Las Vegas, NV
The moment after Daniel Negreanu clinched the Limit Hold'em tournament and won his fourth bracelet, he thrust his arms in the air in celebration. He lofted them as high as he could for a few seconds before he dropped them and quickly reached for his mobile device in his pocket. He texted Phil Ivey to tell him to pay up.
Negreanu and Ivey had a $200,000 bet on who would win a bracelet next. Negreanu won $204,000 for first place. If you count the numerous bracelet prop bets he had this year various pros, his prop bet winnings are substantially more than his first place score.
Ivey had a stomach-churning week. He lost $1.1 million shooting dice with Barry Greenstien. He's on the verge of losing $2 million on the Lakers. He just coughed up 200K to Negreanu. He also recently made a bet with Ted Forrest for $1 million who will win a bracelet first. I heard rumors that Ivey had up to $2 million in various bracelet prop bets including one that either himself or Allen Cunningham will win a bracelet.
By the end of the summer Ivey could be $5 million in the hole. Then again, he's Phil Ivey. He very well could be up $10 million before your grandma shows up for 8am mass at St. Cecelia's next Sunday.
Who knows, maybe Ivey will chase his losses betting in the European Championships?
While Negreanu played Ugur Marangoz heads up for the bracelet, the final minutes of the Lakers/Celtics game simultaneously played out. The Lakers coughed up a huge first half lead and the Celtics stormed back, because as we know, in the NBA every team makes a run. I briskly walked back and forth from the final table to the closest big screen in the Amazon room near where the Poker News photographers Felipe and Flipchip were set up. I watched a few plays and during time outs, I briskly headed back to the final table and repeated the process... until both outcomes were complete.
At one point, I spotted Ivey out of the corner of my eye. He was playing in Day 2 of the 3K HORSE and sneaked over to watch the same Big Screen. He grimaced when the score was flashed. In four years of covering the WSOP, the only times I have ever seen Ivey exhibit any emotion was during the last two Lakers/Celtics games. I betcha he hates not being in control of his own destiny in the Laker prop bet. Ivey is the type of guy that would throw on a Lakers jersey and try to win the game himself if they let him. Alas, Ivey is in the middle of a demoralizing crunch. His potential losing prop bets might have dimmed the greatness of the last infallible superhero in poker.
Negreanu on the other hand has been riding a welcome winning streak. It had been several years since he last won a major tournament.... January of 2006... when he took down the Jack Binion WSOP Circuit event in Tunica. Negreanu's last WSOP bracelet was won four years ago in Limit Hold'em.
And the other day Negreanu and Antonius had a series of golf prop bets during a round at TPC Summerlin. Negreanu ended up winning $160,000. Check out the RawVegas video via Wicked Chops Poker.
Here's Antonius' take...
We decided to play $20,000 for low team total on every hole and $20,000 for individual low score on each hole. There were going to be a lot of ties, but it would still be possible for one team to win or lose $300,000. It was a very dramatic match, we started out hot, and were up around $140,000, but Daniel went on a tear and played his best round ever and was phenomenal on the back nine. He was a wizard with his chipping and putting, and they beat us for $20,000 when it was all said and done. We are definitely getting a rematch next week...In just a couple of days, Negreanu won almost 600K in tournament winnings, golf props, and an Ivey prop bet. Nice job, Danny Boy. When you're hot, you're sizzling... or something like that.
The folks over PokerStars is definitely pumped to secure their first bracelet winner of the 2008 WSOP. Greenstein came close the night before. Three of the first four bracelet winners were Full Tilt pros (Nenad Medic, Erick Lindgren, and David Singer) and Matusow won another one last night for Full Tilt.
During the winner's photo, Flipchip asked Negreanu if he incentive to win the bracelet was so he didn't have to hear Matusow brag that they had the same number of bracelets. The night before Matusow won his third and for less than a day he was tied with Negreanu.
Click here to view Flipchip's WSOP winner photos.
A few hours after Negreanu's win, the money bubble broke in the 3K HORSE event. Jen Harman was the chipleader with 32 players to go. Phil Ivey was second in chips. If he's on the verge of donking off $2 million on the Lakers, he desperately needs to win a bracelet to get unstuck. Shortly after Midnight, Ivey took a hit and got crippled. He eventually busted out in 23rd place for paltry $7,998.
By the way, here's what Doyle Brunson wrote on his blog...
Negreanu won the limit Holdem tournament and put me in the lead for my big bet of Daniel, Lee Watkinson, and Lee Markholt to win more bracelets than Phil Ivey and Allen Cunningham. I won't be making any more bets like this because I don't like to root against friends. When I went to bed last night, Ivey was leading in the $3000 HORSE event. I also bet Phil 3-1 odds for $100,000 he wouldn’t win a bracelet so I have no choice but to pull against himEven Doyle is getting in on the bracelet prop bet action.
