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2013 WSOP Europe - Recap & POY

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Daniel Negreanu wins 2013 WSOPE High Roller and POY Award

If Daniel Negreanu would've walked away from poker before this year, he'd still be remembered as one of the best players of all-time. But Negreanu is far from done establishing his greatness, as he's shown in 2013.

The 39-year-old already won the first-ever WSOP APAC Main Event and US$1,087,160 back in April. And he was at it again recently after emerging victorious in the 2013 WSOP Europe High Roller.

As if winning his sixth-career gold bracelet along with €725,000 ($979,955) wasn't enough, he also wrapped up the 2013 WSOP Player of the Year award too. Negreanu came into the High Roller trailing Matthew Ashton by just eight points, and he zoomed ahead of the Brit after winning. Negreanu now becomes the first player to win the POY award twice ('04 and '13) since its inception in 2004.

Seeing as how his latest tournament victory meant so much to his career, let's recap Negreanu's run through the WSOPE High Roller.

The Best of the Best

Like many high roller tourneys, this one attracted the world's best players. Almost all of the 80 grinders who turned out for this event were well known within the poker community. But with such a small field, only 9 of the entrants cashed. By the time Joni Jouhkimainen busted out in ninth place (€50,400), the eight-player final table was formed.

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Erik Seidel was the first player to exit from the final table. The eight-time WSOP gold bracelet winner was looking good when he shoved with Ac-Jd and Scott Seiver called with Ah-7d. However, the flop of 7h-9s-7s gave Seiver trips, and this hand held up as the turn card was As and the river was 4h.

Jason Koon went out in seventh place when he moved all-in with Ah-Kc, only to be called by David Peters and his pocket aces. Shortly before the dinner break, both Scott Seiver (sixth) and Timothy Adams (fifth) would bust out, leaving the final table four-handed.

Once play resumed, Adams was looking good when he shoved with pocket 10's and was called by Nicolau Villa-Lobos (As-Qc). However, the tables turned when Villa-Lobos got a queen on the turn and eliminated Adams in fourth place. Philipp Gruissem, who opened the final table as the chip leader, also fell when he shoved with Ac-4c, only to find out that he was dominated when Negreanu called with As-Jh. The board only produced a jack in Negreanu's favor, which busted Gruissem.

Heads-Up Play

Negreanu opened heads-up play with a 2:1 chip lead over Villa-Lobos. However, the Brazilian would take the lead after winning big hands with a full house and a flush. Unfortunately for Villa-Lobos, the celebration was short-lived as Negreanu stormed back and took a huge lead. Eventually, Villa-Lobos would go all-in with pocket 5's, but he received bad news when "KidPoker" called with pocket jacks. The board ran out Qd-9h-2d-Kd-3c, which gave Negreanu the hand and tournament victory.

Following the win, Negreanu discussed how difficult it was to beat such a skilled field. "The one thing that is different about poker now than it was in 2004 is that, when there were two tables left, it was like pulling teeth," he said. "I came in with a good stack where, in the old days, I could've coasted to eighth place no problem. Not with these sixteen players. The amount of mistakes made in the late stages of tournaments today are so minimal that you have to capitalize on every little bit that you can and create a strategy that is going to work for you."

As for whether he values his High Roller title or the POY award more, it's not even a contest for Negreanu. "I gotta be honest with you, Player of the Year is a big a deal to me and it is a goal of mine every year," he said. "I'm going to win bracelets, I know that. I'm grateful to have six now, which puts me back in the race in terms of all-time. But Player of the Year, to win that twice when no one else has ever done that really just cements me belonging where I always felt I did - at the top of poker."

With the High Roller victory, Negreanu how has $19,549,209 in live poker winnings, which ranks him third behind Antonio Esfandiari ($25,578,279) and Sam Trickett ($19,877,332).

2013 WSOPE High Roller Final Table

1st - Daniel Negreanu (Canada) - €725,000
2nd - Nicolau Villa-Lobos (Brazil) - €450,000
3rd - Philipp Gruissem (Germany) - €250,000
4th - David Peters (USA) - €150,500
5th - Timothy Adams (Canada) - €100,600
6th - Scott Seiver (USA) - €74,600
7th - Jason Koon (USA) - €63,500
8th - Erik Seidel (USA) - €55,400

  
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