Negreanu wins WSOP APAC Main Event, fifth bracelet

16 April 2013

Poker superstar Daniel Negreanu won his fifth World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet and more than $1 million at the inaugural WSOP Asia Pacific Main Event on Tuesday. The bracelet is Negreanu's first since 2008 and moves him into a tie for 12th on the all-time bracelet list.

The last time Negreanu was heads-up for a bracelet, it was an epic battle for the ages. Back in 2009, Negreanu and Barry Shulman played until dawn in the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe Main Event with Shulman ultimately denying Negreanu the victory despite Negreanu holding a big chip lead at one point in their tete-a-tete battle.

There was no struggling this time for Negreanu, who dominated final table action from start to finish, the he did face a couple scary moments once he got head-to-head against Australia's Daniel Marton.

“I’ve had a lot of deep runs in the past couple of years and put up a lot of seconds and thirds, and I’ve had a lot of heartbreak when I got close," Negreanu said after his win. "In the World Series of Poker Europe, I was in a very similar situation and, yeah, I had a lot of flashback moments and my emotions were running high and I was like, 'Please not again! Can’t it be easy? I want this over! No outs at all. Just flop me quads!'”

It wasn't as simple as flopping quads, but the late stages of this event did prove to be relatively smooth sailing, as Negreanu came in with a big stack and came out with a gold bracelet and a career-high WSOP score. Negreanu admitted that, even before they got to the final table, he felt it was his tournament to lose.

“Even from two tables, I went from 1.3 million to 2.6 million without winning a big pot, really small ball poker to the extreme. I won all the pots I was supposed to win, I minimized in the spots where I was beat, and overall I played on feel, which is something that has always made me successful. I didn’t overthink things and I just went with my gut."

Negreanu credits his recent participation in a personal development course to this renewed ability to trust his gut. While the course has been under scrutiny from many in the poker world, Negreanu insists it was a positive experience and not what people think it is.

"I went to do these personal growth courses and the biggest thing I got out of that was confidence and self-trust. I trust myself and I trust myself to make the right decisions. Antonio [Esfandiari] also went to the same thing and he won a couple bracelets, made a couple of final tables, and came ninth here. I just graduated myself and I’ve come fourth and first. People can hate all they want. I’m not in a cult, they’re nuts, and I would never be in one. I went through a course, I’ve done the course, and I am so happy I did it."

Happy was a good word to describe Negreanu on this memorable day at the poker tables. He is a player known for his cheerful demeanor and table talk, both of which were on display for the duration of the action. While some players at the table agonized over decisions and displayed visible nerves at their first major final table, Negreanu was all smiles and jokes. While some might argue he wasn't taking his game seriously, the man known as Kid Poker credits this approach with his success.

“One of the things I realized about poker is that I’ve always been the most successful when I am enjoying what I’m doing, not taking myself too seriously, not overthinking things," Negreanu explained. "Just play, man! And that’s what I did from the get go in this tournament. I didn’t worry about what the fundamentals are or what people would say. I just did what I do. I played my way. And in the end it paid off."

With the win, Negreanu joins the ranks of five-time winners Stu Ungar, John Juanda, Ted Forrest, and Scotty Nguyen. This is Negreanu’s biggest WSOP payday of his career and pushes his career earnings to more than $17 million. Even though he has a long list of tournament accomplishments, this one ranks up there with the best of them.

With the win, Negreanu is also the early frontrunner in the 2013 WSOP Player of the Year race. This year, players can earn points towards the title in Australia, Las Vegas, and the WSOP Europe stop in Paris. With 360 points for this bracelet and 44.8 points for a fourth place finish in the AU$2,200 Mixed Game event, Negreanu is now out front with 404.8 points going into Las Vegas. With that strong start, Negreanu says becoming the first two-time WSOP Player of the Year is certainly a new goal on his 2013 list. For a man who sets a lot of lofty goals every year though, he can already check several off the list after today.

"With this win, I achieved a few of my goals. Winning a million dollars in a tournament, winning a major tournament. That list of goals I usually set is really lofty. I set eight or ten and I am happy to get three or four and I feel like I’ve got three already, so, who knows? Maybe I will get all eight."

A positive attitude, a lot of confidence, and a lot of drive. It is a recipe that certainly worked well for Negreanu tonight, so it seems a safe bet to say it is likely going to work for him again in the future.

When the final table began, Negreanu and German pro Benny Spindler were the big stacks at the table, but the early goings of the final table were not kind to Spindler. He saw his stack dwindle while the short stacks at the table continued to hold on.

