Can Daniel Negreanu Win the 2015 WSOP Main Event?

July 13, 2015

Daniel Negreanu

It would be huge for poker to have a big mainstream star make the November Nine (Final Table) in the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event and “Kid Poker” is hanging tough as we close out Day 5 on the felt.

Action is still being played at the Rio this morning (Midnight Monday), but Negreanu is in great shape to make it through to Day 6. He’s currently sitting in 31st place with a little over two million in chips.

Joseph McKeehen is still the chip leader and he’s closing in on five million chips as I type this up.

The East coast poker player that’s known to be a grinder has been great in the Main Event, but we all know that having a chip lead at this point in the tournament means nothing, as one poor decision could end things horribly.

We started Sunday with 237 players left, but we’re already down to just 102 players and we’ll have a shorter field before we wrap things up here. With about 100 players left – everyone in the room can see the finish line.

Negreanu has been hitting when he needs to, including a coin flip against the legend Phil Hellmuth. These two may be friends off of the felt, but they enjoy giving each other the gears when sitting down at the table.

Hellmuth opened up the hand in question by betting 20,000 from late position. Negreanu raised to 56,000 and at that point Hellmuth shipped his remaining chips in (295,000 Total).

Negreanu made the call after declaring “I think we have the same hand”. Negreanu flipped over A/K of clubs, while the “Poker Brat” showed pocket queens (Q/Q). The flop brought a K/9/3, which paired up Negreanu.

Hellmuth got no help on the turn or river and he was eliminated from the WSOP Main Event on a huge coin flip.

That’s what I love so much about the WSOP Main Event. There’s millions on the line, which in turn causes many intense moments at the felt. Since the big hand against Hellmuth – Negreanu has been building his chip stack.

Right now – the top four players in the tournament are Americans, but there’s a lot of international talent still in the field and numerous international players are lurking near the top of the leaderboard.

There are five Europeans in the top 12 right now and three Canadians in the top 50. Players like George McDonald, Ghattas Kortas and Fedor Holz are all in the top ten and representing the Europeans very well.

Once we get down to the November Nine we’ll be sure to update readers with who made it, along with a profile on each player remaining. There’s still a ton of play left and I’m sure the top 10 will look much different soon.

Negreanu has a best finish of 11th place in the WSOP Main Event – never cracking the top ten. Plus, his 11th place finish came when the WSOP Main Event had just over 600 entrants – a far cry from today’s fields.

The Canadian would love nothing more than to solidify his career with a WSOP Main Event bracelet.

Super High Roller Cash Game Details Released

June 25, 2015

EV55_Day 03_Final Table

There’s going to be a Super High Roller Cash Game at the Aria between June 29th and July 1st 2015.

The game will be hosted inside the prestigious Bristlecone Ballroom inside of the convention center. Details are sparse, but we have one confirmed player and some other details to share, such as when you can watch the action on television.

It should be great to watch, but we’re going to have to wait until November 2015 to watch the footage on Poker Central TV – the new 24/7 poker channel. It’s good to see them offering special coverage like this, as it’s something a larger audience will enjoy.

A lot of people like watching tournament coverage on TV, but nothing beats a big cash game between the best poker players in the world. However – there’s also a twist for this game — poker pros will compete against casual players that have a big bankroll.

Phil Hellmuth is rumoured to play in the cash game, but he hasn’t confirmed anything yet.

The one confirmation we have is Antonio Esfandiari. he has said that he’s excited to play in the cash game and I can’t wait to watch him either – he has always been one of my favorites from the past when poker was on the TV all of the time.

Guess what the minimum buy-in is for the event? The minimum is $250,000 in cash!

The blinds will be $400/$800 and there will also be a $200 ante to ensure everyone has action in every pot. The game will be 8-handed, but players will bust out or leave and other players will be able to fill up the seats.

NL Holdem will be the only poker game played, so we can expect some big showdowns over the course of three days.

With $250,000 as the minimum buy-in there’s going to be a minimum of $2,000,000 on the table, but once the game gets going that number is sure to increase significantly. Aria will also be waiving all of the fees, which is ideal for the players.

It should attract the biggest names in poker and I’m excited to see who shows up to play at these stakes.

