The $5,000 preliminary events at the Bellagio Festa Al Lago were a bit of a disappointment, with the highest number of entrants coming in at 55 . Many expected a similar fate for the third-annual Caesars Palace Classic , which reduced its buy-in from $10,000 to $5,000.Instead, the poker community responded with 162 players, creating a $762,129 prize pool. Here’s a look at the payouts that are designated to the final 18 players.1 — $246,928 2 — $129,562 3 — $76,213 4 — $60,970 5 — $45,728 6 — $38,106 7 — $30,485 8 — $22,864 9 — $15,243 10-12 — $12,194 13-15 — $10,670 16-18 — $9,146Needless to say, the field was stacked with notable professionals, including 2007 winner David Singer (pictured left) . Also in attendance were Card Player Player of the Year candidates Eric Baldwin , Yevgeniy Timoshenko , Jason Mercier , and Mike Leah .Curiously, most of last year’s final table neglected to make the trip, including champion Hevad Khan . Second-place finisher Michael Kamran was the only player to show up from that group, but he was eliminated very early on in the day.Other notable eliminations included Barry Shulman , Jonathan Little , Gavin Smith , Scott Clements , Phil Gordon , and Michael Mizrachi .Clements’ (pictured right) elimination was especially brutal, getting it in with A K against Dorothy Von Sachsen’s A K . The spade flush came, and Clements’ day was over.Tensions were high, and a verbal altercation broke out among some of the players as the 12-hour day came to a close. Tournament officials quickly restored order as the clock hit zero, and the remaining 85 or so were sent for an overnight timeout to cool off. The tournament will resume Wednesday at noon as the field marches toward the final table.
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