Chad Eveslage advanced from the bottom half of the chip stacks to the final table of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Five Diamond World Poker Classic to win his second WPT championship. Eveslage’s lifetime live tournament earnings now total $6.725 million, thanks to the $1 million+ first prize.
“Bundle of feelings, extremely weary, pleased,” Eveslage later told WPT.com. “Before I struck the ace on the river, I was resigned to losing, and then it was just like, ‘Oh, I win,'” he says.
Final tables on the World Poker Tour are generally six-handed, but this one started seven-handed on Sunday. When Zach Donovan was eliminated in seventh place, it became the “official” final table. And the six-handed final table was one of the longest you’ll ever witness, lasting over 400 hands.
David Kim was eliminated from the tournament after 86 hands. His A-J outplayed Michael Gathy’s A-8 pre-flop, but all the money came in after the turn, and to Kim’s surprise, his opponent had flopped two pair. Kim’s luck ran out when the river failed to deliver a Jack.
On the 100th hand of the official final table, Chad Eveslage eliminated Albert Calderon in fifth place. The money was again pushed into the center on the turn, and the winner flopped two pairs, but this time it was the superior pre-flop hand, A-Q for Chad Eveslage vs A-T for Calderon. It didn’t matter that a ten dropped into the river.
Brian Kim was the next player to go all-in pre-flop with A-Q against Chad Eveslage’s pocket Tens. Both players struck the flop hard: A-Q-T, but Eveslage clearly won. Kim was eliminated in fourth place after failing to improve. Steve Buckner, who was holding the short stack and had made a money leap of at least $128,000, was overjoyed.
Buckner not only hung on, but flourished in the aftermath, briefly taking the chip lead. When Chad Chad Eveslage eliminated Gathy in third place, he proceeded into heads-up play versus Buckner with a chip edge of 17,875,000 to 10,575,000.
Eveslage swiftly increased his advantage and it appeared like the game would be over soon, but Buckner stormed back, doubled-up, and grabbed a 2-to-1 chip lead of his own. Buckner kept going, increasing his stack to more than 23 million and then over 25 million by hand 300.
Chad Eveslage, undeterred, began chipping up and was soon about even
It then went back and forth, as heads-up matches in big tournaments sometimes do, with neither player, particularly Buckner, able to put the other away. Buckner had a 3-to-1 chip lead less than 20 hands before the finale, but we all know how quickly things can change in poker.
In an incredible Hand #390, the guys were practically level in chips. Eveslage pushed all-in pre-flop with 9-4, and Buckner called with J-T. Even if the player with the most chips lost the hand, the tournament was basically ended because getting back in would take an unlikely succession of double-ups.
Because both men played the board and the result was A-K-K-3-3, the pot was divided.
Buckner had a tiny lead shortly after, but Eveslage doubled up when his A-9 sucked out on the river against Buckner’s Q-Q. (the Ace he mentioned earlier). On the next hand, Eveslage sucked out yet again, winning the tournament with a 5 against Buckner’s 9-7.
Final Table Results for the 2022 WPT Five Diamond World Poker
- Chad Eveslage | $1,042,300
- Steve Buckner | $690,000
- Michael Gathy | $505,000
- Brian Kim | $377,000
- Albert Calderon | $283,000
- David Kim | $216,000
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