With the nosebleed action slowing down online according to several pros – I’m sure many big bankrolled players are excited about the chance to play for high stakes in a live setting. For some reason – players won’t be allowed to wear sunglasses at the table.

That’s a weird rule, but it’ll make the game more interesting when we get to watch the action unfold on TV.

Poker seems to be doing better again lately in the USA and this cash game should garner more eyeballs. I’m sure there will be a line-up at the Aria waiting for one of the eight seats to play and I expect many big pots.

Once we know results and how players did we’ll be sure to update our readers.

Phil Galfond Wins the $10,000 NL 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship

June 16, 2015


Brian Hastings just won the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship over the weekend and now another cash game stud – Phil Galfond — has just won his second career WSOP bracelet in the $10,000 NL 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship.

The event may have featured the smallest field yet at the 2015 WSOP, as only 77 players entered the event, but the field was extremely stacked and Galfond had to play great poker to take down the bracelet.

Galfond had to beat several big names, but none bigger than Nick Schulman who finished in 2nd place. Schulman had already won this event twice in 2009 and 2012. Schulman is a 2-7 Draw Lowball specialist, but Galfond was able to emerge victorious.

You may remember recently that Galfond stated the nosebleed cash action has been struggling lately.

Galfond has wanted to spend this summer playing in more WSOP tournaments than he normally does and so far it has been a great idea. He already has three cashes this year, which includes two final table appearances in championship events.

Apart from winning this event – he also finished 4th in the $10K 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) Championship (Event #7) for $89,939 and 252nd in the $1500 NL Holdem Millionaire Maker (Event #16) for $5990.

Galfond has stated that he has left cash games behind for the summer and will focus on just tournaments.

That has allowed him to focus on advancing in the deep field tournaments – whereas if he was still playing cash games he wouldn’t have the patience to grind through slower tournaments. It’ll be interesting to see if Galfond can make a run in the main event.

When you play in tournaments like the $10K NL 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship (Event #29) there isn’t going to be much of an edge for any players. Everyone in the field understands the math exceptionally well and you can really only play the cards you’re dealt.

Galfond stated that because of having little to no edge – he was able to play some spots he normally wouldn’t have.

Once heads-up play started – Schulman had a 3:1 chip lead over Galfond, but “OMGClayAiken” started to quickly chip away at the lead. The final hand of the tournament played out as followed:

The blind were 12,000/24,000 and Galfond raised to 50,000 before Schulman pushed all-in for 649,000 chips. Galfond called and both players flipped over their cards. Galfond had 8/6/5/2 and Schulman had 9/6/4/3 with both players drawing one card.

Galfond spiked a 7 and ended the tournament, as Schulman was drawing dead at that point.

Schulman wasn’t the only stud on the final table either. In fact – the entire final table was stacked. Dan Smith, Erik Seidel, Jon Turner and Eli Elezra all made the final table. All four are also Nevada locals.

2015 WSOP $10,000 NL 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship Results

· 1st Place: Phil Galfond $224,383
· 2nd Place: Nick Schulman $138,655
· 3rd Place: Dan Smith $87,898
· 4th Place: Erik Seidel $59,532
· 5th Place: Jon Turner $42,298
· 6th Place: Eli Elezra $31,463

Tuan Le Wins $10K 2-7 Triple Draw WSOP Event

June 4, 2015


Tuan Le just won Event #7 at the World Series of Poker, which was the $10,000 2-7 Triple Draw event.

Winning one WSOP bracelet is a great accomplishment that every poker player would love, but winning the same event two years in a row is a feat only the best poker players have ever accomplished. That’s exactly what Le was able to do this year.

Le won the $10K 2-7 Triple Draw last year, after beating a field of 120 players. He won $355,324 last year.

This year the event was a bit smaller – the field only had 109 players. However, the field was tough and full of 2-7 Triple Draw pros – many of them very familiar with each other due to playing the live cash games in Los Angeles.

How rare is it to win back-to-back WSOP titles? Well, the last player to win consecutive bracelets in the same event was Thang Luu who won the $1500 Omaha Hi-Lo Split-8 or Better event in 2008 and 2009. This isn’t a feat seen every year in Las Vegas.

Le said he almost didn’t end up playing in this event – I’m sure he’s glad he entered the event now.

