Dan Smith has beaten Daniel Negreanu in heads-up action to take the $1.4m first prize in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic $100k Super High Roller; Sergio Aido, Jason Koon, and Bryn Kenney impress.
Let’s face it, during the Poker Masters; Daniel Negreanu got handed his ass on a plate. It was a humbling experience for the most successful live tournament proponent the world has ever seen. The one-time kid of poker handled it with the grace we expect from the man who carries our torch more often than most.
“I am not as good as these guys,” Negreanu tweeted at the time, “I have a lot to learn.”
The way the elite and the rest prepare for poker is like comparing a Rocky Balboa training camp with Floyd Mayweather. Negreanu is somewhere along the spectrum, and time will tell if he has the ability and grit to catch Rocky’s rooster.
But he’s going about it the right way.
Walk into the Bellagio and the panorama that greets you is the World Poker Tour’s (WPT). Adam Pliska and the gang are in town for the Five Diamond World Poker Classic, and it’s started with a flashbulb image bang inches from your retina.
The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic $100,000 Super High Roller attracted 39 entrants, and Negreanu himself decided to take on the role of live tournament reporter.
Six people got paid, and Negreanu tussled with Dan Smith for the title and $1.4m in prize money. The Canadian entered heads-up with a slight chip deficit, and got it in on the right side of the maths when it mattered most, only for the river to wash away $400,000 in prize money (Negreanu got it in holding QT on JT4, with Smith holding AK, and the queen arrived on the river).
Two of the Best in the Business
Dan Smith likes the Bellagio, having won the WPT Five Diamond Main Event in 2013 for $1.1m (one of six seven-figure scores). His win over Negreanu, pushes him over the $19m in live tournament winnings mark, leapfrogging Jonathan Duhamel, David Peters, and Jason Mercier to move into 14th place in the All-Time Money List.
It’s been another great year, a few bucks off $4m in live tournament earnings. Smith has hit seven-figure annual returns each year since 2012. The $1.4m prize only ranks as his third-highest after winning $3,078.974 for finishing runner-up to Fedor Holz in the 2016 $111,111 One Drop High Roller. He won $2,044,766 after defeating 66 entrants in a $100,000 Super High Roller in the Bellagio back in 2014.
Negreanu banked closed to a milly for second, extending his lead at the top of the All-Time Money Leaderboard to $35.2m (two million ahead of Erik Seidel, and almost double Smith’s earnings). $2.6m in 2017 earnings is his best return since 2014, and the fourth best annual haul of his career.
Final Table Results
1. Dan Smith – $1,404,000
2. Daniel Negreanu – $936,000
3. Stefan Schillhabel – $624,000
4. Isaac Haxton – $390,000
5. Sergio Aido – $312,000
6. Bryn Kenney – $234,000
It’s worth noting that Bryn Kenney’s latest cash means he has won more money in 2017 than the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event Champ, Scott Blumstein ($8.4m v $8.1m).
Sergio Aido and Jason Koon Impress
Often hidden in the shadow of Adrian Mateos, Sergio Aido continues to impress at the highest level in the game. The Spaniard added $312,000 to his bank account in this one but also won a $10k side event beating 28 entrants to the $128,800 first prize.
1. Sergio Aidoo – $128,800
2. Ramin Hajiyev – $78,400
3. Bryn Kenney – $44,800
4. Almedin Imsirovic – $28,000
And Jason Koon continues his impressive form since becoming a partypoker ambassador. Koon, who bubbled the final table of the partypoker Caribbean Poker Party, beat 34 entrants in a $25,000 High Roller earning $289,950.
1. Jason Koon – $289,950
2. Isaac Haxton – $271,050
3. Cary Katz – $136,000
4. Fedor Holz – $85,000
5. Ben Tollerene – $68,000
The $10,400 buy-in WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event runs Dec 5-10. Players have the luxury of unlimited entries until the start of Level 9, which is on Day 2.
Allen Kessler ran a Twitter poll to gauge opinion on the unlimited re-entry policy, with 50% requesting the event to be a freezeout, 39% wanting a single re-entry and 11% wanting the event to remain ‘unlimited re-entry’.
Maybe it’s time for the WPT to so a poll of their own?