The World Poker Tour is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week at the $10,000 Five Diamond World Poker Classic at Bellagio where the WPT held its first event a decade ago. The inaugural Five Diamond World Poker Classic was won in 2002 by Gus Hansen, who defeated a field of 146 for $556,460 to become an instant superstar shortly before the poker boom.
On Tuesday, 365 players hit the felt on Day 1 of this year's event. So far, the field is significantly smaller than last year when Antonio Esfandiari outlasted a field of 438 to win his second WPT title and a top prize of $870,000. Registration will be open until Level 8 on Day 2, which will likely see the field grow to more than 400.
Esfandiari got off to a quick start this year and even held the chip lead for much of the day, but Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst stole the spotlight Tuesday evening. She bagged up 165,800 chips when play ended, more than four times the starting stack, and led the 283 players who survived Day 1. Selbst picked up most of her chips in a hand against fellow PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin. According to Selbst's Twitter, she busted Ramdin in a set-over-set situation that sent her to the top of the chip counts.
Up to 132k after set over setting @victorramdin. Unlucky bud, u played well as always in the short time there.Follow @VanessaSelbst
According to the World Poker Tour Live Updates Team, other notables taking healthy stacks into Day 2 include Darren Elias (130,000), Allen Kessler (108,475), Chris Klodnicki (106,750), Will Failla (101,325), Antonio Esfandiari (97,350), Erik Seidel (93,100), Hoyt Corkins (91,800), Matt Glantz (91,000), David Williams (89,650), David Pham (87,700), Matt Giannetti (86,175) and Carlos Mortensen (84,150).
Among the players eliminated on Day 1 were Joseph Cheong, JC Tran, Justin Young, Lee Markholt, Matt Waxman, Frank Kassela, Shawn Buchanan, Steve Gross, Sorel Mizzi, Mike Matusow, Nick Schulman, and Sam Stein, who took a nasty beat to end his tournament. Stein posted on Twitter that Nick Binger six-bet shoved preflop with queen-six that Stein called with pocket kings, but the queen-ten-three-queen-deuce board gave Binger trip queens and the pot.
Day 2 gets under way at 1200 PST on Wednesday. Registration will be open until about 1700 PST; prize pool information will be available a short while later. Here’s a look at the top ten chip counts at the start of Day 2:
WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Top 10 Chip Counts