Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dan Colman $15 Million One Drop Victory over Daniel Negreanu (work in progress)

Ok, not a proper WSOP One Drop article, a work in progress––I have decided to write a book this month, entitled "A One Drop 2014 Companion: Inside Poker’s $1 Million Tournament and the Players Who Risk It All"

I'll post rough versions here for the next three weeks, when I will hopefully near completion. Then, I'll think about putting it up as an eBook on Amazon. Here is the tentative intro: 

July 1st, Rio, Las Vegas, Nevada

The acrobats have left the ESPN stage, the platitudes about bringing water to the needy are but a distant echo, and friends, family members, and the true elite of poker sit with bated breath, wondering just how this meeting of poker masterminds will end. Internet whiz kid Daniel Colman vs. perennially young (yet old guard) Daniel Negreanu––who will flinch first? 

Serious money is as stake here, though neither has ponied up the full $1 million buy-in himself. Having announced that he was selling pieces of himself on Twitter, Daniel Negreanu reportedly holds a 44 percent stake in whatever he wins (accounts vary, his agent says 87 percent), while Dan Colman is rumored to be somewhere in the 10-15 percent range. This may seem small, but it represents a cool $150,000 investment and is in the ballpark of what “the Magician” Antonio Esfandiari held of himself during his historic win in 2012. The amount is also similar to what many of the other pros in the tournament hold of themselves––with the exception of big dog Phil Ivey, who apparently ponied up the full $1 million. 

Naturally, the real targets of this escapade-cum-charity-tournament, the businessman “whales” most likely to donk off their stacks, have bought in for the full amount. They represent the dead money within the tournament, given the caliber of the players gathered, with charity being a convenient rationale for indulging in one of the most decadent undertakings imaginable. Poker in Vegas––for a million dollars––all together now, Dr. Evil style––

Back to the stage, two opponents face off who have trained themselves not to think about the money, under any circumstances. When the cards are dealt, that is all that matters––that and the lizard brain calculations about how they can get their opponent to bend to their will and do what they want––call, fold, commit more chips than they should to marginal holdings. There is no thought about money, not even an inkling, on the most intense of stages, under the cool blue television lights where every movement of chips, blinds, and antes represents life-altering amounts of money. 


Now 38, Negreanu looks his usual animated self, intense calculation hiding out under a friendly, incessantly bantering demeanor. Only now the time had come for steady, collected play and weighing of odds on every street of every hand––one mistimed bluff, one call with a slightly inferior holding, could cost him seven million dollars. Forget what I said about forgetting about money––that is the ideal, not the reality. The key is tuning out those dollar signs when the critical decisions come.

“Kid Poker” had followed a long, steady arc to an imminent payday that would far eclipse them all. The money is so big that either first or second place would vault him into first place on the all-time money leaders list. Cutting his teeth in the casinos of Toronto, Negreanu played crowded casino games that would sometimes see 10, 12 players jammed around a single table and where A-K under the gun was often worthy of a fold. He gradually carved out a little space at the table and gained a particular reputation for fearless play in the hijack position or, what he referred to as “the office.”

Daniel Colman eyes One Drop Founder and "semi-whale" Guy Laliberte

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