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Ajay Chabra Leads Final 18 in World Poker Tour Five Diamond

Ajay Chabra Leads Final 18 in World Poker Tour Five Diamond 0001
  • 2016 WPT Five Diamond runner-up Ryan Tosoc is going for back-to-back final tables with 18 remaining.

After four days of action in the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic, only 18 players are still in the running for a $1.958 million payday.

Cash game pro Ajay Chabra bagged an overwhelming chip lead with 3,961,000, 1.2 million chips ahead of the next biggest stack, which belongs to recently turned 21-year-old Sean Perry, who bagged up 2,747,000.

Chabra told PokerNews he had a really good day and ran good.

"I made a lot of big hands and got paid off. I'm enjoying it."

The hand that got Chabra's momentum going was his near double-up with pocket kings when he eliminated Farid Jattin. Chabra turned a king and rivered a full house and then check-shoved. Jattin called and Chabra soared to the top of the counts, and didn't stop building.

Chabra mostly plays cash games online in New Jersey. He started taking poker more seriously in 2010 during his last year of college at University of Southern California where he got a degree in Engineering — a degree he is not using right now.

His only two live tournament results on Hendon Mob are both from the WSOP Main Event — in 2015 and 2016 — for a total of $39,000 in earnings. He only decided to come out to play this event because he's been getting more into live tournaments lately, and he's glad that he did. His plan moving into Day 5 is pretty straight-forward.

"I'm going to try to get more chips, and hopefully I can make the final table."

Complete List of Day 5 Chip Stacks

1Ajay Chabra3,961,000
2Sean Perry2,747,000
3Michael Ruane2,192,000
4Ryan Tosoc2,088,000
5Richard Kirsch1,800,000
6Blake Bohn1,476,000
7Mike Del Vecchio1,358,000
8Daniel Zack1,218,000
9Lauren Roberts1,193,000
10Mel Wiener1,150,000
11Ray Pulford1,047,000
12Dan Colman935,000
13Satish Surapaneni810,000
14Scott Matte795,000
15Matthew Moss657,000
16Roman Korenev395,000
17Alex Foxen376,000
18Jerry Humphrey360,000

The only WPT Champions Club member left who can add a second title to his resume is Mike Del Vecchio.

Tosoc Going for Back-to-Back Final Table

Ryan Tosoc, who finished second in this event last year, has a chance to make the final table two years in a row.

Ajay Chabra Leads Final 18 in World Poker Tour Five Diamond 101

"I really do think it's just the venue. Home court advantage. I've been living in Vegas for about three years and it seems that when I get the money in in this tournament, the pot goes my way."

Tosoc said Day 4 "started off pretty rough," and he had around 16 big blinds on the bubble. He was able to slip into the money with around 20 big blinds.

"I got to play some pots when I wasn't completely at risk, which is what I like to do."

Tosoc doubled through Tony Gregg and from there he said he was just picking up pots here and there.

He plays a lot of PLO and says he just sees the game differently now. Heading into Day 5, he is in good position to make yet another final table in the WPT Five Diamond.

Day 4 Action

The day started nine away from the money with 90 players and early in the day, the field went to hand-for-hand.

That would last 19 hands with several short stack double-ups. On the 19th hand, last season’s Hublot WPT Player of the Year Benjamin Zamani called off his remaining stack of around 17 big blinds after Steffen Sontheimer shoved from the cutoff.

Zamani was in good shape with ace-king against the king-queen of Sontheimer, but the German found a queen on the flop to send Zamani home empty handed in this one.

With the remaining 81 in the money, the players returned from break and Steve Gross was the first casualty in the money. Also min-cashing for $19,691 were Cate Hall (76th place), who announced on Twitter she was donating 100 percent of her winnings in the event to charity, and Ben Yu (73rd). Michael Gagliano followed in 68th place ($22,054).

Three-time WPT champion Darren Elias was eliminated in 62nd place ($24,417), putting an end to his bid to break the WPT record for most titles.

Other WPT Champions Club members to bust in the money on Day 4 include Daniel Strelitz, Tony Gregg, Jared Jaffee and Matt Giannetti. The final elimination of the day was another three-time WPT champ, Chino Rheem. Rheem’s bid to become the first to four fell short with a 19th-place finish for $44,100 when he ran into Sean Perry’s pocket aces shortly before play concluded for the night.

Some other players to bust in the money were Sergio Aido, Nadya Magnus, Eric Wasserson, Ralph Perry, Ben Keeline, Ashton Griffin, Dean Baranowski, Chance Kornuth, Steffen Sontheimer, Eddy Sabat, Kenny Nguyen, David Pham, Joe Kuether, Rory Young, Day 1 and Day 2 chip leader Brandon Meyers, who busted late in the day in 21st place ($44,100) when his pocket kings failed to hold up against the ace-queen of Tosoc.

PokerNews will continue to bring stories from the tournament floor until the event's conclusion on Sunday. Live Updates are available from WPT.

Photos courtesy of WPT/Joe Giron

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