Daniel Negreanu fully intended to play for a bracelet, but one of his biggest concerns was making the final table of the €25,600 High Roller at the 2013 World Series of Poker Europe to win the Player of the Year award. When the smoke cleared and the last card was turned up, he had his sixth gold bracelet AND the prestige of winning the WSOP Player of the Year award.
"I love drama!" Negreanu exclaimed after he locked up the win. "I love drama! What's better than bottom of the ninth, bases loaded...and you just got to win? I love it."
Brazilian Nicolau Villa-Lobos stood between Negreanu and his sixth gold bracelet going into heads-up play. Villa-Lobos won his entry in a live satellite and even though he had to settle for second place, he was very happy to take home €450,000.
“I have no complaints,” Villa-Lobos said afterwards with a grin.
Day #8: €25,600 High Roller Results
Event #8 started the final day with 13 players of which nine would make the money. The first hand of the day found Tom Bedell hitting the rail when he ran the into Scott Seiver’s - Seiver ended the hand with a Broadway. Phil Laak left the competition right after Bedell. Laak lost a race with against Erik Seidel’s , and Byron Kaverman was gone after going to war with his against Villa-Lobos’ which turned into a full house.
November Niner Marc McLaughlin broke the bubble after two hours of play and was sent to the rail by fellow Canadian Timothy Adams. McLaughlin had only two big blinds left and sent them out in an all-in call from the big blind holding the . Adams turned over for a pair of sixes from the small blind and McLaughlin was gone.
Joni Jouhkimainen was soon eliminated in ninth place by Philipp Gruissem from the unofficial final table. For less than four big blinds, the Finn moved all-in from under the gun with and Gruissem’s from the small blind held up.
Negreanu was short-stacked at the official final table but once Jouhkimainen was eliminated, he earned the 2013 WSOP Player of the Year award.
Once the official final table was underway, all eight players agreed not to glean any information from the delayed live stream — all members of streamed final tables are forced to forfeit their phones and smart devices.
Negreanu had to suffer a slight panic attack on the second hand when his tournament life was on the line with the against Jason Koon’s . But the board brought the and the pot was chopped.
Seidel was next to leave in eighth place. The eight-time bracelet winner open-shoved from the cutoff with against Seiver’s . The flop loved Seiver — or Seiver loved the flop — when it rolled off with the . The turn produced the and the hit the river.
At the start of seven-handed play Negreanu doubled with against David Peters’ . The hit the flop and the rest of the board blanked.
Koon had to settle for seventh place, but it took close to five rounds of the table after Seidel left. Negreanu limped, Koon moved all-in for a little over 16 big blinds. Peters called from the small blind, Negreanu folded, and Koon found out the bad news — Peters’ destroyed his . Although Koon had a gutshot Broadway draw and a backdoor flush draw on the flop, the next two cards that completed the board did not help.
Villa-Lobos crippled Adams just before the dinner break and then Negreanu finished him off. Villa-Lobos had against Adams' and even though the flop was kind to Adams by producing a jack, Villa-Lobos rivered an ace. Two hands later Adams was all-in with the . Negreanu made the call from the big blind with , and rivered a nine.
It took about 30 hands of four-handed play before Peters four-bet all-in from the big blind. Villa-Lobos had already sent out three bets and called with . Peters was in the lead until the flop brought a queen. Peters was on his way to the cashier in fourth place.
Although Gruissem started the day as chip leader and managed to hold on to it, once three-handed play was in progress, he dropped to 20 big blinds. Gruissem went all-in with a three-bet from the big blind after Negreanu opened. Negreanu called with . Gruissem tabled the , and Negreanu’s hand held when the board came .
Villa-Lobos started heads-up play as a two-to-one underdog but took the lead when he made a full house and a flush. Negreanu came back to take full control and the lead. Villa-Lobos limped on the button in the hand and then moved all-in in answer to Negreanu's raise. Negreanu called with the and Villa-Lobos tabled the — the board ran out with the .
Congratulations may not be over yet for Negreanu. The Main Event will finish on Friday and as everyone knows, it's never over until the last card declares the winner. But...congratulations Daniel on the sixth gold bracelet and becoming the first player to scoop the WSOP POY award twice!