Daniel Negreanu celebrated Canada Day by finishing runner-up in the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop, earning $8,288,001 and putting him on the top of the list for the highest-grossing career earnings in the world.
It was only confirmed two weeks earlier that Negreanu was going to play the prestigious event, and his huge result proves that it was a good decision.
While it has been a summer without podiums for Canadians at the 45th annual World Series of Poker, there have been plenty of great results from the Canadian contingent, and Negreanu has been a big part of that. This is Kid Poker's ninth WSOP cash this year, including another runner-up finish in Event #13: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship.
The Big One for One Drop is a $1 million buy-in event that gives $111,111 from each player's buy-in to the One Drop Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Canadian and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté to provide access to fresh water in disadvantaged regions of the world. This year's event raised over $4.6 million for the organization.
There were 42 players who made the seven-figure buy-in to create a star-studded roster of players on Sunday. Throughout the three-day event, Negreanu maintained a mid-pack position. The final day began with an unofficial final table of nine players, with eight to be paid. "Hong Kong" Tom Hall burst the money bubble in the very first hand of the day when he last an all-in race with to Negreanu's . This began a steamroll of knockouts from Negreanu.
Once the final eight players were in the money, they tumbled from the tournament quickly. When the heads-up match between Negreanu and Daniel Colman began, Colman had a slight lead with 68.5 million to Kid Poker's 57.5 million chips. Only a couple of hands later and Negreanu secured the chip lead, but Colman retook it when Negreanu check-called all three streets, including a huge river bet from Colman, but was no good to Colman's rivered full house.
From there, Colman continue to build his lead and had Negreanu covered by about 4-1. It all came to an end when Negreanu limped his button, faced a raise to four million, and then shipped his 20.85 million remaining into the middle. Colman snap-called and the two players had a sweat with Negreanu holding to Colman's . According to the PokerNews Poker Odds Calculator, Negreanu was a 58% favourite to double up.
The dealer swept out a flop of and Negreanu made two pairs but Colman had a draw to the Broadway straight. At this point, Negreanu was sitting fairly comfortable with an 84% chance of getting his much-needed double. The turn card was the and the crowd erupted as Colman had made his straight. Negreanu wasn't finished yet, though. He still had aces and fours in the deck that could give him a full house on the river, but only had a 9% chance of hitting one. The final card hit the table and was the , giving Colman all the chips and the win in this event worth $15,306,668.
This is the second time for this event. The first time it was offered in 2012, it was thought that it'd be the only $1 million buy-in event that the poker world would ever see. Antonio Esfandiari was the man to win the top prize two years ago for an astounding $18,346,673 and was thought to be virtually uncatchable for the all-time money list with that unfathomable amount of money for his win. However, Negreanu's second place dethrones Esfandiari as he leapfrogged him into the top spot by a margin of $3.5 million.
Esfandiari, who has yet to cash at this year's WSOP despite playing a full schedule, maintains the record for the largest single cash as this year's Big One for One Drop received six fewer entries than 2012's, and Colman's win falls short of Esfandiari's by $3 million.
Negreanu has now grossed $29,796,380 in live tournaments.