It’s been a big year for the poker world so far with some big names bagging wins and the US online market heating up. This edition of Chip Chatter takes a look at Daniel Negreanu’s recent wins and his plans for the World Series of Poker.
The World Poker Tour is also making some news with the launch of “Prime”, and PokerGO continues raising the stakes. American online poker players can also expect a huge month of tournament action. Here’s a look at all of that and other news.
Negreanu scores title at Wynn Millions, releases World Series schedule
Things have started out well this year for Daniel Negreanu. After snagging a win at the PokerGO Cup in February, he followed that up this week by taking down the $15,300 High Roller at the Wynn Millions in Las Vegas for $216,000.
“Back to my winning ways and it feels good!” he noted on Twitter.
Late registering for the $10,000 championship event followed that effort and Negreanu was happy to run up his stack.
So happy to bag 220k on day 1 of the @WynnPoker Millions event giving me two days off to rest before day two.
Was exhausted after last night and entered after dinner break and ran it up rather smoothly.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) March 4, 2022
He now sits in sixth on the PokerGO Tour leaderboard. Along with a deep run in the Wynn Millions, the six-time bracelet winner also has his sights on the WSOP.
The series unveiled the official schedule last week and Negreanu has already released his own plans for the series. His schedule includes 49 events from May 31 to July 17 with buy-ins totaling $1.7 million.
That will see him in a broad range of events with price points ranging from $1,000 to $100,000. WSOP.com online bracelet events aren’t included, but Negreanu has played some of those as well in the past while grinding at the Rio.
Last year turned into a nice run for Negreanu, finishing third in the Player of the Year standings. He recorded 18 cashes for a total of $1.5 million.
He scored two third-place finishes as well as twice taking eighth and twice in ninth. After spending $1.1 million in buy-ins, Negreanu saw a $400,000 profit for almost a 38% return on investment.
Here is what my personal WSOP schedule looks like: pic.twitter.com/0Ww62HUA8F
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) February 24, 2022
$500K championship added to PokerGO Tour
PokerGO is upping the ante for the high-stakes tour’s season-ending champion. The company announced this week that 2022 culminates with the winner-take-all PokerGO Tour (PGT) Championship, with the winner scoring an extra $500,000.
The event follows the conclusion of all qualifying tournaments. The top 21 players on the PGT leaderboard will compete in the championship.
Players begin the tournament with starting chip stacks based on leaderboard points earned throughout the season. All the action will stream on PokerGO.
“The PGT is the battleground for the most elite poker players in the world, and it is only right that we honor the best of the best in an extraordinary fashion,” PokerGO President Mori Eskandani said in a news release. “We are proud to award the 2022 PGT season champion with a $500,000 prize as we continue to celebrate the most talented players our game has to offer.”
Nick Petrangelo is the current leaderboard frontrunner thanks to four cashes and three wins. He’s won more than $2.1 million already this year.
Big month for online poker players, $5,300 WSOP Big Freezeout this weekend
US online players have plenty to look forward to in March. With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, a little luck of the Irish might be in order.
Players will find some major series beginning soon from all US operators. The PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) is set for March 25 to April 11.
Partypoker US Network (including the BetMGM and Borgata Poker skins) is also running the March Poker Mania series from March 20-27. The festival features $1.3 million guaranteed across the Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey platforms.
WSOP.com is running the Online Super Circuit from March 12-29. The series has $1 million guaranteed and 18 championship rings on the line. Look for previews of all these series next week at USPoker.
Players looking for even more tournament action this weekend can head to WSOP.com on Sunday. The site is hosting the $5,300 Big Freezeout, beginning at 1 pm.
The tournament is the biggest freezeout of the season and comes with a $250,000 guarantee. This is a massive tournament for the US market and satellite events are running daily.
StormX winner, PokerGO sweepstakes game launched
In other PokerGO news, the company hosted the first StormX Invitational on Wednesday with players like Phil Hellkmuth, Nick Schulman, David Williams, and Maria Ho taking on celebrities and crypto entrepreneurs and investors.
The $5,000 event produced 111 entries with Oliver Blakey coming out on top for $183,150. Blakey is the founder and managing partner at Ascensive Assets.
The company is a private investment firm focusing on the digital asset industry. The champion also has a deep poker history, playing professionally for nine years.
Branden Hampton finished runner-up for Ascensive Assets. Willians (sixth for $33,300) and Ho (ninth for $16,650) both made final table appearances.
— PokerGO (@PokerGO) March 4, 2022
Along with a full slate of tournaments this year, PokerGO has also launched an online social poker gaming option. The game is now in test mode and available on iOS and Android.
WPTDeepStacks goes ‘Prime’ time
The World Poker Tour recently announced that its mid-major tour, WPTDeepStacks, is going away. That tour is being axed in favor of the new “WPT Prime” series.
The new brand “pairs the premier poker tournament experience of a WPT Main Tour stop with affordable buy-ins accessible to more players around the globe,” the company noted in a news release. Players competing in Prime events can now find an experience more similar to the Main Tour including:
- earning Player of the Year points
- winner trophies
- the use of action clocks
- in-depth event coverage from the WPT digital content team
“Our continued efforts to improve the WPT live tournament experience will benefit more players than ever during Season XX,” senior director of global tour management Cathy Zhao said in a news release.
“WPT Prime is the embodiment of our goal to provide the best possible poker tournament experience to players everywhere, and our strong relationships with our global partners will elevate the WPT experience around the world.”
Three WPTDS events remain before Prime events begin. The tour announced three events in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Taiwan to kick off the Prime launch this year with more in the works.
He scored a win in Event 6: $25,000 No Limit Hold’em for $350,000. The win came after some struggles in earlier events and he credited an unlikely source for the turnaround.
“I’m not going to lie, I actually genuinely have to thank (PokerGO commentator) Jeff Platt because after the tournament, Event 5, I was so frustrated that I was building chip stacks and dominating the early levels but didn’t have a single cash to show for it, so I was just done,” the GGPoker ambassador said afterward.
“I didn’t know if I could take it anymore. I’m in the gym and Jeff texts me and says, ‘You know if you win one of these ($25Ks) and the $50K that you can still win the PokerGO Cup.’ In my head, I was like, ‘So, you’re saying there’s a chance?’ As soon as I heard that, I thought, ‘All right, let’s do this. Let’s give it one more shot,’ and I did. It was a very different Event 6 than the first five. I had no chips and I had to rebuy, the whole deal. But who knows, the poker gods are weird.”
Battling back for the win
The event produced 35 entries for an $875,000 prize pool with Sean Winter taking runner-up for $227,500. The pep talk from Platt apparently did the trick for Negreanu. He entered the final table on the short stack but turned things around on his way to victory.
“It feels really good,” Negreanu said. “People who play tournament poker get this, especially live. You go through periods where you just feel like the poker gods are spitting on you, because they’ll beat you in hands in such ways, like on the river, where it’s the most emotional – and I’m an emotional guy, I don’t hide it very well.
