The record-setting Season XV World Poker Tour® Five Diamond World Poker Classic $10,400 Main Event is headed to Day 4 after a dramatic Day 3 on Thursday. It was a day that saw the money bubble burst, and huge clashes of chips, all while the field was cut down to 19 players remaining.
Ryan Tosoc, a poker player from Chicago making his first WPT® cash, emerged as the chip leader to end Day 3, bagging up 3.492 million.
“I won a lot of flips, and I got aces versus kings,” Tosoc said about his day.
The large majority of Tosoc’s chips came in the phenomenal aces-versus-kings confrontation Tosoc referenced, in a hand that also included Christian Christner.
In Level 23 with the blinds at 10,000-20,000 with a 3,000 ante, Tosoc raised from the under-the-gun position to 45,000. Christner moved all in from the small blind for 537,000, and then Jared Jaffee made the call from the big blind. Tosoc reraised all in for 1.391 million, and that sent Jaffee into the tank for a bit of time before he made the call with the . Jaffee’s tank was justified when Tosoc turned over the , and Christner had the .
The flop, turn, and river ran out , and Tosoc’s aces held up to vault him into the chip lead. Christner was eliminated in 22nd place, and Jaffee was left with around 700,000.
“I was really happy,” Tosoc said about seeing Jaffee’s kings when he had aces. “But again, you don’t feel safe until that river card is out. Especially with such big equity, or how much money it’s worth.”
Hours before that big boom of a hand, 75 players returned to action for Day 4 from the record-setting 791 entries. Ryan Hughes was the man to catch, and three players would need to bust before the money was reached.
Keith Lehr was the first to bust on the day, and he was followed out the door by Mike “The Mouth” Matusow. Then with 73 players remaining, Jerry Wong was all in with the against the for Hughes. The board came , and Wong was the tournament’s official “bubble boy.”
From there, the players began to fall one by one. T.K. Miles was the first to bust in 72nd place, and then Aaron Massey fell in 69th, Joe Hachem busted in 63rd, David “The Dragon” Pham was eliminated in 57th, Matt Glantz hit the rail in 47th, and Antonio Esfandiari went out 43rd. Both Hachem and Esfandiari were former champions of the WPT Five Diamond Main Event at Bellagio, leaving Dan Smith as the only former champion of this event in the field.
Smith’s run ended in 30th place, as did the chance to have a repeat champion at WPT Five Diamond. Then it was Danny Wong out in 29th, Christian Harder out 27th, Taylor von Kriegenbergh gone 25th, and Barry Hutter in 23rd.
Hutter’s elimination was exceptionally gut wrenching, as his was cracked by the of Jaffee, who spiked a king on the river after he had flopped one.
While all of the mayhem was going on, three-time NFL Super Bowl champion Richard Seymour was busy grinding away and working on his best WPT finish to date. But it wasn’t always quiet for Seymour, and he had to get lucky in Level 20 with the blinds at 5,000-10,000 with a 1,000 ante when he ran kings into aces for the third time this tournament. In the prior two times, which happened on Day 2, Seymour busted on both and opted to re-enter. This time his kings flopped a set against the aces of Hyon Kim to give Seymour a big boost.
“I knew I had him covered, so I knew I couldn’t bust out,” Seymour said of the hand against Kim. “That made me a feel a little better. I obviously spiked a king on the flop, so it’s good to play well, but you have to run well, too.”
Seymour went on to bag up 553,000 in chips, which put him 16th out of the remaining 19 players. Despite being towards the bottom of the leaderboard, Seymour’s spirits were high going to Day 4.
“You know, poker pulls so much from you, and I think that’s why I enjoy it,” Seymour said. “You have to balance being patient, but aggressive, and it just pulls so much from you. I just enjoy these moments, and I’m grateful to be where I’m at. I feel good, I do. I think I’ve been sharp all week. I’m feeling good, and we’ll see what tomorrow holds.
Behind Tosoc, Justin Bonomo finished the day with 2.687 million. Bonomo’s stack put him second in chips, and the successful pro will be looking to score his first WPT title after a few very deep runs that came up short.
“WPTs were kind of the bane of my career early on,” Bonomo said after play wrapped up. “I have seventh, eighth, 11th, but never made a final table, and a lot of them were sick beats. I remember a couple I ran kings into aces. I kind of feel like I went off to Europe and played some tougher tournaments, and now I’m back. To be perfectly honest, the competition is a little bit easier here, though at this stage there definitely are some tough players left.”
Some of those tough players Bonomo might be talking about include JC Tran (1.806 million), Tommy Vedes (1.052 million), Taylor Paul (661,000), and Chris Klodnicki (458,000), and it’s the experience he’s earned that he feels will help him in a field like this WPT Five Diamond.
“Absolutely,” Bonomo said when asked if he feels his experience in Europe will help him in this WPT Five Diamond Main Event. “Playing against tougher competition is going to make anyone a better poker player.”
To view the full list of chip counts, click here.
Day 4 of the WPT Five Diamond Main Event will take place on Thursday starting at 12 p.m. local time at Bellagio in Las Vegas. Each of the remaining 19 players were guaranteed $45,269 at this point of the tournament, but it’s a shot at the televised final table of six they’ll be gunning for on Friday.
Be sure to stay tuned right here to WPT.com for continued coverage of the Season XV WPT Five Diamond Main Event.