Daniel Negreanu spikes four-outer to win PGT Last Chance #1 for $218k

Dave Woods
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Posted on: January 3, 2024 6:48 am EST

What a difference a day makes.

Yesterday, Daniel Negreanu posted a video talking through his record-breaking loss in 2023. He cited bad luck as one of the factors.

It seems like moaning to the poker gods is a valid strategy. Fast forward 24 hours, and not only has Negreanu won Event #1 of the PGT Last Chance series, good for $218,400 from his $10,100 investment, but he did it by spiking a four-outer against Daniel Smiljkovic.

And while the cash might end up being important for Negreanu’s end-of-2024 review, the six-leg Last Chance series is all about the points and the upcoming PGT Championship on January 9, a $1 million freeroll for the top 40 players on the PGT leaderboard. 

Road to the PGT Championship  

PGT Last Chance Event #1 final table
The final table of the PGT Last Chance Event #1

Beyond the points and the cash, there was more drama on the first Last Chance final table. 

91 runners had led down to a final seven, which saw Negreanu sat next to Justin Bonomo. The two players have spent more time talking politics on X over the past few months than playing poker. And, as with a lot of political discourse on X, it hasn’t always been a clean fight. There wasn’t a lot of small talk between the two of them in the PokerGO studio.  

The cut-off for the top 40 has been estimated at 1,200 points, and Bonomo was well outside that, with 840 points good for 54th spot. Negreanu started the day in 35th with 1,117 points. Isaac Haxton is the man out at the top of the leaderboard, and he also made the final table here, looking to cement his top spot and the $50k bonus that comes with it.

And just to add an extra bit of spice this week, there are two Dream Seats up for grabs, which give you automatic entry into the PGT Championship. These will be given to the players who accumulate the most points in the six Last Chance tournaments (all $10k NLHE events and running daily until January 7) and don’t qualify via the top 40.

Last Chance #1 final table 

Haxton was the first to depart in 7th but extended his lead at the top of the PGT leaderboard, with second-placed Chris Brewer failing to cash. David Peters followed him in 6th and will be looking to win a Dream Seat after starting the day 95th on the leaderboard. Jonathan Cohen was railed in 5th, and this marked his first cash in a PGT event this season. 

Then the fireworks we were all expecting happened. Negreanu has talked about losing all-ins at critical moments in events where edges are small, but he started off 2024 by winning a huge flip against Bonomo. Bonomo had the made hand with pocket queens, but Negreanu spiked an ace on the flop with his A-K, and improved to a better flush on the river.

Bonomo staged a mini-comeback but fell when he called off his remaining chips with K-6 only to find himself dominated by Masashi Oya’s A-6.

“By the way, I just wanted to point out that Negreanu was quiet for the first two hours of this final table,” Remko Rinkema said on comms. “Bonomo departs and Negreanu starts singing. I’m not sure what it means.”

Interestingly, the three players left – Oya (39th), Negreanu (35th) and Daniel Smiljkovic (34th) – all started the day in the top 40, which means Bonomo is currently leading the charge to one of the Dream Seats. 

Negreanu’s luck turns

Negreanu’s day got even better when the two chip leaders, Oya and Smiljkovic decided to get into it for most of the chips in pay.

Oya was eliminated in third before Negreanu started whittling away at his 4/1 chip deficit. First, he doubled with A-J against A-4, before taking the chip lead with Q-8 vs. 4-2 on the 9-K-4-Q-K board. 

In his 2023 annual review, Negreanu talked about getting it all-in with the best of it in the vast majority of spots. That wasn’t the case here when he shipped with just 9% equity. He had A-K on a T-J-J-4 board. Smiljkovic had J-2, and… you can watch what happened below. 

“I don’t know what I was doing on the turn,” Negreanu admitted. “It’s the first time I’ve won the first tournament of the year in my life,” he added. 

As well as the $218,400, Negreanu shipped 218 PGT points, which gets him over the 1,200 mark with 1,335 points and five Last Chance events to spare.

PGT Last Chance #1 results

PlacePlayerPointsPrize
1Daniel Negreanu218$218,400
2Daniel Smiljkovic150$150,150
3Masashi Oya114$113,750
4Justin Bonomo91$91,000
5Jonathan Cohen 73$72,800
6David Peters55$54,600
7Isaac Haxton46$45,500

We’ll be back with a round-up of Last Chance #2 tomorrow. In the meantime, you can check out the latest PGT leaderboard. You can also watch the final table of Last Chance #2 live on the PokerGO YouTube channel, starting at 11pm PT tonight.