“So it’s been a rough couple of years in terms of all-ins. But in these all-ins? I did great. I won with Ace-Eight, which was key, and you’ve got to do that sometimes. You see all the great players and think they’re all fantastic, but they also occasionally have to hit a three-outer in order to win.”
Beyond the Negreanu win, several other big names have scored titles through six events. Below is a look at some of the action so far as well as January’s Stairway to Millions
Event 5: $25,000 NLHE
Nick Petrangelo is certainly on a heater. He topped a field of 41 for this title and a score of $369,000. Since September, he’s won almost $5 million.
That’s included two scores of more than $1 million, five wins, and reaching heads-up play nine times. Two of those came at the PokerGO Stairway to Millions in January (see below)
“Everything has been going really well since even September,” Petrangelo said. “A little up and down, but yeah, since then pretty much everything has been working out. I’m running great, winning all-ins, and getting hands at the right times.
“Sometimes you get around the bubble when you have a lot of chips and you lose a couple of hands, but it’s been the opposite for me when I go deep and everything just goes well.”
Bill Klein finished runner-up for $246,000 and Nick Schulman took third for $164,000. The event produced a prize pool of just over $1 million.
Event 4: $15,000 NLHE
A huge three-way hand helped propel Jeremy Ausmus to the final table chip lead in this event. At about 30 minutes into play, he was all in with pocket 10s against pocket Aces for Jesse Lonis and pocket Jacks for Justin Saliba.
Ausmus tripled up when a 10 hit the board, which sent Lonis to the rail. Ausmus eventually topped Brock Wilson heads-up for the title and scored $263,250.
Wilson won $195,000 for runner-up with Katz taking third for $126,750. The event brought in 65 players for a $975,000 prize pool.
Event 3: $10,000 NLHE
Jake Daniels pocketed $200,000 after coming out on top of a field of 80 entries. He rallied from entering the final table fourth out of six in chips. He credits the win with some recent strategy sessions that seem to have paid off.
“I’ve hired a couple of coaches and I’ve put in a ton of work in the last five or six months trying to get better because these guys are so stinking good,” Daniels said after the event, which produced an $800,000 prize pool.
The big run in this event included eliminating every other player at the final table. Ausmus finished runner-up for $144,000 before going on to his own win just a few days later.
Event #2: $10,000 NLHE
This event brought in 80 entries and an $800,000 prize pool. Sean Perry continued running well, taking the top spot for a $200,000 payday.
Perry has been one of the most successful players in the world over the last few years. That included finishing third in the 2021 PokerGO Tour Player of the Year race.
Earning the title wasn’t easy with Katz taking runner-up for $144,000 and Bryn Kenney third for $96,000.
“We were definitely gambling, but this tournament is even more exciting,” Perry said. “I was at three big blinds early on and I was telling everyone that I would make the money. Then I made the money.
“Even at the final table, I was down to two big blinds and somehow came back and won. That’s always nice. Bryn Kenney was giving action, I was giving action, it was a lot of fun. I just ran well. We were playing the nine-four off game. In a $100,000 event, I bluffed it all off to Nick Petrangelo with nine-four off, so that’s why we were doing it, and it was a good time.”
Event 1: $10,000 NLHE
The series kicked off with Daniel Colpoys finding the winner’s circle for $200,200, his first tournament win since 2014. He topped a field of 77 entries, which produced a prize pool of $770,000.
Colpoys hasn’t played much live poker in recent years and the pandemic left him out of the game for a time. However, he’s now starting to get back into the action – with nice results so far.
Andrew Lichtenberger took the runner-up spot for $146,300 with BetMGM/partypoker US Network ambassador Darren Elias scoring third for $100,100. There were two events on the PokerGO Cup schedule set to wrap up as of Wednesday.
Chance Kornuth, Nick Petrangelo score big in Stairway to Millions
In January, PokerGO also ran a new series called the Stairway to Millions. The festival featured eight tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $1,100 to $102,000.
The format allowed players reaching the money at a certain level to automatically gain entry into the next level. The opening event featured a $1,100 buy-in, making it possible for a player to turn that into a $1 million prize at the end of the series.
Two players came out as double winners in the series – Chance Kornuth and Nick Petraneglo. Kornuth scored back-to-back titles in the second and third events for a total of $132,240.
That came after cashing in the first event to earn entry into the second event and then earning another entry in Event 3 from there. It was a nice run that began with a $1,100 buy-in.
Petraneglo scored big later in the series, winning the final two events for a total of $1.6 million. Here’s a look at all the winners from the series:
2022 PokerGO Stairway to Millions
Tournament Winner Payout
1 $1,000 NLHE Daniel Sepiol $28,500
2 $2,000 NLHE Chance Kornuth $51,600
3 $4,000 NLHE Chance Kornuth $80,640
4 $8,000 NLHE Salim Admon $138,880
5 $15,000 NLHE Michael Wang $219,300
6 $25,000 NLHE Jake Schindler $287,500
7 $50,000 NLHE Nick Petrangelo $567,000
When it comes to wins and losses, Daniel Negreanu remains one of the most open players in the game. Discussing finances isn’t always the easiest topic, but Negreanu has regularly offered a personal assessment of his own poker wins and losses through the years.
The latest came last week when he Tweeted a link to a complete look at his World Series of Poker results. The Google Sheets document he shared offers a frank disclosure with some real insight into the life of an elite poker pro.
Along with his own profit, the six-time bracelet winner also details how those who backed him via online staking also fared. In all, the series brought a nice six-figure profit and also rewarded those who bought a piece of the action.
A complete poker accounting analysis
Despite not winning a bracelet this year, Negreanu had a nice run in the WSOP this fall. Always one of the more active players in the series, Kid Poker finished third in the Player of the Year standings.
His WSOP record included seven top 10 finishes including two third-place spots as well as two each in eighth and ninth. In total, Negreanu produced 18 cashes in 55 live and online bracelet events.
A complete breakdown of every event I played with any reentry totals as well as a breakdown of what those that bought a piece of the overall package will receive:https://t.co/QYjifZe5ys
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) November 25, 2021
Negreanu’s package tracking document offers players an exhaustive view of his overall WSOP experience. His buy-ins totaled just under $1.1 million for almost a $1.5 million return. Here’s a look at his complete financial picture from the series.
- Buy-ins – $1,052,773
- Total winnings – $1,451,797.68
- Profits – $399,024.68
- Return on investment – 37.9%
Of course, those profits don’t take into account other expenses associated with playing so many tournaments each day. However, this does offer a look how the GGPoker-sponsored pro fared overall.
For his third-place POY finish, Negreanu also pocketed an extra $2,500 – not included in the assessment.
If not for two big scores late in the series, the latest ledger might not look so rosy. His biggest scores of the fall were his last two, placing third in back-to-back $50,000 high rollers. Those two finishes brought a combined total of $1.2 million – helping Negreanu finish in the black.
