At the age of just 23 years old, Daniel Colman has already earned what few tournament poker players will ever come close to over the course of their entire careers by winning a single tournament – the 2014 Big One for One Drop. Colman defeated Daniel Negreanu heads-up to win $15,406,668 and a platinum World Series of Poker bracelet.
It’s the pinnacle of a long line of successes for the young ultra high-stakes pro, who burst onto the live scene in the biggest way possible back in April by winning over $2.1 million and the title in the EPT Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller. With this victory Colman climbs all the way up to sixth on the all-time tournament earnings list – a list that Negreanu now leads, despite falling short of his seventh career WSOP bracelet..
Negreanu did earn the biggest cash of his poker career, along with that top spot, but his perspective is that with tournaments of these size existing, those numbers don’t mean all that much. It’s an opinion he’s stated several times, and he’s sticking with it.
“I’d sound like a pretty big hypocrite if I said, ‘Yeah, now it matters’,” said Negreanu. “I mean, it’s an interesting barometer, it’s something for people to look at – I don’t think it has much meaning. It’s a fact, but that’s about all I have to say about it.”
Negreanu closed a small deficit between himself and Colman early in their match, and then raced out to a 2-to-1 lead of his own. The pair traded blows and exchanged the lead on several occasions, but the match swung for good on Hand 103. Colman raised to 2.5 million on the button, Negreanu called and the flop was J 8 4. Negreanu checked, Colman bet 2.5 million again and again Negreanu called. The turn was the A and it got checked to Colman yet again, who bet 7 million, which Negreanu called. The river was the 4 and Negreanu gave Colman the lead one more time.
The river bet was a monster at 18 million, representing over 14 percent of the chips in play with a single bet. After Negreanu thought it over for some time, he called, only to be shown A 4 for a runner-runner full house as Colman scooped a 60 million chip pot. That gave Colman a 3-to-1 lead going into the final break of the day, and he’d eventually extend that lead to more than 4-to-1.
On the 118th hand of the final table, Negreanu limped on the button, Colman raised to 4 million and Negreanu raised all in for 20,850,000. Colman called with K Q and Negreanu was slightly ahead going to the flop with A 4. The crowd exploded as the A J 4 flop gave Negreanu two-pair and a massive lead in the hand, reducing Colman to four outs to a gutshot straight.
A silence fell over the stadium as the dealer burned and dealt the turn. It was the T, and a different section of the crowd – this one filled with Colman’s friends – erupted into cheers as Colman spiked his unlikely straight. Negreanu went from big favorite to the brink of elimination in a single card, with just four outs to survive. The 7 was the river, and with that the second ever Big One for One Drop was in the books.
Things felt much differently at the start of play. Even with five short stacks, the specter of a long and drawn out $1.3 million bubble loomed large. So when Tom Hall went all in from the hijack for 12 big blinds and four other short stacks in similarly short position, there was a high likelihood that he had a big hand. It took Negreanu a little bit of time, but he three-bet all in for 20,625,000 total and the remainder of the table got out of the way.
Hall was in a coinflip for his tournament life, holding T T against Negreanu’s A Q, while Negreanu stood to either grab the chiplead if he won, or fall to a middling stack if he lost. After a moment’s pause, the dealer burned and turned over an A J 5 flop, putting Negreanu in the driver’s seat and eliciting a loud response from the crowd. The 2 turn left Hall fighting for two outs to survive and double, with the 2 serving as his death knell in this event. After leading several times on Day 2, the 2014 Big One for One Drop ended in heartbreak for Hall as he went out on the bubble in ninth place.
Nobody could have been happier than short stack Paul Newey, who guaranteed himself a payday as the final table took a short break to reset. A Cirque du Soleil introduction quickly gave way to eight-handed play, and things got even better for Newey in early action. On the fifth hand of the final table, Negreanu opened the action under the gun, Newey three-bet all in for 3.3 million to his immediate left and it folded back around to Negreanu, who called with K 9. There were some signs of a draw by the turn of a T 8 4 Q board, but the 2 assured Newey a double with ace-high.
