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Daniel Negreanu Finishes Third at $10K Stud Hi-Low Final Table (Updated: 11:59 p.m.)

Daniel Negreanu


  • Follow along as PokerNews follows Daniel Negreanu calling his shot in the 2015 WSOP $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low Championship.

As the 41st event on the 2015 World Series of Poker schedule kicked off Friday, one of the game's greats took to Twitter to call his shot.

Daniel NegreanuThis is the one. I'm heating up at the right time and this $10k Stud 8 is my favorite game. I'm Babe Ruth style calling my shot here

Daniel Negreanu, already poker's all-time leading money winner and a six-time WSOP bracelet winner, then went about building a 65,600-chip stack on Day 1 of the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low Championship and will come into Saturday's Day 2 in the top 20 on the leader board and precisely 19th of 64 players remaining.

Daniel NegreanuSolid day 1 in the $10k Stud 8 ending with 65,600. Played really good the whole way through. Calling my shot on this one.

As a result, PokerNews has decided to keep a close eye on "Kid Poker" throughout the day, and when the restart kicks off just after 2 p.m. local time we'll be providing hourly live updates of all the action from Negreanu's table right here in this space. Expect a ton of poker action, color and more than a few words from the man himself as we follow one of poker's best players and most colorful personalities throughout his run in this event.

Day 2 — 2:30 p.m.: Dream, Declare, Deliver

Negreanu walked into the Rio like a man on a mission, confident and prepared for battle.

"Sometimes I just know success is coming," he told PokerNews. "I had a deep run in the 10-game mixed and I sat down in Stud 8 and I just felt it. I felt like the best player at the table. I felt like I could see everything. It was like ooh baby, the cards were running OK and I just felt like this is the one. This is the right time. I'm a hot and streaky player anyway and I'm about to get hot. So that's what's up."

Rather than come in with a plan, Negreanu said he's just going to play his game.

"Basically I'm just playing stud eight-or-better to the best of my ability right now," he said. "There's no real tournament considerations right now, except for a couple of things, like the fact I'm going to slow down in a couple spots that are marginal, which I did in a few spots yesterday anyway. It's just good tournament strategy."

As far as calling his shot is concerned, Negreanu said he believes in setting goals.

"I'm a man who believes in dream, declare, deliver," he said. "Think of something you want to do in your life, state the goal, declare it, both to yourself and publicly if you can, then deliver. Put in the hard work to get there. There's a lot of value in being clear about what your intentions are everyday no matter what it is you're doing.

"Once I make a declaration, I'm totally detached from the result. I'm declaring it, but I'm totally detached. That's just what I'm putting out in the universe, if you will, and now I'm just going to play the game and my results will take me where I need to go, which is the finish line."

Negreanu also believes in having a little fun on the way, and the WSOP certainly helps provide that.

"I love it here," he said. "I've been having a blast this whole series."

Play began at 2 p.m. and right off the bat, Negreanu got active, picking up half a pot with a bunch of Brandon Shack-Harris' chips left in it, making kings up against chip leader Ryan Miller's low once Shack-Harris gave up on fifth.

Then he vaulted up close to the 80,000-chip mark making fives full of kings to chop up Miller and move up the chip counts.

Day 2 — 3:30 p.m.: Back To Where He Started After Moving Up Early

At the end of the first level of the day, Negreanu had worked his stack up to 89,500 in chips, which was about 25,000 more than what he began Day 2 with. Since then, he lost a few pots and dropped back to under 70,000 thanks to some things not going his way.

At the start of the second level of play, the following hand occurred with Andrey Zaichenko, Gary Benson, Ryan Miller, and Shack-Harris that cost Negreanu a chunk of chips:

Zaichenko: ({X-}{X-}) / {K-Diamonds}{A-Hearts}{2-Spades}{A-Diamonds} / ({X-})
Benson: ({X-}{X-}) / {7-Hearts}{10-Diamonds} -- fold
Miller: ({X-}{X-}) / {2-Hearts}{4-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}{J-Diamonds} / ({X-})
Shack-Harris: ({X-}{X-}) / {5-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{3-Spades} / ({X-})
Negreanu: ({X-}{X-}) / {7-Spades}{A-Spades}{10-Hearts}{9-Clubs} -- fold

After Miller brought in and Shack-Harris completed, Negreanu called. Zaichenko then raised, Benson called, Miller called, Shack-Harris called, and Negreanu called.

