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On Friday, December 2, 2010, the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic begins. This tournament series is hosted at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada and is the last WPT event of 2010. This year’s buy-in is $10000+300, down from a $15000 buy-in in some previous years, so hopefully the lower buy-in will attract a large field for a very entertaining event. The WPT event is only one of 17 events happening at this year’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

Satellites began at 9 a.m. on Friday, November 26, and the first event, a $500+40 no-limit Hold’em tournament, started at noon the same day. On November 27, we saw event 2, a $1000+80 Omaha 8-or-better tournament, and event 3, a $1000+80 no-limit Hold’em tournament with rebuys. November 28 featured the beginning of event 4, a 3-day seniors no-limit Hold’em even with a $1000+80 buy-in, as well as another $500+40 no-limit Hold’em tournament (event 5).

On Monday, players mixed it up with a $1000+80 pot-limit Omaha tournament with rebuys (event 6), and another $1000+80 no-limit Hold’em event (event 7). Events 8-11 were all no-limit Hold’em tournaments with buy-ins from $500+40 to $5000+180, while events 12-13 and 15 were no-limit Hold’em super satellites with a $1000+80 buy-in. Event 14 was the WPT event with the $10000+300 buy-in, the largest buy-in of the series. Event 16 is a $1000+80 satellite for the next stop on the WPT schedule (the Southern Poker Championship in Biloxi, Mississippi, January 23-27), and event 17 on December 6 is another $5000+180 no-limit Hold’em event.

This year’s main event structure was changed a bit from last year’s edition. This year, players begin with 40,000 in chips and blinds at 50/100 with no ante. There will be 90 minutes taken for each blind level with a 15 minute break between levels, with days 1-3 playing 5 levels each. Day 4 will see the players play down until there are 27 players left, while day 5 will have the players play down until there are only 6 players left for the televised final table.

If there are 200-299 players who enter, 27 places will be paid. If there are 300-399 players, 50 places will be paid. If there are 400 or more players who enter the tournament, 100 places will be paid. That means that up to 25% of the tournament could find themselves “in the money” if just over 400 players enter. That’s not particularly unlikely since last year with the $15000 buy-in the tournament had 329 entries (and only paid out to 27 players).