Paying off for backers
For the last few years, Negreanu has also been selling his action to poker fans looking for a bit of a sweat in Las Vegas. Players could buy a piece of Negreanu for as little as $20.
Beyond his own profit in the series, his skills at the tables also paid off for those with a stake. His financial document shows that he paid off to the tune of 124.5% for those making an investment in Kid Poker Inc.
Here’s a look at the potential payouts for those who staked in the following amounts:
Original stake Amount owed
A history of financial transparency
In a series career dating back to 1998, Negreanu now has $21.1 million in live tournament winnings. Through the years, he’s not been shy about sharing how things turned out financially.
“As a teenager I was meticulous with my record keeping,” he tells USPoker. “I could tell you how my ROI differs on Tuesday afternoons versus Wednesday evening, by location! I got away from it living the Vegas life but around 2013, I got back to keeping detailed results I release to the public.
“Why? In part, because it feels pretty good sticking it in the haters’ faces who think I can’t win anymore! Also, for the sake of transparency. I don’t see any good reason to hide my results.
Regular disclosures on his Full Contact Poker website have been a part of doing business for Negreanu. The numbers also show that big winnings may not always mean big profits considering regular five- and six-figure buy-ins.
His last report on his poker winnings came at the end of 2017. That year saw Negreanu win almost $2.8 million. However, almost $2.9 million in buy-ins meant he was in the red by $86,140 for the year.
The new poker dynamics of high rollers mean even high returns are not always enough to score a profit, depending on how one does at these nosebleed stakes. Negreanu’s annual assessments are rare among high stakes poker players.
“In the old days, before super high rollers, you could all but guarantee that cashing for $2 million would mean the player had a winning year,” he noted in the report. “Well, the truth is, if a player plays the full high roller schedule and cashes for $2 million, they are all but certain to have had a losing year, and that’s before expenses.”
In 2016, Negreanu posted a loss of about $1.2 million as well. In 2015 however, his profit reached $952,920 and a gargantuan $7.1 million in 2014. The year before that also brought a nice year also, with a profit of almost $2 million.
Negreanu has yet to make his goals for 2022, but regularly posts those as well. With the WSOP only about six months aways however, he’s already considering his options.
“I haven’t really thought about 2022 too much outside of worrying about the WSOP and how the new location will create potential issues for me,” he says. “The Rio was the perfect location for me personally.”
* photos courtesy PokerGO
Some of the biggest names in poker turned out over the last two weeks in Las Vegas for high stakes action in the Poker Masters at the PokerGO Studio. The series featured buy-ins ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 with some well-known crushers rising to the top.
Australia’s Michael Addamo won the final two events of the series to take the champion’s purple jacket. That included winning the final event, a $100,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament, for $1.2 million.
Along with Addamo, other big names also performed well. Some winners included Daniel Negreanu, Shannon Shorr, Stehen Chidwick, Sean Perry, and others.
Addamo closes out the series with back-to-back wins
Wins in the final two events of the series vaulted Addamo to the top of the standings in the 12-event series. In Event 11: $50,000 NLHE, he defeated a field of 34 players for $680,000.
That came after topping Jason Koon heads-up ($442,000) and a tough final table that also included David Coleman (third, $272,000); Alex Foxen (fourth, $187,000); and Cary Katz (fifth, $119,000).
If that finish wasn’t enough, Addamo also found the winner’s circle in the series’ final event. The $100,000 NLHE event highlighted the series and produced a field of 29 for a $2.9 million prize pool.
“It’s been an incredible run of winning a lot of all ins – it’s just insane,” Addamo told PokerGO News after taking two straight titles.
When play reached heads-up, he held about a 4-to-1 chip lead over Nick Petrangelo. Addamo also held the chip lead going into the final table and was able to close it out.
We award the Purple Jacket to Michael Addamo…winner of the $50k AND the $100k at the Poker Masters pic.twitter.com/Vbh9509eAu
— Jeff Platt (@jeffplatt) September 20, 2021
Petrangelo added $754,000 for his third cash of the series. Other top finishers included: Alex Foxen (third, $464,000); Stanley Tang (fourth, $319,000); and Mikita Badziakouski (fifth, $203,000).
The back-to-back wins brought Addamo almost $1.8 million. He scored an additional $50,000 for winning the series leaderboard for the purple jacket.
Addamo credited his online poker play with helping to put him on the same plane as some of poker’s high roller regulars.
“I think I’m definitely up there,” he said. “I play a lot against these guys online. I think my game shapes up pretty well against them.”
Shorr, Perry, Negreanu, and others score titles
Several other major name players scored titles during the series. Shannon Shorr opened the series by winning the first event.
Shorr, originally from Alabama, took down a $10,000 NLHE event for $205,000, his third win of the year. David Peters grabbed $147,600 for runner-up. The win comes after Shorr recently announced that he and his wife are expecting their first child.
Sean Perry remains one of the hottest players in poker after scoring the title in the second event. He took down the $10,000 NLHE event for $206,400 and finished with three cashes in the series.
This title came after numerous big finishes and wins throughout this year. That included winning the $25,000 High Roller at the Venetian Deepstack Series in August for $290,000.
Daniel Negreanu also found a Poker Masters win in the fifth event of the series. He took the title in a $10,000 NLHE event for $178,200 after also winning a PokerGO Cup event in July.
Despite two more cashes in the series, Negreanu was disappointed he wasn’t in contention more for the purple jacket.
No purple jacket for me.
A rare combination of unlucky big spots followed by poor decisions.
Shame cause I started well the first hour then just didn’t play well enough to deserve the jacket.
Super High Roller Bowl next week!
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) September 19, 2021
High stakes regular Stephen Chidwick also snagged yet another title in the Poker Masters. He finished in the top spot in the seventh event, $10,000 NLHE, for $183,600. Here’s a look at all the winners.
2021 Poker Masters
Event Tournament Entries Prize pool Winner Winner payout
1 $10,000 NLHE 82 $820,000 Shannon Shorr $205,000
2 $10,000 NLHE 86 $860,000 Sean Perry $206,400
3 $10,000 PLO 69 $690,000 Adam Hendrix $186,300
4 $10,000 NLHE 73 $730,00 Brock Wilson $189,800
5 $10,000 NLHE 66 $660,00 Daniel Negreanu $178,200
6 $10,000 Eight-Game Mix 30 $300,000 Mxx Coleman $120,000
7 $10,000 NLHE 68 $680,00 Stephen Chidwick $183,600
8 $25,000 NLHE 57 $1,425,000 Chris Brewer $427,500
9 $25,000 PLO 43 $1,075,000 Miles Rampel $365,500
10 $25,000 NLHE 38 $950,000 Mikita Badziakouski $342,000
11 $50,000 NLHE 34 $1,700,000 Michael Addamo $680,000
12 $100,000 NLHE 29 $2,900,000 Michael Addamo $1,160,000
Super High Roller Bowl next up for PokerGO Tour
The World Series of Poker may be around the corner, but one additional PokerGO Tour event lies ahead. The $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl is set for Sept. 27-30.
