Daniel Negreanu Into Final Day of $50k Players Championship at WSOP

Jonathan
27 Jun 2024
Jonathan Raab 27 Jun 2024
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  • Daniel Negreanu on course for bracelet number seven
  • Lies in second place with five left in Players Championship
  • The GG Poker ambassador needs to win to go into profit for the series
  • Chris Brewer is chip leader
  • Phil Ivey misses final day, busting in 7th place,
Daniel Negreanu with future wife Amanda Leatherman in 2018 (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
World Series of Poker Players Championship Final Table is Down to the Last Five, including Daniel Negreanu

Anyone following Daniel Negreanu’s vlog this year will have been wondering if this is going to be another grim series where the bankroll total shown at the end of each episode just keeps going down and down, getting closer and closer to a seven figure ‘in-the-hole’ total. 

With the changes to the way the WSOP leaderboard are calculated this year, Daniel went into the series confident that this could be the year that he claims bracelet number seven. 

Heading South...

However the opening four weeks of the series didn’t go according to plan and not only did the GG Poker ambassador find himself deep in the red, but had to endure the attention and respect that once arch-rival and friend Phil Ivey was receiving after picking up his 11th WSOP bracelet early on in the series.

By the time event 58, the $50,000 Players Championship began, Negreanu had cashed six times, but mostly minor payouts and no final tables. He was showing a loss of $920,597 for the series and needs to win the tournament and claim the $1,178,703 to get out of it.

Second place won’t be enough as it pays ‘only’ $768,467, which would still leave Negreanu over $150,000 down for the series…so far.
Daniel Negreanu WSOP Profit or Loss?
Daniel Negreanu's P&L at the WSOP before the Players' Championship began

Players Championship Final Table

Negreanu is still on course with this ambition to win his 7th bracelet and have a profitable series, bagging the second biggest stack overnight, with just five players left from a field of 89 entries. 

The chip leader is Chris Brewer, on 10.465m chips, Daniel lies in second on 7.635m. In third is Dylan Smith on just over 4m, while Bryce Yockey has 3.67m and David Benyamine has the lowest remaining stack on 900k.

Negreanu has locked up at least $265k in case he should exit in 5th place, but will be looking to finish in a much better spot than that.

High Quality Field on Second Last Day

Jeremy Ausmus, going for his seventh career bracelet and WPT Global ambassador Phil Ivey going for his 12th were the last players eliminated on the fourth day of the tournament, in 6th and 7th place, respectively. The reputation that the event has for being for the ‘best players in the world’ is certainly strengthened when looking at the quality of who made the latter stages of the event. 

Out of the fourteen players who made the prize money, only one (Dylan Smith) is not already a holder of a WSOP bracelet. The 14 players who made the money in the Players Championship have previously won a grand total of 45 WSOP bracelets between them! By the end of this tournament, that will have risen to 46!

The final table will be streamed live on PokerGo on Thursday 27th June, 2024.

The Players Championship is the Most Prestigious Event at the WSOP

Besides the Main Event, the $50,000 Players Championship is the most sought after title at the World Series of Poker, arguably more so by some. But what is the history of this great tournament? When and why was it created?

History of the Players Championship at the WSOP

It was introduced in 2006 at a time when many in the upper echelons of poker wanted a new bracelet event, in order to address the following situational concerns:

  1. That poker should be about more than just Hold’em
  2. That inflation meant that the $10,000 buy-in of the Main Event was too affordable and had grown so much that it had turned into a bingo event, not one where the most skilled players could prevail.
  3. That the WSOP therefore needed a higher buy-in mixed games championship, which would elevate interest in non-Hold’em formats and showcase true poker talent.

Poker at the time had become focused on luckbox moments with an ‘it could be you’ vibe in the post Moneymaker years. This had the positive effect of swelling numbers at live poker events, most notably at the WSOP, which saw unprecedented year-on-year growth. 

But that growth was mostly low buy-in NLH events and those at the heart of the community saw a switch away from purely Hold’em and a significant hike in the buy-in as the answer...and it seems to have worked.

The Players Championship began in 2006 as a $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event, with the late Chip Reece becoming the inaugural champion. However in 2010 it was changed to an 8-Game format and bestowed with the name Players Championship.

SuperStars of the Players Championship

It is still considered to be the reserve of the creme-de-la-creme of poker’s elite players and despite only having existed for twenty years, it has produced three repeat winners. 

Michael Mizrachi, who won the event in 2010 (the first year it was officially known as the Players Championship) went on to claim his second victory in 2012 and his third in 2018.

Brian Rast first took the Players Championship title in 2011, repeated the feat in 2016 and matched Mizrachi for his third win in 2023.

Daniel ‘Jungelman’ Cates has also won the event more than once, impressively going back-to-back in 2021 and in 2022, when he dressed as and remained in character, as ‘Macho Man’ for the entire tournament.

An honourable mention also goes to John Henigan, who won the Players Championship in 2014 and finished runner up to Michael Mizrachi in 2018.

Neither Daniel Negreanu or Phil Hellmuth have won the event however Hellmuth did finish as runner-up in 2011.

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