Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio, WPT Season 8

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Doyle Brunson Five Diamond
World Poker Classic at the Bellagio
WPT Season 8

Bellagio Cup V | Legends of Poker | Borgata Poker Open | Festa Al Lago
Foxwoods World Poker Finals | Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic
Beau Rivage Championships L.A. Poker Classic Bay 101 Shootout Star Championship
Hollywood Poker Open World Poker Tour Championships

Las Vegas, Nevada
December 13 to December 19, 2009

All linked player names have free bios, courtesy of FullTiltPoker

Day 1
Seen in the field were Curt Kohlberg, Soheil Shamseddin, John "Miami" Cernuto, Cornel Cimpan, Gavin Smith, Bryan Devonshire, David Chiu, Kenny Tran, Josh Arieh and Shannon Shorr. Also interesting was the fact that the Bellagio will allow buyins for the event up to the 8th level of play!

Others who made the cut for the next round include David Benyamine 157,225, Joe Serock 147,000, Jimmy Fricke 145,600, Erik Cajelais 126,725, Kenna James 121,575, Amnon Filippi 85,000, John Juanda 82,125, Robert Mizrachi 73,450, Lee Markholt 72,550 and James Van Alstyne 71,050. Short stacked are Fabrice Soulier with 9,225 chips, Eugene Katchalov 10,200, Jennifer Tilly 15,875 and Mark Newhouse with 22,300.

  1. DARRYLL FISH -- 236,625
  2. JONATHAN TURNER -- 227,325
  3. DAVID WOO -- 205,000
  4. WILLIAM KOPP -- 201,325
  5. CARLOS MORTENSEN -- 194,525
  6. ANTONIO ESFANDIARI -- 184,225
Day 2
For Day 2 some of the faces in the field were Hasan Habib, Doyle Brunson, Todd Brunson, David "Devilfish" Ulliott, Jon Turner, Barry Greenstein, Scotty Nguyen, Howard Lederer, James Mackey, Erik Seidel, Andy Bloch, Tom Dwan, Steve Brecher and Mike Matusow. And these were just a few that we knew of!

We now have official results that 329 players participated in this event. The $15,400 buy in helped to create a prize pool of $4,786,950 that will go to the top 27 finishers. The champion will receive a $25,500 Seat to WPT Championship in April 2010 plus $1,453,930 for the bank account. Here is the payout schedule for the final table:
  1. $1,453,930
  2. $952,290
  3. $571,374
  4. $333,302
  5. $249,976
  6. $202,362
There were 130 players remaining that will go to the next round. Average chip stack at the end of Day 2 is 151,846. Here are the top 6 with chip counts:
  1. STEVEN LANDFISH -- 385,900
  2. BRENT HANKS -- 383,000
  3. MATTHEW WAXMAN -- 377,500
  4. CHAD BATISTA -- 355,000
  5. SOREL MIZZI -- 348,000
  6. ALFREDO LEONIDAS -- 347,300
Day 3
Some painful hands were dealt today to a lot of great players. Such as Doyle Brunson having to give up 85K in chips after receiving a quad 10 smack down from Alex Keating. Steve Zolotow moved in with pocket 5's and was called by another player holding pocket K's which held to the river, sending Zolotow to the rail. Eric Seidel went all-in with pocket A's and was called by a player with pocket 9's. But wouldn't ya know it that the other player got 4 more spades to make a flush! This sent Seidel to the rail too. John Phan thought it would be safe to go all-in with pocket 7's, but was called by Kenna James with pocket 9's that ended up 3 of a kind on the flop, ending Pham's chances to take down the championship.

