Record-Setting Day at Bellagio Concludes with Brandon Meyers On Top

Dec 7, 2017

Brandon Meyers

It was a record-setting day at Bellagio in Las Vegas and a historic moment in the 16-year span of the World Poker Tour. With a final tally of 812 entries, the Season XVI WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event attracted its largest field ever, surpassing last season’s record field of 791 entries. The field generated a prize pool of $7.876 million with nearly $2 million set to be earned by the winner. Second place will also walk away with a seven-figure payday, as the runner-up will receive more than $1.1 million.

Not only was it the largest turnout in this event’s history, but the 812 entries in the Season XVI WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event proved to be the largest ever for a $10,000 buy-in WPT event.

For a second day in a row, Brandon Meyers (pictured) was the overnight chip leader of the Season XVI WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event. Meyers bagged a stack of 388,100 in chips and will be the frontman to catch amongst the surviving field of 320 players.

WPT Five Diamond Top 10 Chip Counts

1. Brandon Meyers – 388,100
2. Daniel Strelitz – 310,900
3. Artem Markov – 230,500
4. Todd Hoffenden – 230,300
5. Matt Moss – 228,700
6. Tony Gregg – 225,600
7. Darren Elias – 214,700
8. Kenny Nguyen – 214,000
9. Sergii Baranov – 213,700
10. Rory Young – 213,000

“I’ve flopped a bunch of sets, full houses over full houses,” Meyers said of his tournament to this point. “Whenever I’ve decided to get aggressive, I’ve gotten folds, or calls when I backdoor a flush. Everything is going smoothly.”

En route to bagging the biggest stack in the room, Meyers beat up on Ray Qartomy in a couple of pots that helped him earn his big stack. First, he made trip aces against Qartomy to take a chunk of chips away from Qartomy in Level 6, and then he busted Qartomy in Level 7.

When Meyers eliminated Qartomy, Qartomy was all in for about 60,000 with pocket kings against the pocket aces of Meyers. Qartomy received no help from the flop, turn, or river, and he was eliminated from the field.

“Having patience and realizing its a long tournament,” Meyers said of the keys to success in the early stages of major tournaments, such as this one. “You can’t win it on the first, second, or even third day. Try to take advantage of the good situations that arise.”

Meyers will now take a stack of nearly 400,000 in chips to Day 3 having finished as the chip leader after Day 1. Day 3 will be a day that sees the field get close to the money, and Meyers is positive about the spot he’s in.

“It’s absolutely way better [than not having chips as the money approaches],” he said. “As a professional poker player, it’s important when you get close to the money, to make the money. You can’t give up and give away a short stack because you have to make the money. It’s nice being able to put pressure on other people knowing they’re trying to make the money and use that to your advantage.”

Joining Meyers with plump chip bags were a handful of WPT Champions Club members, including Daniel Strelitz (310,900), Anthony Gregg (225,600), Darren Elias (214,7000), Taylor Paur (166,000), Mike Del Vecchio (155,100), and Kevin Eyster (136,700). Gus Hansen, winner of the WPT’s first-ever event, the Season I WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic way back in 2002, bagged 118,700 in chips.

In addition to the mammoth first- and second-place prizes up for grabs, there is plenty of cash to be won from the Season XVI WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. The top 81 spots will reach the money, and a min-cash is worth $19,691. The top nine spots will be awarded more than $100,000 each.

As always, stay tuned right here to for continued coverage of the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. With nearly $2 million going to the winner, you don’t want to miss the rest of this one!

Photography by Joe Giron /

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