The three-week marathon that is the tenth annual PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker is winding down to its finish. Sunday of last week marked the two-thirds point of the series and another big day on the felt for the Team PokerStars Pros. They had just one more week to try and lock up a piece of WCOOP jewelry, and the push was on with a number of them making serious runs at a bracelet. Rather than gluing ourselves to our computer to watch the hands go by, we’ve quickly adopted Twitter as our favorite ways to sweat the action across all of the week’s events. In the midst of an impressive series, Daniel Negreanu stole the show this week with a series of deep cashes, and it’s his story that we’ll focus on first.
We’ll let Event #34’s bracelet winner Shane “Shaniac” Schleger welcome you to the Twitter rail: “The 2011 #WCOOP homestretch is here. #Time2GetPaid.”
Negreanu’s “En Fuego” Week
Daniel Negreanu has been dancing around Europe with his computer in tow during this WCOOP, and “Kid Poker” has had himself one heck of a series. Negreanu came into Sunday with seven cashes already in the bag, and the hot streak would continue to be fueled by several more deep runs as the week grinded onwards. By the end of the week, that cash tally had grown to 13!
Sunday’s trio of events brought Negreanu to his grind station in Budapest with this tweet: “Long Sunday tourney grind today on PokerStars with 3 big WCOOP events. 1 mill guarantee 10k HU then the 1k with a 1.5 mill guarantee.”
Negreanu lost a flip with ace-king suited in the $215 buy-in Event #40, and the $1k buy-in Event #42 didn’t go very well at all. In a three-bet pot, his pocket jacks were felled by an opponent with five-eight, leaving him with just the $10,000 Heads-Up, Event #41, to worry about.
Negreanu drew the UK’s EunJong_Byun in the first round of that heads-up event, admitting, he had “no clue who he is.” A short while later came the declaration of victory as he tweeted: “Yes! I won my 1st match in the sweet 16 now. 143 hands. A8 vs Ac2c Flop 8c23c we got it all in and it held. Phew.”
In the second round, Negreanu was paired up with another unfamiliar opponent, Russia’s “chopi7.” Our hero handled business quickly once again: “Boom! Quick knockout in rd 2 onto the final 8. KhJh vs 95 board K95Q 2 hearts I hit 10. Was ahead 17,500 to 2500 before the hand anyway.”
The win marked the eighth cash of the WCOOP for Negreanu, but he had his sights set on the bracelet after dispatching opponent “26071985” in the third round with this tweet: YES! I’m in the semi-final! A3 vs AT flop 346 he check raised I called. Turn Ace he check-raised all-in and I called. Guaranteed 48k!”
On the other half of his bracket, Negreanu’s fellow Team Pro Max Lykov was also fighting for a spot in the semi-finals.
“Play the winner of the Maxim Lykov (Team Pro) vs Piston87 match,” Negreanu tweeted. “I’ve played tons of 5k heads ups with Piston. He’s super tough, both are.” Unfortunately for Lykov, he fell in the round of eight, and Piston87 went on to knock off his second consecutive Team Pro in the semis. There wasn’t much tweeting from Negreanu until it was over:
“Busted in semis: KQ raised he 3 bet 67 flop K85 bet call. Turn 9 he bet I call. River 9 he bet I tanked and called. Oh well, was fun!”
Negreanu’s ninth cash came the very next day amidst some serious hotel troubles. Having relocated to London, Negreanu was having difficulty finding suitable accommodations.
“Booked nicest suite at Hiton Metropole,” he tweeted. “All standard rooms have WI-FI suite doesn’t. Whoever made that decision deserves a smack in the head.” He’d resist the urge to smack heads, but Negreanu did take his cue to leave the hotel: “Hilton you just lost my business for 17 nights paying an absurd amount cause you were too stupid to have wireless internet in your “top room””.
Hotel number two. How about the Ritz, Mr. Negreanu? It wasn’t much better, apparently. “This is the dumbest room ever! Lol I HATE old fashioned anything. This place even has a dress code #leavingtmr.” Negreanu checked right back out of the Ritz, a decision that cost him $1,000. “One more thing about Ritz: your hotel is snooty and you are thieves! I spent 15 min in the room and had to BEG for a discount. #ritzsucks.”
Hotel number three, and Negreanu finally found a suitable place to set up his grind station for the day. He quickly fell back into game mode:
“@DNChips #WCOOP44 42,943 avg 47,623 142/286 blinds 1k-2k. 16 more till my 9th cash. Hope to go all the way. Just doubled KK vs AQ.” As he plodded along deeper into the morning, he mentioned that he was getting sleepy, but he was able to shake off the cobwebs as things became more serious. “I’m deep in #WCOOP44 2080 players started just 56 left and I’m 7th in chips. 5am here in London but I’m starting to wake up!”
A couple of hours later, Negreanu was granted some sleep at the end of a profitable day: “17th place out of 2080 I can be proud of that. 20 bbs left I went all in with A3 in the small blind. Big blind had AQ. So tired wow. Gnite.”