The event should again produce another nice field of big name pros. Addamo has already committed to being among the field.
Polish online pro Wiktor Malinowski won the SHRB Europe Main Event in August in North Cyprus for $3.7 million. In 2020, Justin Bonomo won the $102,000 SHRB Online at partypoker for $1.8 million.
* Michael Addamo photo courtesy PokerGO
Some big names made deep runs over the last few days at the World Series of Poker Online at WSOP.com and that includes Daniel Negreanu. He scored a third-place finish Thursday night as he searches for a seventh bracelet.
WSOP.com played host to the full range of events this past week including high rollers, Pot Limit Omaha, and knockout bracelet events. Here’s a look at some of the latest action.
Event Tournament Entries Prize pool Winner Winner payout
1 $500 NLHE BIG 500 Kickoff (July 1) 1,277 $574,650 Jose “Deposit” Noboa $105,161
2 $600 NLHE Monster Stack (July 2) 1,038 $560,520 Manig “Ohio77” Loeser $104,313
3 $500 NLHE Turbo Deepstack (July 3) 950 $427,500 Donnell “Spreezy52” Dais $90,801
4 $500 NLHE Super Turbo (July 4) 850 $382,500 Jeffery "Steelvikes7" Hoop $73,861
5 $1,000 NLHE 8-Max 459 $648,700 Jeremiah "freestylerr" Williams $139,600
6 $2,000 NLHE Deepstack 416 $769,600 Tyler "ShipTheShip" Denson $175,700
7 $777 Lucky Sevens 888 $621,600 Michael "stiltwalk" Mercaldo $123,574
8 $888 Crazy Eights 782 $625,600 Carlos "CarlosWelch" Welch $124,369
9 $400 NLHE Six-Max 788 $438,120 Philip "wingsuiter" Beck $81,534
10 $2,000 NLHE 1,517 $455,100 Michael "njnj17" Leib $81,645
11 $400 NLHE Ultra Deepstack 1,417 $510,120 Vijay "Eclypzed" Para $86,210
12 $500 NLHE Turbo Deepstack 958 $431,550 Bryan “Pellepelle” Piccioli $83,332
13 $1,000 NLHE Freezeout 561 $504,900 Ryan “Adopt_aDogg0” Leng $108,654
14 $500 NLHE 671 $466,200 Gionni “Coldwarkid” Demers $90,023
15 $5,300 NLHE High Roller 188 $940,000 Justin “Jsaliba2” Saliba $253,800
16 $600 PLO Hi/Lo Six-Handed 498 $268,920 Allen “Acnyc718” Chang $61,394
17 $400 NLHE 8-Max 747 $405,000 Justin “LappyPoker” Lapka $75,371
18 $1,000 North American Open 756 $692,000 James “Danfriel” Gilbert $137,570
19 $888 PLO Crazy Eights Eight-Handed 507 $405,600 Martin “bathroomline” Zamani $92,598
20 $3,200 NLHE High Roller 311 $948,840 Sang “youngkoi” Lee $241,768
21 $600 PLO Six-Handed 1,551 $297,540 Bradley “DrStrange7” Ruben $61,148
22 $600 NLHE Knockout 612 $342,720 “LastBullet” $46,796
23 $500 NLHE Turbo 694 $312,300 Ryan “hagzzz021” Hagerty $67,207
24 $400 NLHE MonsterStack 1,176 $423,360 Byung “bhy101” Yoo $77,475
25 $7,777 High Roller 151 $1,113,927 David “dpeters17” Peters $283,940
26 $500 NLHE Big Encore 1,118 $503,100 Eric “8Bracelets” Van Auken $93,627
27 $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship 398 $367,050 David “lox10” Goldberg $86,440
28 $3,200 High Roller Championship 265 $805,600 Daniel “RiverRats” Lazarus $205,347
29 $800 NLHE Turbo 8-Max Turbo Deepstack 623 $448,560 Chris “Robotbob47” Moorman $102,406
30 $600 NLHE Six-Max Championship 783 $422,820 Mitchell “franzia” Halverson $84,057
31 $500 NLHE Summer Saver 917 $412,650 Brad “1badcajun” Zusman $79,683
32 $1,000 NLHE Championship 821 $738,900 Drew “dudeguydrew” O’Connell $146,893
33 $500 Grand Finale 2,024 $159,100 Dan “feeltheflow” Sindela $1,000,000
Event 20: $3,200 NLHE High Roller (July 20)
Sang “youngkoi” Lee took down this event on Tuesday night, his first bracelet and $241,768. The event attracted 311 entries for a $948,840 prize pool.
The accomplishment was no easy task for New Jersey’s Lee. He had to bypass a final table of of other Garden State online powerhouses.
That included David “Dehhhhh” Coleman, Daniel “Juice” Buzgon, and Christopher “Basile28” Basile. Basile is currently the top online player in the United States.
“I haven’t had the best track record over the years in bracelet events so making a run like that feels pretty good,” he says. “Getting second in any tournament let alone a WSOP bracelet event can be depressing if you let it. I obviously wasn’t feeling great after busting, but then reality starts to set in a few hours later and you realize how insane you ran to get to that point.”
Event 21: $600 PLO Six-Handed (July 21)
Bradley “DrStrange7” Ruben added his second bracelet came to him Wednesday night along with $61,148. The tournament drew a field of 1,551 and a prize pool of $297,540.
Bradley Ruben’s first bracelet came in a $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event in 2020 at GGPoker. Other notable cashes included Ari “PalmTreeB” Engel, Shannon “Aulophobia” Shorr, and Andrew “Watchguy42” Lichtenberger.
Event 22: $600 NLHE Knockout (July 22)
A player by the online name “LastBullet” outshot Daniel “Dnegs” Negreanu on the final table of the $600 Knockout Thursday night. The event brought in 612 players and a prize pool of $342,720.
LastBullet scored $46,796 for the win. Ryan “badbeatbill” Basile finished in second place for $28,708.
A possible Negreanu bracelet win drew plenty of interest among poker fans online. He streamed his play at the final table, eventually taking third for $19,851.
WSOP $600 NL Knockout Event https://t.co/tggqC6gRvl
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) July 22, 2021
Upcoming WSOP bracelet events:
WSOP.com will offer a full range of games over the next few days. That includes a high roller, Pot Limit Omaha, and a MonsterStack.
Here’s a look at the action over the weekend and Monday:
- $500 NLHE Turbo (Event 23, July 23)
- $400 NLHE MonsterStack (Event 24, July 24)
- $7,777 NLHE High Roller (Event 25, July 25)
- $500 NLHE Big Encore (Event 26, July 25)
- $1,000 PLO Championship (Event 27, July 26)
Tracking Catena poker team battle
The race continues for the Catena poker team standings over the last week. Content manager Valerie Cross remains in the top spot. Runner-up finishes by Joon Kim and Jonathan Dokler have helped her add a couple $5,000 bonuses to her total.
