December 13,2011 :  BRITAIN'S DEMPSEY WINS FIVE DIAMOND POKER CLASSIC
 
Brighton pro’s payday is worth $821,612
 
James Dempsey, a professional poker player who hails from Brighton in the UK, claimed the main $821,612 prize in the World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Las Vegas over the weekend, besting a highly experienced field of 413 players on the way.
 
By the time the field was whittled down to a final table, Soi Nguyen held a convincing chip lead on 4,995,000, facing Dempsey on 3,860,000; Andrew Lichtenberger (3,605,000); Vanessa Selbst (2,250,000); Antonio Esfandiari (1,255,000) and Vitor Coelho (560,000) – all skilled and experienced players,.
 
Esfandiary's ambitions for a back-to-back win of this tournament were crushed when he was the first final table bust-out in the fast-paced action. He was quickly followed by the low-stack man, Vitor Coelho, and by the 41st hand Lichtenberger and Selbst had headed for the cashier as well, leaving Nguyen and Dempsey to battle it out in the heads up for the lion's share of the $4,006,100 prize pool.
 
The duo were pretty evenly matched, with Dempsey holding a slim chip lead on 8,320,000 while Soi Nguyen had 8,225,000, and the railbirds waited impatiently whilst the Royal Flush girls displayed the big money available before heads up action began.
 
In the end, it took 80 hands of exciting and hard-fought poker to decide the winner, with the lead changing hands several times before the British player took the honours and the big money, leaving his opponent with a still-impressive runner up prize of $517,478.
 
Dempsey's check for $821,612, and a $25,500 seat in the WPT World Championship was his biggest career win to date and a great finish for his first ever WPT tournament. The Brighton pro, known on internet poker sites as Flushy, won a World Series of Poker bracelet at the 2010 World Series of Poker in the $1,500 Pot Limit Hold'em event.
 
His biggest cash prior to this weekend was for $301,789, earned when he finished runner up to Sammy Farha in the WSOP $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better Championship. His c.v. now boasts 41 cashes including 9 firsts, and career earnings of over $1.5 million.