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James Romero Ices Biggest WPT 5 Diamond Ever for $1.9m
When Portland's James Romero sat down to play the 2016 WPT 5 Diamond main event this week he had about $4,500 in career live tournament earnings.
Today he sits just under $2m. Winning the biggest ever World Poker Tour $10,000 buy-in event will do that for you.
While Romero has been a poker pro for about 6 years his focus has been on cash games and online play. In fact, this was his first World Poker Tour event ever.
Looking nothing like a WPT rookie Romero roared through one of the most talented poker fields ever assembled. Coming into the final table of six with 41% of the chips in play, he never flinched despite the presence of tough outs Igor Yaroshevskyy, Justin Bonomo, Jake Schindler, Ryan Tosoc and Alex Condon.
His reward: the $1.9m first-place prize, a $15,000 seat in the WPT Championship and all of the usual WPT spoils of victory.
GPLers Out 5th, 6th
At the final table fresh off the Global Poker League playoffs last week in Vegas were Bonomo and Yaroshevskyy, members of the London Royals and Moscow Wolverines, respectively.
They were the first two to go at this final table, however, when Yaroshevskyy's AT lost to Romero's QQ and Bonomo's fives failed to catch Schindler's 77.
Three hands after that Condon was out in fourth and the final three settled in for an extended battle.
When Romero's KJ outflopped Schindler's 66 on hand 120 he had a dominant 7-1 chip advantage to start heads-up and dispatched Tosoc in 16 more hands to wrap up his first major live title.
Along with the money and WPT Championship seat Romero got to take home his own WPT Champions Trophy, a Hublot King watch and gold Monster 24,000 headphones.
His name will also be etched on the iconic WPT Champions Cup. Full final-table results:
1st: James Romero – $1,938,118
2nd: Ryan Tosoc – $1,124,051
3rd: Jake Schindler – $736,579
4th: Alex Condon – $494,889
5th: Justin Bonomo – $345,272
6th: Igor Yaroshevskyy – $268,545
For a complete rundown of the final-table action, check the WPT Live Updates.