Young Finishes Day 1 of WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic on Top with 146,200

Justin Young

With 402 entries and counting, we are well ahead of last year’s pace, which had 322 Day 1 entries. With the constant seating of alternates throughout the day and the poker room filled to bursting with tournament activity, it is tough to estimate how many players made it through the action.

One thing is clear though: the chip leader is poker pro Justin Young, who has quite the track record at Bellagio. Of Young’s nine WPT cashes, seven have come at Bellagio, including two final table appearances. In Season VII, Young narrowly missed out on a title, finishing second to eventual champion Chino Rheem. Later that season, Young took eighth at Bellagio in the WPT World Championhip, an event he final tabled in Season IX. He bagged up 146,200.

While Rheem was a previous winner who wasn’t in the field today, there were plenty of other Five Diamond Champions to be found, including the defending winner Dan Smith, Ravi Raghavan, Antonio Esfandiari, and Joe Hachem, all of whom survived the day. Season III winner Daniel Negreanu has tweeted he plans to play as well, but will be buying in on Day 2.

Registration is open through the end of Level 8 tomorrow, which means there are still several hours to beat last year’s field of 449 entries.

The room was packed with big name pros, but it also featured a host of non-poker celebrities like Jennifer Tilly, Richard Seymour, and Celine Dion’s husband Rene Angelil. Seymour busted, as did Tilly, who was one of Young’s unfortunate victims of the day.

In addition to big names, we also unveiled some names to keep an eye on this season — the new crop of WPT Ones to Watch, which includes Garrett Greer, Kristy Arnett, Justin Zaki, Jose Serratos, and Daniel Strelitz to name a few.

Some of the other big stacks who survived the day include Steven Delsi (129,475), recent bestbet Jacksonville runner-up Chris Bolek (111,475), and Randy Ohel (91,725).

Registration is open through the end of Level 8 tomorrow, which means there are still several hours to beat last year’s field of 449 entries.

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