WSOP 2015: Negreanu not done yet
There has been a sense of momentum to Daniel Negreanu's progress today. Not like that of Joe McKeehen, who seems unstoppable. Instead Negreanu looks and plays like a man who doesn't need the most chips, he just needs enough.
Shortly before the dinner break those watching found themselves wondering whether he did have enough. During the space of a level he'd dropped from more than 10 million to less than six. Then a hand against McKeehen, who would show kings to an agonised Negreanu, sent him into a tough spot.
With 12 big blinds the Thunder Dome, that where Negreanu has played for the past few days, went quiet, waiting for the inevitable shove from the Team Pro. They didn't have to wait long.
It came moments later, again against McKeehen, the only player with enough chips to call his all-in without a moment's thought.
So with 2.8 million Negreanu shoved with pocket fours, which McKeehen called with ace-seven off-suit. Negreanu knew this was it, the crowd new this was it, but we needed the board to decide for certain. Would this be the end of his Main Event?
In what was one of the most memorable poker moments I can remember for a while. Everyone on the stage waited. It's pointless to suggest it is anything but a partisan crowd, and they all wanted the same outcome. Nothing personal Joe, but the audience had come to see Negreanu, and they didn't' want to see him leave.
The flop came ten-nine--three with two spades. After an agonising wait the turn was a jack, which gave McKeehen four more cards with which to bust the home town hero. He waited, the crowd waited, we waited, all eyes on the dealer, who burned a card and dealt a king on the river.
The crowd erupted in cheers. Negreanu raised his arms aloft. How could even the best players in the world be expected to remain calm at a moment like this? Suddenly, wiping the invisible sweat from his brow, he was off the critical list, for now at least. The blinds now go up, and Negreanu is by no means out of danger.
But he has chips, and so far this week that's all that's mattered.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.