World Series of Poker Europe

World Poker Tour Five Diamond Classic: Daniel Alaei Wins!

Daniel Alaei

The World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic came to a conclusion over the weekend with the crowning of a new champion as Daniel Alaei defeated Josh Arieh heads-up for the impressive win and the $1,428,430 first-place prize. Well-known for his cash game, Alaei's poker prowess has now earned him a WPT title to go with his two World Series of Poker bracelets and roughly $4 million in career tournament earnings.

The first of the six final table players to hit the rail was Steve O'Dwyer who made his exit on the 47th hand. O'Dwyer moved all-in from the small blind for 1,935,000 and Scotty Nguyen called with {j-Clubs}{j-Diamonds}. O'Dwyer (holding {a-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}) never stood a chance as the {j-Hearts} fell in the window giving Nguyen a flopped set. Despite improving to two pair on the turn, O'Dwyer missed his four-outer on the river giving the hand to Nguyen. O'Dwyer earned $202,362 for his performance.

It took an additional 57 hands before the next player was eliminated. Unfortunately for Scotty Nguyen, it was his time to do the walk of shame after being eliminated by Faraz Jaka. In the hand, Josh Arieh raised to 350,000. Nguyen moves all-in (cutoff) for 1,365,000. Jaka then followed suit moving all-in, getting Arieh to fold. Jaka's {k-Clubs}{k-Spades} had Nguyen's pocket nines dominated, and held when the board bricked, ending Nguyen's run at the title. He collected $249,976 for finishing fifth.

Several hands later, it was Shawn Buchanan's time to exit. His day ended when his {k-Hearts}{8-Diamonds} failed to improve against Alaei's {a-Clubs}{k-Clubs}. During the hand, Buchanan moved all-in pre-flop for 1,540,000 and Alaei came over the top for the rest of his stack. The board missed Buchanan and his day was done. He collected $333,302 for finishing fourth.

The action continued at a break-neck pace as Jaka was eliminated 13 hands after Buchanan's exit. During the hand, Jaka moved all-in from the button for 2,590,000 and Alaei (big blind) called. Alaei was in the lead turning over {k-Clubs}{k-Hearts} to Jaka's {a-Spades}{6-Hearts}. The board brought a third king and Jaka's dream of a title were flushed down the toilet. He earned $571,374 for finishing third.

Despite holding a monster lead going into heads-up play, it simply wasn't meant to be for Arieh as Alaei clawed his way back to take down the win. In the day's final hand, Alaei raised preflop to 700,000 and Arieh made the call. The flop came {10-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}{2-Spades} and Arieh checked and Alaei bet out 900,000. Arieh then moved all-in holding {7-Hearts}{7-Spades} and was called by Alaei who is held {10-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}. The turn brought the {6-Hearts} and the {8-Clubs} came on the river to give Alaei two pair and the win. Arieh collected $952,290 for finishing second while Alaei earned the $1,428,430, a Rolex watch, a WPT bracelet and entry into the 2010 WPT World Championship.

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