Day 4 of the Season XVI WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic $10,400 Main Event came to a close on Friday night, with the field left at 18 players remaining. Leading the way was Ajay Chabra (pictured above) with a stack of 3.961 million, good for more than 1.2 million ahead of anyone else.
Chabra’s career record consists of two prior cashes, both coming from the WSOP Main Event. In 2015, he finish 436th for $21,786. In 2016, he placed 719th for $17,232. Chabra is already set to earn at least $51,984 with 18 players left at Bellagio, meaning he’s already locked up the largest live tournament score of his career. With the chip lead and only 17 players standing in his way, Chabra will now set his sights on the $1.958 million top prize.
Chabra helped secure himself the chip lead when he won a three-way pot that knocked out Brian Skin in 25th place. Chabra opened with a raise to 32,000 from middle position with the blinds at 8,000-16,000 with a 2,000 ante. Perry made the call on the button, and then Okin went all in for his last 35,000 from the big blind. Both Chabra and Perry called to see the flop. On the flop, Chabra bet 20,000 and Perry called. The turn was the and Chabra check-called a bet of 60,000 from Perry. The river was the and Chabra check-called another bet from Perry, this time for 230,000. Chabra tabled the to beat the of Perry and the of Okin.
Even with a sizable lead, the road won’t be an easy one for Chabra. Twenty-one-year-old Sean Perry has shown he isn’t afraid of anyone in the tournament and finished Day 4 second in chips with 2.747 million. Michael Ruane, a former WSOP Main Event final tablist, was third with 2.192 million, and then last season’s second-place finisher, Ryan Tosoc (pictured below), bagged 2.088 million.
Speaking of Tosoc, his run in back-to-back seasons of the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic is absolutely impressive, and it’s not done yet. Last season, Tosoc finished second behind only James Romero from the record field of 791 entries. He earned $1.124 million for that result and has a one-in-nine shot of earning an even larger score this time around.
“I like to play a little out of the norm because people are used to seeing this and that and everyone kind of plays the same,” Tosoc said when asked about the hand he busted Tony Gregg on. “When you mix it up, you take them out of a situation they’re comfortable with. Tony is a really good player. I’m pretty sure he knew exactly what I had and he clicked it back. My plan here was to just call here and figure it out on the turn.”
This season’s WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic attracted an even larger field of 812 entries to set a new record for the event, and the top two spots will award more money than Tosoc won in Season XV.
WPT Champions Club member Mike Del Vecchio finished Day 4 seventh overall with a stack of 1.358 million, just behind the 1.476 million of Blake Bohn. Del Vecchio has already won two round-trip seats on a private jet flight thanks to JetSmarter. Del Vecchio won the JetSmarter Outlast Promotion to earn that prize.
Lauren Roberts is the lone female player remaining, and Dan Colman is also in contention for his first World Poker Tour title. Roberts finished Day 4 with 1.193 million, and Colman had 935,000.
“He’s such a nice guy,” Roberts said of Colman. “I enjoyed playing with him.”
Roberts has two prior WPT cashes, and both came in this event. In Season XIII, the season Mohsin Charania was victorious, Roberts took 51st for $22,737. In Season XIV, Kevein Eyster’s winning season, Roberts narrowly missed out on the final table when she took seventh place for $173,552.
“I am not the same player,” Roberts said on the difference between her run in Season XIV and now. “I am amazed that I went so deep a few years ago. I’m much better equipped to be where I am, but I still have a long way to go to get to the final table.”
On the way to the final 18, plenty of notables were lost, including WPT Champions Club members Chino Rheem (19th – $44,100), Matt Giannetti (24th – $44,100), Jared Jaffee (28th – $37,807), and Daniel Strelitz (46th – $27,567).
Day 4 was also the day that saw the money bubble burst, after 90 players returned to action but only the top 81 were set to pay out. On the 19th hand of hand-for-hand play, Steffen Sontheimer and Ben Zamani got all the money in the middle, with Sontheimer’s dominated by the reigning Hublot WPT Player of the Year’s . A queen flopped for Sontheimer and he held from there to bust Zamani in 82nd place.
The final 18 players will resume action on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at 12 p.m. PT from Bellagio in Las Vegas. The players have $51,984 locked up, and Day 5 will be all about reaching the televised final table of six. Doing so will secure a player $271,736 and a one-in-three chance of winning seven figures.
The winner of this prestigious event will also take home a luxurious Hublot Big Bang Steel watch and a $5,000 membership to JetSmarter.
Stay tuned right here to WPT.com for continued coverage of the Season XVI WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic.
Photography by Joe Giron / PokerPhotoArchive.com
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