Daniel Negreanu must be wondering when he'll ever get hold of his fifth WSOP bracelet. Despite riding high from a breathtaking start to this World Series, he's now missed out on a title by a whisker not once, but twice.
First he lost heads-up in the $2,500 Six-handed Limit event, and tonight he finished fourth in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low. That's four cashes out of the last five tournaments, including two final tables and one tenth place.
While many would be happy with winning that sort of money - another $130,401 is heading into his bank account tonight - Negreanu is set on getting the fifth item of wrist jewellery to confirm his position as one of the game's best tournament players.
Despite a punishing schedule that has seen him play until 3am for the last nine nights, he was in high spirits earlier today when the 17 players returned to resume battle. At one point he stood on his chair to celebrate another pot and spent time chatting to his fans on the rail.
From being one of the shorter stacks early on, he managed to get as high as third, but as the field thinned, and they moved on to the feature stage under the bright lights, his run of good cards seemed to dry up.
He was one of several very short stacks when they had got down to six handed, but managed to survive while others fell. Many a time he was all in, but either chopped the pot or scooped the lot to keep his hopes alive.
Eventually, though, something had to give when they got down to four-handed play - it did, but not without a fight. Down to the felt, Negreanu won a succession of double ups, surviving when at least two of the others were in the pot against him. Finally he fell when on the big blind he called Scott Clements' raise.
On the 3♠4♥4♣ flop Negreanu pushed for his last few chips and was called:
So far so good, but the A♠ on the turn gave Clements a straight, leaving Negreanu drawing super thin to a full house. It never filled up, and the Canadian was out, back again no doubt tomorrow to have a shot at another event, and another crack at that elusive fifth gold bracelet.
Much earlier in the day we lost Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko in 16th place for a $26,921 payday.
Congratulations, Daniel, on another superb show.
All photos © Joe Giron, IMPDI