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2016 WPT Five Diamond Day 1: Robin Hegele Leads the Potentially Record-Setting Field

Robin Hegele
  • Will a new field size record be set in the 2016 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event?

  • Robin Hegele takes the chip lead after Day 1 in the 2016 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic ME.

The 2016 World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event at the Bellagio kicked off the first of its six days of its 15th anniversary event on Dec. 5 with a star-studded field, some of the biggest names in the game.

The opening day ended after the first five levels of play were completed and a total of 519 entrants ponied up the $10,400 event buy-in, creating a prize pool of over $5 million and counting. With late registration open until around 5:15 PT on Day 2 or at the beginning of level 9, the field size is likely to eclipse last year's event which attracted 439 entrants on Day 1 and 639 in total.

The field size could set an overall record for the event which was established back in 2007 when Ukraine's Eugene Katchalov outlasted a field of 664 entrants to secure his biggest win of his poker career of $2,482,605. However, it is unlikely that this year's event will eclipse the 2007 event's total prize pool of $9,661,200, since in that year the buy-in was $15,400 or about 50 percent higher than that of this year's event.

While chip counts won't be official until before the start of Day 2, at the end of Day 1, Germany's Robin Hegele was the chip leader with 185,000 and approximately 385 entrants remaining, according to

2016 WPT Five Diamond Day 1 Unofficial Top 10 Chip Counts

1Robin Hegele185,000 (463 bb)
2Lucas Blanco Oliver139,325 (348 bb)
3Andjelko Andrejevic136,400 (341 bb)
4Jennifer Tilly134,225 (336 bb)
5Chris Wieners121,000 (302 bb)
6David Pham120,100 (300 bb)
7Soren Jensen116,975 (292 bb)
8Lazaro Hernandez106,975 (267 bb)
9Corey Hochman106,150 (265 bb)
10Nicholas Manganaro104,350 (261 bb)

Day 1 of the Season XV WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event began at 12 p.m. local time with players starting off with 30,000 opening chips and blinds at 50/100. The deep-stacked affair provides plenty of action with unlimited reentries and blinds going up every 90 minutes.

Robin Hegele's path to the Day 1 unofficial chip lead was catapulted by a hand involving Team PokerStars Pro and 2004 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic champion Daniel Negreanu and poker pro and model Lily Kiletto during Level 3 with blinds at at 75/150 with a 25 ante.

The hand began with Peter Neff opening the action with a bet of 400 from the hijack before Hegele raised to 1,200 from the cutoff. Kid Poker then four-bet to 5,000 on the button before Kiletto shoved all in with a five-bet from the small blind. Neff got out of the way before Hegele six-bet shoved all in and Negreanu called his remaining chip stack of approximately 33,000.

Hegele: {A-Spades}{K-Spades} - 39%
Negreanu: {J-Spades}{J-Hearts} - 43%
Kiletto: {10-Diamonds}{10-Hearts} - 18%

Negreanu began the hand as a 43 percent favorite and improved to a 66 percent favorite after the {7-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{3-Diamonds} appeared on the flop. However, the tables were turned after the {A-Clubs} appeared on the turn making Hegele a more than 90 percent favorite to win the hand. The {8-Diamonds} sealed the deal for Hegele, temporarily sending both Negreanu and Kiletto to the felt before reloading.

Negreanu's day turned out to be more expensive as he has thus far fired six bullets in the tournament. However, on his last bullet he was able to navigate his way to an 80,000 chip stack to enter Day 2 with 200 big blinds.

Big names to amass big chip stacks on Day 1 according to the unofficial chip counts included Spain's Lucas Blanco Oliver (139,125), Serbia's Andjelko Andrejevic (136,400), and Americans Jennifer Tilly (134,225), David Pham (120,100), Grayson Ramage (103,675) and Brian Rast (95,300).

Day 2 is set to kick off at 12 p.m. local time with blinds at 200/400 and an ante of 25. Tune into PokerNews tomorrow to see if the record for the field size of the 15-year history of this event was smashed along with the latest news on the Season XV WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event.

*Lead image and data courtesy of

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