At noon on Friday, the 2013 World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event kicked off with a star-studded field jam packed with some of the biggest names in the game. The first five levels of play were completed, and a total of 322 entries tallied up on the board. At the end of Day 1, Kevin Eyster was the chip leader with 238,975 in chips.
2013 WPT Five Diamond Day 1 Top 10 Chip Counts
Daniel Negreanu, Nick Schulman, David "Doc" Sands, Chino Rheem, Nam Le, Eli Elezra, Scotty Nguyen, Eric Baldwin, and defending champion Ravi Raghavan were all in the mix, but it would be the 2010 champion of this event, Antonio Esfandiari, that would see his day cut short and get a little bit more expensive with a reentry into the field, along with the likes of Dan Shak and Faraz Jaka.
According to the WPT live blog, Esfandiari's first bullet was busted during Level 2 with the blinds at 75/150. After seeing a four-way flop of , the first player led out with a bet of 600, the next player folded, Esfandiari made the call, and then the fourth player raised all in for around 9,000. The first player folded, but Esfandiari stuck in the chips to make the call, having just 500 in chips less than the player who shoved.
With Esfandiari at risk, he tabled the for top pair. His opponent had the for middle pair and a flush draw. The turn was the to give two pair to Esfandiari, but the on the river delivered a flush to his opponent. Esfandiari was eliminated and off to the cage for an immediate reentry. We'll see if his second time around proves a bit better off than his first.
What makes Esfandiari so important to this event is that not only did he win it back in 2010, but he then went on to make the final table in each of the subsequent years to follow, 2011 and 2012. When he won in 2010, Esfandiari took home $870,124. He followed that up in 2011 with a sixth-plce finish worth $119,418, and then a fourth-place finish in 2012 for $329,339.
When you add in his cashes from 2009 (23rd - $28,569) and 2008 (59th - $23,420), Esfandiari has won over $1.37 million just from this event alone after making the money every year since 2008. Some might say Bellagio is Esfandiari's home court, while others would say he simply does well when it's time to celebrate his birthday. Either way, Esfandiari has always had a few tricks up his sleeve when it comes to the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic.
On the other side of the coin, Daniel Steinberg, Brandon Crawford, and Marvin Rettenmaier were a few of the players to be eliminated on Day 1.
With late registration and reentry open until the end of Level 8 on Day 2, the field is expected to grow a bit. Since Bellagio and the WPT lowered the buy-in for this event from $15,400 to $10,300, the number of entries has been 438 in 2010, 413 in 2011, and last year's 503. Day 2 will commence at 12 p.m. local time in Las Vegas, and you can be sure to catch all recaps from play right here on PokerNews.
Data courtesy of WorldPokerTour.com