The anatomy – and the end – of tournament futility from Daniel Negreanu

Eight years of futility ended Tuesday for Daniel Negreanu as he won a live poker tournament for the first time since 2013. (Photo PokerGO)

Daniel Negreanu was all smiles. In front of him were several piles of euros, and in his hand was a World Series of Poker bracelet – the sixth of his career. He posed for the winner’s photos in front of a set including the Eiffel Tower.

It was October 2013, and Negreanu had just won the € 25,000 High Roller at WSOP Europe and, in the process, won his second WSOP Player of the Year award. This was his 40th career live tournament victory and he was only one month away from being inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. He didn’t know what was going to happen.

It took another 2,821 days – almost eight years – before Negreanu won another live tournament. Posed for another winning photo. This tournament futility streak ended on Tuesday, when he defeated rising star David Coleman to win Event # 7 ($ 50,000 NLHE) of the PokerGO Cup. Between that momentous night in Paris and Tuesday night in Las Vegas, there have been several close calls over the years. And millions of dollars lost.

Ten times the bridesmaid

The time between wins included ten finalists in the money. A feat deemed so spectacular that Doug Polk recently created a video about it. In addition to finishing a spot behind Phil Hellmuth in a Poker After Dark sit-n-go, most of Negreanu’s other nine second-place results came in high-profile positions.

The first two came in 2014 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. First, he lost to Paul Volpe head-to-head in the $ 10,000 No Limit Deuce event. Then came what was arguably the most prestigious finalist in poker history. Negreanu lost to Daniel Colman in the second Big One for One Drop with $ 1 million buy-in. He walked away with $ 8,288,001 in prize money while Colman took home $ 15,306,668 for his victory.

In April 2017, he finished second in a pair of $ 25,400 buy-in Mixed Game High Roller events at Bellagio before returning to the WSOP that summer. There he finished behind Abe mosseri in the $ 10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship Event. In November of that year, Dan Smith won $ 1,404,000 for beating Negreanu heads-up in a $ 100,000 Super High Roller at Bellagio. His second place at Poker After Dark came a month later.

In 2018, he finished second in Justin bonomo in the $ 300,000 Super High Roller Bowl. His last finalist spots came at the 2019 WSOP. He lost to John hennigan in the $ 10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship before falling against Keith Tilston in the $ 100,000 Super High Roller event.

The difference between winning and finishing second in all of these events was worth $ 11,088,018.

DATED EVENT EARNINGS
3/6/2014 WSOP No Limit 2-7 Championship at $ 10,000 $ 156,674
06/29/2014 $ 1,000,000 WSOP The Big One for One Drop $ 8,288,001
04/17/2017 Bellagio Mixed Game High Roller $ 25,400 $ 175,000
04/18/2017 Bellagio Mixed Game High Roller $ 25,400 $ 77,500
6/4/2017 $ 10,000 WSOP Omaha Hi / Lo Championship $ 240,290
11/29/2017 $ 100,000 Bellagio Five Diamond Super High Roller $ 936,000
12/21/2017 $ 25,000 worth of poker after dark $ 50,000
05/27/2018 $ 300,000 Super High Roller Bowl $ 3,000,000
06/17/2019 $ 10,000 WSOP Seven Card Stud Championship $ 151,700
07/11/2019 $ 100,000 WSOP High Roller $ 1,725,838

Doug Polk and his truck

Poker fans were in for a treat when trashy social media conversations between Negreanu and longtime nemesis Polk turned into what came closest to the heads-up-for-roll we’ve ever seen in between. elite players. Negreanu and Polk agreed to play 25,000 hands of $ 200 / $ 400 No Limit Hold’em online and Polk promised he was going to “pull the truck up” and put Negreanu in financial trouble.

Polk did just that. While not a tournament loss, in the four months of action Polk beat Negreanu at the tables for $ 1.2 million and hooked another ‘L’ to Negreanu’s board. .

High Stakes Punishment Duel II

Between April and June, Negreanu faced Phil hellmuth three times on PokerGO High Stakes Duel II, a heads-up freezeout where the buy-in doubles for each consecutive game. In Game 1, which had a buy-in of $ 50,000, Negreanu had Hellmuth facing a 20-1 chip deficit only for the 15-time WSOP bracelet winner to make a comeback to win the opener. . A month later, with a buy-in of $ 100,000, Hellmuth defeated Negreanu in Game 2. The third game, which cost $ 200,000, also went to Hellmuth and, as it was his option after scoring three straight wins, Hellmuth walked out of the scene with $ 350,000 of Negreanu’s money.

Other deep races

The 10 finalists, the three losses to Hellmuth and the seven-figure loss to Polk weren’t the only hits Negreanu had between wins. He came third on nine occasions, fourth on three occasions and finished fifth in three other events.

He also suffered the indignity of being named WSOP 2019 Player of the Year in November 2019, only to see the victory undone after a data entry error mistakenly awarded him points at an event. that he did not cash. Once the numbers re-ran, he ended up in third place.

It wasn’t all bad news for Negreanu. Between the WSOP Europe title and winning the PokerGO Cup tournament, he finished 99 times in the money and totaled $ 21,860,360 in winnings.

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