If you have been a fan of poker or have played during the glory years of tournament poker, you will already know how important the Bellagio Five Diamond Poker Classic is on the annual schedule. Given its location and the timing of the event, it is truly the best way to end the poker calendar year, and with a WPT Main Event trophy on the line, it is always guaranteed to bring out the world’s poker elite.
The 2019 iteration of the event is coming up very soon, so we thought we would give you a primer about the event to get you excited, plus show the full schedule to give you even more reason to get excited to book your trip to Las Vegas.
The Tournament that launched a movement
One thing that many people seem to forget is that the Five Diamond Poker Classic at Bellagio was actually the first-ever event put on by the World Poker Tour all the way back in 2002. If you can imagine back to that time in the poker world, the World Series of Poker was only just starting its growth curve (the Five Diamond Classic happened a few months before Chris Moneymaker changed the poker world forever). Back then, this event really was the one that brought the best of the poker world together -technically, most of them were already in the Bellagio playing high-stakes cash games in Bobby’s Room.
The inaugural event was won by well-known poker professional Gus Hansen, and since his win in 2002 there has been a list of familiar names handed the trophy at the end of the main event. Of course, the event has grown in popularity over the year, spilling out of the Bellagio Poker Room and having to be held in the Fontana Bar (not too shabby a view there overlooking the iconic Bellagio fountains). With the changes in online poker that took place in 2006 and again in 2011, you would have thought this event would have fallen off the radar, but this is not the case. Live poker continues to be incredibly popular, and having a prestigious event at one of Las Vegas’s most prestigious properties has kept the Five Diamond relevant for almost two decades.
What to expect at Bellagio
If you are considering making your way to Bellagio for this WPT event, you had better brush up on your poker skills (may we suggest some of our learning pages to start?). What’s great about this event is that there are a couple of Omaha events mixed into the Hold’em schedule, along with an 8-Game mix event that is not for the faint of heart. If you want to mix it up with the people you watch play poker on TV, that is the event you want to enter!
A Nice Holiday Tradition
You may not think of Las Vegas as a holiday destination during the month of December, but we can tell you that you would be pleasantly surprised at how well the city decks itself out for the season. The Bellagio, in particular, goes above and beyond with its décor to turn the casino and surrounding lobbies into a holiday wonderland that isn’t to be missed.
And heck, what better Christmas present than coming home with your name on the WPT winners trophy and a suitcase full of cash! We are excited about the 2019 WPT Bellagio Five Diamond Poker Championships, and we’ll be providing updates from the event right here on this site.