James Romero dominated until the bitter end at the 2016 World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event, and it payed off in a big way. The Oregon native is now $1,938,118 richer. The win was massive for the player who is unheard of; prior to this life-changing victory, he had only $4,699 in live tournament earnings.
The event broke the record for most entrants in WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event history with 791 – which only served to drive up the pot size. The final table began with Romero in the lead with almost 10,000,000, doubling that of Day 4 chip leader and runner up Ryan Tosoc.
The final table of six was not one that would break easily. It took 59 hands before even one player was shown the door. Igor Yaroshevskyy shoved with an A,10, and was eliminated by the eventual winner. He was given $268,545 for his efforts.
Once the ball got rolling it moved fast, Justin Bonomo was sent home just two hands later when he too went up against Romero. Fifth place paid a hefty $345,272 when Bonomo’s pocket fives failed to match anything on the board and fell to a pair of sevens.
Three hands later, Alex Confdom shoved 12 blinds with a Q,9, which Romero called with pocket fives. The board was blank and the fives took it, awarding nearly $500,000 to Condon, and narrowing the field to just three.
The group hit a road block after the fourth-place elimination, and it was two and a half hours before head’s up play would begin. Jake Schindler, who is 48th on the U.S. all-time money list, shoved his 4 million chips for pocket sixes, and Romero called with a K-J. It was an early victory from Romero who paired his king on the flop and heads-up play began between him and Tosoc.
The seven-to-one chip advantage held by Romero at the beginning of one-on-one play was a pretty good indicator of how the game would turn out, and on the table’s 136th hand, it all came to a head. Tosoc shoved with his last 13 big blinds with pocket fives, and his opponent quickly called with pocket kings. No five appeared to save Tosoc and Romero took home the massive cash prize, plus a seat in the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. The runner up took home $1,124,051.
Final table results:
Featured photo credit: World Poker Tour
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