By Sean Chaffin
After five days of play by some of the best players in the world, the final table is now set for the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. Saturday’s final table features an interesting mix of top players and should make for a fun afternoon when it streams live from the PokerGO Studio beginning at 2 p.m. PST.
The winner takes home plenty of prestige in this stacked event with past winners that have been some of the biggest names in poker. This year’s Five Diamond featured a record 1,035 entries and the newest WPT champion wins $1,694,995 along with 1,400 Hublot WPT Player of the Year points and a free entry into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.
This final table features some added excitement with two players looking for their second WPT title. How does the final table stack up? Here’s a look at the final six players:
Seat 1 – Alex Foxen – 9,750,000
Poker fans who’ve followed the game over the last few years should be familiar with Foxen. He’s one of the most decorated players in the game. Foxen has more than $13.5 million in live tournament winnings and already has five final table appearances in Five Diamond preliminary events for $390,277. He has numerous wins and final table appearances in events all over the world.
On the WPT, Foxen, 28, has more than $1.7 million and just missed joining the Champions Club in Season XVI when he finished runner-up in Five Diamond for $1.1 million. He now has a chance to top that and has some extra incentive to do so. Foxen is the 2018 the Global Poker Index (GPI) Player of the Year and a runner-up finish or a win would vault him from 10th to first in the standings. With plenty of chips at this final table Foxen is certainly giving it a run and with so much experience and skill at the table, he’s not a player to bet against.
Seat 2 – Peter Neff – 2,075,000
This becomes the ninth WPT cash and second final table for this player from Newport Beach, California. Like most at this final table, Neff brings plenty of experience to the table and has more than $1.3 million in live tournament winnings including $466,630 on the WPT. His best career score came on the WPT in Season XIII where he finished fifth for $250,260. This now becomes his second final table on the tour and he’s looking to improve on that finish in a big way.
Away from the WPT, Neff has some other nice finishes as well. He’s been playing professionally for 15 years and had a deep run in the 2008 WSOP Main Event – finishing 36th for $193,000. The same year the 38-year-old took 10th in the WSOP Europe Main Event for $98,756. Neff enters this final table with another nice recent score after taking runner-up in November in the $1,100 Main Event at the LA Poker Open for $98,000. He now hopes to keep some of that mojo going.
Seat 3 – Seth Davies – 4,825,000
It’s been a nice month for this player from Bend, Oregon. Davies, who now lives in Las Vegas, has already won a $25,000 high roller preliminary event for $423,000. In November he finished fifth in the $250,000 Super High Roller Bowl for in the Bahamas for $1 million as part of the partypoker MILLIONS. A year ago the 31-year-old also won another $25,000 preliminary event here at the Five Diamond for $341,920.
Davies has had big scores and final table appearances at major events all over the world. He has lifetime earnings of $6.8 million and his WPT title came in Season XV, when he took down the partypoker Canadian Spring Championship for $226,893. This final table appearance should add significantly to his $389,661 on the WPT. Davies began playing online poker while attending the College of Southern Nevada and has been playing nine years. He was on the baseball team, but that panned out after injuries and he was soon playing poker for a living. The poker career seems to have worked out well and he’s looking for a massive score.
Seat 4 – Jonathan Jaffe – 9,075,000
No stranger to success on the felt, Jaffe is making his second-straight deep run on the WPT. At the WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open, Jaffe finished 16th for $27,825. With $1.4 million in WPT earnings, he’ll be looking to become another two-time champion. In Season XIII, Jaffe won WPT Montreal for $409,656. Originally from Massachusetts, Jaffe now lives in South Florida and has played tournament poker a bit less in recent years. Obviously a trip to Vegas this week turned out well.
Along with his tour title, Jaffe finished runner-up in Season VII at the WPT Foxwoods World Poker Finals for $670,636 and has several other close calls. In total, the 32-year-old has more than $3.4 million in live tournament winnings. Another big finish came in 2018 when he finished runner-up at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in a $25,000 High Roller for $569,760. Along with playing professionally for the last 14 years, Jaffe also works as a poker coach. This WPT Champions Club member was in a groove later in the tournament. Will that continue for another title? He certainly has the experience and skills to get it done.
Seat 5 – Toby Joyce – 4,575,000
This becomes Joyce’s seventh WPT cash, but his first final table appearance. At the WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Rock Poker Open earlier in December, Joyce, 31, produced a deep run as well – finishing 12th for $42,265. This becomes the fifth WPT cash for this player from Galway, Ireland, and he now has more than $480,000 in live tournament winnings. Joyce has been playing poker full-time for nine years and also has some big scores online.
One of Joyce’s best career scores came at the Aussie Millions in January. He finished runner-up in an $815 Accumulator event for $82,224. Earlier in December here at the Five Diamond, Joyce also took 12th in a $3,500 preliminary event for $42,265. He’s now looking to keep his heater going and rack up a breakthrough performance.
Seat 6 – Daniel Park – 11,100,000
This may be Park’s first WPT cash, but this player from Bayside, New York, brings some recent success to the tables. Park, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, took down a $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty at the WSOP this summer for his first bracelet and $226,243. He now has a chance to make it a nice double this year by adding his name to the WPT Champions Cup along with that score at the Rio.
At $564,000 in live tournament winnings, Park may not have the experience some of the others at this final table. However, he is coming off another nice score. In August, he took down a $550 at the Parx Casino in Pennsylvania for $95,017. Park learned to play poker in college and has been playing tournaments about four years ago. Even a sixth-place finish now becomes the biggest score of his career, but he’ll be hoping to spin those chips up for even more.
Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and his work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.