On fourth street, Zaichenko was first and checked. Benson also checked, then Miller bet. Shack-Harris, Negreanu, and Zaichenko all called, but Benson folded.

On fifth street, four players remained, and Shack-Harris led with a bet after getting a fresh pair of sixes. Negreanu called, Zaichenko called, and Miller called. Then on sixth, Zaichenko improved to the best hand showing with a new pair of aces. He checked, Miller checked, Shack-Harris bet, Negreanu ducked out with a fold, Zaichenko called, and Miller called.

On seventh street, Negreanu watched as all three players checked.

Zaichenko showed the {K-Clubs}{Q-Hearts}{J-Spades} for the high with two pair, aces and kings. Miller showed the {A-Clubs}{6-Spades}{5-Hearts} for a six-five low. Shack-Harris mucked.

Shortly after that, Negreanu was back in the mix. This time he faced off against David Singer. After seventh street was dealt, Negreanu tossed out a bet and said, "One last one for the road." Singer either didn't buy it or was going for value, as he paused, then announced a raise. Negreanu gave it some thought, but folded in the end, and that's what knocked him down below 70,000 in chips with 54 players remaining in the field.

Day 2 — 4:30 p.m.: Trending Down

Negreanu made three fours on fifth, but couldn't beat an opponents three jacks in a sizable pot after the river.

"I should have pushed you out on fifth," Negreanu said.

However, he and Brandon Shack-Harris managed to chop up a ton of David Singer's chips moments later. Shack-Harris made three queens for the high and Negreanu showed a low after Singer folded to a second bet from Shack-Harris on seventh. At this point Negreanu hit a high water mark for Level 7 with 75,000 in chips. As the level came to a close he was forced out of a couple of pots on fifth and sixth streets and when the players headed off on a 20-minute break, his chip stack stood at 60,000.

Negreanu made a full house to chop up another pot with Alexander Denisov's low, taking a little more of David Singer's chips. However, 15 minutes into Level 8 he lost a ton making an {8-}{6-}{5-}{4-}{3-} low against an opponent's {8-}{6-}{5-}{4-}{2-} that also included a flush to scoop.

Negreanu now sits at 44,000 in chips with 51 players remaining.

Day 2 — 5:30 p.m.: Moving Back Up and TDA Summit Plans

Negreanu has chipped back up to over 75,000, but he didn't seem to really play any truly large pots. Rather, he scooped a bunch of smaller ones, but the consistent winning has netted him a nice boost to his stack as the field has been cut down to the final six tables.

One of the recent topics of conversation at Negreanu's table involved the 2015 Poker Tournament Directors Association (TDA) Summit VII that will be held June 26-27 at ARIA Las Vegas. Negreanu said that he hopes he's able to make an appearance, but his attendance will depend on his poker schedule and if he's stuck in any WSOP events. He did address the things he would like to talk to the TDA about.

"All these little tick-tacky penalties," was the big gripe from Negreanu, adding that there should be a first-time warning scenario added instead of issuing penalties straight away.

"It's not like wardens in prisons," he added. "They're the business, and we're the customers. Together we can make this right."

Day 2 — 6:30 p.m.: Two Wheels and Into The Lead

Level 9 belonged to Daniel Negreanu. He started out picking up two decent pots with just a pair of jacks both times.

He took a bit of a break, moving tableside to do push ups in between hands, then returned to the table and started crushing it.

Things heated up when he made a wheel to scoop a three-way pot against Marco Johnson and Jesse Martin. Negreanu was in the middle of the two with Martin pushing the action. Negreanu would say later he was in a tough spot trying to get maximum value with Johnson behind him, calling on streets where he had made the nut-low and eventually drew to a six-high straight for a solid high. Calling appeared to work as it kept Johnson in the hand until after the river and led to Negreanu dragging a massive pot.

Two hands later, it was another wheel that suddenly sent his stack soaring above the 200,000 mark.

