Connor Drinan’s bracelet win costly for Daniel Negreanu

Jon Sofen
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Posted on: September 9, 2020 6:08 pm EDT

Daniel Negreanu took a bad beat twice in one poker tournament. Connor Drinan, on the other hand, won twice in that very same event.

You may be scratching your head trying to figure out how that’s even possible. Well, the poker pros made a side bet before the summer on winning a bracelet. If either player won a bracelet during any of the 85 WSOP Online Bracelet Series events between GGPoker and WSOP.com, that player would be owed $100,000. In the event both players won a bracelet, the side bet would be deemed a push.

And it appeared headed that way on Tuesday as the two-month long series was down to its final event — $10,000 Super Millions No-Limit Hold’em. Neither Drinan nor Negreanu had shipped a bracelet, but Connor was still alive in the last tournament to finish off.

Bad beat for DNegs

Negreanu busted short of the money, his first loss of the day, so the best he could hope for was a push. The odds were in his favor. Drinan entered Day 2 with nine players out of 899 left at 6th in chips. All “Kid Poker” needed was his side bet opponent to finish 2nd or worse and he could sleep easy.

But Drinan went on a heater at the final table. He dominated the tough competition that included former November Niner Sylvain Loosli (5th place for $398,010) and rising high roller star Christopher Kruk (7th place for $209,609).

With three players left — Drinan, Viktor Ustimov, and Daniyar Aubakirov — Drinan held a big chip lead. At that point, Negreanu had to be sweating. Drinan was now a massive favorite given he was the chip leader and the best player remaining ($11 million in live tournament cashes, 41 cashes in WSOP events).

Ustimov, one of two Russians at the final table, was eliminated in 3rd place. He didn’t win a bracelet but he still took home a $755,754 consolation prize, which isn’t so bad.

Aubakirov, from Kazakhstan, and Drinan, the American, would then battle it out for the bracelet. Both players were guaranteed a seven-figure payday at that point.

Drinan began heads-up play with a huge chip advantage, about 5-1. Aubuakirov fought back, however, and made it a game. He never caught up to the chip leader but did get within about a 1.5-1 disadvantage at one point.

The eventual runner-up would then dump a bunch of his chips with just a pair of 7s against A-9 (Drinan rivered trips). The A-9 would again crush Aubakirov on the final hand.

On a positive note for the runner-up, he still earned a seven-figure payout ($1,041,414). Drinan, however, received $1,423,049, and his first World Series of Poker bracelet.

Avenging a famous bad beat

Connor Drinan has become one of the best players in the world over the past five years. But he’s always been famous for one of the most memorable bad beats in history. Now that he’s a WSOP champion, he might become known for something else.

At the 2014 $1 million buy-in WSOP Big One for One Drop, Drinan played a memorable hand against Cary Katz that he’d like to forever forget. Drinan picked up pocket aces, as did Catz. Naturally, all the chips went in the pot before the flop. With a 96% chance of chopping the pot, both players felt safe they weren’t going to lose. But then the fourth heart turned over on the river, giving Katz a winning flush.

Drinan lost his entire $1 million buy-in in that one hand. But at least he won it all back on Tuesday, along with another $100,000 from Negreanu.

Featured image source: Flickr