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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

The Round Table – Sights and Sounds from the WPT $15,000 Five Diamond Classic

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Over 628 poker players invaded Vegas last week for the World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Classic. Held at the Bellagio for a week, I decided to drop in for the start for a little work and play.

The event was broken up into two day 1’s as are most big events these days. The first day saw the likes of numerous pros spread out across the casino and in the poker room. There were so many pros that entered, that a lot of tables were stacked deep with the top players. Amir Vahedi and Phil Laak shared a table. Max Pescatori, Roy Winston, Eric Hershler, Huck Seed and David Chiu all shared a table near the rail that attracted railbirds. And at one of the toughest tables of the day Erik Seidel had Chad Brown to his left along with Alan Goehring, Ralph Perry, Daniel Alaei, David Levi, Peter Feldman and Joe Tehan.

The main the tournament is named after Doyle Brunson and he rolled up on his motorized cart and was bombarded with autograph and picture seekers just before the event. Erick Lindgren was also spotted signing and being snapped.

Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliot decided to play day 1b and spent his day off filming segments for a new TV show he is doing in London; Huck Seed jumped up during play to do a bit with him. And Phil Ivey showed up to film a bit on his day off as well. As for other people, Nick Schulman was spotted in the high stakes area, of the poker room, playing cash games on his day off.

My day 1a ended by heading over to our friend Carrot Top’s show at the Luxor, and then to magician Criss Angel’s birthday party, with Clonie Gowen and Joe Reitman. Angel held his pre-party in a suite at the Luxor with an open bar sponsored by the Margarita King and treated all the guests to some magic tricks. After leaving the suite everyone headed down to the new club LAX. Sully Erna, the lead singer of Godsmack who also just recently took 2nd in a Bellagio prelim event, played the drums on a stage along with the DJ’s mixes.

Day 1b kicked off the next day right at noon with noted tournament director Jack McClelland on the mike.

Phil Hellmuth did his usual late entrance routine, walking around and checking out who was playing and shaking hands and greeting pros like Brunson, and Daniel Negreanu. He eventually took his seat at the table with Freddy Deeb.

Some other crazy tough tables on day 1b included recent WSOP Main 6th place finisher Hevad Khan, Ted Forrest, Jared ‘The Waco Kidd’ Hambry, Barry Greenstein, and Mike Matusow. John Phan, Jamie Gold, Young Phan, Brad Booth, Darrell Dicken, Mark Seif, and Layne Flack, also all shared a table.

Scott Ian from Anthrax picked up a bad beat early after he found out that he was seated at Phil Ivey’s table. Ivey steamrolled his table picking up lots of chips right from the start.

Ultimate Bet pro Johan Storakers did just the opposite, busting out early. After being eliminated, he told me he raised early with Q-Q and got several callers. The flop came Q-6-4 and he checked. A guy bet and the limpers folded back to Johan who raised. The guy called. The turn was a rag, Johan bet out and the guy called. The river was a king and Johan bet and the guy reraised and they got all in at that point. The guy tabled K-K for a river set to beat Johan’s set of queens.

“I guess I played it bad. I put him on A-A, K-K, or 6-6 after the flop. I guess I should have just check called the river. Man, now I have to go get on a fifteen hour flight home,” Johan complained.

Alex Jacob arrived late and was seen franticly rushing around the casino bags in hand. He finally got rid of the luggage and found his seat at the table.

The 440 remaining players from Days 1a and 1b joined together to start day 2. Some very interesting chip leaders had emerged from the previous two nights.

At the top of the chip counts was none other than Phil Ivey with 223,025. Second in chips was John ‘World’ Hennigan with 188,700. Other name pros with chips were:

Joe Sebok – 125,025
Darell Dicken – 114,125
Eric Seidel – 108,475
Hoyt Corkins – 105,700
Nenad Medic – 98,650
Ted Forrest – 93,450
Amir Vahedi – 89,625

Clonie Gowen started the day at the bottom of the pack with 6575 chips at the same table as Nick Schulman and Phil Laak. She pushed all in on the first hand, that was dealt, to a cheer by Phil Laak who was in the big blind. Everyone folded and Clonie took down the blinds and antes. A couple of hands later, she pushed all in with 9-9, but unfortunately for her, she ran into A-A.
“It was bad timing, what are you gonna do?” she asked as she headed up to her room to take a nap. She was most likely consoled, by her loss, after going on a tear in the cash games later that night.

Although being seated at Ivey’s table the previous day, Scott Ian made it to day 2 and once again found his table draw wasn’t so good. To his right sat Daniel Negreanu and John Gale.

Ivey’s chips headed in the opposite direction on day 2 and ended up busting right before the money. Numerous pros were able to cash, including Shannon Shorr who was down to 6000 chips earlier in the day but turned it around and got over 90,000 at one point.

The tournament has come to an end, the results are up here. I’ll be out and around, bringing you more poker with the pros soon.

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