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Romero Shocks WPT 5 Diamond Field to Win $1.9 Million

12 December 2016, By: compncards
The great thing about poker is that, given the right set of circumstances, anyone can win big.

That's exactly what happened on Saturday when James Romero came from complete obscurity to win the WPT 5 Diamond Poker Classic and $1.93 million.

Romero Comes Out of Nowhere to Make WPT Final Table

The final WPT event of 2016 kicked off on Monday at the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. This year's Five Diamond World Poker Classic drew a record field of 791 players, creating a prize pool of $7.67 million.

The top two players became poker millionaires with the winner earning $1.93 million and an entry into the WPT Tournament of Champions.

When the final table was reached on Friday, the chip leader was a complete unknown.

Portland's James Romero had less than $5,000 in career live tournament earnings heading into this event and went on a remarkable run to earn the chip lead heading into the final.

He started with 9.86 million, or over 40% of the chips in play. Despite his sizeable stack he still had a formidable task ahead. Justin Bonomo was solidly in 3rd place with a 3.36 million stack and looking for his first WPT title.

Other notables at the final table included short stacked Jake Schindler and Igor Yaroshevskyy. Here's the final table chip counts. 


James Romero

9.86 million


Ryan Tosoc

4.46 million


Justin Bonomo

3.3 million


Igor Yaroshevskyy

2.57 million


Alex Condon

2.26 million


Jake Schindler

1.21 million

Romero Never Relinquishes Chip Lead On Way to First Major Title

Even with his large stack many would find it difficult to believe that someone with $5k in career earnings would win his first WPT title in his first final-table appearance.

The pressure of the moment didn't seem to phase Romero as he managed to retain his chip lead throughout the final table.

Yaroshevkskyy was first to fall followed by Bonomo. Schindler started the final table as the short stack but managed to chip up enough to finish in 3rd, taking home $736,579.

By the time heads-up play was reached Romero had a 7:1 chip lead over Ryan Tosoc.

Tosoc had a bit of a better resume than Romero but his largest score was a 4th-place finish for $125k in the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza $1 Million GTD back in September.

Just 16 hands into heads-up play Tosoc looked down at pocket fives and shoved his short stack. Unfortunately for him Romero woke up with pocket kings and made the snap-call. Kings held and Tosoc finished in 2nd for $1.12 million.

Just like that, Romero went from a 'nobody' in the poker world to WPT champion. On Friday, Romero admitted that he doesn't play much live poker and just plays a little poker online.

It's safe to assume we will see more of Romero in the future and we wish him well in the season ending Tournament of Champions.

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