WSOP Player of the Year Title Goes to Negreanu (Again)

October 31, 2013

“I love drama. What is better than bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, you just gotta win?” asked Daniel Negreanu after winning his sixth WSOP bracelet at the WSOPE €25,000 buy-in High Roller Event in Paris last week. It was also that night that he won the 2013 WSOP Player of the Year title becoming the only poker player in history to earn the POY title twice. He was named POY in 2004 as well. He is now one of two players to win multiple WSOP bracelets in 2013 (Tom Scheider being the first).

Furthermore, since Negreanu won his fifth WSOP bracelet earlier this year in Melbourne in the WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event, he is now the only poker player to ever score a gold bracelet in all three WSOP series (American, European, and Asia-Pacific).

Negreanu would still have taken the POY title even if he hadn’t won the High Roller event; he needed only to get 8th place to bypass Matthew Ashton, now the number two, but who had taken the lead in Vegas this summer when he appeared in five final tables and won the $50K Poker Players Championship event. Making the final table and landing the POY top spot wasn’t enough for Negreanu and starting the final table with the least amount of chips didn’t deter him from winning the bracelet. He said he just had a feeling the entire time that he was going to win the event.

The event ultimately ended in a heads-up show down with Nicolau Villa-Lobos, but it wasn’t easy to get even there considering the final table he was up against. The last eight players included fellow bracelet winners Scott Seiver and Timothy Adams, WSOP APAC High Roller Champ Phillipp Gruissem, Poker Hall of Fame member Erik Seidel, and two up-and-coming young guns, Jason Koon and David Peters. And all but Villa-Lobo had more than $1 mill in career tourney earnings.

Negreanu said of this final table, “The one thing that is different about poker now than it was in 2004 is that, when there were two tables left, it was like pulling teeth. I came in with a good stack where, in the old days, I could’ve coasted to eighth place no problem. Not with these sixteen players. The amount of mistakes made in the late stages of tournaments today are so minimal that you have to capitalize on every little bit that you can and create a strategy that is going to work for you. You know these guys are precise, they are all professionals. They are top professionals, because this is a High Roller.”

Negreanu’s 2013 successes include more than $2 million in WSOP cashes with 10 cashes, four of those final tables, and two of those resulting in the bracelet win.

Commenting on his accomplishments, Negreanu said, “I gotta be honest with you, Player of the Year is a big a deal to me and it is a goal of mine every year. I’m going to win bracelets, I know that. I’m grateful to have six now, which puts me back in the race in terms of all-time, but Player of the Year, to win that twice when no one else has ever done that really just cements me belonging where I always felt I did–at the top of poker.”


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