There are very few players on the planet who could bust out of a $500,000 buy-in tournament like the Super High Roller Bowl at ARIA Resort & Casino and still have a smile on their face later that same day. But there's little doubt poker's all-time leading money winner Daniel Negreanu is one of them.
Negreanu looked primed to make a deep run at the event's $7,525,000 first-place prize part way through Day 2 on Friday. He had Pratyush Buddiga on the ropes all in with the versus his own , but Buddiga wiggled his way out of it, spiking a nine to double through him. Not long later, Negreanu was the one all in with top pair against Tom Marchese's nut flush draw, but an ace on the turn gave Marchese a better pair and did him in.
"It's less about the money and more about the way it happened," Negreanu told PokerNews. "It was just frustrating. I was grinding and I got it up to 1.5 million [chips] and I got my money in good against Pratyush in a pot where I think he made a mistake. It put me in a tough spot and then after that I just kept missing, so it was frustrating the way I went out. It was less about the money, but $7.5 million is a lot of cash."
A six-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, Negreanu immediately got back to the hunt for more WSOP gold, registering for Event #67: $10,000 Dealer's Choice Championship — a new tournament added to the schedule this year that simply makes him smile.
"It's so much fun," he said. "It adds another layer of strategy. I mean, what game do you pick? You don't just pick your best game, you've got to judge your best game compared to their worst game. If you see them play bad in a game, it's like 'OK, let's play this.'"
And despite missing his chance at the big money over at ARIA and thus far falling short in the chase for his seventh bracelet, Negreanu said healthy lifestyle choices and even the chance at more WSOP glory has kept that smile on his face all summer long.
"I'm loving it," he said. "I enjoy myself everyday. I'm leading a nice, balanced life, playing tournaments, playing soccer, going to the gym. It has been great."
The start of the 2015 WSOP Main Event is just days away, and Negreanu plans to be as prepared as ever for poker's big dance.
"The Main Event is the kind of thing where you take a couple of days off beforehand and watch Rocky," he said. "I'm looking forward to it."
The end of another summer in Las Vegas and the WSOP is just around the corner, but the grind will apparently continue for one of poker's most popular players and best ambassadors.
"Normally after the World Series, I spend a month golfing," he said. "This year I'm going to be on the road. I've got all kinds of stuff in California, I've got a trip to Toronto — two trips to Toronto. One for the Gregg Zaun charity golf tournament, the other for my big party. I'm doing a PETA ad, the Poker Night in America TV show, I'm just going to be all over the place. I wish I could rest, but I don't choose the timing, the timing chooses me."