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James Dempsey Wins A WPT Title!

James Dempsey celebrates with friends (Photo: World Poker Tour)

British pro James Dempsey has added a World Poker Tour title to his World Series of Poker bracelet after taking down the $10,000 buy-in WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

The tournament attracted a 413 strong crowd amongst who were some of the best poker players in the world. In fact the six-handed final table was the home to some real household names and any one of them could have walked away victorious.

WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Final Table

1James Dempsey3,725,000
2Vitor Coelho550,000
3Antonio Esfandiari1,245,000
4Andrew Lichtenberger3,595,000
5Vanessa Selbst2,485,000
6Soi Nguyen4,925,000

It took just ten hands for the table to lose its first player, that dubious honour going to Antonio Esfandiari. The action folded to Dempsey on the button and he raised enough to set the short-stacked blinds all in, holding {A-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}. Esfandiari made the call with {A-Hearts}{10-Spades} and it looked like the plan had backfired on the Brighton-based pro but the board came to the rescue, running out {7-Spades}{3-Clubs}{2-Hearts}{4-Spades}{K-Clubs} to send last year's winner to the rail.

Two hands later and Vitor Coelho joined Esfandiari on the sidelines. He saw former November Nine member Soi Nguyen min-raise to 120,000 from under the gun and decided to move all in for 255,000. Vanessa Selbst was the big blind and she call and Nguyen tossed in the extra chips to make the call. Both active players checked down the {A-Clubs}{K-Spades}{3-Spades}{2-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds} board, Coelho showed {8-Clubs}{8-Hearts}, which was beaten by Selbst's {J-}{10-}, which in turn lost to Nguyen's {K-Diamonds}{J-Diamonds}.

Next to go was Andrew “Lucky Chewy” Lichtenberger in fourth place. With blinds now 40,000/80,000/10,000a, Nguyen made it 160,000 to play from the button, Dempsey then three-bet to 450,000 in the small blind only to see Lichtenberger move all in for 2,800,000 in the big blind. Nguyen went into the tank for over a minute before announcing he called and Dempsey instantly got out of the way. Lichtenberger flipped over {8-Diamonds}{8-Hearts} but was being crushed by the {9-Hearts}{9-Diamonds} of Nguyen. The board ran out a rather drama-less {Q-Diamonds}{6-Spades}{4-Hearts}{Q-Spades}{J-Clubs} and play had become three-handed.

It stayed that way for only six hands until Selbst was sent to the sidelines. The action was similar to Lichtenberger's elimination hand in that Selbst opened to 160,000 on the button, Dempsey three-bet to 450,000 and when the action was back on Selbst she four-bet all in for 2,800,000. Dempsey called with his {A-Hearts}{9-Clubs} and Selbst turned over a dominated {K-Clubs}{9-Spades}. Selbst was drawing dead by the turn of a board reading {6-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{A-Clubs}{5-Clubs} and play had reached the heads up stages.

Going into the one-on-one battle the players were evenly matched in chips and had over 100 big blinds each!

1James Dempsey8,320,000
2Soi Nguyen8,225,000

The encounter lasted over two hours, during which time 85 hands were played. First Dempsey opened up a lead only for Nguyen to close the gap then take a large lead himself before Dempsey's experience and skill advantage started to show and he started to turn the proverbial screw. The final hand, the 126th of the final table, saw Dempsey min-raise to 300,000 then call when Nguyen moved all in for 3,600,000. Nguyen showed {K-Clubs}{J-Diamonds} and was in bad shape against the {K-Hearts}{Q-Clubs} of Dempsey. However, the {J-Clubs}{9-Hearts}{6-Clubs} flop changed all of that and Nguyen took an unlikely lead. The {4-Hearts} turn was no help to anyone but a miraculous {10-Diamonds} on the river improved the Brit to a straight and with that he had won the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic!

WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Final Table Results

1James Dempsey$821,612
2Soi Nguyen$517,478
3Vanessa Selbst$338,351
4Andrew Lichtenberger$218,933
5Vitor Coelho$159,224
6Antonio Esfandiari$119,418

You could follow in the footsteps of James Dempsey by qualifying for a future World Poker Tour Main Event on PartyPoker. Just download PartyPoker through PokerNews, enter the bonus code UK50FREE and you will be eligible for a free $50 bankroll, more than enough to get you started in the WPT satellites!

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