After Newey gave a bit back after defending his big blind against Colman, he took on another of the big stacks in Tobias Reinkemeier. After Reinkemeier opened for a min-raise to 1.2 million, Newey three-bet all in for 6,675,000 and Reinkemeier called when the action returned back to him. It was a coinflip this time around, with Newey’s 9 9 against Reinkemeier’s A K. The board was a clean runout for Newey, coming out 5 5 2 7 6, and the former short stack suddenly made himself relevant with a second double.
Cary Katz would not be so fortunate in his attempt to get back into it. Negreanu raised to 1.2 million in late position, Katz three-bet all in for 7,475,000 in the big blind and Negreanu all but beat him into the pot. For the third time in 10 hands Negreanu was involved in an all in, only this time he had the best of it by a long way with J J against Katz’s 8 8. The 9 7 4 gave Katz a little hope with a five, six, ten, or jack giving him a straight draw, but the A on the turn left him drawing to just two eights. The river was the 4 and Katz, who entered this final table in fifth despite holding just over 15 big blinds, was the first in the money finisher to make his exit.
The chips continued to fly early, and just four hands later came a hand that fans of poker might be talking about for a long time to come. Scott Seiver raised to 1.2 million from the hijack and Reinkemeier called in the big blind. The flop was Q 4 2, Reinkemeier checked, Seiver bet 1.5 million and Reinkemeier called. He checked again on the J turn and Seiver went all in for 6,825,000, sending Reinkemeier deep into the tank. After more than 10 minutes in the tank the clock was finally called, and with five seconds remaining before his cards were killed Reinkemeier elected to folded.
He claimed to have pocket aces, despite not taking aggression on any street, and when Seiver didn’t believe him Reinkemeier reached in to grab his folded hand and showed A A. Seiver responded by turning over K T, an open-ended straight draw that had only six outs to win on the river had Reinkemeier called.
Christoph Vogelsang made a huge move of his own in short order. It folded around to him in the hijack and Vogelsang shoved for 8 million even (13 big blinds). Colman called in the cutoff and everyone else folded, but he was behind as his A T paled in comparison to Vogelsang’s A Q. The J 9 8 flop took away tens as an out, but expanded his winning cards from three to seven with an open-ended straight draw. The J turn opened up the possibility of a chop, but the 5 river gave Vogelsang a big double to over 17,000,000.
He immediately put those chips to good use just as Level 22 came to an end. After Reinkemeier limped, Salomon called along in the small blind and Vogelsang checked his option. The flop was A 7 7, both blinds checked, Reinkemeier bet 800,000 and Salomon raised to 2.1 million. Vogelsang cold-called the bet and Reinkemier got out of the way. The turn was the 9, Salomon bet 2.6 million and Vogelsang called again. The river was the 5, Salomon bet 5 million and hid his head in his arms. Vogelsang moved all in for 11,650,000 and Salomon called, showing 8 7, but Vogelsang had A 7 for a flopped full house for a full double that inched him just past Negreanu and into the chiplead.
Reinkemeier’s stack continued to yo-yo up and down, with another spike coming after he moved all in from the button for 8,275,000 and Newey called in the big blind, having him only slightly covered. Reinkemeier was ahead with A J against Newey’s K Q, and stayed that way throughout as neither player hit on the 9 8 3 3 6 board. Newey’s stack was crippled, but he folded his small blind on the next hand.
With the action folded to the button, Newey shoved for 1,075,000, just over one big blind, and both Seiver in the small blind and Salomon in the big blind called. Salomon bet Seiver out on a K 7 2 flop and tabled A 4 for a flush draw, which was actually behind Newey’s A J. The Q on the turn made Salomon’s hand, though, and with the J on the river Newey’s tournament came to an end in seventh.
