WSOP 2016: Negreanu and Moreira de Melo enjoying the Las Vegas climate
In other competitive pursuits the predictability of the outcome can lessen the enjoyment of watching it transpire. Think of the soccer team unrivalled in its division (to the neutral fan at least), or the tennis player unbeatable year on year. It remains a remarkable achievement, but as a spectacle it's not as great as the shock win, or the unlikely success story.
Weirdly poker doesn't have that. Consistent winners delight rather than disappoint.
So when Daniel Negreanu goes on yet another deep run, as he did in the early hours of this morning, it's tantalising, not tedious.
Kid Poker is among the last 13 of the $50,000 Poker Players Championship at the World Series in Las Vegas.
If you're unfamiliar with this event, it's one of the most prestigious of the Series. It features round after round of different poker variants, a skill level which, along with that price tag, ensures only the supremely gifted (or the supremely deluded) ever consider a tilt at its title.
It typically results in an all-star line-up, and this year was no exception.
Leading right now is Justin Bonomo, hotly pursued by the likes of Michael Mizrachi, Brian Rast, and Paul Volpe. For his part Negreanu has work to do from his spot in 12th place. But when has that ever been much of a problem before? After all, Negreanu seemed to be enjoying himself.
End day 3 with 13 players left I doubled to 995k last hand of the night death 23566 in 2-7 Triple Draw and won a good pot. Having a blast.— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) July 5, 2016
Play restarts at 2pm (PST) Tuesday, with a final table of six in place around this time tomorrow.
With a week to go until the Main Event begins, more and more players are arriving in Las Vegas in preparation. What better way to acclimatise to the often harsh Rio conditions than with a deep run in a WSOP event? That seems to have been the plan all along for Team Pro Fatima Moreira de Melo.
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In the typical style that earned her the reputation of a bulldog an international, Olympic-gold-medal-winning hockey player, she took Event #58 by the neck, and currently sits in ninth position from a field once 1,397 strong and now reduced to a mere 28 players.
Moreira de Melo has history at the WSOP. She has seven cashes to her name, spread out over the past six years, but never has she gone as far as last night. There's a first prize of $221,000 to the winner, not to mention a winner's bracelet. There may well be a different kind of gold glinting in the Moreira de Melo trophy cabinet by the end of this week.
WSOP Photos by PokerPhotoArchive.com
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.