Negreanu then coolered David Singer, making aces up against his tens up to end Level 9 on 217,200 and in the chip lead with just 34 players remaining.

Day 2 — 7:50 p.m.: Slight Downward Trend

Negreanu is no longer the chip leader at the conclusion of Level 10, having surrendered that to Max Pescatori.

After not seeing fourth street for a large portion of the level, Negreanu once again tangled with Marco Johnson in a pot.

Buchalter : ({X-}{X-}) / {3-Diamonds} -- fold
Negreanu: ({X-}{X-}) / {A-Spades}{Q-Spades}{7-Spades}{2-Hearts} / ({X-})
Johnson: ({X-}{X-}) / {10-Hearts}{3-Clubs}{4-Clubs}{7-Diamonds} / ({X-})

After Yehuda Buchalter brought in, Negreanu completed third street. Johnson called, Buchalter folded and Negreanu continued betting on fourth and fifth street. Johnson called both times before both checked sixth and seventh street.

Johnson tabled {J-Clubs}{J-Hearts}{K-Hearts} for a pair of jacks, Negreanu mucked and Johnson collected the pot.

Negreanu dropped to about 178,000 and chopped a pot to close the level, keeping him second in chips at about the 180,000 mark with 30 players left.

Day 2 — 9:22 p.m.: Hui Bests Negreanu Twice

Negreanu had a bit of a rough stretch as the tournament just headed to dinner break.

After taking a pot from Buchalter in which Negreanu fired it down on every street with a strong low board and got a fold on seventh, things went downhill for "Kid Poker" in Level 11 (4,000/8,000).

Phillip Hui brought it in with the {2-Diamonds} and called Negreanu's complete.

Negreanu: {x-}{x-}/ {4-Hearts}{6-Hearts}{4-Clubs}{10-Spades}
Hui: {x-}{x-}/ {2-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{8-Hearts}{4-Diamonds}

Negreanu kept the betting lead until sixth and seventh, when he reverted to check-calls. Hui showed {q-Spades}{q-Clubs}{a-Hearts} and scooped the pot with queens and an eight-five.

Much later in the level, Negreanu tangled with Hui again. This time, it was Hui completing and Negreanu calling on the initial action.

Negreanu: {x-}{x-}/{8-Clubs}{j-Spades}{4-Spades}{9-Diamonds}
Hui: {x-}{x-}/{5-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}

Negreanu called every street until folding on the end. Hui revealed {a-}{2-}{10-} for trip tens, and Negreanu said he folded a pair and a flush draw.

Left with 133,500, Negreanu is now slightly below the average stack as a slew of players busted in the last level, leaving 23 remaining. Negreanu hurried off to take his dinner break and play will resume in about half an hour.

Day 2 — 11:00 p.m.: Lesson Learned

Level 12 was a net loss for Negreanu, as he is down to about 120,000. The field is down to 20 players, though, just four from making the money.

Negreanu was involved in a lot of pots this past level, the most noteworthy coming against Yuval Bronshtein.

Negreanu: ({X-}{X-}) / {6-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{4-Hearts}{6-Clubs} / ({X-})
Bronshtein: ({X-}{X-}) / {4-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{6-Spades}{9-Diamonds} / ({X-})

Picking up the action on fourth street, Negreanu check-called a bet and did the same on fifth street. When Negreanu paired on sixth street, he led out. Bronshtein raised, Negreanu called and then check-called a bet on seventh street.

Bronshtein turned over {2-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}{10-Hearts} for a six-high straight with a 6-5-4-3-2 low. Negreanu mucked, but managed to get a few chips back from Bronshtein a few hands later.

Karnard: ({X-}{X-}) / {4-Clubs}{5-Clubs}{K-Spades} -- fold
Negreanu: ({X-}{X-}) / {9-Hearts}{A-Diamonds}{8-Spades}{8-Clubs} / ({X-})
Bronshtein: ({X-}{X-}) / {4-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{J-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds} / ({X-})

Joshua Karnard brought it in and both Negreanu and Bronshtein called to see fourth street. Bronshtein checked his pair, Karnard bet and once again both Negreanu and Bronshtein called. Action on fifth street checked to Negreanu and he bet, with only Bronshtein opting to call to see sixth street. Both checked and did the same on seventh street.

