Daniel Negreanu is the PokerStars Shark Cage Season 2 winner after defeating Phil Ivey in heads-up, to take the trophy and $966,000.
It’s been an interesting few days.
PokerStars Team Online member Alex Millar resigned his position over his employers treatment of the VIP grinders, a few supporting voices ask Daniel Negreanu to also quit, and meanwhile, the face of Stars is winning the PokerStars Shark Cage for $966,000.
Season 2 of the PokerStars Shark Cage was history in the making. It was one of the most glittering final tables of all time. It was bound to generate a superlative heads-up. Everyone hoped it would be Daniel Negreanu versus Phil Ivey. When Ivey eliminated Maria Ho in third place that’s exactly what happened.
“Ok, son,” said Ivey.
“Ok, boss,” replied Negreanu. “Let’s play some poker…it’s been a long time…have we played heads up before?”
“No, you always get knocked out before me.” Replies Ivey.
It was the first time the two titans of the poker world had ever faced each other heads-up in a tournament. It’s a shame it happened in this format. To be fair to the pair, they did everything in their power to make it the spectacle we all wanted to see. They both made moves. They both smiled. The banter was top notch. Even Ivey’s Mum was watching from the rail.
So why did it all seem a little off?
Televised poker has lost that pizzazz.
Negreanu started the heads-up with a 3.2m v 2.8m chip lead. It lasted six televised hands.
Ivey raised to 70,000 holding [9h] [6s]; Negreanu called holding [9h] [6s].
Flop: [Qs] [Qd] [3h]
Negreanu checked, Ivey bet 60,000, Negreanu check-raised to 160,000, and Ivey called quickly.
Negreanu checked, Ivey bet 225,000 and Negreanu called.
Negreanu checked, Ivey bet 400,000, Negreanu called, and Ivey took the pot.
Negreanu raised to 80,000 holding [8c] [7h], Ivey three-bet to 300,000 holding [Ac] [Qc] and Negreanu called.
Flop: [8s] [6s] [6h]
Ivey bet 400,000 and Negreanu moves all-in for 1,650,000 while telling Ivey that he knew he had ace high. Ivey called.
Ivey had him covered, and needed an ace or queen to win.
Negreanu takes a 4.7m v 1.2m chip lead.
Ivey raised to 90,000 holding [Ac] [3d]; Negreanu called holding [Ks] [2s].
Flop: [8d] [3c] [2h]
Negreanu checked, Ivey bet 100,000; Negreanu called.
Negreanu checked, Ivey bet 250,000, Negreanu called.
Negreanu checked, Ivey moved all-in for 810,000 and Negreanu folded.
Ivey called with [Qh] [7c] and Negreanu checked holding [8c] [6s]
Flop: [8s] [7d] [2d]
Both players flop a pair. Negreanu, who is in the lead, bet 50,000; Ivey called.
Negreanu checked, Ivey bet 100,000 and Negreanu called.
Both players checked and Negreanu took the pot.
Negreanu raised to 90,000 holding [9c] [6d] and Ivey called holding the exact same hand [Qh] [7c].
Flop: [Qd] [Jd] [8s]
Negreanu bet 125,000, Ivey moved all-in and Negreanu folded.
Ivey bet 125,000 holding [9d] [8h], Negreanu raised to 350,000 holding [7s] [7h]; Ivey called.
Flop: [Kc] [8d] [7d]
Negreanu flopped a set; Ivey flopped a pair.
Both players checked.
Ivey picked up a straight draw. Negreanu bet 375,000, Ivey moved all-in and Negreanu snap called.
Silver stuff fires out of a cannon and drowns them both. You can barely hear a whimper from the rail. Just like that, Negreanu dodged the six and became the second winner of the PokerStars Shark Cage, in what was supposed to be the most eagerly anticipated match up in recent poker history.
“He came second.” Negreanu told Ivey’s mother during consolatory chat on the rail, “That’s pretty good. It’s almost as good as first.”
Let’s hope the next one is a little more exciting.