The bustouts began with the exit of Octo-niner Russell Thomas in eighth place. Thomas was chip leader at the start of Day 4, but the playdown day and final table action depleted his stack and he was the first to exit the line-up. Local player Mikel Habb was the next to go in seventh. While these two short stacks failed to double, that was not the case for Hong Kong-based high stakes cash game player Winfred Yu, who managed to double up an astounding eight times over the course of final table action. While he doubled, Spindler struggled, eventually exiting in sixth place.

Two more local players were the next to go, as Kahle Burns busted in fifth and satellite qualifier George Tsatsis took fourth place. That left Yu, Marton, and Negreanu battling for the bracelet and seven-figure payday, but it would be an uphill battle for Negreanu’s opponents, as Negreanu was sitting with 10 million chips while the other two struggled to grow their stacks over 2 million.

It was around this time that Yu’s incomparable luck started to run dry. His ninth attempt at doubling up was foiled when he got it all-in against Negreanu in a hand where Negreanu flopped a flush. That sent the match into heads-up play with the four-time bracelet winner holding a 10-1 chip advantage.

The first-ever AU$10,000 WSOP APAC Main Event drew 405 players, generating a prize pool of $3,847,500. The top 40 finishers made the money, with a min cash earning players $20,392. Notables who made the money include Erik Seidel (39th), Jeff Lisandro (35th), Todd Terry (24th), Raymond Rahme (17th), and final table bubble boy Antonio Esfandiari (9th).

WSOP APAC Main Event final table results:

1st: Daniel Negreanu - $1,038,825
2nd: Daniel Marton - $637,911
3rd: Winfred Yu - $423,225
4th: George Tsatsis - $284,715
5th: Kahle Burns - $201,994
6th: Benny Spindler - $146,205
7th: Mikel Habb - $107,730
8th: Russell Thomas - $82,721

Tournament summary modified from story provided by Jessica Welman, WSOP.com

Related Links
World Series of Poker Gaming Vendor Information
Australian Gambling
Ranked Online Poker Rooms

Featured Vendors
.Dot-iGaming.com
Imagine This
.Dot-iGaming.com
Fully loaded advanced casino platform. One time (low) fee, 100% your property, start now!
Imagine This
Imagine This #1 Source for Player Gifts. Over $50 million in stock ready to ship! Let us serve you!
Broadband Hospitality
Plastic Card ID
Broadband Hospitality
Improve these critical guest-facing amenities: In-room TV, Wi-Fi, Mobile App. Priced right. All here
Plastic Card ID
The World’s Lowest Prices on Printed Plastic Cards and Card Printers!
Kallop
Sunkist Graphics, Inc.
Kallop
Reward every play like a VIP with exclusive luxury brands at affordable prices.
Sunkist Graphics, Inc.
Specializing in the creation of best-of-breed gaming graphics - slot glass, sign faces, and more
Casino City Press
Talisman Group Creators of EZ Baccarat
Casino City Press
A leading publisher and distributor of casino and gaming business data and market research reports.
Talisman Group Creators of EZ Baccarat
With over 800 tables in 150+ casinos, EZ Baccarat is the number one brand in baccarat.
Betson Imperial Parts & Service
Global Gaming Expo (G2E)
Betson Imperial Parts & Service
Your one stop shop for all your gaming and OEM needs!
Global Gaming Expo (G2E)
The largest gathering of global, commercial and tribal gaming professionals in North America.
Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.
TOP ONE TECH LIMITED
Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.
Leader in creating award winning player & employee loyalty programs & events proven to increase ROI
TOP ONE TECH LIMITED
GLOBAL TOUCH SOLUTION PARTNER OF CHOICE,10+ years OEM manufacturing,100+ thousand units application
AmericanChecked
Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (OIGA) Conference
AmericanChecked
Background checks for the gaming industry with key & non-key packages & fingerprinting solutions
Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (OIGA) Conference
The biggest little show in Indian gaming! Save the date: Aug 9-11, 2022 in Tulsa!
Slot Machines Unlimited
Casino Network
Slot Machines Unlimited
Exporter of IGT, Williams, AVP, Trimline, Aristocrat, Konami, Bally, & parts over 20 yrs experience
Casino Network
20+ years experience selling refurbished slot machines, parts & glass for all major brands
Casino Schedule Ease
TribalHub
Casino Schedule Ease
Get a 90-Day Free Trial of 100% contactless, customizable table game & full casino scheduling
TribalHub
23rd Annual TribalNet Conference Sept 12-15, 2022 Grand Sierra Resort & Casino in Reno, NV
TDN Money Systems
TDN Money Systems
Cage, cash/chip handling experts representing CountR, ARCA, AccuCASH, Fujitsu & NCR


Your Guide to 15,522 Gaming Industry Suppliers