At long last, Daniel Negreanu is again a poker champion. The GGPoker ambassador shipped Event #7 of the PokerGO Cup, $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em, for $700,000, the first time his reached the winner’s circle since the 2013 World Series of Poker.
Negreanu said afterwards during his PokerGO post-game interview that he feels he’s been playing great poker in the past year. He believes the drought wasn’t due to poor play, but instead variance has been the contributing factor. And he might be right, but the results-oriented world we live in only cares about wins and losses.
Losses kept piling up
Since 2013, prior to Tuesday afternoon, “Kid Poker” hadn’t won a live poker tournament. During that period, he came close numerous times, however. In fact, he posted 10 runner-up finishes from 2013 to 2019, including two at the 2019 WSOP.
His heads-up record looks even worse when you consider he lost three straight High Stakes Duel matches to Phil Hellmuth and $1.2 million to Doug Polk online over 25,000 hands. At the $50k PokerGO Cup final table on Tuesday, he finally got over the hump and won a heads-up match, this one against David Coleman, a young up-and-coming poker pro whom Negreanu praised as a “class act” and said he expects big things ahead from the runner-up during the post-game interview on PokerGO.
Coleman received $455,000 for 2nd place, his fourth cash of the series. Heading into the $100,000 no-limit hold’em PokerGO Cup finale, which began Tuesday, he was in 2nd place on the overall series standings with 470 points. Ali Imsirovic, who won two events last week, leads the way with 497. Negeanu is in 3rd place at 468.
Imsirovic had a disappointing finish to the $50k. He entered the five-player final table with a sizable chip lead, but was the first player eliminated on Tuesday. He took 5th place for $122,500. Sergi Reixach busted in 4th place, good for $192,500, and Alex Foxen, the two-time defending Global Poker Index Player of the Year, was eliminated in 3rd place, which paid $280,000.
Long time coming
That set up a heads-up match between Negreanu, the old-school poker pro, and Coleman, the up-and-comer. “DNegs” held a big chip lead when heads-up play began, and he would never squander that lead. The six-time WSOP bracelet winner received $700,000, which brought him over the $43 million lifetime mark in live tournaments. More importantly, he ended the frustrating eight-year drought. Even his wife, Amanda Negreanu, was ecstatic.
Only 35 players registered for the $50k, and some might consider Negreanu’s victory unimpressive due to the small field. But he was up against many of the top players in the world, including Imsirovic, who is the hottest player in poker this year. Plus, any win is a positive step in the right direction for one of poker’s most popular players. After eight years of near misses, and numerous heads-up defeats, he’ll take any win he can get.
Featured image source: PokerGO app