Negreanu tabled {A-Hearts}{6-Hearts}{10-Diamonds} for aces and eights, Bronshtein mucked and Negreanu collected the pot.

"Didn't want to get raised again like the last time," laughed Negreanu. "Learned my lesson!"

Day 2 — 12:10 a.m.: "I Don't Give a F*** About the Bubble"

Negreanu grinded out most of this level (6,000/12,000) by successfully taking down numerous pots on early streets. He said he was happy to do so, pointing out that even strong hands can easily be outdrawn in this game and taking down pots without a fight is an excellent way to chip up risk-free.

"It's just about staying in it and avoiding big traps," he said. "There were two or three key hands where I made really good folds where if I wasn't playing sharp I probably would have blown like 30,000 calling fifth, sixth, and seventh."

Finally, on the very last hand of the level, he found a great spot against Thomas Butzhammer, with Negreanu completing showing the {k-Clubs}.

Negreanu: {x-}{x-}/{k-Clubs}{4-Clubs}{7-Hearts}{j-Clubs}
Butzhammer: {x-}{x-}/{2-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{a-Hearts}

Butzhammer called Negreanu every street, including a check-call when he picked up the high board on sixth. Negreanu showed {k-Hearts}{7-Spades}{7-Diamonds} for sevens full, and Butzhammer mucked {a-}{q-}{q-} face-up, commenting that he almost check-raised on the end. The pot left Negreanu with a healthy 215,000 at break.

With the eliminations of Bobby Oboodi in 19th and Joshua Karnad in 18th, the tournament is now on the stone bubble. Negreanu said he isn't approaching anything differently than normal.

"I don't give a f*** about the bubble," he said. "My intention is first place. No other place matters."

Day 2 — 1:20 a.m.: In the Money and Chipping Up

After winning a few pots and getting to roughly 280,000 in chips, Negreanu ran trips into Max Pescatori's full house to fall back to 200,000. However, following Richard Chiovari's elimination on the money bubble, Negreanu got back to chipping up again.

He and Phil Galfond tangled in a pot and the short-stacked Galfond got all of his chips in on third street with {J-Spades}{7-Spades}{8-Spades} against Negreanu's {A-Spades}{5-Diamonds}{A-Diamonds}.

Galfond's board ran out {7-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}{4-Clubs}{Q-Hearts} for a just a pair of sevens, not enough help to overcome Negreanu's aces, ending Galfond's tournament in 16th place.

That bumped Negreanu's stack back to about 280,000.

Day 2 — 2:30 a.m.: The Swings Continue

The next hour was a rough one for Negreanu, as Stephen Chidwick won two showdowns against him.

Negreanu: ({X-}{X-}) / {4-Spades}{8-Clubs}{2-Clubs}{2-Diamonds} / ({X-})
Chidwick: ({X-}{X-}) / {2-Spades}{8-Spades}{5-Hearts}{3-Diamonds} / ({X-})

After Chidwick brought it in, he called Negreanu's completion. Negreanu then check-called a bet from Chidwick on fourth street, called a bet from Chidwick on fifth street, then check-called bets on sixth and seventh street.

Chidwick tabled {A-Clubs}{4-Hearts}{10-Spades} for a wheel, Negreanu mucked and Chidwick scooped the pot, dropping Negreanu to 180,000. A few hands later Negreanu picked up jacks in the hole, while Chidwick held split aces. It was a race to two pair where neither improved, sending another pot Chidwick's way.

Down to 130,000, Negreanu was able to regain some chips after eliminating Bart Hanson in 13th place.

Chidwick: ({X-}{X-}) / {3-Spades} -fold
Hanson: ({X-}{X-}) / {Q-Clubs}{J-Hearts}{4-Hearts}
Negreanu: ({X-}{X-}) / {A-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{5-Spades}

After Chidwick brought it in, Hanson was next to act. He had been below the 80,000 mark since the final 20 players and was sitting on about 45,000 this hand. He completed and only Negreanu called. Negreanu then check-called a bet from Hanson on fourth street before he led out on fifth street. Hanson committed his last few chips and tabled split queens. Negreanu showed {7-Hearts}{4-Clubs} and had the low locked up already. He improved to a pair of aces with the {A-Clubs} on sixth street to take the lead for the high as Hanson failed to improve.