You know the playing field is going to be real tough in a $10K 2-7 Triple Draw tournament, as most Texas Holdem players don’t have any interested in the poker game. The final table had several big names, but none bigger than Phil Galfond.

Galfond is a great 2-7 Triple Draw player and he finished on the final table in this event last year too.

When play went heads-up – Le was up against Max Casal — a player Le knows very well from the LA casinos.

After the event – Le stated that he wasn’t excited about Casal heads-up because he knows Casal is one of the strongest heads-up players in 2-7 Triple Draw, but Le was still about to emerge victorious.

Here’s how the final hand of the tournament played out:

Le raised the pot to 80,000, which was then 3-bet by Casal to 120,000. Le 4-bet and Casal called with his remaining stack. Casal only drew one card on each draw, while Le took three cards, two cards and then held pat on the final draw.

Le had J/8/6/5/2, while Casal ended up with 9/7/5/3/3. Casal had a chance to win the hand on the final draw, but he drew a 3, which paired his hand and sent him to the rail. Despite Casal’s success in cash games – this was his first WSOP cash in four years.

Will Le be able to win this event next year for the third time in a row? Only time will tell, but there’s no denying that Le is one of the best 2-7 Triple Draw players in the world. You can run great and win one bracelet, but repeating is an incredible feat.

Here’s how the final table shook up and the payouts:

· 1st Place: Tuan Le $322,756
· 2nd Place: Max Casal $199,438
· 3rd Place: Ismael Bojang $130,851
· 4th Place: Phil Galfond $89,939
· 5th Place: James Obst $63,863
· 6th Place: Rep Porter $46,813
· 7th Place: Calvin Anderson $35,389

Jason Mercier Captures Third 2015 SCOOP Title

May 25, 2015


The 2015 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) is wrapping up.

No one has been playing better poker than Jason Mercier. He just captured his third SCOOP title in one week by winning the Event #20 (High), which was a $2100 NL Holdem (4-Max) tournament.

The 4-Max tournament drew a massive field of 398 and had to be played over two days. Once play was down to the final 16 players, the remaining players stopped playing until Day 2. Many of the remaining players in the field were professionals.

Once action got down to the final table, things didn’t get any easier for Mercier.

Mercier had to beat Ryan Franklin and Calvin Anderson on the final table. Anderson is the record holder for the most SCOOP titles with six. He had a great series as well, but he wasn’t on the same level of Mercier during this year’s SCOOP series.

You have to run good to win three SCOOP titles in a week and that was the case for Mercier.

He’s the best poker player in the world right now in my opinion, but winning big MTT’s still requires some luck. On the final hand of the tournament – both players were all-in preflop — Franklin had pocket tens and Mercier had pocket nines.

Franklin was the player at risk, but if he won the hand it would have been an entirely new tournament, as he would have drawn close to even with Mercier. However, it wasn’t meant to be, as Mercier was able to spike a nine on the turn to win with a set.

Event #20 Final Table Results:

· 1st Place – Jason Mercier $178,457
· 2nd Place – Ryan Franklin $152,789
· 3rd Place – Calvin Anderson $68,408
· 4th Place – TransSib $42,315

Mercier also won Event #5 (High) $2500 FL Badugi and Event #8 (High) $2100 NL Draw.

The other two events had much smaller playing fields to navigate through, but both were packed with pros.

I’m sure Mercier is brimming with confidence right now and his timing couldn’t be better. The World Series of Poker will be starting next week and I’m sure Mercier with use some of his newly won funds to splash around in Las Vegas this summer.

In other online poker news – Isaac Haxton won over $300,000 on PokerStars recently.

Haxton now ranks 7th on the 2015 money list at $321,847. Phil Ivey was active on the felt recently too – he had some positive and negative sessions. However, he’s still ranked 2nd on the biggest losers list for 2015, as he’s down over $1.2M on PokerStars.

Chris Moorman won the PokerStars Sunday 500 last Sunday for $87,400 as well – it was the first time Moorman won the event.

That’s surprising, as Moorman has won more money playing online poker tournaments ($12.7M) than anyone else.

Moorman continues dominating the online poker scene, as he notched another PocketFives Triple Crown, which requires a player to win three MTT’s in a week with 100+ players and a prize pool of $10K or more.

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