Poker Stories: Daniel Negreanu’s World Series of Poker, Part 3
It’s been a rough series of Poker Legend Daniel Negreanu. His bad luck seems unrelenting, and, although he has a good time joking around with other poker pros like Phil Ivey, it’s obvious that busting out of tournament after tournament with nothing to show for it is starting to wear on him.
Once he busts out of the 10k Pot Limit Omaha championship on day 33, he’s down $1,055,073 for the series. With the Main Event looming, he figures it's time to get his head in the game for the most important event of the World Series of Poker (WSOP).
Photo: The Sporting News
Preparing for the Main Event
On day 34, Negreanu spends the day at home, trying to get up before noon so that he can adjust his body clock to play the main event. He plays a $500 online tournament for fun while watching a Rocky marathon, but, like all his other tournaments, it ends in disappointment after a promising start.
Day 35 is a “legit day off”--no poker for the first time in 5 weeks. After making pancakes, spending time with his hot wife, and enjoying a nap in the shade, Negreanu is once again ready to battle for poker glory and a whole lot of money.
Main Event: Day 1
On his way to the casino onday 36, D-Negs explains that “the Main Event requires patience, stamina, and quick adjustments… In the first hour or so, I plan to focus in hard. I plan to focus for the entirety of this tournament, which requires a lot of energy, but, if you’re ever gonna do it for any event, the Main Event is the one.” He concludes by saying how emotionally attached he is to this tournament.
After the first shuffle up and deal, Negreanu scoops the first pot with an c-bet on the flop. It’s a good start, and his luck holds up for the first few levels.
Things start to change after the dinner break. “No words people, no words,” he laments. “I just can’t take much more of this. I can’t take it. I thought I could, but I can’t...You’re not allowed to break things around here, so I won’.”
What happened is that he flopped a set on a QQ7 board with pocket 7s and got it in with 78% equity. When the villain sucks out on him on the river, he loses a big portion of his stack. The hits keep coming when he shoves it in pre-flop with 22 vs AT. “What do you know, lost the flip,” he complains. “Big f---ing shocker there. This is fun, a lot of fun.”
All he has left is a chip and a chair. It all goes in the middle on his big blind, and, somehow, he managed to win half the pot with 25. He sees a glimmer of hope, but it’s still “very difficult to see the silver lining.”
When he puts his whole short stack in the middle with AK of spades, everyone calls behind because they want to see him out the door. Even a premium hand like big slick will have a hard time beating 5 other hands, and when the board comes out 854TJ, he’s totally screwed, holding nothing but ace high.
“That’s the end of my Main Event,” he fumes. “Who gives a shit? F---ing joke. Nothing I say right now is going to be uplifting, so I better click the end button.”