Bellande Bags Unexpected Chip Lead in Five Diamond Classic

Bellande Bags Unexpected Chip Lead in Five Diamond Classic

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

An unlikely chip leader in the form of Jean-Robert Bellande emerged on Day 4 of this year's WPT Five Diamond Classic as the field was cut from 59 to 21. After starting the day somewhere in the chasing pack, Bellande put on a blistering performance in the post-bubble carnage to storm into the chip lead (1,637,000) ahead of Keith Tilston (1,274,000) and Eddy Sabat (1,026,000).

Indeed, despite being known as a broke high stakes cash game player (it seems he lives a charmed life with his backers), Jean-Robert displayed sharp set of tournament skills on the way to claiming the chip lead and eliminating the likes of MTT veteran Brian Rast.

Such was the shock of Bellande's performance that many pros, including fourth place Christian Harder, demanded a recount before the start of today's penultimate session.

While the surviving pros were able to share a joke as the $1,161,135 top prize drew ever closer, the session wasn't so fun for Kevin Eyster. Although the circuit regular started the day with high hopes, he soon found himself on the wrong end of negative variance after his pocket kings fell victim to a fortunate river for Steven Silverman and his pocket jacks.

Having ensured the financial stability of the final 45 players, Eyster retired to the rail and watch as the likes of Galen Hall (43rd - $21,700), Jeff Madsen (39th - $21,700) and Sorel Mizzi (34th - $26,039) gradually eked into the money before busting.

Today's session will resume later and play down to a final table of six before the final WPT champion of 2013 is crowned on Wednesday.

$10,300 WPT Five Diamond Classic Chip Count:
1 - Jean-Robert Bellande - 1,637,000
2 - Keith Tilston - 1,274,000
3 - Eddy Sabat - 1,026,000
4 - Christian Harder - 980,000
5 - Joe Serock - 949,000

Tags: WPT Five Diamond, Jean Robert Bellande, Christian Harder