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World Series Of Poker
 $5,000 Omaha Hi/Lo (limit) Result
April 19th - May 24th, 2002

15th May - 79 (107) players. Prizepool $371,900 (-28%). 1st prize $148,520 (-26%). Explain Hi/Lo Omaha. Europe's most successful tournament victor of recent times comes thirs to salvage his reputation. Read more
Pos. Player Origin Prize
1 Mike Matusow NV $148,520
2 Daniel Negreanu NV $85,400
3 Marcel Luske Amsterdam $44,560
4 John Cernuto FL $26,000
5 Hans Pfister Swz $20,420
6 Max Stern CA $16,700
7 John McIntosh MD $13,000
8 Greg Mascio CA $9,280
9 Mike Shi CO $7,420
Key Plays 

At most Final Tables, typically, there will be one player who can barely win a hand. Today, there were three such players. The reason for this super-abundance of player bad luck had a name. The reason's name was Daniel Negreanu. In actual fact, Negreanu usually RAISED every hand and won.

Worse for those who lost to him (again Mike Matusow speaking) "He gets in with the worst of it every time and wins." Not in this WSOP has there been an initial chip leader double up in the first hour of play. It was mind-boggling. Everyone who's played with Daniel Negreanu knows how hot he can get, but usually Danny is playing good starting cards. Today, Negreanu could feel the momentum he had, knew he was on a freeroll against this field, and played almost any four cards he picked up. And they won!

As Danny's stack reached for the ceiling, Mike mugged to Daniel "Those chips are an illusion. You are going to need every one of them. It seemed like a jest at the time, but more prophetic words weren't spoken today. Before play commenced, Danny and Mike Shi crossed paths and wished each other good luck. "You're going to need good luck with only $9,000." Danny added with the now-famous Negreanu cackle that sends ice-water down player's spines. You could tell Danny was juiced for this one.

Mike Shi didn't have much luck and left quickly to Hans Pfister's flopped three Kings. Shi had A 3 4 6, but no low came. Although well behind Negreanu, Greg Mascio WAS second chip leader at the start. But two huge hands early sent Greg out in 8th.

John Cernuto ended Mascio's disappointing day with an A J 4 3 for a straight and nut low. Greg finally had to show a hand. He had Q Q 5 2 all-in for Queen's up.

How many of you Omaha Hi-Lo players raise under the gun with J 9 8 7. A middle wrap is often death in Hi-Lo. As hot as he was at the time, Danny Negreanu didn't have to look at his cards to raise under the gun. John McIntosh should get something for four pair, don't you think? That's hard to do. John was all-in from the big blind with 10 9 6 3. A straight beats four pair in poker, but should it? Which is harder to get?

The third player to avoid winning very often today was Max Stern. The good Doctor chopped a couple of all-ins, but then left in 6th for a house call. His own. Doc went all-in for the last time with A 10 10 4. Mike Matusow was just starting to heat up. He had pocket 3's and flopped a full house. The board double paired with no 10's and no low.

The magic cards were still coming for Danny when Hans Pfister called all-in from the big blind and his last $1k. Hans needed Kings but not the one that came on the river giving Danny the nut straight with his A Q. The multi-talented Swiss could go get a chocolate in 5th.

The cards that were falling had 'Miami' John Cernuto talking to himself. John went all-in on the turn when he made a Queen high flush. Marcel Luske had the Ace high to give Cernuto 4th.

A fabulous insight into what was going on at that point was provided by the inspired poker writer, Lee Munzer. Lee noticed the obvious, as usual. (Just kidding, Lee) Marcel Luske had allowed his play to be affected by the shenanigans of Negreanu and Matusow. Danny and Mike are opponents several times a year. They can goof around without hurting themselves. Marcel was the stranger to the group and couldn't play the duo's game. Marcel's hope for victory was in the nether lands. All-in, Luske needed a 5 to survive. He had pocket 5's, but Daniel Negreanu had flopped a full house with 3 4. 3rd for Luske.

The bantering between the two was constant for four hours. Example: Danny speaking to Mike: "We've played heads up, maybe 20 times. You almost won once." Danny speaking about Mike: "I could beat this guy with my eyes closed." But Mike won this time and it was a big one, his second gold bracelet and a cherished memory. Danny went all-in for his last $14k with a back door straight and low draw. Mike Matusow had flopped trip 4's and needed two bricks to shut his rival up and out. That's what came, 10 9.

Commentary from Mike Paulle sent by Tex Whitson of Binions Horseshoe
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