It is midway through Day 3, and Daniel Negreanu arrives to his new table with eight racks of chips weighing down his arms. He sits at about 150,000 in chips, good for a medium stack at the table, and immediately his table lets out the groans. "This is going to be a fun rest of the night," says the man to Negreanu's right. "Careful Daniel, this is a no fold'em hold'em table, warns another." "Yeah, right," Negreanu chuckles.
There is an hour left in the dinner break when Negreanu arrives, and he seems determined to establish his position as the table captain. Showing his disdain for his opponent's advice, Negreanu challenges the table, open-raising the first five pots he is dealt preflop before he is done unracking all of his chips. He has amassed over 1000 black $100 chips in the course of three days, and they take up a huge portion of the table. Negreanu is in for trouble today, however.
Things start out bad for Negreanu when he loses a medium-sized pot to fellow professional Paul Wolfe. Wolfe shows top pair, and Negreanu simply nods while charging brazenly forward in the next hand with a raise.
A few hands later, Negreanu loses another big pot when his opponent makes a big bet on the turn. Counting the chips out for a call, his opponent leans over to catch his action and says, "I'm trying to see what you're doing. I can't see over your giant pyramid of blacks." Negreanu suddenly freezes and shoots a suspicious glance over at the man through the corner of his eye, weighing what his words mean. He mucks his hand and asks, "Flopped two pair, eh?" The man nods his head as he stacks up a large mound of Negreanu's chips.
The damage isn't complete for Negreanu, however. Later in the level, he runs into a flop of Qs-Js-10s. He bets hard on every street, however a spade falls on the river and his opponent shows the As-5h for the ace-high flush. Negreanu loses about 1/3 of his chips in the pot, and the man smiles happily as Negreanu simply shakes his head in disgust.
Finally, in the last hand before the dinner break, Negreanu open-raises and Paul Wolfe again calls. Negreanu laughs and says, "You're gonna flop the nuts." The flop comes down and Wolfe does indeed flop the nuts. Negreanu bets hard on the flop and Wolfe simply smooth-calls. On the turn, Negreanu bets again and Wolfe announces a raise. Negreanu disgustedly throws his cards in the muck before Wolfe even decides how much to raise and tells him, "I told you that you were going to flop the nuts – Every hand I've sat down, someone's had the nuts. That's creepy. That's just ******* creepy."
Negreanu gets up looking exasperated, with Phil Hellmuth watching behind him, shaking his head sympathetically. He bolts for the exit as the dinner break starts. He is clearly upset and is down to 55,000 in chips, losing almost 100,000 in the last hour and falling below-average for the tournament for the first time since halfway through the first day. Daniel was down to 3,500 in chips early in Day 1, so counting a comeback out for him is a huge mistake – however, he is going to have a big uphill battle to regain the position as one of the chip leaders he once had.