23-year-old Massachusetts poker pro Daniel Colman has a record of beating top names in the game for big prizes, as his two million dollar win earlier this year against Dan Cates in the EPT High Roller attests…and he did it again Tuesday night at the Rio in Las Vegas when he was victorious in the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop.
His victory was notable on several levels; the heads up was against Daniel Negreanu, the highest earning pro in the game; it was Colman’s first WSOP bracelet; the field was quality all the way….and his prize was $15,306,668.
And whilst Negreanu will be disappointed at his ultimate defeat in the 46-hand heads up, he will be comforted by the biggest win in his professional career – a second placing pay-day of $8,288,001.
Like Negreanu, Colman is a formidable internet player as well, using the handle “mrgr33n13” and favouring heads up sit and go games, but over the past three days he has once again proved that he can compete with the best on high-stress live tournament tables.
There were 42 entries for the event, which allowed just 8 to cash, intensifying the competitive ambience around the table, which film producer and entrepreneur Rick Saloman led at the start of the day.
In the first final table hand Tom Hall was eliminated by Negreanu and had to suffer the frustration of coming so close to a $1.3 million cash, only to have it snatched away after a hard-fought struggle through the entry field.
That left a star-studded official final table of Negreanu, Colman, Christoph Vogelsang, Rick Salomon, Tobias Reinkemeier, Scott Seiver, Paul Newey and Cary Katz, but further eliminations came within the next few rounds.
Down to three-handed play, it was Colman, Negreanu and German pro Christoph Vogelsang, who fought a highly competitive battle for the next 32 hands before the German was eliminated by Negreanu at third for $4,480,001.
Going into the heads up six-bracelet holder Negreanu held a slight chip advantage, but the two players immediately went at it and the lead see-sawed several times over the following 46 hands, with Colman gradually making his dominance more permanent until with a 5 to 1 chip lead he achieved victory at hand 118 in a classic all-in pot.
Negreanu, whose career earnings now top $29 million, was generous in praise for his opponent, describing him as “a class act” who plays smarter and differently from most young guns.
Other cashes at this monumental final table looked like this:
4th Rick Salomon $2,800,000
5th Tobias Reinkemeier $2,053,334
6th Scott Seiver $1,680,000
7th Paul Newey $1,418,667
8th Cary Katz $1,306,607