Just as soon as he was able to win a big pot and rally, Reinkemeier slipped down once more. After Colman opened for a min-raise to 1.6 million on the button, Reinkemeier three-bet all in for 15,475,000 (19 big blinds). When it folded back around to Colman he quickly called and tabled A A. Reinkemeier would need some serious help with 5 5 and got none of it as it ran out Q T 4 4 3. After the stacks were meticulously counted down, Reinkemeier was left with less than two big blinds.
Before those chips could get into the middle, however, there’d be yet another substantial all in pot. Negreanu raised to 1.6 million in the small blind and Seiver called, bringing a J T 9 flop. Negreanu checked, Seiver bet 2 million and Negreanu raised all in. Despite a stack as short as Reinkemeier’s being in play, Seiver was not just looking to make small pay jumps and called with T 5. Negreanu had J 3 and needed to fade Seiver’s pair and a flush draw, which is exactly what it did as the A and 4 completed the board to knock Seiver out in sixth.
Despite his desperately short stack, Reinkemeier kept folding until he was almost all in in the big blind, and after Negreanu raised to 1.6 million under the gun and Vogelsang called on the button, Reinkemeier called all in for just over 1 million total. The flop was 9 8 7 and Negreanu bet Vogelsang out of the pot, tabling Q T. Reinkemeier needed runner-runner with J 8, but the K turn sealed his fate as the fifth place finisher – albeit one who made a little extra money by outlasting Seiver.
Salomon never truly recovered from his hand against Vogelsang, and on the hand immediately following Reinkemeier’s elimination he open-shoved all in from the hijack. Colman called on the button and Negreanu folded his blind, setting up a showdown between Salomon’s 8 8 and Colman’s A T. This time the ace-ten worked out well for Colman, as the T T 3 flop put him firmly in the lead. The 7 brought an audible reaction from the reaction, but it was indeed a brick, as was the Q on the river. Salomon’s once mighty stack was no more, and in 40 hands of play his fourth place elimination made him the sixth player to exit in the first two hours.
Going into the first break of the day, Negreanu had a slight lead with 51.3 million to Colman’s 49,750,000, while Vogelsang had just shy of 25 million. Colman quickly closed the gap and took over the chiplead after taking a pot from Vogelsang. Things continued to take a turn for the worse as Vogelsang slipped further and further behind his two opponents. It looked as if he’d get a much-needed double when he got his last 9 million with K J against Negreanu’s K T, but the A Q 8 5 5 runout led to a chop.
Vogelsang continued to be reduced, shorter and shorter, and then the blinds went up to make things even tighter. After Colman minraised to 2.4 million on the button, Negreanu called in the small blind, Vogelsang three-bet all in for 3,775,000 and both Colman and Negreanu called. There was no side pot and the action was checked down through an 8 6 2 6 4 board, with Colman tabling 5 5. Vogelsang shrugged his shoulders and showed K Q, marking his elimination in third place.
Colman started heads-up play with a lead of 68.55 million to 57.45 million, but Negreanu almost immediately closed the gap and then took over the lead entirely. There wasn’t much in the way of small-ball going on, as Colman and Negreanu slugged it out in big pot after big pot and traded the lead back and forth numerous times.
With two rivered full houses in big pots, Colman took a 3-to-1 chiplead and never looked back. The young man with a penchant for big performances in High Rollers won the biggest one of all, earning a bracelet and dispatching one of the biggest names in poker in the process, and Colman’s potential going forward is seemingly endless.
2014 World Series of Poker – $1 Million Big One for One Drop Final Table Results
- Daniel Colman – $15,406,668
- Daniel Negreanu – $8,228,001
- Christoph Vogelsang – $4,480,001
- Rick Salomon – $2,800,000
- Tobias Reinkemeier – $2,053,334
- Scott Seiver – $1,680,000
- Paul Newey – $1,418,667
- Cary Katz – $1,306,667
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