Day 1 of the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond Poker Classic is in the books, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to take your shot at becoming the next player to etch your name onto the Champions Cup.
When all was said and done, 374 entrants, including past event champions like James Dempsey, Antonio Esfandiari, and Daniel Negreanu ponied up the $10,300 buy-in to chase one of the most prestigious titles in poker. When play ended, 306 players remained in the hunt, but with registration (and re-entry) open through the end of Level 8, the final player count is sure to grow before the day is done.
Jeremy Kottler will start the day as chip leader with 134,75. Randall Flowers is in second place with 119,400 while WSOP October Niner Russel Thomas is in third with 108,000. Other notables returning to the felt include WPT Champions Club members Allen Carter, Gavin Smith, Cornel Cimpan, Andy Frankenberger, Nick Schulman, Scott Clements, and Will Failla.
You can follow all of the day’s action by checking out our Live Updates, starting at noon.
From WPT Live Updates:
The first day of play WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic saw a strong turnout that just kept growing throughout the day. Multiple players purchased multiple entries on Day 1, and some players (like Curt Kohlberg, for one) purchased as many as three entries. Thanks to that repeat business, the tournament field settled at 374 players by the end of the night, which put this year’s Five Diamond event in striking distance of topping the 413-player field from Season X. There were 306 players that made it through according to the tournament clock at the end of play.
Defending champion James Dempsey was in action on Day 1 (see video interview above) and he was joined by former Five Diamond winners Daniel Negreanu and Antonio Esfandiari. Negreanu re-entered the tournament and ended the night with 26,225, while Esfandiari held 55,150 when play came to a close.
The overnight chip leader is Jeremy Kottler with 134,975. He is joined in the six-digit chip count club at the top by Randall Flowers (119,400), Russell Thomas (108,000), Gheorge Gradinaru (107,425), and Shawn Cunix (102,000). Notables that made it through with large stacks include AP Phahurat (97,325), Dana Kellstrom (92,200), Sorel Mizzi (86,925), and Tom Marchese (84,425). Full official chip counts will be available later tonight when they are released by the tournament staff.
Former WPT Five Star World Poker Champion Carlos Mortesnen didn’t make it through Day 1 and he has chosen not to buy back in until tomorrow. Others that decided one bullet was enough for today and called it quits include Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Alex Outhred, and Bryce Yockey.
Check back in at noon PST on Wednesday to see just how many players enter (or re-enter) before registration is cut off at the end of Level 8 and the official prize pool and field size is determined. The WPT Live Updates team will be bringing you all of the action from the Bellagio Poker Room in Las Vegas.
Right about now, players are getting settled in around the poker tables at the Bellagio in Las Vegas as WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic kicked off at Noon PST today with the traditional “Shuffle and Deal” announced by Mike Sexton with defending champion James Dempsey and the WPT Royal Flush Girls in attendance.
These players will be looking to join the ranks of Gus Hansen, Daniel Negreanu, Joe Hachem, Eugene Katchalov, Chino Rheem, Daniel Alaei and Antonio Esfandiari as WPT Champions and WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic winners. Many of these past WPT Champions are in attendance today and are all invited to Jasmine at the Bellagio tomorrow night for a WPT Champions Dinner, one of the perks of being a WPT Champions Club member.
The $10,000 buy-in Main Event will feature unlimited re-entry for the first eight levels of play, so players will have the chance to ante up another $10,000 to get back into the tournament if they bust within that time frame. The field has already surpassed the 240-entrant mark as Level 1 has come to a close, and players can enter until the end of Level 8 (along with the re-entries) so expect that number to keep heading up toward last year’s number of 413.
The WPT televised final table will crown a winner on Sunday, December 9, and the WPT Live Updates team will bring you live updates, chips counts, photos and videos throughout the event.
When WPT Doyle Brunson 5 Diamond World Poker Classic kicks off tomorrow at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, it will again feature an impressive pool of talent much like it has for the decade that this event has been on the World Poker Tour schedule. Last year’s $10,000 buy-in Main Event saw 413 players enter to generate an impressive prize pool of $4,006,100 with $821,612 going to eventual WPT Champion James Dempsey. That star-studded final table also featured Soi Nguyen, Vanessa Selbst, Andrew “LuckyChewy” Lichtenberger and Antonio Esfandiari.
