Negreanu is having a banner year in 2013 – he won the WSOP APAC Main Event for his fifth career bracelet, he led WSOP Player of the Year points race up until a week ago and has six WSOP cashes and a runner-up finish. Negreanu might have the broadest appeal to worldwide audience with his results, personality and unrelenting work ethic.
BLUFF followed Negreanu for his Day 1C flight and continued the coverage until his elimination from the 2013 WSOP Main Event early in Level 7. Below is a minute-by-minute account of Negreanu’s day.
12:01 – Negreanu is at his table for the start of play with his headphones on, drowning out WSOP Tournament Director’s morning announcements. He is listening the the Rocky theme song, dressed casually with a short sleeve blue shirt, khaki shorts and the same bright red watch he wore for Day 1.
Negreanu will begin the day with 15,600 at Table 430 in the Amazon Room right on the rail. Not all of the players have arrived but his table has a couple of accomplished players.
- Rory Brenan
- Christopher Whitall
- Thom Warthmann
- Carl Halling
- Sam Trickett
- Pieter De Korver
- Will Failla
- Patrick Serda
- Daniel Negreanu
12:03 – Cards are in the air and the dealer is having trouble getting all the antes and blinds in place with Brenan and Halling not in their seats. The dealer is a bit confused and Negreanu says, “C’mon dealer, run the game.”
12:16 – Negreanu is in the big blind and has yet to play a hand on the day. Tricket opens for 1,100, De Korver calls and Negreanu calls. The flop is Q 8 2, Negreanu checks, Trickett checks and De Korver bets 2,100. Negreanu and Trickett both fold and Brenan finally arrives.
12:24 – Negreanu opens for 1,175, Whitall raises to 3,325 and Negreanu folds.
12:27 – Negreanu jumps up from his seat and grabs a Starbucks bag from Trickett’s girlfriend on the rail to give to Trickett.
12:33 – Negreanu opens for 1,175 from under the gun and takes the blinds and antes. They amount to 1,300 each round, which is considerable in relation to his stack.
12:43 – A long hand plays out between Failla and De Korver. On the river Failla put in a huge raise to 25,000 and De Korver goes into the tank for a full seven minutes before he pleads to the table, “Gimme a minute guys.” Then he says, “If it was 10,000 I’d call.”
Failla jokingly goes to pull back 15,000 and asks the dealer if it’s OK. Either the dealer doesn’t understand English or doesn’t understand what was happening and nods.
“What?!?” Negreanu shouts when he sees it happening. His headphones had drowned out the joke and he grows tired of the tank and calls the clock for the first time on the day. De Korver folds his hand within 20 seconds of Negreanu’s clock call.
12:50 – Negreanu pulls a gangster-sized wad of cash from his pocket and begins to organize it at the table. A few tens and twenties are mixed in and he casually drops them aside. He counts out $3,000 and puts it in a separate pocket for unknown reasons.
The rail is three people deep by this point, many of them holding books for him to sign or taking photos. Negreanu is in a much different mood than he was on Day 1 when he performed for the rail all day. Negreanu has yet to sign an autograph or take a picture.
1:14 – Serda limps from the small blind with no action in front of him and Negreanu checks from the big. The flop is K J 2, Serda checks and Negreanu bets 950. Serda calls to see the 2 turn and both players check. The A comes on the river, Serda checks, Negreanu bets 1,500 and Serda calls. Negreanu tables K 8, Serda mucks and Negreanu takes the pot.
1:28 – Negreanu opens for 1,175 and Halling calls from the small blind. The flop is J T 2, both players check and the turn is 3. Both players check again and the river is 6. Halling checks, Negreanu bets 2,000 and Halling folds.
1:31 – Norman Chad arrives at the table and has a conversation with Failla a few feet away from the table. Failla sits back down and Negreanu starts talking to Chad about the Rocky franchise, specifically the merits of “Rocky Balboa” – the sixth installment.
1:37 – Trickett is eliminated holding pocket aces by a set of tens by De Korver.
1:50 – Walter Barandiaran takes the empty chair in Seat 5.
2:02 – The tournament reaches the first break in the day and Negreanu is down to 13,825.
2:22 – The tournament resumes with a 75 ante and blinds at 300/600. Before Negreanu takes his seat he signs a couple autographs and takes a few photos.
2:27 – Negreanu is starting to get annoyed by some long decisions and says, “I’ve got an idea guys, when you’re going to fold and know it instead of taking 30 seconds to act how about you just fold? I’m not talking to you (Failla),” and points to Halling.
Halling opens to 1,200 and Negreanu defends his big blind. The flop is J 4 4, both players check and the turn comes 7. Halling checks, Negreanu bets 1,500 and Halling folds.
“This should go quick,” Failla comments.
2:45 – Failla opens to 1,300 from under the gun and Negreanu calls. The flop comes 9 7 3, both players check and the J falls on the turn. Failla checks, Negreanu bets 1,500 and Failla folds.
2:53 – De Korver opens for 1,200 and Negreanu calls in the small blind. The flop spreads K J T, Negreanu checks and De Korver puts out a tall stack of all his big chips to set Negreanu all in. Negreanu quickly folds and De Korver takes the pot.
2:55 – Negreanu opens for 1,375 on the button and Whitall calls from the big blind. The flop falls A K 3, Whitall checks, Negreanu bets 1,425 and Whitall calls. The turn comes Q, both players check and the river is the K. Whitall tables A 6 and Negreanu mucks.
3:00 – Failla opens for 1,300 in late position, Serda calls and Negreanu moves all in for around 11,000 in the cutoff. Whitall re-raises all in to isolate and Failla and Serda fold.
Negreanu tables A K and has to outflop Whitall’s pocket tens. The board runs 6 4 2 3 7 and Negreanu’s Main Event run was over. Negreanu taps the table wishes everyone good luck and exits the Amazon Room.
3:03 – In the back halls of the Rio Negreanu types his bustout tweet on answers a few questions, and one has to wonder how he’s feeling in the moment.
“I don’t think, I just, I’m ecstatic,” Negreanu says. “I played well. What are you going to do? You gotta win a flip once in a while.”
Negreanu’s immediate plans are wide open – “I’m gonna go see a girl, too early to tell how serious it is,” Negreanu says.
He breaks off interview for a moment to take a photo with a fan that somehow found his way into the service hallways. Then he turns his attention back to the interview. “I never beat that guy in a pot (Whitall). I didn’t have any hands today – I had [Ax] [Jx], two sixes, two deuces and [Ax] [Kx].”
“Right now I’m focused on sending out a tweet and cleaning out my trailer,” Negreanu says. “This is not a time for thinking ahead.”
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