Daniel Negreanu came into the 2007 WPT World Poker Open with a renewed confidence and a renewed focus on not only poker, but also on life.
Daniel recently made this quite apparent by not only stating it on his poker blog, but also by shaving his head on his poker video blog for all the world to see. Stating it was to symbolize his new start to the year. He also stated that he wanted to get back to the focus and confidence he had in 2004 when he was voted WSOP and WPT player of the year.
His renewed confidence seems to be showing as Daniel recently placed second at the 2007 WPT World Poker Open. He also surprisingly credits his “hunger” for the great finish. By the way, that was not a metaphor. He was actually being literal. Apparently Daniel has been complaining for years about the horrible food offered in Tunica at the Horseshoe and at the Goldstrike Casino where the tournament is held. Daniel made the following statement:
“It’s pretty strange actually. I must play better when I’m hungry, not only in the metaphorical sense, but literally! Last year I won the WSOP Circuit event that was aired on ESPN. The year before that, I came in third place in this same event. There has to be something to it, but I’m not sure I’ve figured it all out just yet. My first guess is that since it’s January I’m more focused on starting the new year off with a bang.”
Daniel also credits his ability to play what he calls “small ball poker” and stay near the middle of the pack (in chip count) until the last two days. He mentions that he’ll give a more detailed explanation of playing “small ball poker” in his new book that’s coming out.
While Daniel did finish second to winner Brian Sumner who took just over $900,000 for the win, he did go on to say that he really wouldn’t have played it any different. One thing Daniel and other top pros have complained about for years is the blind structure used by the WPT at the final table. Apparently most pros believe the WPT has the best “deep stack” poker structure in the world for tournaments, but they have shown their disappointment in how fast the blind structure is once it gets to the final table. Apparently the WPT likes to use an extremely fast paced structure that they believe works well for TV. Why they don’t just keep the same structure and then edit it down in post production is beyond me, but that’s what they’ve decided on doing.
This second place finish puts Daniel in a league of his own as far as WPT records. Here are some of the current WPT records he holds:
- All-Time Money Winner
- Most Cashes 14 (tied with John Juanda)
- Most Final Tables 7
- Most top 3 finishes 7
- Most WPT Player Points
- Most consecutive cashes (4 and counting)
- Season 5 WPT POY points 1300 (second place right now)
- Biggest Chip Lead in an open WPT tournament coming into the final table (Bellagio 2004)
While finishing second Daniel picked up a nice $502,691 which isn’t anything to complain about.
Now Daniel is off to the Borgata Open in Atlantic City which started only 12 hours after he finished his final table play in Tunica. With no late night commercial flights out of Memphis, Daniel, Kido Pham, JC Tran and Nam Le split the cost of a private jet to AC. Although they got in around 3am, Daniel still said he plans to sleep through most of the first level so he’s wide awake and fresh for another tournament.
For those interested, here are the final few hands of the tournament as recorded by Card Player and also the positions and prize payouts:
118. Bryan Sumner has the button and limps in. Negreanu checks his option. The flop is the 866, Negreanu checks and Sumner fires $200,000. Negreanu calls and the turn is the 6. Negreanu leads for $200,000 and Sumner makes the call. The river is the 9, Negreanu checks and Sumner checks behind. Sumner shows a pair of eights to rake the first pot.
119. Daniel Negreanu has the button and limps in. Sumner checks his option and the flop is Q82. Both players check and the turn is the 6. Both players check again and the river is the 8. Both players check and Negreanu shows ace high to rake the pot.
120. Bryan Sumner has the button and raises to $300,000. Negreanu pushes all in for an additional $790,000. Sumner mucks and Negreanu takes the pot.
121. Daniel Negreanu has the button and pushes all in with A3 while Sumner calls with 88. The board comes the 8543Q giving Bryan Sumner the championship and the $25,000 WPT Championship seat.
Position Placed and Prize Payout
- Bryan Sumner – $913,986
- Daniel Negreanu – $502,691
- Young Cho – $257,058
- Gary Kainer – $199,934
- Thang “Kido” Pham – $171,372
- J.C. Tran – $142,81
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