A showdown between rival poker players Daniel Negreanu and Gus Hansen was held on the first day of the European Poker Tournament event in London yesterday. The square off was highly publicized on Twitter as a rematch between the two players from their faceoff in 2006 when Hansen won a $575,000 pot against Negreanu. Since that match, the two have engaged in what is considered a love-hate rivalry.
The rivalry is more engaging for fans and other players due to Negreanu and Hansen’s statuses on rival online poker websites. Negreanu is one of the mascots of Team PokerStars, while Hansen is one of the chairmen of the new Full Tilt Poker domain. The two websites are owned by the same company, but engage in a friendly, brotherly rivalry with each other – similar to Negreanu and Hansen’s personal rivalry.
The faceoff in London included Hansen’s team of “Full Tilt professionals” which includes Viktor Bloom and Tom Dwan, while Negreanu recruited two successful Team PokerStars players, Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier and Isaac “Ike” Haxton, to assist in the challenge. The matchups consisted of three heads-up tournaments played simultaneously – Elky vs. Bloom, Ike vs. Dwan, and Negreanu vs. Hansen, where the winner of each match received $50,000.
Negreanu redeemed himself in a 3-0 victory against Hansen, winning the $50,000 staked on the match. The rest of Team PokerStars also won their matches, with Tom Dwan the only Full Tilt player to avoid a clean sweep. After the victory, Negreanu thanked Team PokerStars for supporting the rematch against Hansen and Full Tilt Poker.
“I did predict a 3-0 sweep! I’m really proud of my team, and preparing for the match was a great bonding and learning experience. I’m really proud of how prepared Team PokerStars was.”
All the players will participate in the main EPT event this week, but the Full Tilt professionals are already indicating they want to avenge the loss.