The illustrious history of the World Poker Tour (WPT)’s flagship tournament, the Five Diamond World Poker Classic added one of its most epic chapters Sunday. The $10,400 buy-in tournament attracted 569 entries, which surpassed the $5 million guarantee by offering up a $5,519,300 prize pool.
After a record-breaking 399 hands at the official final table, Chad Eveslage defeated Steve “Cuz” Buckner heads-up to win his second plaque on the Mike Sexton Champions Cup and a $1,042,300 top prize.
Play began at noon local time and lasted until almost midnight before Eveslage finally finished off his pesky opponent after a back-and-forth heads-up match that lasted just under four hours, despite accelerated 30-minute blind levels once heads-up play began.
Eveslage defeated a tough final table that also included Belgian star Michael Gathy, who had come back from under four big blinds on Day 4 to eventually finish in third place, and Day 2 and 3 chip leader Brian Kim, who finished fourth. The champion was quick to praise those two opponents in particular when asked about how it felt to win a second WPT title.
“It feels very good. I feel very fortunate. I had never played with (Gathy). I was so impressed. I haven’t been that impressed with another poker player in a while. He was really, really tough,” said Eveslage. “And then Brian, I had never heard of him really, but he was like… (Eveslage gave a look of amazement). It’s crazy that there’s so many good players out there, and to win two (WPT titles), I’m pretty sure I’m not that much or any better than either of them, so I just feel super blessed.”
|1||Chad Eveslage||United States||$1,042,300|
|2||Steve Buckner||United States||$690,000|
|4||Brian Kim||United States||$377,000|
|5||Albert Calderon||United States||$283,000|
|6||David Kim||United States||$216,000|
|7||Zach Donovan||United States||$166,000|