Taylor Black Wins 2021 World Poker Tour Five Diamond Main Event For $1.2 Million

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 6Diamond Suit5Spade Suit3Spade SuitKSpade Suit. Black bet 500,000 and Speranza folded. Kim showed ADiamond SuitKDiamond Suit fop top pair, top kicker. His hand was drawing dead against the 5Heart Suit5Club Suit of Black, who flopped a set of fives. The 2Club Suit on the end sent Kim home in sixth place with $261,235.

Mohsin CharaniaPoker 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 10Heart Suit3Heart Suit up against the 8Diamond Suit6Diamond Suit 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 ASpade SuitQClub Suit3Club Suit flop with the KClub Suit4Club Suit for a king-high flush draw. Black called with AHeart Suit10Diamond Suit 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 8Diamond Suit8Club Suit. Gianluca Speranza called from the big blind with ADiamond Suit3Diamond Suit. 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 AHeart SuitKSpade Suit. Shegal three-bet all-in for 7,575,000 with ASpade Suit8Diamond Suit and Black quickly called. The board came down KClub Suit10Club Suit6Heart SuitQDiamond Suit9Spade Suit 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:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points PokerGO
1 Taylor Black $1,241,430 2,280 1,200
2 Vikenty Shegal $827,620 1,900 828
3 Gianluca Speranza $609,960 1,520 610
4 Lorenzo Lavis $454,590 1,140 455
5 Mohsin Charania $342,645 950 343
6 David Kim $261,235 760 261

Photo credits: World Poker Tour / Joe Giron.