On Dec. 6, the 2016 World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event at the Bellagio concluded its second of six days with five more levels of play. The field size ballooned from 519 to 791 entries when late registration closed before the start of Level 9, generating a huge $7,672,700 prize pool and a new record for the 15-year history of the event.
The previous record was established back in 2007 when Ukraine's Eugene Katchalov outlasted a field of 664 entrants to bank $2,482,605, the biggest win of his poker career. This also ties the WPT record in $10,000 buy in events with the 2007 WPT L.A. Poker Classic, an event won by Eric Hershler for $2,429,970.
Despite the record-breaking field size, the event ranks in fourth place in WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event history in terms of prize pool due to some of the earlier events featuring a larger buy-in of $15,300 to $15,400 when compared to the $10,400 buy-in in this year's event. However, it does set a new record for the largest prize pool in WPT $10,000 events with the 2007 WPT L.A. Poker Classic generating a slightly smaller $7,593,600 prize pool.
While chip counts won't be official until before the start of Day 3, at the end of Day 2, two-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner Ryan Hughes racked up a substantial chip lead with 364,400 chips with 270 players remaining, according to WorldPokerTour.com.
|6||Lucas Blanco Oliver||263,000||219|
Day 2 of the Season XV WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event began at 12 p.m. local time with blinds at 200/400 and an ante of 25 with blinds increasing every 90 minutes.
Ryan Hughes jumped into the chip lead near the end of the day when, with blinds at 500/1,000 ante 100, he won a huge hand. The hand began when Hughes' opponent, from early position, opened the action to 2,200. Hughes three-bet to 6,000 from mid-position and the action folded back to his opponent who four-bet to 16,200. After Hughes opted to call, his opponent led out with a bet of 13,000 after the appeared on the flop, which Hughes called.
Hughes bet 22,000 after his opponent checked on the , which appeared on the turn. His opponent called and once again checked the action when the completed the board on the river. Hughes thought for a few minutes before effectively firing out a bet of 50,000. His opponent called with and was sent to the rail after being no match for the held by Hughes.
Notable players heading into Day 3 with substantial chip stacks include Jennifer Tilly (second - 279,100), Lucas Blanco Oliver (sixth - 263,000), Anthony Spinella (eighth - 226,700), David Pham (ninth - 224,300) and Justin Bonomo (10th - 219,800). Additionally, Day 1 chip leader Robin Hegele is just behind the pack with 189,200, closely followed by Daniel Negreanu (183,400), Chance Kornuth (176,300) and Dani Stern (176,000).
Among those already eliminated in the tournament is Gus Hansen, who won the first WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event in 2002 for $556,460. Also eliminated were Ari Engel, Anthony Zinno, Calvin Anderson, Erik Seidel, Michael Mizrachi and Phil Hellmuth.
2016 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event Payouts
Near the end of Day 2, the prize pool and payouts were announced with 72 players (approximately nine percent of the field) walking away with a minimum cash of $22,251. First place is set for $1,938,118 (approximately 25 percent of the total prize pool). This will represent the fourth largest payout in WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event history.
*First-prize amount includes a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.
Day 3 is set to kick off at 12 p.m. local time with blinds at 600/1,200 and an ante of 200. Due to the large turnout of the event, the Bellagio staff announced that seven 90-minute blind levels will be played instead of the originally scheduled five.
*Lead image and data courtesy of WorldPokerTour.com
Be sure to complete your PokerNews experience by checking out an overview of our mobile and tablet apps here. Stay on top of the poker world from your phone with our mobile iOS and Android app, or fire up our iPad app on your tablet. You can also update your own chip counts from poker tournaments around the world with MyStack on both Android and iOS.