After reaching the final table of eight and locking up POY honors, Negreanu had less than 10 big blinds and faced a nightmare lineup at the final table. Negreanu would double up, double again, and then run his way through one of the toughest WSOP final tables of the year on the way to his sixth career bracelet and just over $1 million.
The best part? Negreanu called his shot at the start of the year, declaring that he was going for ever Player of the Year award under the sun. Since the beginning of 2013 Negreanu has picked up two bracelets, earned his second WSOP POY crown, and taken a significant lead in almost every major POY race there is in poker.
“2004 was just such a different time for me,” said Negreanu, recalling his first WSOP POY victory. “This one means a lot more for me than the last one – it was a little more difficult to win. I came here and won it in the very last [tournament]. I love drama!”
Negreanu defeated Nicolau Villa-Lobos to cap it all off. After starting their heads-up match with a 2-to-1 lead, Villa-Lobos crawled his way back and took the lead at one point. Negreanu eventually buckled down and wore Villa-Lobos down to his last 20 big blinds. After Villa-Lobos limp-shoved preflop, Negreanu snap-called with J J and a great chance to win the tournament against Villa-Lobos’ 5 5. The Q 9 2 K 3 runout kept Negreanu ahead throughout and sealed his victory.
There were still 13 players left when Day 3 got underway early Thursday afternoon, but the field was quickly reduced to 10 as Phil Laak, Tom Bedell and Byron Kaverman went out. That left November Niner Marc-Etienne McLaughlin and Joni Jouhkimainen in a standoff, both perilously short as they fought it out over who would survive the €50,000 bubble.
Negreanu got short-stacked as well as he waited out both the bubble and sweated having to survive two more spots to lock up WSOP POY honors. McLaughlin eventually ended up in the big blind with less than 3 BB’s in his stack, having to call it off in a blind versus blind showdown against Timothy Adams. Adams won the pot and knocked off McLaughlin, putting Negreanu one spot away from locking up POY.
Jouhkimainen was quickly dispatched by Philipp Gruissem in ninth place, and when the turn card had Jouhkimainen drawing dead Negreanu jumped out of his seat, locking up his WSOP POY for the second time in his career. He would enter the final table of eight severely short-stacked, but an early double through Erik Seidel would give him some room to play.
Seidel was left as the short stack, but he stole blinds several times in order to keep his head above water. He open-shoved from the cutoff for just over 10 big blinds and Seiver called on the button, putting Seidel at risk. He was in good shape for a double-up with A J against Seiver’s A 7, but a 9 7 7 flop changed all that. The A gave Seidel one out to chop, but the 4 would be his last card of the series. Seidel added an eighth place finish to his runner-up result in the €2,200 No Limit event a few days prior.
Negreanu three-bet squeezed in a multi-way pot, and got called by David Peters. It was a race as his A K was up against Peters’ T T. “I’m feeling this one,” said Negreanu. “Feeling the mojo.” An A promptly rolled off on the flop, and with that pot Negreanu completed his rise from critically short-stacked to serious title contender.
The chips moved around quite a bit after that pot, with Peters going from the shortest stacks back to one of the top dogs while Seiver and Jason Koon slipped to the bottom. Koon’s stack would yo-yo as he got a double through Negreanu with K K against A K, only to lose a big chunk in a flip with Peters in a brutal runout. Koon’s A K was up against Peters’ 8 8 and the board was looking good through the A 7 6 and 9 turn, only for the 8 to hit the river to save Peters’ tournament.
Peters would soon put Koon at risk, but their second confrontation was a far uglier spot. Negreanu limped, Koon three-bet all in, Peters cold-called in the blinds and Negreanu got out of the way as Koon tabled A K. Peters had the goods, as his A A had Koon in a world of hurt until the Q J 4 provided Koon a glimmer of hope. The 5 turn and 8 were not the cards Koon needed to make the straight, though, and his tournament ended in seventh place.
Seiver, who entered the final table as one of the big stacks, was the next to make his stand. After Negreanu opened, Seiver three-bet all in for about 17 big blinds and Negreanu elected to call with K Q. Seiver was ahead with A J and stayed that way through the 7 7 3 flop and 2 turn. The river delivered one of Negreanu’s six outs, though, as the Q spiked the river and sent Seiver out in sixth.
There’d be one more elimination before the dinner break, and it would once again be Negreanu doling out the pain. Just three hands after losing a coinflip to Villa-Lobos for almost his entire stack on the river, Adams went all in from under the gun for less than three big blinds and Negreanu called from the big blind. Neither Adams’ Q 8 nor Negreanu’s 9 5 was particularly strong, but Adams looked poised for a double through the K 3 3 flop and T turn, only for the river to kill him again. The 9 gave Negreanu the pot and eliminated Adams in fifth place.
They’d go on to play 30 hands with four players left, and each player would take their turn at the top. Peters would slip into fourth, and then he’d get involved in a coinflip for most of his and Villa-Lobos’ chips. After Negreanu opened and Villa-Lobos three-bet, Peters cold four-bet all in from the big blind and Villa-Lobos quickly called, setting up a showdown between his A Q and Peters’ T T. The Q 7 4 flop put Villa-Lobos well ahead and neither the turn (K) or the river (K) provided one of Peters’ two outs, and he was eliminated in fourth.
Three-handed play was similarly even between Negreanu, Villa-Lobos and Gruissem, but the German would start to slip. After Negreanu opened for a min-raise, Gruissem three-bet all in and Negreanu called. Gruissem was in serious trouble with A 4 against A J, and he was drawing dead by the turn of a J 9 6 6 8 runout. After winning the High Roller at WSOP Asia-Pacifici, Gruissem settled for third at WSOPE.
Negreanu started out with a 2-to-1 chiplead when heads-up play began, but Villa-Lobos quickly eliminated any gap between the two players. Negreanu would simply not be denied on this day, though, and would soon hoist his sixth bracelet.
There is one more champion left to be decided, as the 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event final table will get underway at 2 pm local time (8 am ET). They’ll once again live-stream the action with hole cards on a delay as they crown the last winner in Enghien-les-Bains.
2013 WSOP Europe €25,000 High Roller – Final Results
- Daniel Negreanu – €725,000 ($1,001,225)
- Nicolau Villa-Lobos – €450,000
- Philipp Gruissem – €250,000
- David Peters – €150,500
- Timothy Adams – €100,600
- Scott Seiver – €74,600
- Jason Koon – €63,500
- Erik Seidel – €55,400
- Joni Jouhkimainen – €50,400
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