However, USPoker editor and site runner Sean Chaffin snagged a nice score over the last week. Dan Buzgon notched a runner-up, adding $154,380 to Chaffin’s total. Cross still holds a hefty lead however, and he’ll need more scores like that to get back in it.
Here’s a look at the action so far:
- Valerie Cross – $262,326
- Sean Chaffin – $171,453
- Anthony Cicali – $27,681
★★★ Those new to WSOP.com should check out USPoker’s complete review, which also includes exclusive bonus offers. ★★★
Many didn’t give him much of a chance, but 15-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth came out on top against Daniel Negreanu on Wednesday.
The action played out on PokerGO’s High Stakes Duel at the network’s studio at Aria in Las Vegas. This gives Hellmuth four wins in a row on the show after three straight over Antonio Esfandiari.
The show featured a sit and go style format. Hellmuth now takes home another $50,000 for his efforts and the High Stakes Duel title belt. Some criticism of his game from Negreanu and others served as motivation.
“With televised cash games, I keep on winning, winning, winning, and the younger generation doesn’t notice,” Hellmuth said afterward. “In fact, they just make fun of me. They want to ignore that I’ve won all these things.
“They want to ignore that I’m up $1.5 million in high rollers. So, I felt like I was under attack, and I didn’t like it. But it was good for my ego because you start questioning yourself, ‘am I great or am I not?’”
Negreanu takes command in first half
Both players brought plenty of trash talk coming into the matchup. They began the duel with 50,000 chips and blinds escalating every 30 minutes.
It certainly didn’t seem like Hellmuth would make it four in a row. At one time Hellmuth was down to only 3,000 in chips. Negreanu picked up pocket Aces early to win a minimal pot immediately after taking the first hand of the day.
Hellmuth three-bet with King-Queen, but folded after a hefty four-bet from Negreanu.
Early in the match, the action seemed to be going Negreanu’s way and he’d built a small lead. About 20 minutes in, Hellmuth picked up A♣K♠ and put in a raise.
Negreanu called with 7♠2♠ and the flop brought 8♠6♥K♣. Negreanu led out with 400 and Hellmuth quickly raised to 900 with his opponent folding.
However, much of the early action saw some precision play by Negreanu – winning numerous small pots. By the two-hour mark, Negreanu was up to 65,000 chips. He seemed in good shape to back up his predictions of victory.
Negreanu extends lead even more
By the three-hour mark, Negreanu built his stack to about 81,000 with Hellmuth holding on to 19,000. A hand developed with Hellmuth three-betting from the big blind with 9♦9♣ to 3,700 and Negreanu holding 6♦4♦.
Negreanu called and the flop brought 4♠3♥4♥ and it looked like Hellmuth might be heading out the door. Hellmuth bet 4,000, swelling the pot to 11,400.
That simply brought a call from Negreanu and the turn brought the 8♥. Both players checked and the 5♠ came on the river.
Negreanu bet 5,000 and Hellmuth folded with only 7,000 chips remaining. He boiled over in frustration.
“What you’ve done to me is criminal,” he said. “Why would you call for all that money with the 4-6?”
Hellmuth stages a comeback
Shortly after that hand, Hellmuth held K♣9♣ with a board of J♠K♠Q♠J♦. Negreanu bluffed at the pot for 1,500 and Hellmuth amazingly folded with only 5,000 remaining.
That left Hellmuth with only about 5,000 and he picked up a pot with Q♣5♣ after catching top pair. A couple more losses, however, left him at 3,000.
From there, Hellmuth started getting some traction. He caught top pair with J-8 and won a small pot. A few more pots and Hellmuth built his stack to 26,000 – giving him some breathing room.
Hellmuth regained some energy and a particularly nice river gave him another nice surge. Both players saw a flop of 5♣A♠8♦.
Negreanu held A♥6♦ for top pair and Hellmuth had 10♣8♣ for middle pair. Negreanu bet 800 and received a call. The turn brought the 2♦ and Hellmuth checked with Negreanu firing 2,400.
That brought another call, building the pot to 8,000. The 10♥ fell on the river, putting Hellmuth in a great spot. He checked and simply called Negreanu’s bet of 4,8000 for almost an 18,000-chip pot.
That moved him up to almost 40,000 by almost the fourth hour and Hellmuth continued to climb. Negreanu showed some valor however down the stretch.
One interesting hand saw Hellmuth with K♣7♥ on a board of 6♦K♥10♣3♦9♠ and 11,200 in the pot. Negreanu bluffed with a pot-sized bet holding J♣7♦. Hellmuth thought a bit before ultimately folding.
Completing the Poker Brat surge
That call would have moved Hellmuth into the lead. By the fourth hour, levels reached 600/1,200 and the match was basically even.
Hellmuth continued to roll in the final hour with Negreanu making some nice folds to stay in the match. A big hand late saw Hellmuth catch an inside straight on the turn and Negreanu find a set of Kings on the river.
From there, Hellmuth mounted plenty of pressure with 85,000 chips in front of him. Negreanu was left with less than 10 big blinds.
Negreanu appeared out the door when Hellmuth moved all in with A♥6♣. Negreanu called with K♦Q♣ for his last 10,900.
The flop brought 2♦7♣10♣ and then the J♣ on the river to give Negreanu plenty of outs. The A♠ hit the board on the river giving him a straight and keeping him in the match.
Ultimately, Hellmuth trapped his opponent with just a call from the big blind with 9♠9♦. Negreanu then moved the last of his 13,000 in and Hellmuth snap-called.
Negreanu showed 7♥6♥ and the flop of 8♥5♥J♣ made for quite a sweat. However, the turn and river of K♣ and 8♠ were no help for Kid Poker. That gave Hellmuth an unlikely fourth-straight High Stakes Duel title.
Plenty of hijinks in High Stakes Duel
The two players certainly seemed to be having fun throughout the match, despite some Hellmuth frustration. The comeback made for quite a bit of drama as both players showed tenacity in hanging on.
“I love heads-up now, it’s fun,” Negreanu said after the first hour. “It’s a different vibe. You get to play every hand.”
Hellmuth agreed with and seems to be on a roll in these events. His opponent minimized his heads-up skills in the prelude. However, Hellmuth certainly shows up in these live duels.
The Poker Brat patronized Negreanu a bit of his own when steaming after a couple tough spots. A frequent refrain was the Hellmuth line: “listen to your coaches.”
As expected, the action got underway with some laughs. Hellmuth immediately mentioned the energy drink he’s endorsing, Breinfuel.
Negreanu cracked a copy of Hellmuth’s autobiography noting that his opponent “knows a lot of celebrities.” He also needled the Poker Brat saying, “I check in the dark.”
