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Five-Diamond World Poker Classic Attracting Big Pros

More Than $1.25 Million Awarded in First Two Events


Nick BingerThe Bellagio poker room is the stomping grounds for many of the industry's biggest names, so it is not surprising to see a room full of recognizable faces showing up for the annual World Poker Tour Five-Diamond World Poker Classic. Festivities began on Monday as satellites fired up for players wanting to qualify for the preliminary events, and so far, more than $1.25 million in prize-pool money has been generated by 764 entrants in just the first two events.

Event No. 1, a $1,590 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament, attracted 472 players. Steve Sung, James Van Alstyne, and Dutch Boyd were among the big-nam pros who cashed in this event. Michael Binger bubbled the final table and was eliminated in 12th place, but his brother, Nick Binger, made it. Nick entered the final table as chip leader but had Layne Flack nipping at his heels in second chip position. A friendly rivalry began as Nick blamed Flack for his brother's exit from the tournament.

Layne FlackBinger eventually eliminated Flack in sixth place to win their private battle, but the war for the first-place prize money and $25,000 seat into the WPT Championship in April was still on. In the end, it was James Cornell who won.

The next event was a $2,100 buy-in no-limit hold'em event with 292 competitors. Pros who cashed in the event include John Phan, Cory Carroll, Max Pescatori, and Bill Edler. The final table is playing out today with David Levi going in as the chip leader and Alan Smurfit as the short stack. The first-place finisher stands to take home more than $209,000 and a $25,000 seat.

Card Player TV went to the Bellagio yesterday to provide viewers with details on the Five-Diamond World Poker Classic and caught some of the Binger vs. Flack action. Click here to view that video.

For complete results and payouts, click here.