The World Poker Tour and the Bellagio Casuino in Las Vegas always had a deep relationship when the WPT was a weekly show on the Travel Channel and must-see TV on Wednesday evenings for poker fans during the earliest days of the glorious online poker boom in the early 2000s. The World Poker Tour and the Bellagio continue their symbiotic relationship nearly 20 years later with the annual Five Diamond Classic.
The 2022 Main Event at the Five Diamond Classic coincided with the latest stop on the World Poker Tour. The $10,400 buy-in marquee event attracted 569 runners and a prize pool worth over $5,519,300. The top 72 places paid out with the winner banking over $1 million and the final table banking at least $216K.
Notable players who went deep and cashed in the 2022 Five Diamond Classic included.... Dan Colpoys, Dan Maor, Ren Lin, Eric Cloutier, Just Bonomo, Amir Lehavot, Dan Colpoys, Long Tran, Garret Greer, Ralph Perry, Pete Chen, Anthony Hu, Justin Liberto, Matt Affleck, Justin Liberto, Shannon Shorr, Andrew Neeme, Ryan Leng, Robbi Jade Lew, Nick Petrangleo, Chance Walker, Brad Owen, Farah Galfond, Taylor von Kriegenbergh, Ryan Tosco, Jonathan Depa, Will the Thrill, Chris Hunichen, Tristan Wade, Adam Hendrix, Corey Wade, Cal Anderson, Barry Hutter, Aaron Massey, and Jeremy Ausmus.
Donovan bubbled the final table in seventh place. The final table of six included Steve Buckner, Michael Gathy, Brian Kim, Albert Calderon, David Kim, and Chad Eveslage. Brian Kim had the big stack with 8.95M, followed by Albert Calderon with 7M, Michael Gathy with 6.6M, and Steve Buckner with 3M. David Kim had the shortest stack with 655K. Eveslage had the second smallest stack with 2.3M.
Albert Calderon saw his run end in fifth place when his Ace-Ten lost to Eveslage's Ace-Queen. Eveslage flopped two pair, but Calderon turned a flush draw. Eveslage faded a heart when the fell on the river. Although Calderon rivered two pair, but lost to Eveslage's higher two pair -- Aces and Queens. Calderon earned $283,000 for fifth place, and Eveslage chipped up to nearly 9M.
Eveslage continued his heater when he knocked out Brian Kim in fourth place 70 hands later. Kim took into battle against Eveslage's pocket tens. Although Kim flopped two pair, Eveslage flopped a set of tens. He rivered a full house to drag the pot and chip up to nearly 12M. Brian Kim hit the bricks in fourth place, which paid out $377K.
It took 77 hands before the final table finally got down to the final two. Michael Gathy was picked off in third place when his Ace-Jack lost against Eveslage's Ace-Queen. Gathy banked $505K for third place. Not too shabby, eh?
The heads-up battle was set with Steve Bucker trailing Chad Eveslage 17.8M to 10.5M.
On Hand #398, Eveslage took a commanding lead when his Ace-nine came from behind to savagely crack Buckner's pocket Queens. The proverbial Ace on the river sunk Buckner's chances of winning a WPT title. Eveslage chipped up to 25.4M and Buckner was down to 3.1M.
In 2021, Eveslage won his first WPT title with a win at the WPT Venetian during a historic final table that included three women -- Kyna England, Daniela Rodriguez, and Kitty Kuo. He now has two WPT on his resume.