - 1,700,000 Michail Karapanos - 1,133,000 Ben Lamb - 1,090,000 Ryan Miller - 1,011,000 John Racener - 987,000 Cyrus Partow - 931,000 Chris Lee - 803,000 Aleksei Altshuller - 794,000 Sean Rafael - 792,000 Howard Millian - 708,000 Tsong Lin Heads $1,500 Seven Card Stud Final Table Tsong Lin has just two career cashes to his name, but on Friday afternoon he’ll have a shot at winning his first career WSOP bracelet after bagging up the Day 2 chip lead in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event. Lin finished play Thursday with 791,000. Yueqi Zhu, who has already cashed five other times this summer, ended with the second largest stack, 512,000. This is Zhu’s 10th career WSOP final table and second this summer. Last year he finished runner-up to Lawrence Berg in the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice event. The final table gets underway at 2 PM PT. Final Table Chip Counts Tsong Lin - 791,000 Yueqi Zhu - 512,000 Cheryl Denzik - 304,000 Alexander Freund - 206,000 Daniel Mogavero - 163,000 Tom Koral - 147,000 Todd Bui - 113,000 Nacho Barbero On Top After Day 1 of $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em The final $5,000 No Limit Hold’em got underway on Thursday with the 623 players who entered also making it the largest. Just 247 players survived Day 1 with Nacho Barbero of Argentina ending Day 1 with the lead. Barbero finished with 230,300 to put him just ahead of David Coleman’s 205,200. Juha Helppi also managed to finish with a top five stack after putting 193,200 into his bag at the end of the night. Other notables moving on to Day 2 include Matt Berkey, Michael Mizrachi, Olivier Busquet, Jason Mercier, Mike Watson, Kevin Stammen, Nick Schulman, Jonathan Little, Ari Engel, Calvin Anderson and Pratyush Buddiga. Day 2 begins at Noon PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Nacho Barbero - 230,300 David Coleman - 205,200 Carlos Chang - 197,600 Juha Helppi - 193,200 Donis Agnelli - 184,600 Pete Chen - 170,000 Matt Berkey - 165,500 Raymond Langbraaten - 158,700 Julian Stuer - 157,600 Michael Mizrachi - 148,900 $2,500 Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Draws 405 Entries Larry Tull navigated his way to the top of the Day 1 chip counts in the $2,500 Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo event with just 126 of the original 405 players moving on to Day 2. Tull finished with 152,200 while his closest competitor, David Matsumoto, had 124,900 after completing 10 levels of play. Igor Sharaskin, who has already cashed in four Omaha events this summer, finished with 112,600, good enough for third. Action resumes at 2 PM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Larry Tull - 152,500 David Matsumoto - 124,900 Igor Sharaskin - 112,600 Jeremiah Callahan - 95,400 Alex Luneau - 94,000 Daniel Ratigan - 90,100 Josh Arieh - 84,200 Manuel Labandeira - 83,500 Yuebin Guo - 74,100 Matthew Mortensen - 73,500
  7. [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.
  8. 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.

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