December 14, 2016 - 2:00 am
It was a 15-year celebration of The World Poker Tour at Bellagio for the Five Diamond World Poker Classic. The largest field size in WPT Five Diamond’s history was created when 791 entries were tallied, and it was James Romero, 27, of Portland, Oregon, who won his first WPT title to become a member of the WPT Champions Club.
James scored $1.938 million in first-place prize money, defeating Ryan Tosoc in heads-up play. Ryan won $1.124 million for his runner-up performance. Before this Season XV $10,400 Main Event, James had won $4,700 in live poker tournaments.
James took up the sport six years ago watching poker on television, and Chris Moneymaker became his favorite poker player and the reason he took up the game. He also won the WPT Champions Trophy, Hublot King Power Unico Carbon and Red watch and pair of Rose Gold Wireless Over-Ear Element Headphones from Monster.
“Together with World Poker Tour, Bellagio has now awarded more than $85 million in total prize money through 15 seasons of the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event,” said Craig Lumpp, director of Poker Operations at Bellagio.
Adam Pliska, CEO of WPT, added: “We couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate 15 years of WPC than this year’s memorable, record-breaking event. The world-class Bellagio was home to the first WPT event in the tour’s history, and we’re proud to welcome James Romero alongside WPT champions such as Gus Hansen, Daniel Negreanu, Joe Hachem and Antonio Esfandiari.”
The field of 791 entries in the Season XV WPT Five Diamond $10,400 Main Event generated a prize pool of $7.672 million. In addition to the event being the largest WPT Five Diamond Main Event in WPT history, it tied the record for largest field size in a $10,000 buy-in WPT event.
Three-time Super Bowl champion Richard Seymour placed 18th in the Season XV WPT Five Diamond Main Event, earning $52,174 in his fifth career WPT cash. Three former WPT Five Diamond Main Event champions — Dan Smith (30th), Antonio (43rd) and Joe (63rd) — also placed in the money.