Yet this was not an event where all the famous pros busted out early. Indeed, once the 10 players remaining on Day 3 played down to a final 6, the lineup was as follows:
1. Daniel Negreanu – 617,000
2. Eli Elezra – 456,000
3. Scott Seiver – 288,000
4. David “ODB” Baker – 283,000
5. David Chiu – 235,000
6. Brian Brubaker – 217,000
The chip lead then fluctuated between Negreanu, Elezra and Chiu as each of the three took turns winning pots from the others. David “ODB” Baker was not included in this rotation, as he seemed to continually lose every pot he entered. Finally, Chiu put him out of his misery when the two played out a large pot. Baker was drawing 1 the whole way, while Chiu drew 2 twice, and then stood pat. Chiu’s lucky 76542 was good enough to beat David “ODB” Baker’s 86432, and he was eliminated in 5th place, collecting $33,399.
Next, David Chiu played out a pot to the river against Eli Elezra. They both took 1 card on the last draw, and they both liked their hands enough to get it in on the end. Chiu revealed the 87432, a pretty good low hand. But Elezra had made 76532 and won the pot. David Chiu was knocked out in 4th place, winning $48,077.
This left Brian Brubaker as the short stack, and his stack was about to get even shorter (permanently). Brubaker raised, and Daniel Negreanu three-bet, Brubaker capped, and they both draw. Brubaker only took 1, but Negreanu drew 2. Brubaker bet out, and Negreanu raised, prompting Brubaker to re-raise all-in. Negreanu called, and both players drew 1. On the third draw, both players drew 1 again.
Daniel received a 5, giving him 76532, while Brubaker paired his deuce. Brian Brubaker had to leave in 3rd place, receiving $70,743 for his efforts.
Daniel Negreanu had a lead going into heads-up play agains Eli Elezra, but Elezra was able to close that deficit by winning a series of small pots. Then, Elezra won three consecutive pots that went to showdown, making a T, a 7 and a 9 in rapid succession. These hands gave him a 4:1 lead over Daniel.
Daniel fought back, winning some chips, but then both players played a pot to the river and got three bets in on the end. Eli showed his hand 75432 – the unbeatable nuts, and Negreanu mucked. This left him severely short stacked, and it was only a few hands later that the final hand played out.
Daniel opened the pot for a raise, and Eli three-bet. Daniel went all-in and Elezra called. Elezra drew 1, while Daniel took 2. Then, Elezra stood pat, and Daniel drew 1. On the final draw, Elezra patted again, while Negreanu took 1.
Negreanu looked at his card and opined, “That’s not good.” He showed a K, not enough to beat Eli Elezra’s hand. Daniel Negreanu busted out of the tournament in 2nd place, with a nice consolation prize: $107,055.
Eli Elezra had endured three days of tough, aggressive poker against some of the most competent players around in order to get to heads-up play. And his heads-up opponent was none other than the talented Daniel Negreanu. Defeating such opponents surely is an accomplishment of which Eli Elezra can be proud. He truly earned this bracelet.
The complete list of final table payouts is:
1. Eli Elezra – $173,236
2. Daniel Negreanu – $107,055
3. Brian Brubaker – $70,743
4. David Chiu – $48,077
5. David “ODB” Baker – $33,399
6. Scott Seiver – $23,698