Despite losing $160,000 to Negreanu on the links, Finnish boy toy Patrik Antonius is ready to get that money back at the tables. He'll play anyone. He called out several of the premiere online cash game players in the world and invited them to battle in the ThunderDome. Or is it the IveyDome? He wants to play guys like Tom "Durrrrrrrr" Dwan or Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond heads up. Here's a bit...
I would like to issue a little challenge to a few online players who have been very successful at the biggest games online the past few months. All they do is hide behind their computer screens, scared to play anyone that they think is any good. I have not played Heads Up No Limit on Full Tilt for a long time and have hardly any experience playing it compared to these guys, yet, they refuse to play me and are dodging me in all games.I'd pay to watch those matches. Keep an eye out for them...
Durrr, OMGClayAiken, trex313, Urindanger, I am looking for action and I want a chance to play against the best. I will play any of you in any game on Full Tilt, I will be waiting, hopefully your up for the challenge.
The Negreanu final table got plenty of attention but it was rather quiet and subdued compare to the PLO final table on the outer perimeter in front of the Beast Lounge. The rail was like happy hour at the zoo with an eclectic mix of online players stoned on cough medicine, soused Australians, bewildered tourists with camera phones, and other snot-nosed minstrels. My kind of scene.
I wandered by when heads-up began between Jamie Pickering and Vanessa Selbst. I met Pickering in Australia during the Aussie Millions. He made three final tables and won a Limit Hold'em event. He's a strip club owner from the luxurious Gold Coast of Australia and might have brought one of his favorite entertainers with him on this trip. He had his mates on the rail with him and his girlfriend who wore a tight and skimpy outfit.
The Aussies as a whole are a festive bunch and Pickering's crew knocked back drinks. Pickering downed a shot and then shoved all in blind. He doubled up and almost pulled even in chips with Selbst. At that point, the two discussed a deal. Vanessa wanted to crunch the numbers and think about it, but Pickering was anxious to shake hands and finish off the tournament. He pressed her to make a decision.
"Come on, have some balls!" he shouted.
That got a large laugh out of the crowd, who stood five and six deep on the rail. Some of them heard the ruckus and camped out in front. A bevy of them behind Selbst were drunk. I couldn't tell if they were her friends or just random drunk guys who decided to cheer for her and goad the Aussie. Regardless, it was one of the rowdiest final tables that I have seen thus far at the WSOP.
Pickering played the next hand blind. Selbst did not believe it, but he insisted that he did not look at his cards. He bet the pot and she called. He checked the turn and she bet the pot. He decided to look at his cards despite the chorus of screams, shouts, and chants from the rail.
"Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!" one shouted as he tried not to spill his drink on me.
Selbst was smiling and sipped her beer as the railbirds let Pickering have it when he decided to look at his cards.
"I'm dead. Oh shit," he said. "I got a gutshot to the Wheel."
"Gamboool!" slurred one inebriated spectator.
"Run it four times!" screamed another as they clinked cups.
"Get him another shot so he calls!" shouted someone else from the rail.
By that point a gaggle of media surrounded the table including Shamus and Marc. Flipchip was strategically centered in the middle of the menagerie of photographers. There was also an ESPN second unit capturing the hilarity. A few curious railbirds stood up on chairs to watch the theatrics.
"Come on, call!" echoed from the rail.
"Let's finish this and go to the Rhino!" exclaimed another drunk.
(courtesy of Flipchip)
Pickering peeked at his cards one last time before he shook his head and tossed them into the muck. Selbst showed her winning hand then slowly stacked up all of Pickering's chips as he caught heat from the rail. She won the pot and increased her lead. After a short break, they played a couple of hands before it was all over. Selbst won her first bracelet. The last female to win a bracelet in an open event was Katja Thater last summer when she took down the Razz bracelet.
At the end of the second week of the 2008 WSOP, I was fortunate to experience one of the most enjoyable final tables I had seen in a while and just a couple of hours later I was in the front row watching Negreanu win his fourth.
At the same time as the last second ticked off the clock at the Staples Center, I was reminded just how crazy Phil Ivey is... to bet on the NBA finals in the wake of the Herculean scandal that has been escalating every day over Tim Donaghy and possibly other ex-refs fixing games for TV, the NBA, for bookies, and for their own financial gain.
Then again, only complete degenerates will continue to bet on, participate in, or play something even though they know it's rigged such as any or all of the following... politics, NBA, online poker, and American Idol.
Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at www.taopoker.com. All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.