Ravi Raghavan had what was a short stack when he entered the WPT Five Diamond world poker classic. Despite having the shortest stack in the main event, he came trumps winning a stacked table to take home USD 1, 268, 571. Thanks to this victory, he moved to the 31st position of the Player of the Year Ranking as devised by Card Player with a 2100 point gain. Raghavan, who at 26 plays professional poker and hails from Chicago, credits the victory as his best achievement and said he was amazed that he had won and that he hadn’t expected it.
There were 503 entries for this event which was a mix of individual entries and re-entries that numbered at 368 and 135 respectively. The large number of entries led to a prize pool that accumulated USD 4, 879, 100. Raghavan went all the way and saw off Shawn Buchanan, the 2007 winner at the Mandalay bay World Poker Tournament in a heads-up. Despite the loss, Shawn made USD 746, 502 that helped him comfortably land into the 24th position in the player rankings.
Antonio Esfandiari, the magician as he is also called, secured a fourth place finish after running into Raghavan and could not draw out. However he managed to place himself sixth on the Player of the Year standings and secured an all-time live tournament earnings lead of USD 23, 496, 079. Esfandiari had audience support in the form of Olympic Swimmer Michel Phelps, a close friend who was watching by the rails as Esfandari completed another table finish, bringing that tally to four finishes for 2012.
Andrew “luckychewy” Lichtenberger placed fifth earning himself USD 234, 197 and a 32nd position on the Overall Player of the Year rankings. This was Andrew’s second continuous appearance at the final table of this event having made it in 2011 as well. The final was a televised event and the list of players that did not make it to the table finish included the likes of Jonathan Aguair, Theo Tran, Jason Somerville and Andrew Robl who made the list of top 15 rankers for this event.