It was a heartbreaking day at the office for Daniel Negreanu in the Super High Roller Bowl: Pot-Limit Omaha event in Las Vegas, but an equally enjoyable one for Isaac Haxton. The Super High Roller Bowl: Pot-Limit Omaha is the largest buy-in PLO event of all time, yet 38 players ponied up the $100,000 buy-in and created a $3,800,000 prize pool as a result. Only seven of those starters will receive a slice of that pie, and Negreanu won’t be one of them.
Day 1 saw the 38-strong field cut to a more manageable 17, with Negreanu’s 586,000 stack placing him 11th at the close of play.
Negreanu not only stayed afloat on Day 2 but was accumulating chips while those around the Canadian fell by the wayside. With only ten players remaining, Negreanu’s stack hovered around the one million mark and found himself on the secondary feature table alongside Michael Duek, Stephen Chidwick, Frank Crivello, and Aaron Katz.
Katz doubled through Negreanu but was short-stacked at the time, so the loss did not put Negreanu into trouble. A redraw when Ben Tollerene crashed out in tenth saw Negreanu rack up his chips and head to the feature table; it was here that disaster struck for the six-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner.
Shortly after Duek busted in ninth, Negreanu tangled with Jared Bleznick in what would be his final hand. Chino Rheem limped on the button, Bleznick called in the small blind, and Negreanu tapped the table and checked in the big blind. Bleznik led out for 30,000 on the queen-jack-six rainbow flop, Negreanu potted to 170,000, which folded out Rheem. Bleznick reraised, and Negreanu called off the 250,000 chips he had behind.
Negreanu had flopped bottom set, but Bleznick had flopped a set of jacks. A five on the turn meant “Kid Poker” could hit a three, six, or eight on the river to win the pot and stay in the tournament, but the river was a seven, sending the chips to Bleznick and busting Negreanu on the money bubble in eighth place.
Super High Roller Bowl: Pot-Limit Omaha Final Table Chip Counts
|1||Isaac Haxton||United States||4,495,000||225|
|2||Jared Bleznick||United States||1,965,000||98|
|3||Stephen Chidwick||United Kingdom||1,360,000||68|
|4||Chino Rheem||United States||1,100,000||55|
|5||Isaac Kempton||United States||995,000||50|
|6||Frank Crivello||United States||800,000||40|
|7||Aaron Katz||United States||680,000||34|
Negreanu’s untimely demise brought the curtain down on Day 2’s proceedings, with the seven surviving players in the money. Each is guaranteed $152,000, with the eventual champion taking home $1,292,000.
Right now, Isaac Haxton is the odds-on favorite to help himself to that seven-figure top prize because he has approximately 40% of the chip in play. Haxton returns to the fray armed with a war chest containing 4,495,000 chips, or 225 big blinds when play resumes. Bleznik is the player closest to Haxton, but his 1,965,000 (98 big blinds) is dwarfed by the recent $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl VIII champion.
A mixture of great play and good fortune propelled Haxton from 13th place at the start of Day 2 to the chip counts’ summit, and by some distance. One of the best tournament players of his generation, Haxton chipped up throughout Day 2 before winning a substantial pot when he found himself on the right side of a boat-over-boat situation with Rheem. Haxton never looked back from that point on, and he used his big stack to his advantage.
PLO is a crazy game, so anything could happen at the final table, especially when you see the superstars flanking Haxton. As mentioned, Bleznick (1,965,000) is Haxton’s closest rival in the chip counts, while Stephen Chidwick (1,360,000) and Rheem (1,100,000) both have over one million chips.
Isaac Kempton (995,000), Frank Crivello (800,000), and Aaron Katz (680,000) are shorter, but none of them are there to make up the numbers, and none are particularly short-stacked either.
Play resumes at 12:00 p.m. PT on October 18, with the PokerGO stream beginning an hour later. Can Haxton get the job done? Stay tuned to PokerNews to find out.