A big part of poker, we all know, is getting lucky. Daniel Negreanu cracked his victory slump and added a big feather to his Hall of Fame cap this week, thanks in part to some winning play by the guy whose company hosts the event. Lucky lucky. Sometimes it’s just being in the right place at the right time, as was the case for 262 players in Southampton, who got paid when one player got extraordinarily lucky by being incredibly unlucky. Either way, as live poker proliferates like, well, the delta variant … these are the winners who caught our eye for the week ending Sunday, July 18, 2021:
Katz put on a dominating heads-up performance for a comeback victory in the PokerGO Cup $100K series finale on Wednesday. The PokerGO founder faced a 3-1 chip disadvantage when heads-up play against Sam Soverel began, but he didn’t let it faze him. Not only did Katz pull off numerous bluffs and rally to win the match, in doing so he ripped the series crown away from Soverel and handed it to Negreanu. Katz received more than $1 million for taking down the 23-player high-roller event, and he now quietly has over $32.4 million in live tournament earnings. Not bad for a “recreational poker player.”
Negreanu’s struggles at the table over the past few years are no secret. He went 2,818 consecutive days without winning a tournament. That drought came to an end Tuesday when he took down a $50K No-Limit Hold’em in the PokerGO Cup series, beating out 35 players for a $700,000 score. The following day, in the 23-player $100K NLH series finale, he took a bad beat with pocket aces to bust in fourth place for $230K. That exit meant to win the series’ namesake trophy, he needed Sam Soverel, chip leader at the time, to blow his big advantage. Soverel was kind enough to oblige heads-up against Katz — giving Negreanu the title, the trophy, and a $50K bonus payout, which all added up to just under $1 million for the week.
WSOP Online Bracelet Series
Las Vegas online pro Justin Saliba splashed into our BWOW roundup in a big way, winning his first WSOP gold bracelet in a $5,300 WSOP Online freezeout event on Thursday. Saliba, one of the instructors at pokercoaching.com, scored the largest cash of his career in this high-roller event. He topped a 189-entry field, emerging from a loaded final table that included eventual runner-up Jonathan Dokler, Alex Foxen, Arkadiy Tsinis, and Thomas Boivin among others, to collect bracelet gold. It was Saliba’s fourth cash to date in this ongoing series.
Players at Grosvenor
National Bad Beat Jackpot
Grosvenor Casino Southampton
Everyone inside Grosvenor’s poker room was celebrating the misfortune of one player on Tuesday night. Although a murmur of disbelief often ripples through a cardroom when someone takes a bad beat, things were different this week. With Grosvenor running a National Bad Beat Jackpot, cheers went up after one player’s quad fours were beaten by quad sixes. That hand triggered the progressive payout and meant the player who lost with quad fours picked up the lion’s share of the jackpot (£49,500/$68,172). The winner of the hand scooped £24,750 ($34,086) + the pot, and the remaining 262 players at Grosvenor Southampton shared £90,750 ($124,983), which meant they all got £346 each ($477).
European Poker Festival
King’s Casino Rozvadov
Live tournaments continue to make their return across Europe and, in the latest outing at the continent’s largest poker room, Galant scored his biggest win to date. The Dutchman anted up alongside 1,043 players at King’s Resort late last week. As players exercised their right to re-enter the €500 ($590) EPF Main Event, the final number of buy-ins reached 1,432. With the €500,000 ($590,000) guarantee smashed, Galant put on a volatile display of poker as viewers watched via Tuesday night’s live stream. Despite going from hero to almost zero chips within a 20-minute spell, he regained his composure and secured the win with pocket kings. The victory earned Galant his first major title and a free seat in the €10,350 ($12,200) WSOPE Main Event.
$500 No-Limit Hold’em
The Wynn put the wraps on its long-running Summer Classic series with a four-day, $500,000 guaranteed event, and Simon Levy from Brooklyn claimed the final winner’s payday of the series. With six starting flights over the first three days, the event drew 2,480 entries, more than doubling its announced guarantee with a $1,054,000 prize pool. Levy had only one recorded cash before taking down this tournament — $362 for a 68th place finish in January 2020 — but he’s since added another $1,200 score in a WSOP Online bracelet series to his growing poker resume.
Brazil Series of Online Poker
He may not have been able to party on the streets of Rio after winning, but Alister307 certainly had something to celebrate on Wednesday night. With COVID-19 forcing PokerStars to host its Brazilian festival online this year, 2,648 entries from around the world anted up in the $215 Main Event. One of those entries was Alister307. Although he now has more than $254,000 in online tournament winnings, the Russian player’s true identity remains unknown. Starting in the middle of the pack, he rose through the ranks to surpass three Brazilians, including João Simão. In the end, A♠ T♦ got it done against Fl0w!36’s A♥ 5♥.
Daniel Smyth, Haley Hintze, and Jon Sofen all contributed to this report. Know a big winner we missed? firstname.lastname@example.org