Early in the match, there was plenty of talk about a shiny championship belt awarded to the winner. Hellmuth quickly produced his previous belt at the table.
Hellmuth’s interesting choices to eat some big meals during these matches also arose again. Only 10 hands in, he bit into a chicken sandwich. He later produced a 5-pound bag of Sour Patch Kids, maybe needling Negreanu’s strict vegan, healthy living lifestyle.
“I always have food at these big events,” Hellmuth said.
The event provided another nice streaming event for poker fans and Round 2 looks to be in the works already.
“There will be a rematch,” Negreanu said afterward, “I guarantee that.”
This story has been updated with the new date that PokerGO announced on March 14.
After battling Doug Polk online for three months at WSOP.com, Daniel Negreanu is now heading back to the heads-up poker tables. He’ll be squaring off against a familiar name – 15-time World Series of Poker champion Phil Hellmuth.
On Tuesday, the two poker pros finalized a meeting on PokerGO’s High Stakes Duel. The showdown brings together two of the biggest names in poker. The duel was originall planned for March 16, but that has been changed to March 31.
Hellmuth and Negreanu officially announced the matchup on PokerGO’s No Gamble, No Future podcast.
War of words kicks off the duel
There should be plenty of fireworks when the two square off from the PokerGO Studio at Aria. The event has been in the works after some Twitter banter following the Negreanu-Polk matchup.
The High Stakes Duel format sees the two players battle heads-up for $50,000 each. The loser then has the option for a rematch at a $100,000 match.
Hellmuth has done well on the show so far. He’s battled Antonio Esfandiari three times and won every match.
Negreanu has declared himself a 2 to 2.5 to 1 favorite and has already bet a “significant amount” on himself. However, he was complimentary of Hellmuth’s heads-up game.
“I think you’re great at heads-up poker,” he told Hellmuth. “A lot of the things you do against the players you’ve played against, specifically Antonio, actually destroys them.”
That included exploiting flawed strategy by Esfandiari, Negreanu noted. He considers Hellmuth one of the best exploitative players in the game, especially against GTO players.
His argument is that Hellmuth does well against more theory-based strategy players. That shouldn’t be a problem for Negreanu, or at least that’s what he’s hoping.
“For me, I feel like a bad matchup for you,” Negreanu noted. “A bad matchup because of what I’ll be willing to do.”
Poker Brat confident in his skills
Helmuth feels he’s played great in the heads-up format. He also has some major wins over players like Polk, Dan Cates, and Esfandiari.
“I get underestimated a lot,” Hellmuth told Negreanu. “All I do is keep winning. It’s really weird to me how you and other people keep underestimating me. It’s fine because I really think you guys honestly don’t understand what I do.”
If the podcast appearance was an indication, the heads-up matchup should be pretty fun. Negreanu and Hellmuth sparred quite a bit with plenty of trash talk.
Negreanu argues that Hellmuth would lose against heads-up poker specialists in a more drawn-out series like he played against Polk. Hellmuth doesn’t underestimate Negreanu and considers him “one of the great players in poker history.” He also said Negreanu has had some excellent coaches.
The recent heads-up series has given Negreanu some significant heads-up poker chops. However, Hellmuth feels good about his chances.
“Have I studied anything at all over the last two or three months?” he said on No Gamble, No Future. “No, I already know what I’m going to do. It’s worked for me … against everybody I play. So I trust my instincts and I trust my reads.”
Those instincts should pay off, he believes. Hellmuth said if he can make two great folds and three great calls, he can win these types of matches. Here’s a look at the details of the High Stakes Duel:
- Game: Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em
- Location: PokerGO Studio at Aria, Las Vegas
- Stakes: $50,000 match
- Streaming: PokerGO
- Date and time. March 31, 8 pm (ET)
- Specifics: Played in a heads-up, sit and go style. The High Stakes Duel allows losing players to rematch for twice the original amount.
Tale of the tape
So how do these players stack up against each other? Both spoke briefly this week with USPoker about their chances going in. The event should attract plenty of interest among poker fans.
Discounting Hellmuth’s skills in heads-up poker might be a bad idea. Behind the bravado is a great player. With so many titles, Hellmuth has plenty of heads-up poker experience and regularly closes the show.
He describes himself as a counter puncher and feels his style works well in the heads-up game. That includes constantly adjusting and attacking when needed as well.
The detractors certainly motivate Hellmuth and he said as much Tuesday on No Gamble, No Future. Esfandiari had also declared himself a favorite as well, however came out on the short end. Hellmuth remains firm in his skills, especially in a live setting.
“I have zero analysts and zero team,” he told USPoker. “I might watch some sessions of him live to see if I can spot any tells.”
Here’s a look at the Poker Brat’s statistics:
- Live tournament winnings: $24.6 million
- WSOP titles and winnings: 15 bracelet, $15.1 million
- WPT titles and winnings: 0 titles, 5 final tables, $1.6 million
- Intangibles: Hellmuth has excellent instincts and fares well in the live format. He seems to thrive when in the underdog role and has a record of success.
“Daniel says he is a big favorite,” Hellmuth said. “I have won roughly 18 out of 20 of my last heads-up matches. Antonio said he was a big favorite over me, but I beat him three times in a row.
“I also beat Doug Polk and Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates in live heads-up matches, who the kids said were the two best in the world at the time. What am I, chopped liver?”
Unlike the series with Polk, Negreanu doesn’t plan on as much preparation for a single event. He’ll ditch the coaching and plans on using a “basic fundamental strategy that I think is effective against Phil.”
Negreanu loves the High Stakes Duel format and thinks he’s perceptive enough to uncover Hellmuth’s weak spots. Against Polk, he employed solvers and a complete strategy team After studying so much over the last few months, Negreanu has been playing at an advanced level.
That’s a notion even Polk agreed with. He battled Negreanu for 25,000 hands and won $1.2 million. Polk believes Negreanu improved, learned a lot, and would beat most players heads-up. That includes beating Hellmuth in this match.
Some in the poker industry initially listed Negreanu as the favorite in the -150 to -160 range. Hellmuth has been in the +125 to +145 range. Here’s a complete look at Kid Poker’s statistics:
- Live tournament winnings: $42.1 million
- WSOP titles and winnings: 6 bracelets, $19.6 million
- WPT titles and winnings: 2 titles, 9 final tables, $6.4 million
- Intangibles: Negreanu has excellent reads and now has extensive knowledge at playing heads-up. Losing to Polk over 25,000 hands gave him even more insight into the game.
“Outside of maybe Fedor Holz, I don’t think there is a worse matchup in the world for him,” Negreanu told USPoker. “I’ve played with him for decades and my game matches up very well against him.”
* Lead image courtesy PokerGO
* Hellmuth and Negreanu photos courtesy World Poker Tour
Playing heads-up cash games online for hundreds of thousands of dollars isn’t something most poker players will ever experience. However, poker fans recently got a taste of this action with Daniel Negreanu squaring off against Doug Polk at WSOP.com.