Negreanu then locked it up with the {6-Spades} on seventh street to make an eight-high straight with a 7-6-5-4-A low to eliminate Hanson and get back to 175,000.

Day 2 — 3:30 a.m.: 252,000 in the Bag

After winning a few hands on fourth and fifth street in the last half hour of the night, Negreanu bagged 252,000. He sits fifth in chips out of the remaining 11 players.

Play resumes at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Day 3 — 2:00 p.m.: One Prepared Professional

Negreanu walked into the Rio well rested, prepared and focused.

"I slept like a champion," he told PokerNews. "I got home last night, didn't play any Hearthstone or do anything else. I looked at the chip counts a little bit and went straight to sleep. I woke up, had my breakfast of champions and I'm ready to go."

He'll come into the day fifth in the chip counts with 11 players remaining and ready to play his best.

"This is my best game and I've always felt like I was supposed to win this thing a long time ago," he said. "One of the key things about the game is hand reading. It's really important. I can read hands in Hold'em, but I can read them better in this. It's really important to know when you're in a marginal or dangerous spot and you let that one go and wait for a better one."

For the six-time WSOP bracelet winner, today is about bracelet hunting and little else.

"It's the only reason I'm here," he said. "I'm at six and that's not at a good number. I need to get to nine or ten in a hurry. So each opportunity is not an opportunity I want to lose. You have to really seize the moment and take advantage. You don't get a bracelet for second."

Regardless of the weight of the moment, having called his shot coming in, Negreanu remains even keeled.

"That's me, I'm a professional poker player, even keeled yo," he said. "I'm having a blast. Even though my results haven't been great up until now it doesn't faze me. I've actually enjoyed every day, enjoying the process and I know how it goes. You've just got to be in there and your streak will come."

Day 3 — 3:00 p.m.: Staying the Course

It's been a solid start to Day 3 for Negreanu, as he has chipped up to 330,000 and the field is down to the final table of eight players after the eliminations of Yuval Bronshtein, Phillip Hui and Yehuda Buchalter.

Three times Negreanu went to showdown in the first hour of play, with the first two against Stephen Chidwick and Richard Sklar resulting in chops. The third against Thomas Butzhammer was a win for Negreanu.

Chidwick: ({X-}{X-}) / {3-Spades} -- fold
Butzhammer: ({X-}{X-}) / {5-Hearts}{6-Spades}{9-Diamonds}{A-Spades} / ({X-})
Negreanu: ({X-}{X-}) / {5-Clubs}{8-Spades}{J-Clubs}{5-Diamonds} / ({X-})

After Chidwick brought it in, Butzhammer completed. Negreanu called, Chidwick folded and it was off to fourth street. Negreanu check-called a bet from Butzhammer before leading out on fifth street. Butzhammer called and sixth street saw Negreanu make an open pair of fives. He checked, then called a bet from Butzhammer before both players checked on seventh street.

Butzhammer tabled {2-Spades}{6-Hearts}{5-Spades} for sixes and fives, but Negreanu tabled {6-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}{8-Clubs} for eights and fives to take down the pot.

He currently sits fourth in chips with eight players remaining.

Day 3 — 4:15 p.m.: Finishing the Level on a High Note

Negreanu won a few pots before seventh street at the beginning of the last level and chipped up to about 450,000, before losing a few and falling back to the 310,000 mark. However, he closed out the level on a heater and has 568,000 at the first break of the day, good for second in chips of the seven remaining players.

What got his level turned around was a chopped pot where Gary Benson was the big loser.

