The World Poker Tour returned to Bellagio in Las Vegas for the Season XVI WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic $10,400 Main Event on Tuesday, and what a triumphant return it was. Just more than 600 entries were tallied on Day 1 to put this season’s field well ahead of the 519 entries on Day 1 last season. Grabbing the early chip lead was Brandon Meyers (pictured), bagging a stack of 152,700 in chips.
Rounding out the top five stacks were Gregory Back (130,400), Jonathan Kamhazi (120,000), Eric Baldwin (114,700), and Ray Pulford (109,000), as about 550 players advanced to Day 2.
Also advancing to Day 2 was defending champion James Romero, who bagged a slight uptick from his starting stack of 30,000 with 35,500 to end the day. Last season, Romero topped the record-setting field of 791 entries to win more than $1.9 million.
ClubWPT has four representatives on Day 1, with two coming directly from qualifiers on ClubWPT.com and two coming as winners of the ClubWPT King of the Club series. Three of the four players advanced to Day 2, with Jan Garner chief among them with more than 60,000. Bill Mynatt and Michael Evans were the two others.
WPT commentator Tony Dunst was in the field on Day 1 and bagged slightly more than starting stack. He’ll also be back in the mix for Day 2.
Outside of the players in the field, the size of the turnout was the story of the day. The Bellagio poker room and the overflow area in the sports book were absolutely jam-packed all day long, and that will carry over into Wednesday’s Day 2 because registration is open for another three levels. Comparing this season to last season’s venture, the field is already more than 80 entries ahead of the record-setting pace.
Day 2 will see the cards in the air at 12 p.m. local time on Wednesday, and plenty more players will be back in action to battle on the felt. Daniel Negreanu and WPT Raw Deal host Phil Hellmuth will very much likely be in the field, as will anyone who busted on Day 1 and wants to take another shot. The Season XVI WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic $10,400 Main Event does allow for reentries up until the start of Level 9 when registration closes.
Be sure to stay tuned right here to WPT.com for continued coverage of the Season XVI WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event.
Photography by Joe Giron / PokerPhotoArchive.com
Looking to win your way to a World Poker Tour event for your shot at becoming a WPT champion? Play for your chance on ClubWPT.com, where eligible VIP Members can play for over $100,000 in cash and prizes each month, including seats to WPT events, no purchase necessary