Making the trip overseas for a shot at a bracelet probably wasn’t on the agenda for most American players. But the World Series of Poker Europe produced plenty of news among American players.
That included plenty of interesting storylines in the battle for WSOP Player of the Year title. While it looked like Daniel Negreanu had the title wrapped up, that changed on Friday when a calculation error was discovered.
Despite the series finishing up on Monday, Australia’s Robert Campbell was named the winner. It was quite a twist to this European poker vacation.
In other news, Phil Hellmuth also came close to bracelet No. 16. There were plenty of fireworks and here’s a look at what went down at Kings Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.
Late calculations move Robert Campbell into WSOP POY top spot
One of the interesting aspects of the WSOPE this year was a tight Player of the Year race. The battle continued from the WSOP in Las Vegas and took a crazy twist on Friday.
After winning two bracelets this summer, Campbell took the lead into Europe. However, Shaun Deeb took the lead briefly before the Australian moved back to the top spot.
Deeb was hoping for back-to-back POY titles. Lurking in third was Negreanu, originally from Toronto, Canada, but now living in Las Vegas.
There was quite a bit of poker drama with three players in contention until the final days at Kings Casino. In the final event, the €550 Colossus, it was initially believed Deeb needed a fifth-place finish to overtake Negreanu.
After bowing out in 11th, however, the title was Negreanu’s for a third time. Or so the poker world thought.
Sulked for a bit thinking of hoping in and doing some commentary. I’m sure plenty of people want to roast me but you won’t be able to make me feel any worse than I already do but you’re welcome to try
— shaun deeb (@shaundeeb) November 4, 2019
Player of the Year changes make for an interesting Friday
Earlier this year, Negreanu said he hoped to bag POY a third time to separate himself from others on his trail. What did he think of the close race in Europe?
“I like drama, and I thought that drama looked like me qualifying for Day 2 of Colossus on the last bullet, of the last heat, and doubling up on the last hand of the night,” he told USPoker. “It got crazier than that, though, as Shaun Deeb made a run and it looked like he had it locked up.”
In what must have been a frustration for Kid Poker, however, Campbell was vaulted back in front for the title. Negreanu slid to third place.
After winning two bracelets in Las Vegas, Cambell notched four cashes in Europe. That included an eighth-place finish the €25,500 Platinum High Roller for €59,189.
That eventually put him in the top spot. Like most, Campbell was shocked at the news.
— Rob Campbell (@SonicJaxx2019) November 8, 2019
Negreanu seemed to handle the switcheroo well. He noted in a message to Campbell on Twitter: “Congrats mate! Some good news coming your way. Well deserved champ.”
I will share my thoughts on the WSOP POY situation in a written blog later today.
Genuinely happy for @SonicJaxx2019 because I know what it meant to him and frankly, the entire country of Australia!
Will share more later…
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) November 8, 2019
Bad blood remains between Deeb and Negreanu
There has been no love lost between Deeb and Negreanu. They have battled a bit on Twitter and that added some extra drama to the POY battle.
Have the two been able to patch things up?
“He insulted my wife,” Negreanu says. “Come at me all you want, but she should be off limits and its appalling that he went there.
“I’m a very forgiving person, for the most part, but it’s hard to forgive someone that isn’t willing to apologize. If he ever sees the error in his ways in regards to my wife and wants to apologize, my door is open.”
Deeb seems to have embraced his role as Negreanu’s foil and hasn’t indicated an interest in a meeting of the minds.
It’s crazy how much more fun I had at @PokerroomKings this year compared to last maybe it was the battle maybe it was letting my guard down more. But I do know you should all find someone to bet poy next year and bet on me deeb vs Daniel round 2 def going down and he’s dead
— shaun deeb (@shaundeeb) November 8, 2019
Phil Hellmuth comes close to bracelet No. 16
The events may have been in Europe, but plenty of big names from America showed up in the WSOPE leaderboards. That included 15-time bracelet winner Hellmuth.
The Poker Brat almost made it to 16 after finishing third in the $2,500 Eight-Game Mix for €31,058. He came even closer in the €25,500 Mixed Games Championship. Hellmuth finished runner-up for €238,509.
“It this was a fight, I’d stop it,” Hellmuth said facing a 7-to-1 chip disadvantage to eventual winner Besim Hot.
With two other cashes, overall it was a nice run for Hellmuth. He remains the only player win the Main Event in Las Vegas (1989) and Europe (2012).
Other American players come through with nice scores
It only took two events for an American to find the winner’s circle. In the €550 Pot Limit Omaha, Dash Dudley topped a field of 476 to win €51,600.
This marked the Michigan player’s second bracelet and he also won the $10,000 PLO this summer for $1 million.
Along with Hellmuth, longtime pro Jeff Madsen made the final table of the $2,500 Eight-Game Mix. He finished fourth for €21,386.
In the €25,500 Platinum High Roller, high-stakes regular Alex Foxen finished sixth for €95,962.
One of the biggest names in poker also made an appearance in Rozvadov. Phil Ivey finished eighth in the $100,000 Diamond High Roller for €212,504.
Ivey won $124,000 this summer at the WSOP in Las Vegas. However, that was forked over to the Borgata because of its $10 million judgement against him.
No word if the property will attempt to seize those winnings as well. Ivey scored three cashes in all, including a ninth-place finish in the €25,500 Short Deck High Roller for €66,554.
The €10,350 Main Event also produced some fireworks with three-time WPT champion Anthony Zinno finishing third. He took home €485,291 and came close to a third bracelet.
The score came only weeks after Zinno took fourth at the WPT Maryland for $111,415. It’s been quite a year for Zinno. This summer at the WSOP he won bracelet No. 2. and also produced a runner-up and third-place finish.
Several tournaments upcoming to close out 2019
With the WSOPE in the books, many big-name players will be looking forward to a few upcoming events.
The Poker Central-produced Poker Masters series has already kicked off at the Aria. High roller players from around the world should converge in Nevada for the 10-event series. The Poker Masters runs through Nov. 14 and is streamed on PokerGO.
The WPT also has two major events to close out 2019. The $3,500 Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open runs Nov. 29 – Dec. 4.
After that, one of the WPT’s premier events cranks up at the Bellagio in Vegas. The $10,400 Five Diamond World Poker Classic runs Dec. 16-21. The event has become a favorite with pros and been on the tour since its inception.