Chidwick: ({X-}{X-}) / {3-Spades}{A-Diamonds}{6-Spades}{9-Spades} / ({X-})
Negreanu: ({X-}{X-}) / {5-Spades}{5-Diamonds}{2-Hearts}{7-Spades} / ({X-})
Benson: ({X-}{X-}) / {6-Diamonds}{2-Spades}{6-Hearts}{A-Clubs} / ({X-})

Chidwick was the bring in and on his direct left Negreanu called. Benson then completed the bet and both Chidwick and Negreanu called to see fourth street. Negreanu made a pair of fives and checked to Benson who bet. Once again both Chidwick and Negreanu called and Benson took the on-board lead with a pair of sixes on fifth street, but checked to Chidwick who bet. Both Negreanu and Benson called to see sixth street where Benson led out this time. Neither Chidwick nor Negreanu went anywhere and both called a bet from Benson on seventh street.

Chidwick tabled {7-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{J-Diamonds} for a 7-6-4-3-A low while Negreanu showed {8-Hearts}{5-Hearts}{Q-Spades} for trip fives. Benson flashed aces up before he mucked, and his chips were split between Chidwick and Negreanu.

Negreanu then won about 100,000 from the chip-leading Chidwick to close the gap a little, though Chidwick still holds a sizable lead with 1,042,000.

Day 3 — 5:45 p.m.: Down to Six, But Sliding

Negreanu ran into some trouble the past hour and is down to 403,000, which has him fifth in chips.

Chidwick: ({X-}{X-}) / {3-Diamonds} - fold
Negreanu: ({X-}{X-}) / {10-Clubs}{A-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{8-Spades} / ({X-})
Denisov: ({X-}{X-}) / {A-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{2-Clubs}{10-Hearts} / ({X-})
Pescatori: ({X-}{X-}) / {4-Spades}{A-Spades}{Q-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds} / ({X-})

After Chidwick brought it in, Negreanu called. Aleksandr Deniov completed, Pescatori called, Chidwick folded and Negreanu called. Action checked to Pescatori on fourth street and he bet, receiving calls from both opponents. Action checked to Denisov on fifth street and he bet this time, with both opponents coming along. Sixth street was checked around and Pescatori bet seventh street with the best board showing. Both opponents called, but it was bad news for Negreanu.

Pescatori showed {2-Spades}{7-Hearts}{Q-Clubs} for a pair of queens with a 7-6-4-2-A low, while Denisov tabled {A-Clubs}{K-Spades}{Q-Hearts} for a pair of aces. Negreanu couldn't best either and dropped to about 525,000.

A few hands later, he lost a sizable pot to Thomas Butzhammer.

Negreanu: ({X-}{X-}) / {4-Clubs}{9-Spades}{A-Spades}{6-Clubs} / ({X-})
Butzhammer: ({X-}{X-}) / {6-Spades}{2-Clubs}{4-Hearts}{2-Spades} / ({X-})

Negreanu was the bring in and Butzhammer called. Negreanu then check-called bets on fouth and fifth street, called Butzhammer's bet on sixth street and again on seventh street.

Butzhammer tabled {A-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds}{3-Hearts} for trip deuces with a six-perfect low, scooping the pot and dropping Negreanu to about 320,000. He chipped up a little to close the level, and will look to get back on track as the tournament shifts over to the main stage.

Day 3 — 7:05 p.m.: Negreanu Takes the Chip Lead With Five Players Left

A terrific end to the level has catapulted Negreanu into the chip lead.

Chidwick: ({X-}{X-}) / {3-Spades}{K-Hearts} - fold
Negreanu: ({X-}{X-}) / {2-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}{6-Spades}{4-Diamonds} / ({X-})
Denisov: ({X-}{X-}) / {3-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}{K-Clubs}{2-Diamonds} / ({X-})

Negreanu was the bring in and both Denisov and Chidwick called. Action checked to Denisov on fourth street and he bet, with only Negreanu calling. Denisov check-called bets from Negreanu the rest of the way and Negreanu tabled {A-Diamonds}{7-Clubs}{8-Diamonds} and a pair of sevens with a 7-6-4-2-A low. Denisov mucked, and Negreanu scooped the pot.

On the last hand of the level, Negreanu won a pot against Pescatori to take the chip lead with 787,000.

