Today poker legend Daniel Negreanu had a shot at his seventh World Series of Poker bracelet but had to settle for second as Paul Volpe won his first WSOP title.
Negreanu navigated a tough final-table in the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship but was unable to overcome Paul Volpe heads-up.
The loss is going to be even harder for Negreanu considering the reportedly astronomical amount of side-action he has riding on whether he or Phil Ivey will a bracelet this summer.
Before the WSOP began Negreanu tweeted the following:
WSOP Bracelet Bet Offering: me and @philivey as a team, you can bet the don't on either of us winning a bracelet this summer at even money.— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) May 13, 2014
The summer is far from over but such a close call has to leave Kid Poker steaming.
Paul Volpe Wins, Daniel Negreanu Runners-Up
Paul Volpe wore down Daniel Negreanu over the course of this heads-up match and eventually Kid Poker was forced to take a stand.
Volpe moved all-in from the button holding J-T-7-6 and drawing one. Negreanu had less than 250k left, with blinds at 15k and 30k. He made the call and held J-6-5-4.
Volpe drew a card and turned over a trey, making his jack-ten.
Negreanu took his time squeezing out his card but could only come up with a queen.
Volpe snagged his first gold bracelet and $253,524 while Daniel Negreanu is forced to settle for $156,674.
Stay tuned for winner photos and a few words from our champ.
Faces in the Crowd
Volpe continues to pull chips from Negreanu but they’ve only played a few big pots. It may be small ball right now but folks are starting to show up to sweat the action.
2010 WSOP Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel has joined those on the rail along with Matt Waxman, Maria Ho, and Brandon Meyers.
Greg “FBT” Mueller made a low-level flyby of the final table. Just long enough to shout, “Daniel, you’re making a lot of people nervous!”
Negreanu was able to pull some in a 200,000 pot holding A-K-T-5-2 but he is still down 2-to-1 in the match.
I would've bet the house & future family & kids on the "don't" for the Negreanu/Ivey bracelet bet...and would've been on the ledge right now— Jon Friedberg (@JonFriedberg) June 6, 2014
Jason Mercier Eliminated in 3rd ($99,313)
It’s a quick trip from 1st to last playing No Limit Deuce-to-Seven and Jason Mercier found out the hard way.
Mercier had a big chipead when the table was five-handed but had the second best hand too many times. He dropped a big pot to Paul Volpe and never came back.
Mercier three-bet shoved after Volpe opened and they were both drawing big, Volpe with 8-7-6-2 and Mercier with 8-7-4-2.
Mercier paired his paired his four and Volpe made 8-7-6-4-2 for another big hand to knockout a tough opponent. Mercier had a chance for his third bracelet but will have to settle for the $9,313 consolation prize.
Negreanu and Volpe are now heads up for the bracelet.
Out in 3rd place for 99k. Nothing to sneeze at but obviously wanted the win. Thanks everyone for the support! Let’s go HEAT!!!— Jason Mercier (@JasonMercier) June 6, 2014
3rd place finisher, Jason Mercier
Volpe Moves Ahead
Jason Mercier was looking like a runway favorite at the start of three-handed play, holding a nice lead that has disappeared.
Paul Volpe is now the new owner of most of those chips when Mercier three-bet from the big blind.
Mercier stood pat while Volpe drew one card. Mercier grudgingly check-called a 220,000 bet from Volpe who drew the near-nut 7-6-5-3-2. The hand moved Volpe back into the lead while Mercier and Negreanu are near even.
In Negreanu/Ivey bracelet bet prop news, we haven't had anyone go on record as having action but it looks like former bracelet winner Fabrice Soulier is one of them.
Negreanu Chronicles Part II
Not everyone comes to Las Vegas in the summer to play poker; some have more important matters to handle. Janice and Brian are the stands watching poker just five days after getting married.
The two came to Vegas for a wedding/honeymoon and were enjoying their vacation when they found out Daniel Negreanu was at a final table.
“He’s my husband’s favorite player,” Janice said, “He watches him all the time but has never seen him in person. When I heard he was playing today I knew we had to come over.”
They postponed a trip to Hoover Dam for a day in the Rio.
“I just love the way he plays and acts,” Brian said, “He’s really good but still looks like he’s having fun when he’s playing.”
“It was really cool when he said hi,” Brian continued, “He just walked right over and my Janice took our picture together. It was a pretty cool. Better than the Dam.”
Negreanu has always been great with his fans; today he gave a few of them a tale to tell their friends.
Brian Rast Eliminated in 4th ($67,264)
Daniel Negreanu brought the tournament down to three players by drawing a four.
Brian Rast moved all-in from under-the-gun and action folded to Kid Poker on the big blind. Negreanu peeked at his cards, looked at Rast and then asked for a count: 114,000. Negreanu counted out the bit and called.
Negreanu drew one card while Rast thought for a bit. Rast finally decided to stand pat and turned over a Q-9-7-6-5. Negreanu turned over 10-6-5-2 and squeezed his last card.
Negreanu turned over a four for 10-6-5-4-2 and Rast was eliminated in fourth place.
Rast shook hands with the players and then asked the dealer to see the next draw card. Rast shrugged and hit the rail while Negreanu is up to about 800,000.
4th place finisher, Brian Rast
Larry Wright Eliminated in 5th ($47,792)
The charismatic 2-7 bracelet winner, Larry Wright, has hit the rail.
