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Kevin Eyster Wins 2015 World Poker Tour Bellagio Five Diamond Main Event

Poker Pro Wins Second WPT Title, Defeating 639-Entry Field To Win $1,587,382

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The last World Poker Tour main event of 2015 was also one of the biggest. This year’s WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic $10,400 no-limit hold’em main event drew 639 entries, the second largest in the tournament’s 14 year run. As a result the prize pool swelled to $6,198,300. In the end the lion’s share of that was awarded to Kevin Eyster, who navigated his way though the massive field to win his second WPT title and the $1,587,382 first-place prize.

Eyster was also awarded 2,100 Card Player Player of the Year points, enough to move him into 72nd place in the overall standings. This was his first POY-qualified score of the year, but he has proven to be a consistent title contender, having won at least one major title each year since 2013. He took down the 2013 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown for $660,395 and followed that up with his first World Series of Poker bracelet in a $5,000 six-max event in 2014, winning $622,998. The Coloradoan poker pro now has over $4 million in career live tournament scores.

Eyster came into the final day in second chip position out of the remaining six players. He and Jake Schwartz began well ahead of the rest of the pack that included Cate Hall (5th – $291,320) and WSOP bracelet winner Ben Yu (3rd – $607,433 ), but in the end it came down to a heads-up showdown between Eyster and Bill Jennings for the title.

Only three big blinds separated the two as heads-up play began, with Eyster holding 9,875,000 to Jennings’ 9.3 million. In the 37-hand showdown there were a few quick lead changes, but by the time the final hand arose Eyster held roughly a 2-to-1 chip advantage.

With blinds of 200,000 – 400,000 with an ante of 50,000 Eyster raised to 800,000 from the button and Jennings called. The flop brought the ASpade Suit9Spade Suit4Club Suit and Jennings check-called 600,000. The 4Heart Suit came down on the turn and Jennings checked again. This time Eyster bet 975,000. Jennings moved all in for 5.3 million and Eyster quickly called with the ADiamond SuitQClub Suit. Jennings was behind with the KHeart Suit9Diamond Suit and did not catch up with the 5Heart Suit on the river. With that Eyster locked up the pot and the title, sending Jennings to the rail as the runner up with $929,745 for his strong showing.

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

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Kevin Eyster $1,587,382 2100
2 Bill Jennings $929,745 1750
3 Ben Yu $607,433 1400
4 Jake Schwartz $412,187 1050
5 Cate Hall $291,320 875
6 Edward Ochana $226,238 700
7 Lauren Roberts $173,552 525
8 Roland Israelashvili $127,065 350
9 Ian O’Hara $89,875 175

Photo credit: Joe Giron / WPT.