Arizona's Hennigan outduels Daniel Negreanu for title in elite seven-card stud event

19 June 2019 (Las Vegas) – Veteran pro John Hennigan has collected career World Series of Poker bracelet number six by taking down Event #41 of the 2019 WSOP, $10,000 Seven Card Stud.

Poker's “Johnny World” earned his latest bracelet and a $245,451 payday by closing out another talented veteran, Daniel Negreanu, for the win in this elite 88-player event. In the process, he denied “Kid Poker” his own seventh WSOP title.

The 48-year-old Hennigan, a native of Philadelphia, trailed Negreanu for most of the day before pulling ahead when Negreanu's cards ran cold during their hours-long heads-up duel. Hennigan's latest big score boosts his lifetime WSOP earnings to just under $5.8 million.

Negreanu entered this event's final table with the lead and held it through the day's early levels, only to be reeled in by one of poker's most skilled fixed-limit players. Negreanu's strong showing was still worth $151,700, swelling his own lifetime WSOP earnings well over $17.36 million.

Third place in this event went to another Las Vegas-based pro, David “ODB” Baker, who earned $104,416. Russian pro Mikhail Semin finished fourth, cashing for $73,810.

The duel between Hennigan and Negreanu for the win became this event's largest storyline, as it lasted for over four hours before Hennigan was able to put away his final foe. Yet the man considered one of the world's best stud players claimed that he actually played poorly when heads-up and was simply fortunate to pull out the win.

“It was a very tough duel, especially for me,” said Hennigan. “He played so well, and I played so poorly, he really did not get what he deserved. He made every right decision and I made every wrong decision, and it was just bad luck for him at the end.

“I played a very good tournament, up to that point, but I really needed luck there when it got to heads-up. He played great the whole time. I believe I did as well but he clearly had me without the luck. That's how it goes.”

For a stud expert, winning a stud bracelet is a special prize, as Hennigan was quick to admit. “It's a little more special than other ones. I've always fancied myself a very good stud player. I'm good at a lot of the games, but I really feel like I'm an expert at stud. So it has some sentimental value to me. People say I'm the best at that game and I've always thought that it's true. [The win] is just a good sealer. I'm very happy with it.

“Coming here to the World Series, it's just kind of fun to square off against some good competition in a tournament setting. We don't get to do that at any other time in mixed games; it's always no-limit hold'em.

“It's fun to be here. It's just an incredible feeling to play a tournament and go deep, and then not have to lose it. It's more important than winning it, it seems like. I feel bad for Daniel right now, even though obviously he's had a ton of success.”

Negreanu hasn't won a bracelet in Las Vegas since 2008, though he did win one overseas, while Hennigan landed his fourth bracelet in just the past six summers. In the process, he moved into a tie with Negreanu and seven other players for ninth place on the all time list of bracelet winners.

Seven players were on hand for the Wednesday's live-streamed finale of Event #41, led by Negreanu's 1.5 million in chips, which represented about 36 big bets in this fixed-limit format. Eighth place and $24,419 went to Colorado's Frankie O'Dell, who again came up short in a run to become the 2019 WSOP's first double bracelet winner while still logging his third official final table of the series.

Three-time bracelet winner Frank Kassela's run at another win ended shortly into Day 3, when he committed the last of his chips to a split pair of threes, but he ran into Baker's split pair of tens that improved to queens up while Kassela himself never found a pair. The Vegas pro and 2010 WSOP Player of the Year finished seventh for $30,817.

Six-handed action lasted another 90 minutes before another Vegas pro and prior bracelet winner, Chris Tryba, hit the rail. Tryba's exit to a $40,066 payout also came at Baker's hands, with Tryba getting the last of his chips on an    /   start while Baker had    /  . Baker pulled     /   for queens up, while Tryba caught    , but then a blank   river to bust.

Two-time bracelet winner David Singer followed Tryba to the rail moments later. The New York pro busted in a hand against Negreanu in which Mikhail Semin also played through fifth street, though the short-stacked Singer, who had already doubled up once, was already all in on fourth street. Singer's and Negreanu's hands rolled out as follows:

Singer –    /      /  
Negreanu –    /      /  

Negreanu's rolled-up sixes led throughout, and not catching a queen or jack for the full house, Singer mucked his last card and went to collect his $53,621 payday.

Fourth place and $73,810 went to Moscow, Russia's Semin, who was the only player at this final table not already owning WSOP gold. Semin dodged elimination several times, but his run ended in a hand where he was all in on fourth street against Negreanu. Semin ended up with    /      /   catching two pair on seventh, but Negreanu caught a better two pair on seventh with his own    /      /  .

“ODB” Baker's early knockouts had moved him into strong contention before an extended dry run left him on the brink, and his exit also came against Negreanu. Baker had buried fours and committed himself to a hand where no one showed a scary board, and Baker was all in by sixth. Baker, though, never improved beyond his early pair, finishing with    /      /  . Negreanu made a pair of sixes on what ended up as    /      /  , and that was good enough for a third straight knockout.

Negreanu began heads-up play with nearly a 2:1 edge in chips over Hennigan and expanded that margin early in their duel before his cards cooled and Hennigan ground his way back to take the lead. For a short time the two swapped that lead, but eventually Hennigan asserted control with his luckier run of cards.

Negreanu's final hand saw him all in on sixth street with a spade-flush draw that fizzled out into nothing better than a pair of fours. His final hand was    /     , and then a   river that ended his night. Meanwhile, Hennigan had aces up by sixth, showing    /      /  , which held up with ease as Negreanu blanked on his final card.

Event #41, $10,000 Seven Card Stud, attracted 88 entries and built a prize pool of $827,200 prize pool. 14 players cashed, with each guaranteed at least $14,667.

Others making the money in Event #41, $10,000 Seven Card Stud, were Michael Mizrachi (9th, $19,954), Scott Clements (10th, $19,954), Paul Volpe (11th, $16,829), Scott Seiver (12th, $16,829), Matthew Gonzales (13th, $14,667), and Andrew Kelsall (14th, $14,667).

Click here for Full Results.
Click here for live updates from Event #41.

Final-Table Payouts:

1st: John Hennigan, $245,451
2nd: Daniel Negreanu, $151,700
3rd: David “ODB” Baker, $104,416
4th: Mikhail Semin, $73,810
5th: David Singer, $53,621
6th: Chris Tryba, $40,066
7th: Frank Kassela, $30,817
8th: Frankie O'Dell, $24,419