Taylor Black wins WPT Five Diamond for $1.2 million

Jon Pill
Published by:
Posted on 12/20/2021

Taylor Black won the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Poker Classic yesterday.

After a slightly cramped start, the WPT Five Diamond blossomed into five days of excellent poker. The Five Diamond is one of the most prestigious events on the WPT calendar. One of the most expensive too, at $10,400 per seat and unlimited rebuys.

The event had a 300 player cap with a long list of alternates. There were 716 entries by the time everyone who wanted a seat or a rebuy had got them. That put $6,945,200 in the prize pool with a $1,241,430 slice for first.

Black already had a couple of million in live cashes under his belt. His biggest previous score was 1st place at the partypoker MILLIONS North America, Kahnawake in 2018. He won CA$1.4 million for that victory, worth around US$1 million at the time.

His score at the WPT Five Diamond brings his Hendon Mob total to $3,852,552.

“Meet Taylor Black,” the WPT tweeted in the wake of his victory. “[WPT Five Diamond] Champion! For his victory, Black takes home $1,241,430 and adds his name to the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup.”

Final table action

Day four saw the remaining 29 players put through the meat grinder until the TV final table of six was decided.

That day saw Matter Berkey and Elio Fox hit the rail before the final table was even reached. In the liminal space between the official final table and the TV final table, two previous WPT champs Pat Lyons and Dylan Linde busted in 9th and 8th respectively. High-stakes crusher Bryn Kenney followed them to the rail on the TV bubble in 7th.

This left Black to face David Kim, Mohsin Charania, Lorenzo Lavis, Gianluca Speranza, and Vik Shegal. The action then moved from the Bellagio poker room to the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas for the final table. The Arena belongs to the WPT’s old owner, Allied Entertainment, suggesting the breakup wasn’t too acrimonious.

Under the TV lights, with a COVID-era appropriate crowd watching, Taylor Black managed to outlast his opponents. They fell one-by-one, leaving Black heads up with Shegal.

Black had a chip-edge of around 19.1 million to 9.5 million going into heads-up play. In the bare dozen hands it took him to finish the table, Black never gave up more than a few million in chips, quickly knocking Shegal down to around 7 million.

At that point, with blinds at 125,000-250,000 Shegal moved in over Black’s min-bet. Black showed the AK♠, putting Shegal’s A♠8 in poor shape.

The king on the board right off the top of the deck did Shegal no favors. Nor did the full runout of K♣T♣6Q9♠.

A pair of kings was good enough to give Black first place, $1.2 million, and the honor of having his name etched onto the Mike Sexton cup.

World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic complete final table results

PositionPlayer NamePayout
1stTaylor Black$1,241,430
2ndVik Shegal$827,620
3rdGianluca Speranza$609,960
4thLorenzo Lavis$454,590
5thMohsin Charania$342,645
6thDavid Kim$261,235
7th*Bryn Kenney$201,480
8th*Dylan Linde$157,220
9th*Pat Lyons$124,145
*As is typical for the World Poker Tour, the TV final table includes only the top six finishers.

Featured image source: WPT, used under CC license