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2012 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 1: Jeremy Kottler Leads Stacked Field

WPT Five Diamond

The 2012 World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic kicked off Tuesday at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The prestigious event saw 374 players put up the $10,000 buy-in, and many took advantage of the re-entry option throughout the day. After five levels of play on Day 1, 269 players were still alive, with Jeremy Kottler leading the way.

WPT Five Diamond Day 1 Top 10 Chip Counts

PlacePlayerChips
1Jeremy Kottler134,975
2Randal Flowers119,400
3Russell Thomas108,000
4Gheorghe Gradinaru107,425
5Shawn Cunix102,000
6Dana Kellstrom99,200
7Jeff Yarchever98,500
8Alex Phahurat97,325
9Tom Marchese84,425
10Ty Reiman79,000

As usual, the Five Diamond World Poker Classic drew some of the biggest names in poker. Former Five Diamond champs Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, Joe Hachem and James Dempsey were among the notables in attendance. They were joined by Vanessa Selbst, David Williams, Scotty Nguyen, Erik Seidel, Maria Ho, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, Sam Trickett, Marvin Rettenmaier, Mike Sexton and Phil Galfond, to name a few.

But it was Kottler who stole the show on Day 1. The Ohio native bagged 134,975 chips at the end of play and holds a slight lead over two-time WPT champ Randal Flowers, who finished with 119,400. Flowers told WPT reporter Diana Cox late in the day that he picked up a huge pot with {J-}{J-} against Alex Outhred's {A-}{Q-} after all the chips went in preflop and then flopped two pair against Dan O'Brien's combo draw and held to climb over 100,000 in chips.

Also eclipsing the century mark were Russell Thomas (108,000), Gheorge Gradinaru (107,425) and Shawn Cunix (102,000). Among the other notables taking big stacks into Day 2 are Alex Phahurat, Tom Marchese, Tony Dunst, Jeremy Ausmus, Esfandiari and reigning WPT Player of the Year Joe Serock.

More than 100 players failed to make it through Day 1, but they'll each have the option of reentering on Wednesday. Registration will remain open through Level 8, at which point the official prize pool and payouts will be determined. Among the players who busted on Day 1 and are expected to return are former WPT champs Carlos Mortensen and Yevgeniy Timoshenko.

Day 2 will commence at 1200 PST (1800 CET) on Wednesday. Keep it locked in to PokerNews.com for daily recaps from Bellagio.

Data and photo courtesy of WorldPokerTour.com.

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