On Sunday night, one of the biggest events on the World Poker Tour calendar kicks off on FSN at 8pm and 11pm local time on FSN with the airing of WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic: Part 1. As a long-standing part of the World Poker Tour in the worldwide mecca of poker – Bellagio, Las Vegas – this event is hugely popular with poker pros and a large number of them turn out every year to battle to have their name engraved on the WPT Champions Cup.
As a testament to the popularity of this event, and how tough the field can be, when Day 1 kicked off the field contained an astounding 28 WPT Champions, not to mention the well-known pros looking to take down their first WPT event. The chipleader at the end of Day 1 was one such pro as Vanessa Selbst sat atop the list of 283 players who survived to see another day, while looking for her first WPT title.
As registration stayed open well into Day 2, many more recognizable faces showed up at the tables to begin what they hoped would be a deep run at this tournament, including the event’s namesake, Doyle Brunson. When registration finally closed, 413 players had ponied up the buy-in for a chance at poker history but only 149 players survived to move onto Day 3.
Once again demonstrating the strength of this field, Day 3 saw Selbst, Brunson, Carlos Mortensen, Antonio Esfandiari, Andrew Robl and Darren Elias all at a single table, the kind of thing you only see at a WPT event. The money bubble burst late in the day with 100 players left and the day ended with just 49 remaining in the field.
Day 4 follows WPT Raw Deal’s Tony Dunst along with David Williams and Allen Cunningham (who crossed the $1 million mark in career WPT earnings with his cash) as they hit the rail, falling just short of their quest for the final table. The day ends with only 13 players left, including Esfandiari as he gets closer and closer to back-to-back final tables and WPT titles. He is joined by Season X One to Watch William Reynolds and chipleader Soi Nguyen.
Just seven players stood between the starting 13 and the six who would comprise the WPT televised final table and those seven found themselves out of luck soon enough, leaving the following as the players sitting at that final table:
Soi Nguyen – 4,995,000
James Dempsey – 3,860,000
Andrew Lichtenberger – 3,605,000
Vanessa Selbst – 2,250,000
Antonio Esfandiari – 1,255,000
Vitor Coelho – 560,000
The storylines abound at this final table, including Esfandiari’s incredible run at another WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic title, so make sure to tune in to, or set your DVRs for, FSN on Sunday night at 8pm and 11pm local time to watch history in the making as this tough table of pros and amateurs battle it out for a spot on the WPT Champions Cup.