This year’s final table has the potential to feature any number of this laundry list of poker pros who are confirmed to be participating in this year’s event:
Make sure to keep up with all of the action via WPT Live Updates to see if any of the players of this list make it through to the final table, or if an amateur can break through and become part of poker history by etching their name on the WPT Champions Cup.
If you are in Vegas and want to see the action in person, the WPT “Shuffle Up and Deal” will take place at Noon tomorrow in the tournament area.
This Sunday, December 2, ClubWPT VIP members will have the chance to play for a $5,000 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open package that offers them the opportunity to win millions at a World Poker Tour Main Event and cement their place in WPT history and their name on the WPT Champions Cup.
The package includes a $3,500 entry into the 2013 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open running January 27th – February 1st, 2013 at the Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. The winner will also receive six nights accommodation and travel allowance for one person.
The last World Poker Tour Main Event held at Borgata (WPT Borgata Poker Open) drew 1,131 entrants for a total prizepool of $4,220,161 with $922,441 going to eventual champion Bobby Oboodi. There’s a lot up for grabs, so make sure to get in on the action now for your chance at a piece of it.
Nov. 25th – Dec. 2nd Daily*: 12:45AM, 9:45AM, 10:45AM, 12:45PM, 1:45PM, 3:45PM, 5:45PM, 6:45PM, 8:45PM, 9:45PM, 11:45PM ET
* For Daily Satellites, the top 10 from each daily satellite wins an entry into the Final Event. On the day of the event, satellites will run only at times prior to Final Event’s scheduled start time.
This package has an estimated value of $5,000. If the cost is below that amount, the difference will be awarded to the winner in cash.
This prize is NON-TRANSFERRABLE and CAN ONLY BE USED FOR THE 2013 BORGATA WINTER POKER OPEN and LOCATION.
Recently, poker players at Commerce Casino in Los Angeles got the chance to play their way into poker history by winning a $5,000 package to WPT National China. The WPT China Mega Satellite was held during the LA Poker Open at Commerce Casino on Saturday, November 17th, and guaranteed three (3) of those $5,000 packages.
With 62 entrants and after almost 8 1/2 hours of play, three players claimed their WPT National China packages and here are those winners:
- Matthew Ho
- Kathleen Solowitz
- Peter Sevastopoulos
The first-ever WPT National China tournament will be held at the spectacular MGM Grand Sanya Resort on the tropical beaches of Sanya, Hainan Island, China, and runs from December 14 – 17, 2012. This marks the first time World Poker Tour is hosting a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament in China and represents another milestone in World Poker Tour’s ongoing efforts to bring high-quality, tournament poker to regions of the world where players have not yet been able to participate in these types of events.
In addition to the four-day tournament, which will be capped at 500 entries and run by World Poker Tour’s Executive Tour Director, Matt Savage, players in this event will be able to enjoy an amazing array of amenities and activities at the beautiful MGM Grand Sanya resort.
So, congratulations to those three players and we look forward to seeing you on Hainan Island.
While Jonathan Roy was busy making WPT history by taking down WPT Montreal and getting his name engraved on the WPT Champions Cup, on the rail cheering on Jeff Gross was a spectator who has made some history of his own, Olympic legend Michael Phelps.
Phelps arrived in Montreal as a surprise for his roommate and best friend Jeff Gross, waking them up on the morning of the final table:
— Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) November 27, 2012
Woke the boys up!! Lets goooo!!! twitter.com/MichaelPhelps/…
— Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) November 27, 2012
Man the kid!!! Can’t be more happy for what @jgross5 did!! Proud of u man!!!!
— Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) November 28, 2012
Below is a video interview WPT’s Jeanine Deeb did with Phelps, and a behind the scenes look at Phelps and Esfandiari on the rail at the final table:
Jonathan Roy Wins PartyPoker WPT Montreal – Olympic Legend Michael Phelps Cheers Jeff Gross to Third-Place Finish
World Poker Tour’s first Main Event in Canada since 2008 proved to be hugely popular and hugely successful for 25-year-old Canadian pro Jonathan Roy who conquered the 1,173-player field to capture his first WPT title and nearly C$780,000 at the PartyPoker WPT Montreal.
