The World Poker Tour went into their holiday break with the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and one player went home with nearly $2 million in prize money. James Romero earned himself a nice holiday gift for being the last man standing at the final table.
The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic had a grand total of 791 entries that bought in for $10,400 a pop, which made for a total prize pool of $7,672,000. Overall, 72 players got paid out with six players landing in the final table. That crew was led by Romero, who was one of five Americans who dominated the final rounds. The others were Ryan Tosoc, Jake Schindler, Alex Condo and Justin Bonomo, while Igor Yaroshevskyy of the Ukraine got to the final table as well. However, Yaroshevskyy was also the first to be eliminated after 59 hands as he lost to Romero. He would still end up taking home $268,545.
Next was Bonomo, who might have been the biggest name at the table as he has a World Series of Poker bracelet from a win in 2014, but he could only manage fifth in this event. His take-home total was $345,272. Three hands later, Condon joined him on the sidelines as he lost to Romero, earning a final check of $494,889 for his hard work. Play levelled out for the next while (about two-and-a-half hours, roughly) before Schindler, who took out Bonomo, wound up losing to Romero to finish in third and take home $736,579.
The final two were Romero and Tosoc, the latter of whom quietly kept his head above water for a long period of time. But he was no match for Romero in head's up play as Romero had seven times more chips that Tosoc. It took 16 hands between the two to decide a winner. Tosoc found himself in a tight spot and decided to push away with pocket 5s. However, Romero had a pair of kings and that was all she wrote for Tosoc, who still managed to win $1,124,051 in second place for the biggest payday of his career.
Romero won $1,938,118, which was the biggest win of his career as well. He also won a $15,000 seat at the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. It was really only his third major result as he finished third at a $120 buy-in evening event back in May 2013, and then he finished 35th at a $1,600 no-limit event in Las Vegas last month. But this win will push him up the ladder and now he has a seat at the Tournament of Champions.
The World Poker Tour will now go on hiatus until January 29 and resume with the Borgata Winter Poker Open at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City. There is a buy-in of $3,500 and last year's winner, Chris Leong, took home $815,246 for his efforts. It is also a return to Borgata, where the World Poker Tour was in September when David Paredes won $723,227 for his victory at the Borgata Poker Open.