WPT Five Diamond Brings High Rollers to Bellagio to Close Out 2017 Tournament Season

Poker’s biggest names are currently concentrated in Las Vegas for the World Poker Tour Season XVI Five Diamond World Poker Classic. While the Main Event doesn’t begin until Tuesday, several interesting side events have played out, including a $25,000 High Roller.

Jason Koon, pictured here with Terry Green, traveled from the Caribbean to Las Vegas, where he promptly chopped the WPT Five Diamond $25K High Roller. (Image: party poker)

Koon Returns, Chops with Haxton

The biggest buy-in event to finish so far was the $25,000 High Roller (though a winner will be crowned in the $100,000 Super High Roller this weekend). The $25k event attracted 34 entries, and in the end new Partypoker pro Jason Koon chopped it with Isaac Haxton. Koon took home $289,950, while Haxton walked with $271,050.

It was a repeat victory for Koon, who won last year’s first Five Diamond $25K High Roller for $412,800. He also happened to be playing at Bellagio a few days ago when an armed assailant robbed the poker cage.

“Thoughts on casinos employing armed guards?” he asked on social media after the incident. “Bellagio was robbed again today with us all just sitting here. Cameras may deter a person from stealing, but a deranged maniac often could care less about being filmed.”

Haxton responded:

“Metal detectors at the door would make a much bigger difference I think.”

Meanwhile, the victory pushed Koon’s winnings for 2017 up to $4,231,612, a career high dating back to 2008. It also brought his lifetime earnings up to $10,724,392, which extended his lead atop West Virginia’s all-time poker money list and moved him into 52th place on poker’s all-time money list.

As for Haxton, the money he earned moved him over $15 million in live tournament earnings, which places him third on Nevada’s all-time money list and 22nd overall.

$25K Final Table Results
1 Jason Koon $289,950*
2 Isaac Haxton $271,050*
3 Cary Katz $136,000
4 Fedor Holz $85,000
5 Ben Tollerene $68,000

*Denotes heads-up deal

Big Names, Big Winners

In other preliminary events, Sergio Aido bested a field of 28 entries to win Tuesday’s $10K High Roller for $128,800. Ramin Hajiyev finished runner-up for $78,400, while Bryn Kenney and Almedin Imsirovic placed third and fourth for $44,800 and $28,000 respectively.

Meanwhile, in the Five Diamond $560 Opening Event, Flordia’s Martin Mazair beat Nashaat Antonious in heads-up play to take home a $27,426 first-place prize. In an $1,100 NLHE event, Slovenian Rok Gostisa prevailed over a 132-entry field to walk away with $40,970.

Scott Clements beat 56 entries to claim the $1,100 PLO title for $21,184, while over in $1,100 NLHE Tag Team, Englishmen Mark Hammon and Jean-Luc Weller defeated the Jack Duong and Je Oh to win $16,151.

The $100k Super High Roller got underway this week, and drew 39 entries. When Kenney bowed out Thursday night in sixth place (for $234,000), he moved ahead of WSOP Main Event champ Scott Blumstein for most money won playing tournament poker in 2017.

On Friday afternoon, the final five players will return to action, with Haxton in the lead with 1.81 million in chips. Daniel Negreanu and Dan Smith are the only other players over a million. Aido and German star Stefan Schillhabel and round out those still in contention for the title and a $1,404,000 payday.

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