Daniel Negreanu closed the book on 2023 deep in the red, but three days into 2024, "Kid Poker" couldn't help but smile as he defeated Daniel Smiljkovic heads-up to start the year with a bang, taking home the title and $218,400 first-place prize in PGT Last Chance Event #1: $10,100 No-Limit Hold'em. 

Smiljkovic began heads-up play with a nearly five-to-one chip lead, but three hands in, Negreanu found himself all in with ace-jack against Smiljkovic's ace-four. Smiljkovic flopped a wheel draw, but Negreanu turned a pair of jacks to find the double when the river bricked. 

Two hands after that, Negreanu took the chip lead when he found value on the river with his pair of queens against Smiljkovic's pair of fours before a late New Year's firework show commenced. 

In a limped pot, Smiljkovic flopped trip jacks against Negreanu's broadway draw. Smiljkovic check-raised the flop and barreled the brick turn; Negreanu shoved for just shy of four million total and knew he was in trouble when Smiljkovic snap-called. 

Negreanu had four outs once to take the trophy or return to where he started heads-up play. When the river landed a queen, Negreanu remarked he felt it but also coincided his turn shove was a little ambitious. Nonetheless, he lifted the trophy. 

Masashi Oya came into the final table of Event #1 with the chip lead, and Japan's All-Time Money Winner put those chips to work early and often as he maneuvered the early goings off the final table but could only watch as Smiljkovic eliminated Isaac Haxton in seventh place for $45,500 and David Peters in sixth place for $54,600 to wrestle away the chip lead. 

Oya would then wrestle the chip lead back as he scored successive eliminations, sending Jonathan Cohen (CA) to the payout desk in fifth place for $72,800, and Justin Bonomo would follow shortly after that in fourth place for $91,000. 

Smiljkovic would then double through Negreanu to leave "Kid Poker" with just 800,000 good for only eight big blinds. Negreanu would then double to just over two million through Oya before he could only watch as the two chip leaders went at it. 

Smiljkovic limped the small blind, Oya raised the big blind to 400,000, and Smiljkovic limp-raised to 950,000. Oya called, and the dealer spread the seven-five-four rainbow flop. 

Smiljkovic continued for 400,000, and Oya used a time extension before moving all in for a total of $3.48 million. Smiljkovic snap-called and tabled jacks for an over pair. 

Oya tabled pocket sixes for an open-ended straight draw, the turn and river bricked as Smiljkovic ended with trip jacks, and Oya could only head to the payout cage to collect his $113,750 thrid-place prize.

Just missing out on the final table, but finding their first cash of 2024 was Nick Schulman in eighth for $36,400, Jonathan Little and Ping Liu in ninth and tenth for $31,850, Justin Saliba in 11th for $27,300, and Lewis Spencer and Kristen Foxen in12th and 13th for $18,200.

With spots in the 2023 $1,000,000 PGT Championship free-roll still up for grabs, Negreanu entered the event squarely on the bubble in 35th place with six events to go, but with the win vaults into the top 16. Runner-up Smiljkovic also moves off the bubble as he moves up ten spots from 34th to 24th, while third-place finisher Oya gave himself some cushion as well, moving from 39th place to 34th. 

PGT Last Chance Event #1: $10,100 No-Limit Hold'em Payouts

Place Name Country PGT Points Payouts
1st Daniel Negreanu* Canada 218 $218,400
2nd Daniel Smiljkovic* Germany 150 $150,150
3rd Masashi Oya * Japan 114 $113,750
4th Justin Bonomo United States 91 $91,000
5th Jonathan Cohen (CA) United States 73 $72,800
6th David Peters United States 55 $54,600
7th Isaac Haxton* United States 46 $45,500
8th Nick Schulman* United States 36 $36,400
9th Jonathan Little United States 32 $31,850
10th Ping Liu United States 32 $31,850
11th Justin Saliba United States 27 $27,300
12th Lewis Spencer United Kingdom 18 $18,200
13th Kristen Foxen Canada 18 $18,200

* indicates player already in top 40 of PGT Standings

Bonomo and Cohen Lead for the Final Two Dream Seats

With Event #1 in the books, Bonomo and Cohen have positioned themselves atop the leaderboard in the race for the final two dream seats into the season-ending $1,000,000 PGT Championship. 

With the fourth-place finish, Bonomo moved from 54th to 48th on the overall leaderboard and will need to find another deep run to play himself into the field regardless of his finish on the series leaderboard. 

Cohen, meanwhile, scored his second cash of the PGT season and will need to continue to produce, as his only road to the Championship is one of the final two seats. 

The top 40 itself remained unchanged, but Oya (39th to 34th), Smiljkovic (34th to 24th), and Negreanu (35th to 16th) all distanced themselves from the bubble with five events to play.

5 Events Remaining in PGT Season

Event Number Starting Date Event
128 January 3, 2024 PGT Last Chance #2: $10,100 No-Limit Hold'em
129 January 4, 2024 PGT Last Chance #3: $10,100 No-Limit Hold'em
130 January 5, 2024 PGT Last Chance #4: $10,100 No-Limit Hold'em
131 January 6, 2024 PGT Last Chance #5: $10,100 No-Limit Hold'em
132 January 7, 2024 PGT Last Chance #6: $10,100 No-Limit Hold'em
  January 9-10, 2024 PGT Championship $1,000,000 Freeroll

For complete PGT schedule information, check out pgt.com/schedule.

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Daniel Negreanu, David Peters, Jonathan Cohen, Masashi Oya, Justin Bonomo, Isaac Haxton, PGT Last Chance, Daniel Smiljkovic