Beyond the play on the felt and results, there was plenty of action behind the scenes as well. The two men spent hours in preparation and studying each day’s hands behind the scenes. That involved reviewing hand histories, solver analysis, coaching, and more.
For the uninitiated, the behind-the-scenes work might be surprising. USPoker took a look at what kind of efforts went into the match and how each got ready to hit the tables.
Preparing for an online poker duel
In NASCAR, a driver earns major accolades for crossing the finish line in the top spot. But a big team in the background helps make that possible. The pit crew, team engineers, crew chief, and spotter all make efforts to get that driver to the checkered flag.
There’s no doubt Polk is an amazingly talented player. The founder of Upswing Poker didn’t go it alone in the challenge however.
After the final match in the series, Polk discussed his team on the final Upswing stream of the series. He offered a look at what into his efforts.
“I’m very happy that I spent so much time preparing and I felt that it ended up helping me tremendously and I got to execute at such a long period of time,” Polk said.
That execution came with lots of fine tuning and adjustment. And the Polk war room included a team helping make that happen. A couple of players served as coaches to help build a framework for play and also run simulations on a poker solver.
A solver is a software program identifying the optimal play in a given situation. Players, or in this case Polk’s team, enter each situation and the software indicates the best choice. The routine involved hours of work each day.
Another few players helped create hand ranges based on all of Negreanu’s bet sizes. A team of Upswing poker members also recorded statistics for all the hands throughout the series. That meant every continuation bet, raise, and any other move.
“They created a spreadsheet for me and were just straight-out grinding out stats,” Polk said.
Battling in the background
The match may have lasted three months, but Polk spent several months preparing beforehand. He hadn’t played in over a year before that and said he got “wrecked” initially playing at smaller stakes.
After finding his team of coaches, however, Polk’s game began to improve. His team constantly ran simulations – cross-testing bet sizes and hand ranges.
In reviewing the series, Polk believes Negreanu played well and could top most players who aren’t heads-up high-stakes specialists.
“I really think Daniel played exceptionally well for what I would have expected,” he said in a recent video analyzing Negreanu’s play throughout the series. “It’s a completely different beast heads-up. You have to play the vast majority of your hands.”
That involves continually making tough calls, sharp bluffs, and fighting for every pot, Polk noted. The effort may not have been NASA landing a rover on Mars, but there was a deep, high-tech team strategy underway.
Polk described his team as “some of the brightest minds in poker.” Sometimes that included reminding him to fold more and stick to the game plan. His tech team looked for a counter to every Negreanu change or adjustment.
That paid off to the tune of a $1.2 million win playing two tables at $200/$400 No Limit Hold’em.
“That full team of people helped me in different ways,” said Polk, who’s now heading to play in PokerGO’s High Stakes Poker. “I’m obviously thankful that I got to work with such great guys to get me to the level at where I am today. I just couldn’t have done it without them.”
Assembling a team for the challenge
Despite losing in the matchup, even Polk conceded that his opponent made considerable progress. He labeled Negreanu as a really good heads-up player who could do well against most challengers.
The problem is that Polk isn’t like most challengers. Extremely talented and possessing an innate gift for aggression at the right moments, he gives an opponent fits in extremely tough spots.
Negreanu knew he’d be the underdog going into the match and put together a team to help. After weeks of studying and preparing, Kid Poker hit the tables on Nov. 4.
The Team Negreanu crew consisted of two people coaching him as the series went along. That came to as many as six hours a day. A third person was also involved learning along with Negreanu throughout the process to help fine tune the strategy.
This “poker pit crew” used a GTO (game theory optimization) practice driller. GTO is the concept of using analytical tools to make optimal choices regarding certain decisions.
That involved making use of the PioSolver and running simulations on hands Negreanu played. The team could use that analysis to create and work on new concepts.
A growing complexity to high stakes online poker
What does all this high-tech analysis say about where online poker is now? It means playing at some of the highest stakes continues to require massive amounts of training and analysis.
“The game is more complex at the highest levels and the skill set to become a great poker player has changed,” Negreanu told USPoker. “It’s less about talent and more about work ethic and study when it comes to online poker. I think live poker is mostly safe from being totally overtaken.”
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) February 4, 2021
Looking back, Negreanu was forthcoming about the matchup and everything that went into it. He even recently discussed heading back to the tables heads-up against Phil Hellmuth.
“I learned a lot rapidly throughout the process,” he said, “but definitely needed more time to prepare for the match and be ready for hand one.”
That says a lot about what it takes to win in such an environment. The two treated the poker world to quite a show and there were plenty of hours of prep time to make that happen.
Doug Polk continued his dominance through the first half of his heads-up matchup against Daniel Negreanu. Polk led by almost $1 million after the 18th session.
In recent sessions, Negreanu has shown plenty of fight and is working on a Rocky Balboa-style comeback. With the second half of the series underway, here’s a look at some of the biggest moments on the felt so far.
♠♠♠ Follow all the action in the Daniel Negreanu versus Doug Polk High Stakes Feud right here. The USPoker landing page has updates from every session as well as links, details, and videos. For the first part of this series analyzing early hands, click here. ♠♠♠
1 – Mega punt
In the week of Dec. 12, Negreanu lost a huge pot for six figures. Action began as Polk raised from the button with Q♥6♥. Negreanu three-bet to $4,182 with J♣4♣.
The flop came K♥2♥2♠ with Polk on a flush draw. Negreanu led with $2,000 into the $8,361 pot and Polk called.
The turn peeled the A♣ and Negreanu fired a 3/4-pot size bet and Polk called. The pot inflated to $30,907.
The river was a 4♥ which landed Polk his flush. Negreanu over-shoved by making a massive bet 2.5 times the pot. Polk called with his flush and nailed a huge pot worth $146,849.
2 – Suited connectors for the win
On Nov. 30, Polk released a YouTube video giving insight into some hands he played. While not going into too much of his personal strategy, he did review some of the biggest moments.
Polk highlighted a hand where he started on the button by raising with 4♠6♠. Negreanu reraised to $4,182 with A♠K♣ and Polk called.
The board read J♠10♣6♥ and Negreanu checked his overcard and gut shot straight draw. Polk bet 25% of the pot with bottom pair and Negreanu called.
The Q♠ showed up on the turn. The Queen helped Negreanu reach Broadway and gave Polk a flush draw. The pot was $13,044 and Negreanu got sneaky and checked the nuts.
Polk took the bait and launched a $12,285 bet, setting up a possible river jam. The river indeed made a flush for Polk when with the 7♠.
Negreanu checked again and Polk went for almost a pot size bet again with $35,426. After Negreanu called, Polk raked in a $108,467 pot. Kid Poker experienced quite a tough cooler.
