WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Won By Daniel AlaeiDecember 21, 2009 8:55 am
Poker pro Daniel Christopher Alaei has won the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, after outlasting a field of 328 players, to collect a whopping first place prize of $1.4 million.
Despite the fact Alaei is known primarily as a $50-100 NLHE cash game specialist, he has still managed to amass $3,700,000 from live tournament earnings throughout his impressive poker career. He has also 2 WSOP bracelets to his credit, the most recent of which came this year in the $10,000 World Championship Omaha Hi/Lo 8-or-better tournament, and his18 cashes from his WSOP endeavours total $1,533,917.
His WPT victory on Saturday, at the $15,000 buy-in event, was all the more impressive as he excused himself from the first day of play in order to take advantage of some nearby side game action. “I signed up to play and some guys were starting up a big cash game,” Alaei said. “So, I played in that over the tournament for the rest of the day.”
By the time the final table was set, Daniel Alaei took his place at a tough table which included Josh Arieh, Faraz “The-Toilet” Jaka, Shawn Buchanan, Scotty Nguyen, and Stephen “MrTimCaum” O’Dwyer.
Scotty Nguyen was hoping to recapture some former glory by taking down the WPT title, but instead had to be content with a fifth place finish and $249,976 in prize money. Following his cash, the 5 times WSOP bracelet holder Nguyen, heaped praise on his fellow competitors and said:
“Everybody is a good player these days. You’ve got to respect that. All these young kids these days, they come in to play and they have nothing to fear. They have nothing to lose, only gain.”
Heads-up, Alaei knew he had a battle on his hand as he squared off against 2 times WSOP winner poker pro Josh Arieh. After some back and forth action, the defining hand came after Arieh moved all-in post flop, holding pocket 7’s on a 10-2-5 board. This time Alaei was holding 10 8, made the call, and Arieh was out in 2nd place but $952,290 the richer.
“It was not an easy call for me,” Alaei said. “If he had a 10, I was pretty much dead.”
Alaei picked up $1,428,430 for the victory, and commenting on his first WPT title, said, “This is great. I’ve been wanting one of these for a while. I was one of myonly friends who didn’t have one.”