The 2012 World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic kicked off Tuesday at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The prestigious event saw 374 players put up the $10,000 buy-in, and many took advantage of the re-entry option throughout the day. After five levels of play on Day 1, there were 306 players still alive, with Jeremy Kottler leading the way.
As usual, the Five Diamond World Poker Classic drew some of the biggest names in poker. Former Five Diamond champs Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, Joe Hachem and James Dempsey were among the notables in attendance. They were joined by Carlos Mortensen, Vanessa Selbst, David Williams, Scotty Nguyen, Erik Seidel, Maria Ho, Michael Mizrachi, Sam Trickett, Marvin Rettenmaier, Mike Sexton, and Phil Galfond, just to name a few.
But it was Kottler who stole the show on Day 1. The Ohio native bagged 134,975 chips at the end of play and holds a slight lead over two-time WPT champ Randal Flowers, who finished with 119,400. Flowers told WPT reporter Diana Cox late in the day that he picked up a huge pot with against Alex Outhred's after all the chips went in preflop, and then flopped two pair against Dan O'Brien's combo draw and held to climb over 100,000 in chips.
Also eclipsing the century mark were Russell Thomas (108,000), Gheorge Gradinaru (107,425), and Shawn Cunix (102,000). Among the other notables taking big stacks into Day 2 are Alex Phahurat, Tom Marchese, Tony Dunst, Jeremy Ausmus, Esfandiari, and reigning WPT Player of the Year Joe Serock.
Here's a look at the top 10 stacks heading into Day 2:
More than 70 players failed to make it through Day 1, but they'll each have the option of re-entering on Wednesday. Registration will remain open through Level 8, at which point the official prize pool and payouts will be determined. Among the players who busted on Day 1 and are expected to return include former WPT champs Carlos Mortensen and Yevgeniy Timoshenko.
Day 2 will commence at 1200 PST on Wednesday. Keep it locked in to PokerNews.com for daily recaps from Bellagio.
Data and photo courtesy of WorldPokerTour.com.