The end of this round leaves us with 36 players left. Some of the names are TOTO LEONIDAS 251,000, HASAN HABIB 295,500, ANTONIO ESFANDIARI 445,500, JOHN JUANDA 476,000, JOSEPH CASSIDY 689,500 and PETER GOULD with 531,000 chips left. Here are the top 6 with chip counts:
  1. DANNY ALAEI -- 1,664,500
  2. STEVEN LANDFISH -- 1,172,500
  3. JOSHUA ARIEH -- 1,112,000
  4. SCOTT NGUYEN -- 981,500
  5. MATTHEW WAXMAN -- 951,500
  6. JOE ELPAYAA -- 921,000
Day 4
Players were leaving quickly on Day 4. In just a few minutes into play, Toto Leonidas pushed his chips to the center with pocket 10's and was met by the pocket K's of Lee Salem, sending Leonidas to the rail in 36th place. He was very soon followed by Russell Rosenblum, Conrad Granath and Brandon Terry. Peter Gould busted in 29th place, just out of the money when his all-in move met with pocket Q's that held to the river. Hasan Habib was the bubble boy in 28th, losing to the paired Kings of Jeremy Brown. Steve Brecher finished in 25th place courtesy of the pocket Queens belonging to Matt Stout. Antonio Esfandiari picked up the cash for a 23rd place finish, ($28,569), when the pocket Kings of John Juanda showed him the direction to walk in.

At the end of the day, the player count is now down to 16. Among those who made the cut are Scotty Nguyen 339,000 chips, Eric Hershler 796,000, Josh Arieh 1,067,000, Shawn Buchanan 1,007,000 and Carter King with 805,000. Day 5 will determine who gets the 6 seats for the WPT televised final table. Action for Day 5 will continue at level 19 with blinds at $10,000/$20,000 and ante of $2,000. Here are the top 6 with chip counts:
  1. Curt Kohlberg -- 2,856,000
  2. Faraz Jaka -- 2,768,000
  3. Daniel Alaei -- 2,422,000
  4. John Juanda -- 1,851,000
  5. Chad Batista -- 1,550,000
  6. Joe Cassidy -- 1,445,000
Day 5
About 12:30 PM the remaining players sat down and quickly went to the next level with action at $15,000/$30,000 blinds and a $4,000 ante. John Juanda took out Joe Elpayaa in 16th and Carter King in 14th. In a big hand for Scotty Nguyen, he busted John Juanda in 11th and took a huge portion of Chad Bautista's stack when his pocket A's held up to the river in that 3 way hand. Whatever bad feelings Bautista may have had for Nguyen, increased a few hand later when Bautista's all in with pocket 5's was called by Nguyen who had a set of Kings by the river, busting Bautista in 10th place.

Curt Kohlberg was sent to the rail in 9th courtesy of Nguyen after the straight Scotty made by the river could not be overcome. Next to fall in 8th is Eric Hershler who went to the sidelines after Josh Arieh paired his Jack card on the flop, defeating the paired 10's of Hershler. Seventh place belonged to Joe Cassidy after the two pair made by Shawn Buchanan would not be moved by anything Cassidy had. So with that, we have the WPT televised final table. Here are the players and their chip counts:
  1. Faraz Jaka -- 5,385,000
  2. Scotty Nguyen -- 4,900,000
  3. Daniel Alaei -- 3,925,000
  4. Shawn Buchanan -- 2,800,000
  5. Josh Arieh -- 1,710,000
  6. Stephen O'Dwyer -- 1,050,000
Final Table
The last 6 players sat down to blinds of $30,000/$60,000 and antes of $5,000. First to go was Stephen O'Dwyer after the pocket J's Scotty Nguyen had turned into a set on the flop. In 5th place with blinds at $80,000/$160,000, Nguyen went all-in with 1.365 million holding pocket 9's and was called by Faraz Jaka brandshing pocket K's which held to the river. Shawn Buchanan ended up in 4th, losing to the Ace kicker of Daniel Alaei. Finishing in 3rd was Faraz Jaka after meeting the set of Kings belonging to Daniel Alaei.

On the final hand of heads up, Arieh moved in with pocket 7's to the 10 8 of Alaei. By the river, Alaei received two more cards (10 and 8) giving him two pair and the title of champion.
  1. Daniel Alaei -- $1,453,930*
  2. Josh Arieh -- $952,290
  3. Faraz Jaka -- $571,374
  4. Shawn Buchanan -- $333,302
  5. Scotty Nguyen -- $249,976
  6. Stephen O'Dwyer -- $202,362
*Includes a $25,500 seat into the WPT Championship Event at Bellagio on April 18 next year.

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