Might as well clinch it with Aces

Daniel Negreanu kept his hot summer going over the weekend, winning Event #5: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em at the 2021 Poker Masters, pocketing $178,200. With the victory, Negreanu has vaulted into the top spot on the Poker Masters leaderboard.

As is the case with these high buy-in PokerGO tournaments, this event was fairly small, with just 66 entrants. The WSOP Main Event it is not. But unlike something like the WSOP, the high buy-in and small field means that virtually every player in the tournament is quite skilled. There might be more land mines overall in a 6,000-player event, but the landmines are all bunched together in the Poker Masters and cannot be avoided.

The top ten players made the money, though only five returned for Day 2 action. Once heads-up, Negreanu faced a 5.08 million to 3.17 million chip deficit against Nick Petrangelo. Negreanu climbed into the lead and, as often happens, really nailed it down with one big hand.

Pre-flop, Petrangelo raised to 180,000 (blinds and ante 40,000/80,000/80,000) with Ac-7c and Negreanu re-raised to 610,000 with Ad-Qc. Petrangelo called and the flop came down As-Qd-Jh, giving Petrangelo top pair, but Negreanu top two pair.

Negreanu bet 725,000 and Petrangelo called. With the 4h on the turn, both players checked. The 4s fell on the river and Negreanu bet 1.8 million. Petrangelo called and lost a bundle, watching his stack get trimmed to 760,000.

On the very next hand, Negreanu put Petrangelo away with pocket Aces.

Riding the momentum

“It’s huge,” Negreanu told PokerGO of winning the tourney and taking the points lead. “Poker Masters means a lot to me because I remember the first one that they had. I remember it was the first moment that I realized, ‘Oh my god, these guys are just better than me.’ It made me realize that I have to go back to the lab and work. Then to see the work pay off in the PokerGO Cup is awesome.”

The PokerGO Cup in July was really the start of the current run Negreanu is on. As great as his Poker Hall of Fame career has been, he had not won a live tournament since 2013. He had certainly had success and some massive cashes, but the actual trophy at the end of the day had eluded him. But in July, he broke through, winning one of the events of the PokerGO Cup. And then he did well enough throughout the rest of the series to win the PokerGO Cup points championship.

With the 2021 World Series of Poker starting in just over two weeks, Negreanu feels good. “I feel like I’m definitely getting momentum,” he said. “Like I’ve overcome that stretch of just craziness. It’s like, ‘Oh yeah, I have some good luck and some bad luck,’ but I feel at peace with it now. Now, when I’m all in, I don’t feel anxiety. Like that aces against queen-ten just now, I wasn’t scared. I normally would be, thinking what’s going to happen and all the bad things. I think getting my mindset away from that and allowing me to just be present is going to help me for the World Series of Poker for sure.”

Photo credit: PokerGO.com

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