Wright was the short stack coming back from the break and moved all-in after Volpe raised. Volpe called and both players took a card. Volpe hit a jack-eight while a queen came to send Wright packing.
Wright won’t add another 2-7 bracelet to his resume today, but he will take home $47,792.
We are talking tales of Negreanu with fans, players, and anyone with an interesting story. WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla recalls an early encounter.
“It was the 1998 United State Poker Championship at the Taj in Atlantic. Daniel Negreanu was then a complete unknown. No resume, no record whatsoever I believe. Also very youthful looking, especially back then before the poker boom. Everybody in the game is 35 or 40 or 60 and up so he really stood out.
“There was this table, I forget who it was or what they were playing, but it was a final table. There were several big named players at this table. Negreanu gets a chair, plops it down, straddles it, and sits there to watch this long final table. I didn’t who he is, just a kid, and asked him what he was doing there.
“He said ‘I’m just watching’ and I kind of rolled my eyes a bit. You see that and think they’re broke with nothing to do or they’d be playing poker.
“It goes for hours; he’s watching and studying the players. You could tell he’s really studious. Watching the action but also watching the players, picking up things.
“A year or two later, he had a big win at Foxwoods and I talked to him about this. I asked him if he remembered that incident and asked what that was all about. I said ‘You could have been playing.’ Negreanu said ‘I was studying and studying the players and watching the game. I was just there to learn. I took that as a complete learning experience. When I’m not playing the game, I want to be studying it.’ Negreanu thought he could gain something from that experience. This is before the internet when the only way to learn was read a book, maybe hear someone tell a story, or watch it.
“Here he was putting in the time that was necessary to become a great player and that’s when I realized that guy’s going somewhere. Then sure enough, he’s Daniel Negreanu.”
The remaining five players are on their first 20-minute break of the day. The counts on break are:
- Jason Mercier - 1,141,000
- Larry Wright - 225,000
- Daniel Negreanu - 469,000
- Paul Volpe - 367,000
- Brian Rast – 398,000
John Monnette Eliminated in 6th ($35,549)
Daniel Negreanu continues to enjoy his time at the final table but “Angry John” Monnette wasn’t having much fun at the other end. He managed a small double up against Larry Wright but was still low man.
Monnette took another shot after Paul Volpe opened the action, shoving in for 116,000 and Jason Mercier was the only caller.
They both stood pat and Monnette saw he was pipped in the end with 9-8 no good against 9-7.
Monnette quickly left the stage while Negreanu waved goodbye.
6th place finisher, John Monnette
Massive chipleader with 1.14 million chips (close to half of the chips in play... Down to 5 players. Other 4 guys have between 200-500k— Jason Mercier (@JasonMercier) June 5, 2014
Abe Mosseri Eliminated in 7th ($27,633)
Early action saw players feeling each other out and Abe Mosseri spent more time arranging his All-American Dave meal then playing.
Mosseri was at the bottom of the chip counts but had room to be patient. He found a big hand and went for the double.
Paul Volpe began with a raise before Mosseri moved all-in. Larry Wright quickly called next to act and Volpe gave up his hand. Both stood pat with big hands before Wright jumped up when Mosseri tabled T-8-7-3-2.
Wright was good with 9-8-4-3-2 and Mosseri was an early casualty. The hand moved Wright up to third in chips and the only player remaining with a NL Deuce-to-Seven win.
There was a slight problem before the start of play. Several players, including Negreanu, were unhappy with the RFID cards used on the main stage. They couldn't peel them properly to see what they held.
All was fixed by the staff and play is now underway.
Negreanu is very comfortable on the big stage, he's already made several stops to greet friends and fans on the the rail.
2pm today the FT of the 2-7 Draw Championship begins. My intention is to end the day with all the chips in front of me for the winner pics.— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) June 5, 2014
Players Take Your Seats
The $10,000 No Limit Deuce-to-Seven Lowball final table is about to get underway. A total of 14 WSOP bracelets are represented on the main stage and Daniel Negreanu is the biggest name in the room.
Negreanu is coming off his successful 2013 WSOP Player of the Year campaign and he cemented his POY title with a win in the WSOP-E High Roller tournament for €725,000. Despite his recent success, Negreanu has not won a bracelet in Las Vegas since 2008.
Negreanu isn’t the only player at the final table with WSOP titles. Jason Mercier (2), Brian Rast (2), and John Monnette (2) have multiple bracelets but only Larry Wright and Abe Mosseri won WSOP gold in Deuce-to-Seven tournaments.
Chipleader Paul Volpe is the only player at the final table without a WSOP win but has $2.4 million in career earnings including two WPT final tables in 2013. His most notable finish was a well-televised 20th place finish in the 2013 WSOP Main Event.
The players are making their way to the table and cards should be in the air soon. Stay tuned for live updates and Daniel Negreanu stories throughout the day.
Check Back at 2pm for Live Updates
The final table begins in a few hours so check back right here this afternoon for live updates as Daniel Negreanu goes for his seventh WSOP bracelet.
Negreanu has been on fire recently, winning the first-ever WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event, as well as the €25k High Roller at the 2013 WSOP Europe.
Action begins at 2pm today in Las Vegas so check back often for the latest updates and chip counts.