3 – Negreanu battles back
On Dec. 11 in session 19, Negreanu gained back some of his losses. One notable hand made for a six-figure swing. Polk raised preflop with 7♥7♦ and Negreanu flatted with 6♥3♥.
Negreanu checked the nuts when the board came 5♣4♦2♠ and Polk bet $800.The fireworks started on the turn when the 7♣ showed up – giving Polk a set.
With the second-best straight possible, Negreanu felt confident enough to trap by checking. Polk bet $3,400 and Negreanu just called again
The river brought the J♥. Negreanu checked and Polk fired a 1.5X pot bet for over $15,000. Negreanu then shoved all in.
Polk called off his last $33,600 and saw the straight at showdown. This hand helped Negreanu rake in over $106,000.
4 – Standard preflop jams
On his YouTube channel, Polk explained that some hands are just standard in heads-up games. Polk highlighted a hand where Negreanu and Polk end up getting it all in preflop for big money.
As the hand started, Negreanu raised from the button with 10♥10♣ to $1,000. Polk then three-bet his Q♠Q♣ to $3,768. Negreanu responded with a four-bet to $10,336. Polk five-bet shoved all in to $52,988 and Negreanu called.
Negreanu had two outs and didn’t find them with a board runs of J♥3♣J♠3♦9♥, rewarding Polk a $105,974 pot.
A popular poker room line from a Dire Straits song applies: “Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug”
5.) Check, check, check – he tricked me
On Dec. 4 during Session 15, Negreanu found maximum value with pocket Aces to the tune of $114,000. How he raked the pot would have left “Teddy KGB” from Rounders quite frustrated.
The hand started with Polk raising to $900 with K♠4♠ and Negreanu three-betting 4.5X to $4,200. Polk four-bet to $11,300 and Negreanu simply called.
The board showed J♥2♠2♣ and Negreanu went into pot control mode by check-calling Polk’s $4,500 flop bet. The turn was a 3♠ and both players checked.
The river brought the Q♣ and Negreanu checked again. Polk tried to steal the pot by shoving. Negreanu snap-called the bluff with his last $40,000. Negreanu scooped a pot worth over $114,000.
* Doug Polk photo courtesy WPT
Those new to following streaming online poker may want to give the High Stakes Feud between Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu a shot. As the action plays out online, both camps have streams tailored toward “their player.”
For many poker fans, following online poker might not compare to televised live events like the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour. However, this event has a few things going for it that may bring more players into the poker streaming realm.
A major US online poker event
After four sessions, Polk remains up in the series winning $180,865. Negreanu won his first online session on Wednesday however, with another session set for Friday.
It’s a massive shot in the arm for the American market, drawing plenty of viewers and interest. The high stakes match includes:
- Two huge personalities
- Both players living in legalized online poker states
- Use of the largest online poker site – WSOP.com
- Plenty of coverage online
That last bullet point is great for poker fans. And unlike televised events, this High Stakes Feud gives viewers some options. As an ambassador for GGPoker, the poker platform’s streaming team is covering the event.
Polk’s Upswing Poker also streams the play at the tables. Polk and Ryan Fee founded the training site in 2015 and the stream caters to students and poker fans alike.
Upswing has become one of the largest training sites in the world. No doubt the match has added some extra recruits to the ranks. Streaming the series also works in GG’s favor with some nice marketing opportunities as well.
What does the streamed matchup offer fans?
For those checking out Polk-Negreanu, there’s value on both streams. With two tables playing out simultaneously, the action is fast and furious.
This gives viewers plenty to check out and the analysis adds a lot to the coverage. An additional advantage in streaming something like this is the time limit. It’s not a huge time investment, with the sessions clocking in at just two hours so far.
— Ryan Fee (@RyanFeePoker) November 12, 2020
Someone could have the stream on in the background and check in and out. Also, those viewing later have the option to fast forward here and they’re looking for big moments.
Both streams also offer post-match interviews with both players. If streaming online poker never seemed fun or accessible, this event might change that perspective.
Following the feud at GGPoker’s stream
All three are poker streamers and offer some unique insight into the matchup. Martin does a nice job calling the action and keeping viewers entertained.
And despite a Negreanu angle, Martin and Turner even discussed a wager the two have on the matchup. Martin has Negreanu and Turner has his money on Polk.
“I really feel like Daniel is the hero entering this match,” Martin said during the first stream of the online play.
Turner even noted on Wednesday’s stream that he hoped Daniel lost “every single session.” Guan has heads-up experience as well and offers some nice insight for viewers.
There some great entertainment value that remains high throughout the stream, despite occasional technical difficulties.
Analysis from Team Polk’s streaming action
Over at Doug Polk’s stream (YouTube and Twitch), Fee and Shaun Deeb called the action on Wednesday. They take a laid-back approach with plenty of hand analysis and stories surrounding the rivalry.
Fee is no stranger to poker success, both live and online. He has one WSOP bracelet and more than $3 million in live winnings. Deeb has won four WSOP bracelets and has plenty of online winnings as well. In 2018, he won the WSOP Player of the Year title.
The two offer some interesting analysis on how Negreanu can improve his odds. Deeb discussed how strategies may shift and advance throughout the series.
Upswing’s stream does a nice job of updating the stats on the series at the bottom of the screen. The commentators also offer some fun looks into the life of being a poker pro.
Some of the discussion even moves away from the match at hand. Deeb detailed battling COVID-19, which included playing some online poker while in the hospital.
Seems most enjoyed the twitch with me and @RyanFeePoker it’s tough to not have dead air so we end up talking a lot about random stuff that’s not related to challenge until next time
— shaun deeb (@shaundeeb) November 12, 2020
While they may be on team Polk, Deeb and Fee aren’t afraid to give Negreanu some props. For the fourth session, both expressed surprise at the number of three-bets Negreanu was making. They also noted some unfortunate run outs for Negreanu.
“Daniel’s run really bad,” Deeb noted on Wednesday’s stream. “A lot of hands he’s had a lot of equity and it just never gets there. That really will frustrate you in this match.”
What’s missing from the coverage?
Fee and Deeb discussed one thing that might be missing from the matchup overall – video of Polk and Negreanu playing. The live element from PokerGO was entertaining viewing.
Adding some kind of live element checking in with the players during the online element would be great. Like a golf tournament, maybe the announcers could check in one in a while to the player cams.
Some reactions from each at winning or losing a pot would offer some added drama. The post-match interviews at least offer some hand discussion and reaction. These two guys certainly aren’t shy about chit chat on camera.
The live session from the PokerGO Studio brought a little spirit of kumbaya as the rivals shared some laughs. The matchup may have just thawed the chill between these two players somewhat – at least for now.
“They’re both very emotional guys, this is super personal,” Deeb noted. “I think this has mellowed out both of them a little bit.”
For complete coverage of the Negreanu-Polk matchup, visit the USPoker Negreanu-Polk coverage page for updates, links, and videos. The next session is set for Friday, Nov. 12, at 5:30 ET.