Controversy as Daniel Colman wins the WSOP Big One for One Drop
The self-styled “Biggest Poker Game in the World” - the WSOP “Big One for One Drop” - came to a successful conclusion on July 1 with a controversial and surprise winner – the young poker pro from Massachusetts, Daniel Colman, who has been surprising poker experts since he first entered the established poker scene a year ago. Colman, who prior to the tournament had won just $350,000 from live tournaments, took home the amazing first prize of $15.3million, beating such established poker pros as Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Ivey, plus Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu and Vanessa Selbst.
What makes Colman's victory all the more remarkable is that he almost gave up playing poker altogether in 2012, in order to concentrate on his education. “Summer of 2012, I was making plans to go back to college and give up poker,” explained the 23-year-old, “but I messed up my applications and the ultimately decided to give poker one last go around.”
Colman toyed with controversy after the event by refusing to speak to the media. He later issued a statement that said “I capitialize off this game and target people's weaknesses. I do enjoy it, I love the strategy part of it, but I do see it as a very dark game.” The senior editor of Pokernews.com, Rich Ryan, reacted by saying “If that is truly how you feel, Daniel, if you sincerely feel that there is something morally wrong with promoting poker because people will lose money, then wash your hands clean of sin. Donate all of your profit from this tournament to the One Drop Foundation or, even better, Gamblers Anonymous, and proudly wave your anti-poker flag for all to see.”
In a thrilling finish, Colman was up against PokerStars' Daniel Negreanu in the heads-up. In the final hand, Negreanu held A4 and went all in against Colman's KQ. With all the chips on the line, the flop came out brilliantly for Negreanu – AJ4, giving him the top two pair and draws to a full house.
The only possible help for Colman would have been a ten to complete a straight, and unbelievably the next card drawn was indeed a ten, completing Colman's ten-to-the-ace straight. The only hope for Negreanu would have been an ace or a four on the river, but when nothing like that came out, Colman had just walked away with the top prize,
“Had a blast battling Daniel Coleman(sic)!” tweeted Negreanu after the event “Actually joyful and amazing experience. What a great player and great kid. Congrats to him”. Negreanu had to be content with a second prize just over $8million, an amount which took the Canadian to first place in the all-time list for live tournament poker cash winning.