Reviewing Daniel Negreanu’s impressive showing at the 2021 WSOP

Dave Consolazio
Published by:
Posted on 11/26/2021

It isn’t often that a poker superstar like Daniel Negreanu flies under the radar at the World Series of Poker, especially when they are having a fantastic series. But there were so many great performances this year that it makes sense that some would get lost in the shuffle.

Phil Hellmuth won WSOP bracelet No. 16 and made an unprecedented seven final tables. Josh Arieh won 2021 WSOP Player of the Year honors and was one of four players to win two WSOP bracelets during this series alongside Michael Addamo, Kevin Gerhart and Scott Ball. Ben Yu had 19 cashes and won a bracelet in Event #56. Ryan Leng won the $1,500 Eight Game Mix and had two-runner up finishes.

The series produced so many great stories that some poker fans may have missed just how dominant Daniel Negreanu was. One simple tweet recapping his results during the 2021 WSOP put things into perspective.

A look back at Negreanu’s strong 2021 series

Negreanu’s tweet pointed out the following series highlights:

  • Seven top 10 finishes
  • 18 cashes in 55 events
  • $400,000 in profit ($1.4 million in cashes and $1 million in buy-ins)
  • 3rd in Player of the Year rankings

Only Ben Yu and Roland Israelashvili finished with more cashes (19 each) than Negreanu did. Yu’s 2021 resume included a WSOP bracelet, but only three of his 19 cashes were top-ten finishes compared to Negreanu’s seven. Israelashvili’s only top-ten spot came in a 10th-place finish in the $10,000 Event #78 Razz Championship.

Negreanu’s deep runs covered a wide array of games as well. He had two top-10 finishes in H.O.R.S.E. events. He thrived in other mixed game events as well, with top-10 finishes in the Dealers Choice 6-Handed Championship, the 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship, and the 6-Handed Poker Players Championship.

Bracelet No. 7 will have to wait

Prior to the final week of the 2021 World Series of Poker, Negreanu had finished no better than eighth place in any of his previous tournament runs during the series. That changed in dramatic fashion on the last weekend of the series when Kid Poker managed to record back-to-back third place finishes on back-to-back nights in the HIGH ROLLER Pot Limit Omaha event and the HIGH ROLLER No-Limit Hold’em event.

Perhaps the most heartbreaking moment of the series for Negreanu came at the HIGH ROLLER Pot Limit Omaha final table when he was down to three-handed play with Phil Hellmuth and eventual winner Jeremy Ausmus. Hellmuth started the hand with 4,425,000 chips and limped in with Q♠10♠9♥6♠. Negreanu had 10,175,000 in chips and raised to 1.5 million with A♠K♣4♣3♣. Hellmuth called and the two poker Hall-of-Famers saw a flop of 10♣6♦5♠.

Negreanu had flopped an open-ended straight draw and a backdoor flush draw against Hellmuth’s top two pair. Hellmuth moved all-in and Negreanu called. The 7♥ put Negreanu into the lead with a straight, and he only needed to fade eight outs to go to heads-up against Ausmus with the chip lead. The 10♥ on the river was one of the eight cards Negreanu couldn’t afford to see, shipping a 9,350,000 chip pot over to Hellmuth with a full house. Kid Poker was eliminated in third place shortly afterwards and left to wonder what could have been.

The six-time bracelet winner’s last win at the World Series of Poker came back in 2013. Negreanu snapped an eight-year streak without a tournament victory earlier this year when he won Event #7 of the PokerGO Cup back in July, but his bracelet slump will carry on to next year’s 2022 World Series of Poker starting in May.

Fellow poker pro Jeff Gross added an addendum to Negreanu’s 2021 WSOP recap tweet. “And 50+ Vlogs! Absolutely ridiculous.”

We mentioned earlier in the series that Negreanu’s vlog was among the best content produced during the World Series of Poker. The vlogs obviously aren’t an entirely altruistic endeavor. They help Negreanu to build his personal brand and to be an effective brand ambassador for GGPoker. But that takes absolutely nothing away from how valuable these vlogs are to the poker community.

Daniel Negreanu has over 585,000 subscribers on YouTube. His poker vlogs throughout the series routinely generated 50,000 to 100,000 views each. According to his SocialBlade statistics page, Negreanu’s YouTube videos collected a total of 4,594,322 video views from September 27 through November 22.

Negreanu doesn’t have to give poker fans the in-depth look into his life on and off of the tables that he does during the World Series of Poker. You could easily argue that he is even giving up expected value at the table doing so, using time that could be spent resting or studying to produce content for the poker community. The social impact of these videos is difficult to measure. But there’s no doubt that there are recreational players out there who might have been on the fence about making a trip out to the World Series of Poker or to their local casino for a cash game before they saw Negreanu having so much fun.

It’s impossible to know when bracelet No. 7 will come to Daniel Negreanu. But we can be pretty sure that he’ll provide us with plenty of deep runs on the table and entertaining content off of it in the meantime.

Featured Image Credit: Haley Hintze