With 791 entries, the Season XV World Poker Tour® Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event shattered the event’s previous best for field size and generated a whopping prize pool of nearly $7.7 million. On Saturday, Dec. 10 when the legendary tournament comes to an end, the winner will walk away with a first-place payday of $1.938 million. What’s more is that the runner-up will also become a millionaire, winning $1.124 million.
The previous record of entries in the WPT Five Diamond Main Event came in Season VI in 2007, when 664 entries were tallied. That year the buy-in was $15,400, as opposed to this year’s $10,400, so it still holds the record for largest prize pool in WPT Five Diamond history.
Including this year’s prize money, the WPT Five Diamond Main Event will have awarded more than $85.1 million over its 15 editions, with over $22.3 million of that being first-place prizes.
Last year’s Season XIV WPT Five Diamond Main Event field size clocked in at 639 entries, with Kevin Eyster walking away with the $1.587 million first-place prize.
“This event on the WPT is the one that’s maintained its prestige above all else,” said WPT Champions Club member Daniel Negreanu. “It’s at the perfect time of the year, you get a lot of big stars, and a lot of cool people have won it, including myself back in the day (laughs).”
Negreanu won the WPT Five Diamond back in Season III, topping a field of 377 entries to win a first-place prize of nearly $1.8 million.
“I remember when Bellagio opened, and I was here,” Negreanu went on to say. “I was a young grinder. It was epic. It’s the center of the poker universe where people always want to be here and be behind that glass playing in Bobby’s Room.”
The WPT Five Diamond was the very first event ever held on the World Poker Tour, won by Gus Hansen back in Season I in 2002. It’s also one of only three events to be a part of the WPT schedule each and every season, alongside the WPT Legends of Poker and the WPT L.A. Poker Classic. For all 15 editions of the WPT Five Diamond, it has been held at the luxurious Bellagio in Las Vegas.
“Bellagio brings out the best — the best players and some of the best tournaments,” said Phil Hellmuth. “The reason why is that it’s in Vegas and everyone knows about this event way in advance and marks their calendars. Everybody respects this event.”
Hellmuth is a player with 13 WPT Main Tour cashes and four final tables, but he’s yet to breakthrough and score his first WPT title. That’s something he really wants to earn, and winning the WPT Five Diamond would be at the top of his list.
“[WPT Five Diamond] is a very important event for the poker world, and one that I really want to win,” Hellmuth said. “To me, it’s definitely a top four WPT event that I’ve always wanted. I wanted the $25,000 Championship the most, and I’ve wanted the Legends of Poker at the Bicycle Casino and the L.A. Poker Classic at Commerce Casino.”
The top 72 places were set to reach the money in the Season XV WPT Five Diamond Main Event, and you can follow coverage on WPT.com.