Daniel Negreanu, is one of the most accomplished poker players in the history of the game, with six World Series of Poker bracelets, two World Poker Tour titles, two Card Player Player of the Year awards, and many other noteworthy achievements accrued over his Hall of Fame career as a professional player. According to Negreanu, though, the past couple of years have been some of his worst on the professional circuit. For example, earlier this year he publicly shared losses of more than $1.1 million while playing at the WSOP. He also recently bubbled the $50,000 buy-in finale of the Poker Masters when his pocket aces were cracked by pocket jacks with all of the chips in preflop.
On a Friday, Oct. 7, Negreanu broke out of his funk by emerging victorious in the prestigious Super High Roller Bowl VII, an elite field of 24 entries in the $300,000 nosebleed-stakes event to secure the SHRB ring and the second-largest payday of his career: $3,312,000. Negreanu now has $48,864,902 in career tournament earnings to his name, the third-most of any player in the world.
“Obviously it feels great. The last two years have been really, really difficult mentally because I know my game is better than ever. But who cares? The public looks at it like, ‘No, no, no, Daniel. You’ve got to look at your results. Your results are no good. You’re playing bad.’ I know how I’m losing. I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I know when it’s me. I know when it’s me making mistakes, and it isn’t. I played a pretty close-to-flawless Super High Roller Bowl here and luckily the structure is so deep that it’s not just a shove fest. If you play deep structures all the time, I’m going to be one of the favorites each and every time.”
In addition to the title and the money, Negreanu also earned 360 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his third title and eighth final-table finish of the year. The points he earned in this small-field event were enough to see him climb within reach of the top 100 in the 2022 POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker. He also locked up 600 PokerGO Tour points, enough to climb into 21st place on that leaderboard.
Negreanu got off to a fast start thanks to a wild hand on day 1 of the event, which was held in the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. He eliminated Bryn Kenney, one of the two players on the planet with more tournament earnings than him, when he caught runner-runner quads to best the aces full of his opponent, helping propel him into the chip lead heading into day 2. Plenty of notables joined Kenney in hitting the rail during the first two days of this event, including SHRB VI champion Michael Addamo, four-time bracelet winner Arian Mateos, bracelet winner and recent Poekr Masters $50,000 event champion Jason Koon, bracelet winner Mikita Badziakouski, WPT champion Seth Davies, and bracelet winner Alex Foxen.
The final day of this three-day nosebleed-stakes affair began with five players remaining and only the top four set to make the money. That meant that one player had to wait overnight only to be eliminated on a $720,000 money bubble. The action picked up with three-time SHRB ring winner Justin Bonomo as the shortest stack, with 2019 MILLIONS Europe €100,000 high roller champion Orpen Kisacikoglu as the next-lowest on the leaderboard.
Both Bonomo and Kisacikoglu lost ground to the rest of the pack as tried to survive to the money, but it was the latter who ultimately fell first. Kisacikoglu was down to just 12 big blinds when bracelet winner Andrew Lichtenberge raised to 2.5x from under-the-gun with QQ. Negreanu called from the small blind with QdJ suited and Kisacikoglu three-bet shoved with AQ out of the big blind. Lichtenberger unleashed a small four-bet to isolate and Negreanu quickly got out of the way. The board came down 10922J to burst the bubble, sending Kisacikoglu home empty-handed as the fifth-place finisher.
Bonomo managed a double-up early on in four-handed action, with his straight draw and overcard beating out the flopped top pair of Negreanu to see him climb out of the danger zone. Despite that, he was still the next to hit the rail. His final hand saw him four-bet shove for around 40 big blinds from the button, having opened and been three-bet by Lichtenberger out of the big blind. Lichtenberger called with JJ, which had Bonomo’s 88 in rough shape. Lichtenberger made top set on the turn and had Bonomo drawing dead with one card to come.
Bonomo had $14.4 million in prior SHRB scores across six prior cashes, including wins in the 2018 SHRB, the 2018 SHRB China, and the 2020 SHRB Online. With the $720,000 he secured in this event, he increased his SHRB earnings than $15.1 million. The 37-year-old poker pro’s lifetime tournament cashes now total $60,462,821. This latest score saw him become the first player in poker history to surpass the $60 million mark. As a result, he has his hold on the top spot on poker’s all-time money list, with just shy of $3 million more in earnings than second-ranked Bryn Kenney.
With that, Lichtenberger moved into an effective tie for second place in the chip counts with Negreanu, while two-time bracelet winner Nick Petrangelo sat atop the leaderboard. As three-handed play continued over the course of roughly five hours, though, it Negreanu managed to overtake the lead and then begin to pull away as his two opponents’ stacks dwindled.
Lichtenberger was down to just shy of 12 big blinds when he moved all-in from the small blind with K6. Negreanu made the call with A6 and flopped an ace to take a commanding lead. Lichtenberger was drawing dead after the turn, which meant that he would be sent home with $1,152,000 as the third-place finisher.
Heads-up play began with Negreanu holding a sizable lead, with 5,915,000 to Petrangelo’s 1,285,000. The two went on to battle for just over half an hour, with Negreanu able to add to his advantage until he had built nearly a 13:1 lead in time for the final hand of the event.
Negreanu open-shoved from the button for roughly 10 big blinds with Q7 and Petrangelo called with K5. The 732 flop was all Negreanu, giving him top pair and a flush draw. The 2 on the turn left Petrangelo with just a five percent chance of doubling up. The 4 on the end officially locked up the pot and the title for Negreanu. Petrangelo was awarded $2,016,000 as the runner-up finisher. This was the second-largest score of his career. It increased his lifetime earnings to more than $27 million.
Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded to the top four finishers:
|Place||Player||Earnings||POY Points||PGT Points|
Photo credits: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.