Just when you thought that Erik Seidel might catch Daniel Negreanu on the All-Time Money List, Negreanu decides to run well in a pair of high roller tournaments.
Bellagio ran a pair of $25k Mixed Game High Roller events over the last couple of days and Negreanu managed back-to-back runner-up finishes. The pair of scores moves him past $33 million in career earnings and temporarily widens the gap between him and Seidel for the top spot on the All-Time Money List.
Negreanu Played Well but Fell Short Both Times
Give credit to the Bellagio for electing to run a $25k Mixed Game High Roller. The first of two events ran on Monday and drew a solid field of 25 entries.
Tomorrow is the 1st Bellagio 25k mix game high roller! Be there 1PM sharp for 25k+200$. Get off the fence and come! Let's make this a series— Brian Rast (@tsarrast) April 17, 2017
Anyone who’s anyone in the high stakes mixed games community was playing in the event. The final table was a murderer’s row of mixed game prowess. I must admit, I’m a bit jealous of Will O’Connor for getting the privilege of reporting the event. You can read all about what happened at that final table at PokerCentral.com.
Ultimately, it was Negreanu and Ben Lamb heads-up for the title and Lamb walked away the victor. He earned $281,250 while Negreanu earned $175,000. This pushed Negreanu over the $33 million mark for lifetime live tournament earnings.
Tuesday’s $25k Mixed Game High Roller had a much smaller field and only paid three spots. By the time heads-up play was reached, Negreanu again was playing for the title. However, he had a serious chip disadvantage and couldn’t overcome Daniel Alaei.
Negreanu earned $77,500 for his second runner-up finish in as many days. He now has $33.14 million in live tournament earnings.
Seidel Could Still Overtake Negreanu This Year If Recent Streak Continues
Presently, Erik Seidel trails Daniel Negreanu on the All-Time Money List by $1.45 million. That seems like a sizable lead, but considering Seidel’s recent success and his tendency to frequent High Roller Events, there’s still a possibility that he could overtake Negreanu in 2017.
Seidel has run very well in both 2015 and 2016, earning a combined $10.2 million. During the same period, Negreanu has earned only $2.7 million. So far in 2017, Seidel is outpacing Negreanu $669,968 to $443,780.
Don’t Forget About Dan Colman
While a majority of the focus has been on Negreanu and Seidel in the race for the ATML top spot, a third player will soon challenge them. Dan Colman is presently third on the list with $28.18 million.
Colman exploded onto the poker scene in 2014 by winning the $1 million Big One for One Drop on his way to earning a single-year record $22.38 million. Proving he isn’t a flash in the pan, he’s won no less than $1.3 million each year since.
So far in 2017, Colman has won $2.14 million. This is the second-best year of his pro career. If he continues on his scorching pace, he could crack the $30 million mark later this year.
Is $30 Million a New Benchmark for All-Time Greatness?
High Roller tournaments have forever skewed the money list and one could argue it also skews the idea of what it takes to be considered an all-time great. There’s still something to be said for consistency, even among high rollers.
Looking at the money list, the top 50 have at least 10 million or more in lifetime earnings. That sounds amazing, but several of those players have Main Event victories of $7 million or more.
Looking at the top 10, those players have $20 million in earnings or more. Three players on that list have single cashes that make up half of their career totals.
Only two players have $30 million+ in career earnings. Negreanu’s largest live score is $8.28, or about 25% of his career total. Seidel’s largest individual score is $2.47 million.
Once you start approaching the $30 million mark, it gets harder to argue that a player binked his way to the top of the list. Consistency is needed, whether it be in High Roller events or over the course of a long career.
Does winning $30 million or even reaching the top of the All-Time Money List mean that a particular player is the best ever? Absolutely not. However, it should at least allow them the honor of being part of that conversation.