Doyle Brunson Five Diamond Classic Gets Underway With A Strong Turnout

Can James Dempsey aims for his second Poker Classic event at the Bellagio

After a few disappointing turnouts in WPT events this year, one of the highlights of the WPT calendar has already achieved 374 buy ins, almost on a par with last years impressive 413 - and with the registration period lasting up until the end of Level 8 (the first day finished on Level 5) then there is every chance that figure may even be surpassed.

As you would expect from such a prestigious (and relatively high registration fee of $10,300) event there were plenty of big names in the field, including 35 former WPT winners and scores of WSOP bracelet winners. Among them are current Five Diamond Classic Champ, English pro James Dempsey, Phil "MrSweets28" Galfond, Scotty Nguyen, Sam "tr1cky7" Trickett, Brian "tsarrast" Rast, Joe Hachem, Michael Mizrachi, Eric Seidel, Barry Greenstein, Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu, Andrew "good2cu" Robl, and Antonio Esfandiari to name but a select few.

With a rebuy system operating on the first day we saw a few people purchasing multiple bullets, including Negreanu who had initially busted when his flopped flush was beaten by a flopped nut flush before rebuying and eventually ending the day on a little over 26k chips with the other former Five Diamond winner Antonio Esfandiari finishing the day with c.55k chips (average 36k).

Of the 2012 WPT winners out here on show it is the current Jacksonville WPT winner Shawn Cunix who is showing them how it's done, currently in 5th place with 102k chips, with 2010's Festa Al Lago winner Randall Flowers currently the highest place member of the champions club in second place with 119.4 chips. The current chip leader is Jeremy Kottler from Columbus, Ohio with 135k chips.

Despite the option for folks to buy a second, or even third bullet there have still been a fair few eliminations as the day ended with 306 players returning for day 2. Of those choosing not to take a second chance we have three eliminated former WPT champs in Carlos Mortensen, Yevgeniy Timoshenko and Taylor von Kriegenbergh.

Play resumes at noon PST today and once the registration period is closed at the end of Level8 the total prizepool will be announced.

Top Ten Chip Counts After Day 1

Jeremy Kottler 134,975
Randall Flowers 119,400
Russell Thomas 108,000
Gheorghe Gradinaru 107,425
Shawn Cunix 102,000
Dana Kellstrom 99,200
Jeff Yarchever 98,500
Alex Phahurat 97,325
Tom Marchese 84,425
Ty Reiman 79,000



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