It was now nine cashes and counting for Negreanu, but the effects of that long Monday meant a short and unsuccessful Tuesday. Still, Wednesday dawned with newfound energy and motivation. “Back to work in an early #WCOOP49 going for cash #10. Didn’t play too well yesterday, was exhausted. Better effort today. Follow@DNChips.”
Event #49 didn’t go too well, but the day would get better before it was over. Starting with cash number ten: “WCOOP50 got 2453 we are down to 244. My 10th cash of the series. To see chip updates in your feed follow @DNChips still WCOOP51 also.” Even better, Negreanu’s eleventh cash didn’t have to wait long, either. A couple of hours later came this tweet: “It’s official, WCOOP cash #11 still in 50 and 51. 48 of 2500 players left in 50 and 117 of 907 in 51. I’m enjoying this but want MORE.”
The two deep runs would come to an end in the twenties again. “Out of WCOOP50,” came the first bit of unfortunate news, “23rd out of 2500 ugh. AJ suited vs QT suited he flopped a Queen. Still in WCOOP51 51 players left. Something’s gotta give!” Nothing gave. Soon thereafter came this tweet to end his night: “Oh brother. Out of WCOOP51 in 21st place. 17 hours of play, I’m exhausted. #ontothenextone.”
The “next one” was just a few hours later, and Negreanu came ready to play again. “18 hours of online poker. Slept 7. Woke up 5 min ago, and I’m back to playing WCOOP52. I’m enjoying this very much, but what a grind!”
Whether he could feel it or not, Negreanu had another pair of WCOOP cashes in store for him on Thursday, too. “I’m en fuego this WCOOP,” he noted astutely. “In money in #52 for 12th cash and have a big stack. Also have a big stack in #53. Exhausted but really enjoying it.”
Event 52 ended thusly: “104th dang it! Ran KK into AA again and couldn’t suckout this time AND he had me covered. Still in the other two events. Very frustrating…” Even with another deep run spoiled, he was still “lucky and playing good online poker,” as he racked up cash number 12. And then 13. “In the money again,” he told us about Event #53. “Cashed in straight WCOOP 50-53. Above avg stack for now. 13th cash of series but haven’t run when it counts!” It was another close-but-no-cigar situation, and Negreanu was forced to settle for another min-cash. “Kind of a cooler but oh well. 34th place. Another near miss. I need a drink!”
Well deserved, Daniel. As of Friday, he was in the top ten on the WCOOP leader board, and he deserves a pat on the back (and a room upgrade) for an impressive, 13-cash WCOOP so far.
The Others Do Work, Too
It wasn’t all about Negreanu this week, though, and several members of our PokerStars family were tweeting about their own deep runs in bracelet events.
On Monday, Jude Ainsworth was fighting right alongside Kid Poker in Event #44, tweeting:
“Still going in WCOOP -44. 25 out of 56. Just below av stack. My deepest run yet. :)”.
From Thailand, Team Online’s Daleroxxu was keeping a close eye on the play-down. He tweeted: “I am hosting the #WCOOP-44 final table. Currently down to 18 players with Jude Ainsworth and @RealKidPoker still in.”
Way to ruin everything, Dale. Just a few minutes later, he admitted his cooler powers with this tweet: “I just jinxed Jude Ainsworth and @RealKidPoker, they just busted on consecutive hands. 16 players left in #WCOOP-44.” Ainsworth went out in 18th place and Negreanu in 17th.
As evidenced even in that small way, Daleroxxu has had an unfortunately poor series. His Sunday started by getting two-outed from Event #40, or at least that’s what we inferred from his frustrated tweet: “FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.”
The next tweet gave the details: “Busto #WCOOP-40 in 330BB pot. I 5-bet AA pre and 3 bet all in on T94 flop. Guy had QQ. B**ch of Hearts on turn.”
A couple of days later, he managed to build a stack in Event #51 before this tweet: “so tilted, something is going to get broken.”
Apart from poker, though, things seem to be going rather well in the world of Dale. Monday was good: “Eating a whole load of delicious spa cuisine food that I just had delivered and watching the new Breaking Bad episode. Mondays don’t suck.”
A day earlier, he had been using KFC delivery to fuel his Sunday grind, providing this glimpse of his feast…
Belgium’s Matthias de Meulder took to Twitter during Event #42, keeping his fans updated on what was his deepest run of the series so far. “Still in the running in #WCOOP42!” he announced. “Have 510k in chips which is 9th out of the remaining 157 players.” De Meulder would go on to finish Day 1 in fourth place of the remaining 111 players, and it wasn’t long before the field was reduced to the final three tables on Day 2. “Still in #WCOOP42. Have 1.2million in chips, last 27!” A short while later came another good update: “15 players remaining in #WCOOP42 $1050NLHE on @PokerStars. I’m 8th in chips. COMON!” But then, the bad news: “uuughhh busto in 12th place.”
Here’s hoping that De Meulder, Negreanu, or another member of our Team PokerStars family can snag some of the final few WCOOP bracelets up for grabs for the final day’s action today.