Plenty Of High Roller Action At The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic

December 7, 2017
Plenty Of High Roller Action At The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic


You know the holiday season is in full swing when the World Poker Tour rolls into Las Vegas, Nevada following the Thanksgiving Holiday. And you know the World Poker Tour is coming to town when a series of high rollers and poker’s best, including all of Germany show up at the tables.

The Bellagio is once again hosting the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, a series of 24 events with four $25,000 high rollers listed on the original schedule and additional high rollers ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 were late additions to the schedule, most likely due to player demand.

Bellagio $100,000 Super High Roller

This last-minute addition of the $100,000 Super High Roller to the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic schedule attracted 39 players willing to pony up $100K for a slice of the $3.9 million prize pool. The event captured our attention when Daniel Negreanu took on the side gig of live tweeting the action, complete with pictures, on his Twitter feed.  Since there was no live stream or live reporting on hand, we were able to get our fix through his tweets. It’s good to know if this poker thing doesn’t pan out, Negreanu has a useful skill to fall back on.

Negreanu has made no secret that he’s been working hard on his game. He knows the importance of studying and improving his play to keep strides with all the wizards out there. After reaching the money, he gave credit where credit is due by tweeting, “This is the first tourney I’ve played since grinding in the lab with MJ & Matt and I feel really good about what I’ve learned. They are superstar teachers.”

Ben Lamb followed up with, “You used to have to go to choice center to win poker tournaments. Now you have to study GTO poker theory. @RealKidPoker has now done both. Maybe he can finally beat the Germans!”

But it wasn’t just the Germans, Negreanu had to beat. Coming into Friday’s finale as expected there was a German at the table, Stefan Schillhabel. But there was also a Spaniard, Sergio Aido fresh off his win in the $10k high roller that was played a few days prior, and fellow Americans, Isaac Haxton, Dan Smith and Bryn Kenney – all three of which had made the money in recent high rollers. Getting a win would be no easy task.

The Final Table

Kenney was the first of the final six to be eliminated and his elimination brought a halt to the play for the day. The final five would return the following day to battle it out. And when they did, it was Aido to hit the rail first, followed by Haxton.

But the hand of the night was undoubtedly a hand between Smith and Shillhabel as reported by Negreanu on Twitter:

And that left a heads-up battle between Smith and Negreanu, with Smith holding 3.2 million in chips to Negreanu’s 2.6 million.

Just thirty minutes after reporting the heads-up chip counts, Negreanu tweeted he was out when his queen-ten couldn’t connect against Smith’s ace-king. Smith not only claimed the title, but his win put him over the $19 million mark in live tournament earnings. And Negreanu’s second-place prize of $936,000 is nothing to sneeze at, moving him to more than $35 million in career earnings.

Another earnings milestone happened when Bryn Kenny surpassed Scott Blumstein for the top spot on the 2017 money list with his sixth-place finish in this event.

The $100,000 Super High Roller Results

  • First Place: Dan Smith for $1,404,000
  • Second Place: Daniel Negreanu for $936,000
  • Third Place: Stefan Schillhabel for $624,000
  • Fourth Place: Ike Haxton for $390,000
  • Fifth Place: Sergio Aido for $312,000
  • Sixth Place: Bryn Kenney for $234,000

Other preliminary high roller events

$10K High Roller

In the first high roller of the series, 28 players ponied up $10,000 to get in on the action and claim their share of the $280,000 prize pool. It was Spain’s Sergio Aido who bested Ramin Hajiyev heads-up to claim the title and the first-place prize of $128,800, while Hajiyev took home $78,400 for his efforts. Third-place finisher, Bryn Kenney earned $44,800 and Almedin Imsirovic rounded out the top four with $28,000.

$10K High Roller Results

  • First Place: Sergio Aido for $128,000
  • Second Place: Ramin Hajiyev for $78,400
  • Third Place: Bryn Kenney for $44,800
  • Fourth Place: Almedin Imsirovic for $28,000
  • Fifth Place: Sergio Aido for $312,000

$25K High Roller #1

Jason Koon and Ike Haxton reached a deal heads up in the very next high roller to pop up inside of the Bellagio Poker Room. Koon took to Twitter to celebrate the chop,”Bout time @ikepoker and I chop a tourney!”  The deal which gave Koon the official win pushed his 2017 yearly income to over $4 million in tournament winnings, his best year since 2008. Koon and Haxton managed to navigate their way through a field of 34 of the toughest players, all household names in the game, to claim the top two prizes.

$25K High Roller #1 Results

  • First Place: Jason Koon for $289,950*
  • Second Place: Isaac Haxton for $271,050*
  • Third Place: Cary Katz for $136,000
  • Fourth Place: Fedor Holz for $85,000
  • Fifth Place: Ben Tollerene for $68,000

*Players reached a deal heads-up.

Event #12 – $25K High Roller

Rainer Kempe won the next $25k high roller after playing through a field of 49 players and earning $351,000 for his efforts. And one thing we’re noticing, as we often do in these things, is the familiar names on the leaderboard.

WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Event #12 Results

  • First Place: Rainer Kempe for $351,000
  • Second Place: Ben Tollerene for $234,000
  • Third Place: Adrian Mateos-Diaz for $156,000
  • Fourth Place: Justin Bonomo for $97,500
  • Fifth Place: Brian Green for $78,000
  • Sixth Place: Dan Smith for $58,500

There are still two more $25,000 High Roller Events to get underway this weekend and of course, the main event is in full swing. Expect to see some familiar names in the midst of the action, hoping to end the year strong. The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic continues through December 10th, when the WPT televised final table is expected to conclude. The final table will be live-streamed on PokerGo and live updates can be found at

Check back here soon after the conclusion of the Main Event for a complete rundown.

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