Held at Montreal’s Playground Poker Club, the C$3,300 tournament proved to the be the third-largest event in WPT history and Canada’s largest-ever tournament with a buy-in of more than C$1,000. In addition to its huge field, the tournament also drew one of the world’s best athletes to the Great White North as Olympic legend Michael Phelps made a surprise appearance at the final table to root on his friend and eventual third-place finisher, Jeff Gross.
The day’s action got off to a fast start when Peter Kaemmerlen, who started the day as one of the short stacks, got into a raising war with Jeff Gross before moving all of his chips into the middle before the first flop ever the table. Gross called and tabled Ah 10d, putting him well behind Kaemmerlen’s pocket Jacks. An Ace on the river ended Kaemmerlen’s day in short order, sending him to the rail in sixth place with a payout of more than C$113,000.
Sylvain Siebert, who started the day as the chip leader, was the next player to fall when he came out on the wrong end of a blind-on-blind confrontation versus Jonathan Roy. Siebert, who had an up-and-down day at the final table, moved all in from the small blind with 6c 5d, only to run into Roy’s pocket Queens. A board that ran out Kc Ks 4d As 7s provided no help, and the one-time chip leader went home in fifth position with a payday of more than C$146,000. Blind-on-blind violence was also the cause of Canadian pro Gavin Smith’s demise. Smith tried stealing from the small blind by moving all in with Ad 5s and found himself ahead of Jonathan Roy’s Kc 7s. Smith survived a flop of 8d 8s 2c, but fell behind when Roy spiked the 7d on the turn. A blank on the river brought no help, and Smith left the tourney in fourth position with winnings of more than C$211,000.
Three-handed play turned into a war as Jeff Gross, Jonathan Roy, and Pascal Lefrancois refused to give any quarter for the next five hours. While each player took the lead at various times in the battle, no one was really able to pull away until Lefrancois doubled through Gross on hand 143 when he moved all in with Kh 10s and found himself racing against Gross’ pocket 4s. A flop of Jd 8h 4h gave Gross a set, but the Qh on the turn gave Lefrancois both straight and flush outs. The Ah on the river completed the flush and crippled Gross, who found himself with just 825,000 left in his stack.
Gross tripled up on the next hand, but couldn’t climb back into contention and was eliminated on hand 153 when he moved in with Kd Qc only to find himself dominated by Roy’s As Qs. When both players hit their top cards, Gross found himself headed to the rail in third place with a payout worth more than C$317,000. While Gross was certainly disappointed in his finish, his best friend – Olympic legend Michael Phelps – couldn’t have been prouder to have been on the rail at the Playground Poker Club, tweeting:[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/MichaelPhelps/status/273641317081419776"]
Gross’ elimination set up an all Canadian heads-up battle between Roy and Lefrancois, who were separated by less than 5 million chips. After an extended battle, Lefrancois found himself racing for nearly his entire stack when he took his pocket 6s against Roy’s Ks Qc. When the board ran out Kd 7h 7c Qd Jh, Lefrancois found himself with less than one big blind, and was eliminated on the tournament’s next hand. Lefrancois earned nearly C$471,000 for his second-place finish Roy added his name to the WPT Champions Cup and claimed nearly C$780,000 for the victory.
1st: Jonathan Roy – $779,710
2nd: Pascal Lefrancois – $470,920
3rd: Jeff Gross – $317,450
4th: Gavin Smith – $211,745
5th: Sylvain Siebert – $146,360
6th: Peter Kaemmerlen – $113,155
Before Day 1B of WPT Montreal at Playground Poker, Phil Laak and Antonio Esfandiari competed in a hockey shootout challenge that included Daniel Negreanu, Marvin Rettenmaier, as well as the NHL’s Guy Carbonneau and Phil Kessel.
You’ll have to watch the video to see who won, but it was closer than the experts thought.