Benson: ({X-}{X-}) / {5-Diamonds}{7-Clubs}{K-Spades} - fold
Pescatori: ({X-}{X-}) / {J-Diamonds}{7-Spades}{8-Hearts}{A-Spades} / ({X-})
Negreanu: ({X-}{X-}) / {6-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds}{K-Diamonds}{2-Clubs} / ({X-})

After Benson brought it in, Pescatori called. Negreanu completed and both Benson and Pescatori called to see fourth street where action checked to Benson. He bet, both opponents called and Negreanu led out on fifth street with the best board. Benson folded, Pescatori called, then-check-called a bet on sixth street before he checked seventh street. Negreanu bet and after a little while in the tank, Pescatori folded and surrendered the chip lead to Negreanu in the process.

It's extremely close, though, as Pescatori, Benson and Denisov each also have over 700,000 as well.

Day 3 — 8:20 p.m.: Negreanu Increasing Lead

Right away, Negreanu won a huge pot. With limits at 60,000/120,000, Benson limped in first position with {6-Hearts} and called Negreanu's complete with the Canadian showing {9-Diamonds}

Negreanu: {x-}{x-}/{9-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}{j-Hearts}{7-Clubs}
Benson: {x-}{x-}/{6-Hearts}{6-Spades}{q-Spades}{10-Spades}

Benson was the aggressor on fourth, but he found himself facing a Negreanu raise on fifth. Benson opted to call down, and Negreanu showed {j-}{j-} for a set of jacks, which Benson couldn't beat.

Later, Negreanu scooped Chidwick with concealed eights and fours when Chidwick was showing {4-Hearts}{2-Hearts}{6-Spades}{j-Spades} and mucked on seventh after calling a bet. Chidwick had to chop a subsequent pot just to survive, and Negreanu has to be feeling good now with 1.35 million - good for the chip lead - and possibly his most dangerous opponent on the ropes.

Day 3 — 9:20 p.m.: Down to Three Headed to Dinner Break

It was a relatively slow level of Negreanu, at least in the early going. That said, plenty of action took place. First, Australian poker legend Gary Benson was felled in fifth place by Pescatori. The former got the last of his chips in on fifth street with the following hands showing:

Benson: {k-Diamonds}{7-Spades} / {7-Hearts}{4-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}
Pescatori: {a-Clubs}{9-Spades} / {a-Hearts}{9-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}

Benson pulled the {6-Spades} on sixth, meaning he was drawing live, while Pescatori received the {4-Hearts}. Pescatori received the {6-Clubs} on seventh, meaning he ended with aces and nines. Benson squeezed and ended up with the {K-Hearts} for an inferior kings up. Benson took home $63,981 for his fifth place finish.

Not long after, Aleksandr Denisov fell after getting the last of his chips in on fourth against Chidwick.

Denisov: {8-Clubs}{7-Diamonds} / {3-Hearts}{10-Hearts}{3-Spades}{k-Clubs} / {q-Clubs}
Chidwick: {4-Clubs}{7-Spades} / {4-Spades}{k-Spades}{3-Clubs}{9-Diamonds} / {Q-Spades}

Chidwick only had a pair of fours, but it was enough to beat Denisov's threes. With that, the Russian made his way to the payout desk in fourth place to collect $81,865.

Negreanu began to mix it up three handed, but dropped a big pot to Chidwick. It happened when Pescatori brought it in, Chidwick limped, and Negreanu completed. Both his opponents called and then Pescatori bowed out on fourth. Chidwick raised, Negreanu called, and then the latter called bets of 80,000 on both fifth and sixth. Negreanu checked for a third time on seventh, and then gave it up when Chidwick fired a final 80,000.

Pescatori: {x-}{x-} / {8-Clubs}{5-Clubs}
Chidwick: {x-}{x-} / {3-Spades}{5-Clubs}{2-Clubs}{9-Spades} / {x-}
Negreanu: {x-}{x-} / {k-Diamonds}{q-Hearts}{9-Spades}{2-Hearts} / {x-}

Upon completion of the level, the final three were sent on a one-hour dinner break. Here are the updated counts:

Chidwick — 1,725,000
Negreanu — 1,300,000
Pescatori — 320,000

Day 3 — 11:00 p.m.: Struggling for Survival

Coming back from dinner, things looked solid for Negreanu as he was just one pot away from having the chip lead, but it all went sour quickly.

