WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic Day 1

Day 1 of one of the WPT’s most noteworthy tournaments – the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic – concluded yesterday at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. While the Championship breaks with tradition by offering only one Day 1 (whereas other large tournaments like the WSOP’s Main Event now offer two, three and sometimes even four Day 1 heats), players had the option of buying into the event all the way through 5pm of Day 2 today.
Day 1 attracted a total of 329 players, and we have word that the late Day 2 entries will bring the total number of $10,000 buy-ins to 438. That translates to a very attractive $4.2 million prize pool and also means that the event drew more than 100 more competitors than it did last year when the buy-in was a steep $15,000. Some of the notable first-day failures included: Justin Bonomo, WSOP Main Event November Niner Joseph Cheong, Joe Sebok and 2010 NAPT and PPT champion Vanessa Selbst.
Online transfer Ryan D’Angelo was an early standout despite playing at some of the day’s tougher tables. D’Angelo has little live tournament experience to speak of – just four small cashes since 2008 – and yet he managed to finish the day with the big stack. D’Angelo also had the dubious honor of sniping Cheong; a victory that helped to propel his stack slightly ahead of second place Day 1 finisher Amirouddine Alibay. D’Angelo and Alibay have 192,500 and 185,200 chips respectively.
The grand old man himself, Doyle Brunson, is expected to enter the competition on Day 2, as is frequent final tabler Kathy Liebert. They’ll be facing some tough competition, what with pros Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Ivey and Kirk Morrison finishing Day 1 in the top ten. Ivey’s Macau table-mate Chau Giang also managed to survive Day 1, sitting just outside the top. All in all, 287 players moved on to be joined by the fresh Day 2 contenders.
The hosting tournament – the Five Diamond Poker Classic – began on November 26 and will finish with the WPT Championship’s final table on December 8. Altogether, this year’s Five Diamond Poker Classic offered 17 events, including another big $5000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event that will run simultaneous to Day 4 of the Main Event on Monday.

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