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Ravi Raghavan Wins World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event

26-Year-Old Pro Earns $1.2 Million For Topping Tough Final Table


Ravi Raghavan came into the final table of the 2012 World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic main event as the shortest stack, but when all was said and done the 26-year-old poker professional from Chicago overcame a stacked final table to emerge victorious, earning $1,268,571 and 2,100 Card Player Player of the Year points and moving to 31st overall in the POY standings as a result of his final-table comeback.

“It is the biggest achievement of my life, and it’s amazing,” said Raghavan. “Just winning is amazing, regardless of the stage. I should expect to win, but I didn’t.”

A total of 503 entries were made in this $10,300 buy-in no-limit hold’em re-entry main event, made up of 368 individual players and 135 re-entries, building a prize pool of $4,879,100. In the end Raghavan defeated 2007 WPT Mandalay Bay champion Shawn Buchanan heads-up to secure the title. The Canadian pro earned $746,502 and 1,750 POY points for his runner-up finish, moving into 24th place in the standings as a result.

Antonio EsfandiariAntonio Esfandiari was eliminated in fourth place when he ran AClub SuitKHeart Suit into Raghavan’s ASpade SuitAHeart Suit and was unable to draw out. For the strong finish Esfandiari earned $329,339 and 1,050 POY points, moving into sixth place in the overall Player of the Year standings and extending his lead in all-time live tournament earnings with a new total of $23,496,079.

18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was on the rail to watch as his friend Esfandiari made the final six in this event for the third year in a row. The man known as “The Magician” won it all in 2010 for $870,124 and followed that up with a sixth place finish in 2011. This most recent showing was Antonio’s fourth final table finish of 2012, with two titles including the historic $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop which he won for a record shattering $18.3 million first-place payout, as well as a win in a €1,000 no-limit hold’em event at the World Series of Poker Europe.

Fifth-place finisher Andrew “luckychewy” Lichtenberger joined Esfandiari in having made the final table of this event in 2011, where he finished fourth. This time around he earned $234,197 and 875 POY points, climbing to 32nd in the overall standings, with six final table finishes.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Ravi Raghavan $1,268,571 2100
2 Shawn Buchanan $746,502 1750
3 Thomas Winters $483,031 1400
4 Antonio Esfandiari $329,339 1050
5 Andrew Lichtenberger $234,197 875
6 Jeremy Kottler $187,845 700

A number of other notables made deep runs in this main event, but fell just short of the televised final table including Jonathan Aguair (7th – $143,933), Theo Tran (8th – $102,461), Jason Somerville (10th – $56,110), Yevgeniy Timoshenko (11th – $56,110), Freddy Deeb (12th – $56,110), Greg Mueller (13th – $43,912), Andrew Robl (15th – $40,250), Scott Clements (16th – $40,250), Noah Schwartz (17th – $36,593), Jeremy Ausmus (18th – $36,593), Brian Rast (19th – $31,714), Eddie Sabat (21st – $31,714) and Joseph Elpayaa (22nd -$31,714).