After a monumental effort between players such as Anthony Zinno, Robert Campbell, Shaun Deeb and the eventual winner Daniel Negreanu, the World Series of Poker’s Player of the Year is… Daniel Negreanu’s Twitter account.
Oh, and Kid Poker himself, of course.
Negreanu had done all he could in the penultimate day of the final event, The Colossus. He’d finished 195th, outlasting Zinno, and, after Campbell busted, outpointed the Antipodean adversary. One combatant stood in his way of victory, but it was the one opponent he didn’t want to still have a chance.
Reigning 2018 WSOP Player of the Year Shaun Deeb.
With Negreanu on the rail early on the penultimate day, he had time to wrap up his vlog, take advantage of the King’s Resort hotel room shampoo and conditioner one last time and book an early flight home. Deeb, so unfancied to make fifth place with 50 players left, simply would not go away, and when play closed last night, the multiple bracelet winner went into the action third in chips of the remaining 11 players.
As Negreanu, who has had more beef with Deeb than he’s eaten vegan sausages, declared himself less than hopeful as he waited for his plane, content that he had done his best, but dismayed at the apparent stumble so near the line that his own elimination combined with Deeb sheer bloody-minded resilience looked to have caused.
With eleven players left, however, the final day took an extraordinary turn as Negreanu’s former PokerStars team-mate and now fellow former ‘Stars name, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier busted Deeb in an 8 million chip pot that saw the Frenchman flop the straight.
Negreanu had done it, and Deeb, finally, was beaten, ironically not even finishing runner-up as it transpired, Robert Campbell’s total earning him a runner-up berth that is a credit to the Australian tenacity in winning two bracelets in one year and travelling to Rozvadov and duking it out with two players whose respective entourages and reputations might have swallowed him whole. Not a bit of it, and Campbell will live to three-bet again, now a major player on the live poker scene – and poker Twitter – if he wants to be.
Negreanu returned to the platform, thanking everyone close to him for the victory.
Negreanu’s excitement was confirmed when the official WSOP announcement of the Player of the Year winner came through.
Deeb was stuck in a rut and decided to face the music….
…while Negreanu gloried in the aftermath of victory…
… and referenced a key hand for his many followers.
As Deeb joined the commentary team behind the mic, and with Negreanu likely listening on route to the airport, the raw honesty of Deeb’s defeat came through in the man himself’s wn words:
“I was a huge underdog throughout the whole series,” he said on the PokerRoom King’s Twitch stream. “Today was the first day I was a legit favorite, and it fucked with my head.”
Poker fans around the world may yet sympathise with the man to whom many have referred to as the ‘baddie’ in the war of words played out between Negreanu and Deeb.
The WSOP Player of the Year messed with everybody’s heads. Most will be thrilled it’s over, just so they can calm down, whichever way their fanship leans.