The World Poker Tour continues adding events to its 20th season this year and recently announced the return of the $10,400 Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic.
The tournament now shifts from its traditional December date to October. This marks the 20th running of one of the biggest tournaments in poker. The championship event plays out Oct. 19-23 with a $5 million guaranteed prize pool. The entire festival runs Oct. 7-23 with numerous side events.
“WPT Five Diamond is one of the longest-running and most prestigious annual events in the poker world,” WPT CEO Adam Pliska said in a news release. “Our partnership with Bellagio and their team has been instrumental to the continued success of this event.”
In other news, the tour has also added a major championship for women. The tour will film the final table of the ladies-only event for television as well.
A look at the Bellagio Five Diamond
The Five Diamond is the longest-running recurring WPT event and was the company’s first tournament in 2002. The event regularly features a lineup of well-known players looking to add a major bullet point to their poker records.
The tournament has featured some of the biggest names in the game finding the winner’s circle. Just a few of those include Gus Hansen (2002), Daniel Negreanu (2004), Joe Hachem (2006), Eugene Katchalov (2007), Chino Rheem (2008), Antonio Esfandiari (2010), Dan Smith (2013), Ryan Tosoc, (2017), and Dylan Linde (2018).
In 2021, Taylor Black topped a field of 716 entries for the title after the event was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic. That produced a $6.9 million prize pool. Black took home $1.2 million for the victory and was pleased being among some of poker’s elite.
“It’s cool to be on the list of Five Diamond winners with guys like them who are my friends and incredible players … it’s just a special tournament,” Black told WPT.com after the win. “You don’t control which tournament you get to run well enough to win so for it to be in this one for all the tournaments I play, it’s surreal.”
Plenty of Five Diamond action planned
Since the inaugural Five Diamond in 2002, WPT Bellagio events have amassed over $120 million in prize pools. Beyond the championship, this year’s festival includes a slate of high roller tournaments.
Two of those feature a $50,000 buy-in, one at the beginning of the series and one at the end. A $25,000 tournament also runs on Oct. 10.
“There is plenty of appetite in Las Vegas for big action in the fall,” Bellagio director of poker operations Mike Williams said. “Five Diamond is an essential staple of the annual poker schedule and our team looks forward to hosting all of the upcoming events.”
As with all WPT Main Tour festivals this season, players in all events are eligible for WPT’s Player of the Festival leaderboard. The competition awards a $1,100 WPT Prime Passport to the player with the most points.
Tour adds major ladies’ event to Wynn World Championship schedule
The shift from December to October for the Five Diamond comes after the tour recently announced the $10,400 WPT World Championship heading to the Wynn in Las Vegas. That championship event comes with a $15 million guaranteed prize pool.
The company also announced the addition of the $1,100 WPT Ladies World Championship to the schedule on Monday. The entire festival runs Dec. 1-20 with the new ladies tournament running Dec. 16-18 and featuring a $200,000 guarantee.
“We are committed to increasing the number of women in our global poker community, and will continue to introduce thoughtful initiatives both live and online at ClubWTP and WPT Global,” WPT Vice President Angelica Hael said in a news release. “The WPT Ladies Championship will prominently showcase today’s talent and set the stage for future high-profile tournaments.”
The WPT World Championship features more than 20 events with three of those televised. Those include the final tables of the Main Tour Championship, set for Dec. 12-20. The other televised events include the WPT Prime Championship as well as the ladies tournament.
“Wynn Las Vegas is proud to host this marquee event for women,” Wynn executive director of poker operations Ryan Beauregard said. “We are thrilled to include this event as part of December’s festivities, and round out the WPT World Championship lineup.”