Daniel Negreanu Wins WSOP Player of the Year without a Bracelet

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Daniel Negreanu can finally breathe a sigh of relief. “Kid Poker” barely held on to claim the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year award … thanks in no small part to Shaun Deeb’s early exit from the final session of the €550 Colossus at King’s Casino.

Daniel Negreanu WSOP poker
Daniel Negreanu is all smiles after winning his third WSOP POY award. (Image: flolive.tv)

DNegs, who won POY in 2004 and 2013, was the only two-time winner. He’s now the only three-time Player of the Year.

And he’s also now the first player to win the award without having shipped a bracelet in that year.

Deeb, the defending champion, was in great position to snatch the POY title from Negreanu. Heading into Monday’s final day in the Colossus, he was third in chips with 11 remaining players, and needed to finish in at least fifth place. Instead, he “choked.” His words, not ours.

Daniel Negreanu Sweats Out Deeb’s Late Charge

Daniel Negreanu did all he could to win WSOP Player of the Year for the third time. He racked up 24 cashes and 4,074.88 points through his final event of the year. That put him atop the standings. But he still had to sweat Shaun Deeb’s performance in the Colossus.

Deeb, who entered the final event with 3,710.64 points, needed at least 364.24 points in the Colossus to successfully defend his Player of the Year crown. To earn enough POY points, he needed a fifth place finish which paid €47,452 and, more importantly, 387.52 points.

PokerStars Peer Helps Negreanu Out

The stage was set for Shaun Deeb to grab the Player of the Year award away from Daniel Negreanu on Monday. He arrived at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic Monday afternoon with a nice stack – 8.1 million. That put him in third place out of 11 players.

But early in the session, he ran into a tough spot in a blind versus blind situation against Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, a former PokerStars Team Pro member much like Negreanu.

Deeb, holding J-9, and “ElkY,” with J-8, both checked to see a flop of Q-10-9. The defending WSOP POY fired out 250,000 only to have his opponent put in a raise to 800,000 and was called. After another 10 flipped over on the turn, Grospellier bet 1,775,000 and Deeb went all-in for 3,050,000. With a straight, “ElkY” made the quick call.

Both players saw a meaningless ace turn over on the river, ending Deeb’s tournament in 11th place (€12,453) and also his WSOP Player of the Year run. With that, Daniel Negreanu becomes wins the award.

Final 2019 WSOP Player of the Year Standings

  1. Daniel Negreanu (Canada) 4,074.88
  2. Robert Campbell (Australia) 3,961.31
  3. Shaun Deeb (United States) 3,917.32
  4. Anthony Zinno (United States) 3322.00
  5. Phillip Hui (United States) 3,186.17

Campbell led the race after the summer series in Las Vegas. Deeb and Negreanu were in a close second and third place, respectively. They were followed by Dan Zack, who didn’t make the trip to Rozvadov, in fourth place.

After busting from the Colossus on Monday, Deeb simply wrote on Twitter, “I choked.” Negreanu said he felt “immense satisfaction” that he won and also thanked Grospellier for “doing the deed.” More like, “doing the Deeb,” Daniel. But then again, creativity isn’t required to win WSOP Player of the Year.

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