The final World Poker Tour main event of 2021 is officially in the books. The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic $10,400 buy-in attracted a massive field of 716 entries, building a prize pool of $6,945,200 that was paid out among the top 90 finishers. The largest payday went to champion Taylor Black, who took home $1,241,430 for the win and added his name to Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup.
This was the second seven-figure score of Black’s poker tournament career, surpassing the $1,092,000 he earned as the winner of the 2018 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North America main event to become the largest payday of his career. The poker pro now has more than $4 million in lifetime tournament earnings to his name.
In addition to the title and the money, Black also secured a bounty of rankings points for the win. The 2,280 Card Player Player of the Year points he was awarded as the champion were enough to move him into 66th place in the 2021 POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker This was his first POY-qualified score of the year.
Black also earned 1,200 PokerGO Tour points after coming out on top, putting him just outside the top 25 in the inaugural PGT points race heading into the final stretch.
The final day of this event began with Black holding a dominant lead over the other five remaining contenders. He entered the final table with 227 big blinds, while the next largest stack (belonging to Gianluca Speranza) was equivalent to 62 big blinds.
Black added to his advantage in the early going by picking up the first knockout of the day. David Kim was all-in preflop and had been called by both Black and Speranza. By the turn, the board showed 653K. Black bet 500,000 and Speranza folded. Kim showed AK fop top pair, top kicker. His hand was drawing dead against the 55 of Black, who flopped a set of fives. The 2 on the end sent Kim home in sixth place with $261,235.
Poker triple crown winner Mohsin Charania was the next to fall. The two-time WPT winner, European Poker Tour champion, and World Series of Poker bracelet holder was left on fumes when his A-K lost out to the A-9 suited Vikenty Shegal, who made aces and nines to double up, leaving Charania with just over 4.5 big blinds. Charania got all-in a couple hands later with 103 up against the 86 of Black. Charania improved to trip threes by the river, but it wasn’t enough to beat the turned flush of Black. Charania was awarded $342,645 for his latest deep run, increasing his career earnings to just shy of $7 million.
Four-handed play lasted for 87 hands. France’s Lorenzo Lavis was ultimately the next to hit the rail. He got all-in on an AQ3 flop with the K4 for a king-high flush draw. Black called with A10 for top pair. The turn and the river brought no help for Lavis and he was knocked out in fourth place ($454,590).
Just two hands later, a battle of the blinds resulted in the next elimination. Vikenty Shegal shoved from the small blind with 88. Gianluca Speranza called from the big blind with A3. The board improved neither player and Shegal’s pocket pair held up to take down the pot. Speranza earned $609,960 as the third-place finisher.
Heads-up play began with Black holding roughly a 2:1 chip advantage over Shegal. It didn’t take all that long for him to convert that lead into the title. After a short break to set the stage for the final showdown, it took just 12 more hands for a champion to be decided.
In the final hand of the tournament, Black min-raised to 500,000 from the button with AK. Shegal three-bet all-in for 7,575,000 with A8 and Black quickly called. The board came down K106Q9 and Black made a pair of kings with an ace kicker to secure the pot and the title. Shegal took home a career-best $827,620 payday as the runner-up finisher.
Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded to the final six:
Photo credits: World Poker Tour / Joe Giron.