Daniel Negreanu Poker Articles
World Poker Tour Caribbean Adventure Part IVPoker article written by Daniel Negreanu and published in Card Player Magazine
Here I was finally, at the final table of a World Poker Tour event. The first WPT season had gone very poorly for me, and I had experienced a heartbreaker in the first event of the WPT's second season, finishing seventh in Paris. Winning this tournament wasn't going to be easy. Gus Hansen was a two-time WPT winner, and Hoyt Corkins had recently won the WPT event at Foxwoods.
In our "pre-game" interviews, I made a fearless prediction that it was going to come down to Gus, Hoyt, and myself. Amazingly, within eight hands, the other three players at the final table were eliminated, and we were down to the three of us.
By that point, though, I was in third place. Gus had busted a couple of players and I had lost some chips on a few hands here and there. I'd like to share one of those hands with you:
On the second hand dealt at the final table, Hoyt raised from first position and I called from the cutoff seat with the 9clubs 8clubs. The blinds were $3,000-$6,000 with a $1,000 ante at the time, and Hoyt made a standard raise to $20,000.
The flop looked like just the kind I needed to possibly win a monster pot from Hoyt: 7diamonds 6hearts 4clubs. A 5 or a 10 would give me a straight, and if Hoyt didn't have a pair yet, an 8 or a 9 might win it for me. Hoyt forcefully bet $40,000.
I briefly considered raising, but that type of kamikaze play in this situation seemed very stupid. So, I heeded the advice of my girlfriend the poker coach, "Don't do anything stupid." She doesn't know the first thing about poker, but she gives awesome poker advice!
Anyway, I just called the bet. The turn brought a 4, and Hoyt announced, "All in." Well, that sucked. I had missed my draw on the turn and could now be drawing dead. I couldn't make this call, obviously, so that loss put a little dent in my stack.
I just wasn't settled in yet. I was cold in more ways than one. I hadn't been getting any cards, and the temperature in the room was somewhere between freezing and sub-Arctic. Originally, when I heard there was an ice rink on the ship, I thought, "Cool." When I found out that day that we'd be playing the final table on that ice rink, I wasn't so gung ho about it.
I'm like 140 pounds soaking wet, and I'm pretty far removed from my Toronto days of playing in the snow. I'm comfortable in weather in which you can fry an egg in your hand.
I tried everything I could to stay warm. I ordered hot chocolate, tried to keep my feet off the ground, and finally had my girlfriend go to my cabin to get my jacket. Nothing really worked. It was a shame; I should have been focused on the play, but instead was preoccupied with keeping my hands warm.
I know, I know enough for excuses! Once we got threehanded, I had a game plan, and was pretty confident it was the best course of action. Unfortunately, I simply didn't connect on many hands, and when I didn't, I simply couldn't finish playing them.
I did a lot of limping from the button with fairly strong hands, trying to trap either Gus or Hoyt. Unfortunately, while I waited for a good situation, my chips dwindled. There was one key hand that took the wind out of my sails and was a real turning point for me.
I'd just doubled up with A-3 against Hoyt's 9-7 and was feeling pumped up about being back in the tournament. I was in the small blind and Gus was in the big blind. Typically in this situation, I limped with everything strong hands, weak hands, and marginal hands. Well, that was my plan, but I didn't really get any strong hands. Oftentimes I'd limp, Gus would raise, and I would fold. Or, Gus would check, I'd flop nothing, and Gus would win the pot with a bet.
In fact, I hadn't raised from the small blind even once up to this point. With the blinds at $5,000-$10,000 and a $1,000 ante, I felt it was about time that I took a stab at picking up the blinds without a flop. All three of us are very liberal players, so unlike a typical WPT final table, we saw more than 75 percent of the flops.
Anyway, I picked up 4-4 and decided to make a good-sized raise, hoping that Gus might let one go. No such luck. I made it $40,000 to go and Gus called. At this point, Gus could have virtually anything. He would defend his blind with any hand remotely playable, since he had position on me.
The flop came Q-8-7 rainbow, which was not good for my hand at all. However, my 4-4 would rate to be the best hand here more often than not.
If I checked, I would surrender all power on the hand to Gus, and he could bet something like 10-4 offsuit and I'd be forced to fold.
So, I decided to bet $60,000. After much deliberation, Gus called. I could still have the best hand here. Gus could have a straight draw, such as J-10, 9-6, J-9, and so on. Well, the turn card was ugly for me, a jack. I checked, preparing to give up on the hand if Gus bet.
Gus also checked. The river paired the 8, and I saw no point in betting. Gus then fired out $100,000 at me. Oh, man, I could still have the best hand here. Gus might have 6-5 or 9-6. I ended up studying for quite a long time and finally decided I was beat.
Gus later told me he had a queen, and I believe him. Nonetheless, losing that hand halted my comeback, and I never recovered. While it was nice to finally make a WPT final table, I have to be honest that I was pretty disappointed with the result. Oh well, on the brighter side of things, I knew there would be many more opportunities for me to do it all again.
« Back to Daniel Negreanu's 2004
Card Player Poker Articles
Card Player Poker Articles
With over one hundred poker articles spanning the last five years and a new poker article written every two weeks and published in Card Player magazine, Daniel Negreanu brings the world of poker to the tables of countless poker enthusiasts and poker players alike.
As a regular Card Player columnist, Daniel's poker articles have helped many readers learn the game of poker from the early days of an upcoming professional poker player to the realization of a true poker champion last year as Daniel became the 2004 Card Player Player of the Year, as well as, one of the most successful tournament players in history with 36+ worldwide wins and bragging rights as the WPT All-Time Top Money Winner.
Articles by Year
- Poker articles, 2006
- Poker articles, 2005
- Poker articles, 2004
- Poker articles, 2003
- Poker articles, 2002
- Poker articles, 2001
Poker Article Discussion
Had your fair share of reading? Check out the poker articles forum to share your viewpoints on Daniel's Card Player articles with other members in FullContactPoker's poker forums.