Huge Payouts Approaching as Day Three at WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Concludes

A $1.63 million payday awaits one of the remaining 45 players at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas as Day Four, which begins at noon PT on Friday, gets underway.

WPT Five Diamond poker

The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic moves on to Day Four at Bellagio with 45 players vying for the $1.6 million prize. (Image:

The money bubble burst on Thursday, guaranteeing each of the final 126 players at least $18,584. Players fell quickly on Day Three, but some big names remain, including a former world champion (Joe McKeehen) and the person we’ve dubbed the “Phil Hellmuth of the WPT” (Darren Elias).

Calvin Anderson had a crazy up-and-down day. After beginning Day Three with the chip lead, he nearly tripled his stack before dumping two-thirds of it late in the session. He finished below his 780,000-chip starting stack (650,000).

We don’t know which specific player will win this popular annual event, but we can tell you there will be a new champion. Ryan Tosoc’s incredible run is over. After finishing second in 2016, he won it all last year for $1.9 million. But on Thursday, he was eliminated just short of the money. You can’t win them all, Ryan.

Darren Elias Extends Records

Darren Elias might disagree with that last comment. With his cash in the WPT Five Diamond, he extends his World Poker Tour cashes record to 32 and also has a chance to extend his final table appearances record to 12 and win his fifth tour title.

He is to the WPT what Phil Hellmuth is to the World Series of Poker. The Poker Brat has a record 15 bracelets and has more cashes (134) than anyone else.

Elias finished Day Three with 730,000 chips, right around the average stack size. That leaves him with 48 big blinds (10,000/15,000 with 15,000 big blind ante), which is plenty of chips to make another title run.

Darren has already secured his best finish in this event. He has two others cashes at the WPT Five Diamond (47th in 2014 and 62nd in 2017). He is one of just five past WPT champions left in the field, joining Mike Del Vecchio (595,000), Keven Stammen (410,000,) Simon Lam (295,000), and Ravi Raghavan (270,000).

Two World Champs Down, One to Go

A pair of former WSOP Main Event winners – Joe Cada (75th for $23,595)) and Joe Hachem (85th for $21,789) – were eliminated on Thursday. That leaves Joe McKeehen as the only past world champion left in the $10,400 buy-in WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

And Mckeehen, who won the Main Event in 2015, has been crushing it on the felt for three straight days. He bagged the second largest stack the past two days and is one of three players over 2 million in chips (2,030,000). Mo Arani leads the way at 2.2 million.

Friday’s session will conclude when the final table of six is achieved. Then on Saturday, a champion is scheduled to be crowned. A record 1,001 players registered for this event. Remaining players will take home at least $36,945. The winner gets $1.63 million and runner-up walks away with $1.1 million.

To earn a six-figure payday, players must finish in the top 14. With massive pay jumps on the horizon, Friday will be a stressful day at Bellagio.

Other Notable Chip Stacks at Start of Day Four

  • Rory Young 1,750,000
  • Sorel Mizzi 1,255,000
  • Jeremy Ausmus 880,000
  • Cary Katz 750,000
  • Andre Akkari 610,000
Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.


icnbe56 wrote...

That’s a lot of money , and those players must be getting very nervous as it grows …

Anyone who reaches the final table has my admiration , not something that I would be able to do.

No pressure – they will have a champion crowned and the whole works , and the ones who don’t place first or second still leave with a sizable chunk of cash .

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