Antonio Esfandiari is poker's leading live-tournament earner with $23.4 million.
Antonio Esfandiari closed out Day 3 of the WPT’s Five Diamond Classic at Bellagio as chip leader, putting him in position to continue the mega-heater that saw him win over $18 million this summer.
The Five-Diamond field was cut down to 60 on Day 3, just six spots short of the 54 who will get paid. And with 503 total entries the remaining players are all looking for a slice of the more than $5 million prize pool.
The payouts start at $19,516 and the winner will walk away with $1,268,571.
Esfandiari already has two WPT open-event titles under his belt, including a victory in this tournament two years ago, and he’s leading the final 60 with 918,500. Amazingly he also final-tabled this event in 2011.
Right behind the Magician heading into Day 4 is another former WPT winner, Freddy Deeb. Esfandiari has some breathing room, however, as Deeb sits with 622,000.
Moving down the leaderboard reveals more big names and more past WPT winners.
APPT Macau winner Edward Sabat is in fourth while two-time WSOP bracelet winner Brian Rast rests in fifth.
Five more WPT champions cracked the top 12 in Noah Schwartz, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, John Hennigan, Shawn Buchanan and Chino Rheem.
Esfandiari's close friend Brian Rast is also on the board.
Here are the top ten chip counts after Day 3 of the 2012 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic at Bellagio:
1. Antonio Esfandiari – 918,500
2. Freddy Deeb – 622,000
3. Thomas Winters – 586,000
4. Edward Sabat – 519,000
5. Brian Rast – 508,500
6. Noah Schwartz – 478,000
7. Yevgeniy Timoshenko – 472,500
8. Andrew Lichtenberger – 470,000
9. John Hennigan – 447,500
10. Ty Reiman – 434,000
Mizrachi, Selbst, Mizzi Go Hero to Zero
Michael “Grinder” Mizrachi finished Day 2 as chip leader but failed to make it through Day 3. And he wasn’t the only former big-stack to go bust.
Vanessa Selbst and Sorel Mizzi both started Day 3 in the top ten but would be on the rail empty-handed before the day was done.
Selbst was able to double up thanks to making quads in a hand against Chino Rheem before things ultimately unraveled.
Also falling short of Day 4 were Jason Koon, Carlos Mortensen, Scotty Nguyen, Randal Flowers, Joe Hachem, Tom Marchese and James Mackey.
Final-Table Payout Structure
Here’s a look at the big money these players are fighting for:
1st - $1,268,571
2nd – 746,502
3rd – 483,031
4th - $329,339
5th – 234,197
6th – 187,845
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