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World Series: Lights, cameras and a little action for Daniel Negreanu


Brad Willis reports on Event 53 at the World Series...

The rail at the $1,500 is the thicker than you'd expect for a limit, split pot Stud game. Normally at a rail for that kind of event, you'd have two people watching and one of them would only be there because he thought they were giving out free soup.

Today, though, the cream is sitting on top (not to mention right on the rail). The $1,500 Stud-8 Day 2 field is packed full of name pros, notably Barry Greenstein, Chad Brown, and Daniel Negreanu. Accordingly, the rail is two and three deep with fans.

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For a lot of people (and, let's be honest, especially Stud players) all the attention would be a little more than annoying. Team Pro Negreanu, however, is taking it in stride, despite referring to how he's running as, ahem, "like ass."

Between every hand, Kid Poker is joining in conversations on the rail, standing up for photos, and signing autographs, No sooner has he made it back to the table than he peeks at his hole cards and declares, "I'm gonna raise THAT guy." He bricks a couple of cards, folds to a bet, and back to the rail. Back to the table and then, "I'm going to raise that guy, again!"

This time he gets a different caller. A couple of streets go by and Negreanu's hand has barely improved. Even an amateur on the rail can tell his opponent is holding the wheel, so it's particularly funny when the guy checks to Negreanu.

"You're checking?" Negreanu laughs. He checks behind, bricks again, and pulls off his hat. He pretends to shoot himself in the head, hits himself in the forehead with his hat four times, and folds.

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All the bricks should be enough to put Negreanu into an ugly funk. Instead he hops up and heads toward a pretty blonde on the rail. "Ready for me?" She smiles widely and steps in to have her picture taken. That opens the flood gates. Suddenly, ten people are crowding in.

"It's my 40th birthday!" a woman implores with camera in hand.

Negreanu glances over his shoulder to make sure he won't miss a hand and then smiles for the camera. And then another. And another. One woman is holding more cameras than seems reasonable.

"How many do you have?" Negreanu asks. Then he counts them, "One, two, three, four, five?"

He manages to fit in a picture with every one of them before noticing the dealer is about to shuffle. He double times it back to the table, calling over his shoulder, "I gotta get back. They've got rules around here!"

All three Team Pros are still alive at the dinner break with fifty players remaining.

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