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WSOP Daily Report: Brawl In The Amazon Room, Daniel Negreanu Up And Running Heads-up

Nobody would have guessed that the friendly Event #41: $1,500 Dealer’s choice six-handed, was going to be the stage of a big poker brawl.

It all started during a 2-7 Triple Draw hand between Brandon Cantu (photo) and Matt Szymaszek. Apparently, Cantu accused his opponent of angle-shooting and that’s when things got out of hand. Jesse Martin, a very good friend of Szymaszek who was playing at the next table heard that and tried to defend Szymaszek, stating that he “plays draw games every day” and knows the rules and “he would never angle shoot.”

“Shut the f— up,” Cantu told Martin, according to PokerNews Live Reporting. Martin erupted afterwards, calling Cantu an angle shooter. “Nobody f—ing likes you,” he added.

Cantu reacted quickly and tried to shove Martin in front of staff members. Security reviewed the footage and saw Cantu pushing Martin but no punches were thrown.

“Get him out of here! He punched me. Ban him. Get him out of here,” Martin yelled. Eventually the staff decided to give Cantu a three-orbit no-play penalty.

In spite of missing all that play, the one-time bracelet winner did recover and will return to the Amazon Room for Day 2 of the event. He is not that far behind the chip leader, Larry Tull, and must behave himself if he wants to have a shot at a new WSOP title.

Also returning for Day 2 of the special event are Jennifer Harman, Todd Brunson, Gavin Smith, Calvin Anderson, Maria Ho, and the Mizrachi brothers.

And since we are talking about returns, how about Daniel Negreanu’s run in Event #40: the $10,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’Em Championship? The Canadian survived three rounds of play and must do the same in the next four rounds if he wants to collect his seventh WSOP gold bracelet.

Besides Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Max Silver, Daniel Colman, and heads-up specialists Jason Koon and Tommy Chen are the other big names still standing in the shootout.

The event will resume later today and will play down to either the final four or the championship match.

Another tournament set for a championship finish is Event #39: $3,000 NLHE. Only 26 players out of a total field of 992 entries will head to the final day with a stack in front of them.

2014 Poker Caribbean Adventure High Roller champ Jacob Schindler is the chip leader and will definitely look for the first Vegas gold of his career. Other notable names that have the same goal as Schindler include 2014 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic winner Matthew Lapossie, six-time bracelet winner Layne Flack, 2010 WSOP Main Event deep runner Matt Afleck, and nosebleeds online cash player Elior “Crazy Elior” Sion. He is up over $400k playing at the highest stakes on PokerStars, according to HighStakes DB, and will definitely try to go for gold and the $500k first-prize cash this evening. Will he make it?


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Florian Gheorghe