12/11/2012 : INSTANT MILLIONAIRE STATUS FOR US POKER PRO RAGHAVEN
 
Chicago poker pro takes home the $1.27 million main prize in the WPT Five Diamond
 
Ravi Raghaven, a 26-year-old poker pro from Chicago, became an instant millionaire this week when he took down the 2012 WPT Five Diamond tournament at the Bellagio after a hard-fought heads up against Canadian pro Shaun Buchanan (30).
 
Raghaven took home the first prize of $1,268,571, leaving Buchanan with a still-impressive runner up pay check of just under $750,000.
 
The tournament was more flexible this year, allowing an unlimited re-entry format that empowered players to make as many attempts as their bankrolls would permit during the initial eight levels.
 
With big names like Britain's Sam Trickett and US-resident Daniel Negreanu there was plenty of buy-in action, and a total of 503 entries were logged, building a prize pool in excess of $5 million.
 
On the final table, Raghaven and Buchanan faced Thomas Winters, Antonio Esfandiari, Andrew Lichtenberger and Jeremy Kottler, all of whom earned six-figure pay days for their appearance.
 
Three-handed, the survivors were Buchanan and Raghhaven along with a 45-year-old Texan involved in the livestock business, Thomas Winters. His departure in third for $483,000 set the scene for the final confrontation, where Raghaven enjoyed a comfortable lead of around 3.6 million in chips as the heads up commenced, managing to leverage that into an even greater edge over the two hours and 68 hands of the heads up.
 
Buchanan was unable to make a comeback, and Raghaven, who had started final table action as the short-stack, was triumphant, earning both the main prize and a $25,500 seat at the next WPT World Championship.