PCA 2012: Negreanu and Seidel battling the long game

PCA-2010-thumbnail.jpgAround this time last year Daniel Negreanu was heads up and even stacked against Eugene Katchalov in the $100,000 Super High Roller. During a short pause, instigated by the TV crew's attempts to to re-arrange stacks to opposite ends of the table, Kid Poker had just enough time to find Phil Ivey and point out that he had overtaken him in the All Time Money list. It was a great start to the year for the chirruping Canadian, but one that was soon to prove to be his annual highlight. Katchalov went on to win the heads up and his time as the greatest live tournament champion was short-lived.

While the Canadian Team PokerStars Pro's yearly take totalled $1,534,367, with just one other major score being a third-place finish in another $100,000 tournament, one Mr Erik Seidel had an incredible 2011 bagging $6,530,167, eclipsing all but WSOP winner Pius Heinz's annual winnings. Those 18 cashes catapulted the mild-mannered American into first place by more than $2 million.

Their All Time Money list rivals were nowhere to be seen: Ivey had a quiet year - in poker playing terms at any rate - adding $0 to his live tournament winnings while the duel egos of Phil Hellmuth (some hope) and Jamie Gold (no hope) only fell further behind in the race.

1. Erik Seidel, $16,885,167
2. Daniel Negreanu, $14,650,559
3. Phil Ivey, $13,859,944
4. Phil Hellmuth Jr, $13,098,447
5. Jamie Gold, $12,242,748


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Daniel Negreanu: he's a bit good

Both Negreanu and Seidel start Day 2 in this event, giving both players a solid chance to catch up/extend their lead respectively. Negreanu de-bagged a respectable but below average 346,000, Seidel twice that with 753,000 and direct position on Kid Poker at the TV feature table (a swanky, plush set with bucket seats for audience members in the bleachers).

In a best case scenario for Negreanu, which is of course the most you can hope for, the plucky Canadian will double through Seidel and then knock him out on his way to going one better than last year and taking the $100,000 Super High Roller title. Even should that go to plan, it still wouldn't be quite enough to topple Seidel from the top, but the lead would be narrowed to less than $900,000.

1. Erik Seidel, $16,885,167
2. Daniel Negreanu, $15,904,959

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Erik Seidel: and he's not bad either


If things go the other way, Seidel pushing Negreanu down and out before the money spots on his way to yet another big money score, then Seidel's lead at the top of the All Time Money list would be - for the short term at least - untouchable with around $3,500,000 worth of breathing space ahead of Negreanu.

1. Erik Seidel, $18,139,567
2. Daniel Negreanu, $14,650,559

As this post was being tied off Negreanu had doubled through Chance Kornuth up to 800,000, Seidel had dropped a small amount to 640,000. While these two tournament war horses have been battling at the felt for years, and should both make it through to the final table, tomorrow could prove to be a key battle in who is considered the best tournament player of all time. Heads up, please.