The World Poker Tour returns to the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas this month to bring Season XIX to a close with the $10,400 buy-in WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event.
The WPT mainstay tournament will run from December 15-19 with the final table taking place at the HyperX Esports Arena located inside the Luxor Hotel & Casino. The final table will be recorded for future WPT programming to be aired on Bally Sports network.
“The Bellagio holds a special significance for the World Poker Tour,” said Adam Pliska, WPT President and CEO. “The Five Diamond World Poker Classic was the first World Poker Tour event, and it seems fitting to finish our current season there before launching our historic 20th season in January.”
The WPT Five Diamond has been the most consistent tour location in WPT history with the event being run every season dating back to Season I in 2002 when Gus Hansen defeated John Juanda heads-up to take home the $556,460 first-place prize and his first of three WPT titles.
Since that time, the tournament has emerged as one of the most popular poker events of the calendar year. Notable players including Daniel Negreanu, Joe Hachem, Chino Rheem, Dan Smith, and Antonio Esfandiari are among those who have walked away with a Five Diamond Main Event victory. It’s also been one of the WPT’s more lucrative tournaments with 15 of the 18 Five Diamond Main Events awarding a seven-figure score.
The last time the WPT was at the Bellagio for the event was at the end of 2019 when Alex Foxento win his way into the Champions Club and take home a $1.69 million first-place prize. The event didn’t run in 2020 due to postponements brought about by COVID-19.
This also marks an end of an era for the World Poker Tour. After 20 years, the WPT is adjusting its seasons to coincide with the calendar year. Traditionally, the WPT had started seasons in the spring and allowed them to carry straight through each New Year, well into the following months. Now, it will be easy to follow along with WPT seasons, knowing that the Five Diamond will likely mark the end of their season and a Player of the Year will be crowned before year’s end.
The change kicks in immediately and the Season XIX Player of the Year race will be decided this month. Currently, there is a three-way tie at the top asis playing for back-to-back Player of the Year titles. Altman is matched at the top of the leaderboard by both Rok Gostisa and Chad Eveslage, and all three players are closely followed by . The tight race adds an extra layer of drama to the event as the WPT will be keeping a spotlight on the race to see who emerges at this year’s POY.
“We are thrilled to be able to finish our season with a showcase event with one of our longest-running partners,” said Angelica Hael, WPT VP of Global Tour Management. “From there, we are ready to head into Season XX and put an even bigger spotlight on our partners, our champions, and our tour.”
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Past Winners of WPT Five Diamond Main Event