First, Negreanu lost a pot to Chidwick's aces up. Then, he doubled up a short-stacked Pescatori when Negreanu completed with {a-Spades} and called a raise from Pescatori, who had brought it in with {6-Spades}. Pescatori paired his six right away and got his remaining chips in with a seven-high straight on sixth. Negreanu had unimproved {10-}{10-} in the hole and was drawing dead.

"Kid Poker" got some back with trip threes for a scoop against Chidwick, but another crucial loss chopped him right back down. This time, he brought it in with {2-Hearts} and raised Pescatori, who completed with {j-Spades}. The Italian came right back with another raise, which Negreanu called.

Negreanu: {x-}{x-}/{2-Hearts}{2-Clubs}{a-Hearts}{k-Diamonds}
Pescatori: {x-}{x-}/{j-Spades}{3-Diamonds}{q-Hearts}{5-Spades}

Negreanu caught a nice board and came out firing on fourth and fifth, which gave Pescatori a moment's pause. He took the plunge and continued though, and both checked sixth. Negreanu bet the end and got raised, and he tanked awhile before paying off Pescatori, who showed {j-}{j-} for trips. Negreanu revealed {2-Spades}{3-Hearts}{5-Hearts} for inferior trips and a possible missed steel wheel.

Negreanu was left with just a few big bets. He has struggled to stay afloat since and has 800,000 with the limits moving to 60,000/120,000. His tournament fate may well be decided in the next few hands.

Day 3 — 11:59 p.m.: Negreanu Busts in Third Place for $113,062

Things only continued to get worse for Negreanu after Level 28 commenced. In one big pot, Negreanu brought it in and then called when Pescatori completed. Pescatori then bet fourth, Negreanu raised, and Pescatori called before leading out in fifth when he paired aces. Negreanu called and then called a bet on sixth. Pescatori checked seventh and Negreanu did too, but not before showing signs of frustration.

Pescatori: {k-Diamonds}{a-Spades}{a-Diamonds}{9-Spades} / {4-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{7-Spades}
Negreanu: {a-}{4-} / {3-Clubs}{5-Hearts}{j-Spades}{k-Clubs} / {x-}

We missed Negreanu's seventh street card, but we do know he failed to complete his low, meaning Pescatori took down the pot with aces. Negreanu was left with just 370,000 after the hand.

Negreanu continued to dwindle, and soon found himself all in and at risk against Chidwick, a hand that resulted in a chop. Negreanu would be at risk soon thereafter when he had the bring-in and was left with just 30,000 behind. Pescatori completed, Chidwick called, and Negreanu called off.

Pescatori: {k-Hearts}{4-Diamonds} / {k-Spades}{10-Clubs}{j-Hearts}{j-Diamonds} / {x-}
Negreanu: {10-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds} / {8-Spades}{2-Spades}{8-Hearts}{3-Spades} / {3-Hearts}
Chidwick: {x-}{x-} / {a-Hearts}{q-Hearts}{2-Clubs}{9-Diamonds} / fold

Pescatori and Chidwick checked both fourth and fifth before the former bet sixth. Chidwick folded and that's when the cards were turned up. Pescatori was sitting pretty with kings and jacks, while Negreanu was looking to either trip up, make a low, or both. Unfortunately for "Kid Poker," he received a useless three on the river and was eliminated from the tournament in third place for $113,062.

"It was frustrating because I was in good chip position and felt in control," Negreanu told PokerNews after his elimination. "There was two key hands against Max where I had a hand you dream of, [first] A235 of hearts and a pair of deuces and all he had was jacks. Then not only do I catch a deuce on the end, but he catches a jack. That was a crushing blow. Later, I had A345 and his hand was K37A. So another hand where I was a huge favorite and missed everything. Then when I got short, I just couldn't play a hand because they were all really ugly. I played really well. Typically, after a session, you look back and analyze your mistakes but I don't think I made any, really."

Negreanu's quest for bracelet No. 7 fell just short, but still a nice performance from a man who called his shot early on in the tournament. Negreanu revealed that he will now jump into the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship, which is playing out just across the Amazon Room.

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