2008 Bellagio Five Diamond Recap
December 24, 2021

As with any Bellagio WPT event, you expect to see some big names still contending at the end. With the great structure, and the fact that all the big names show up for Bellagio tournaments, it's always just bound to happen. The 2008 Five Diamond took that to a new extreme. Every starting table was "stacked," and with around twenty players remaining Mike Matusow commented that there were "maybe two bad players left" (QUITE a compliment from someone who rarely gives opponents credit).

The final table followed the same pattern as Evan McNiff and Justin Young were the only unknowns. WPT Final Table staples Steve Sung, Hoyt Corkins, and Amnon Filippi joined the newcomers, bringing with them the experience of a collective ELEVEN WPT final tables.

Then there was Chino Rheem who, although this was his first WPT final table, is no stranger to high profile and high-pressure end game play (2008 WSOP November Nine, anyone).

Sung came in with the chip lead, but everyone had enough chips to take this one down. Chino doubled up Justin Young early, but was able to keep his composure and hang in. The biggest hand of the final table was Justin Young dropping an ultra-cooler on Sung and Filippi. After a short-stacked Filippi moved in for just under one million, Sung called only to have Young move in over the top of him. Filippi's 9-9 and Sung's K-K were in bad shape against Young, who woke up with A-A at a very opportune time.

Chino then doubled through Evan McNiff and eventually knocked him out, taking around eight million in chips into the heads-up battle. Chino and Young jockeyed very carefully for what would be a one hundred and fifty-one hand heads-up match. After the chip lead was exchanged numerous times, Chino finally came out the victor.


David "Chino" Rheem




Justin Young




Evan McNiff




Steve Sung




Amnon Filippi




Hoyt Corkins




Event Recap by Justin Shronk

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