Poker pros from the Land of the Maple Leaf witnessed an exciting start of the new 2018, with some players, like Same Greenwood and Mike Leah, adding more champion trophies to their collections. Others, like Daniel Negreanu, found themselves in the midst of heated social-media disputes that attracted a good deal of attention on behalf of fellow pros and poker fans alike.
The beginning of the year marked the start of one of the biggest events on the international poker circuit, the 2018 Aussie Millions Championship. Considered an absolute must-visit for high-rollers, this year’s edition of the popular tournament series attracted the attention of some of the biggest names in poker including pros Ben Lamb, Toby Lewis, Mustapha Kanit, and our own Sam Greenwood.
Greenwood Triumphs at the Aussie Millions for A$116,400
Not only did Greenwood participate in this year’s Aussie Millions but he also took down the champion title in the ANTON Jewellery $50,000 Challenge which took place on January 28, 2018 at the Crown Melbourne Casino Resort.
The Canadian poker pro managed to prevail over opponent Jan Schwippert in an intense heads-up battle that lasted for nearly six hours. The event started two hours later than expected as Greenwood was in fact the only participant to join the table at the scheduled time while a few players loitered around to see if the field would swell.
The field did swell a notch eventually as Alex Foxen and Jan Schwippert joined Greenwood a couple of hours later, with Koji Fujimoto jumping in after the first break. Fujimoto and Foxen did not last for long. Soon Greenwood and Schwippert found themselves in a heads-up battle where Greenwood defeated his German opponent with a flush of diamonds against a backdoor straight.
His latest victory earned the Canadian poker pro a first-place prize of A$116,400, which he added to his already impressive live-winnings stack. Greenwood currently sits on top of nearly $7.5 million in total live earnings. The Canadian also performed well at the A$4,700 + $300 Pot Limit Omaha Event at the championship where he ended up in 5th place for A$36,305.
Greenwood Confronts German Players on Twitter
The Canadian player then took the liberty to express his opinion on Twitter on the reasons why the $50,000 Challenge failed to attract a larger field. In essence, what Greenwood did was accuse players of “milling around the tournament room” to get a proper feel of what competition they were to eventually face.
Not only did Greenwood use his recent Aussie Millions experience as an example but he also took the opportunity to address a similar situation which took place during last year’s PokerStars Championship in Prague where an event he played was delayed and eventually started with several participants at the table, including German notable Christopher Kruk.
Greenwood made the mistake of adding the German flag to his tweet and the result was a wave of negative reactions on behalf of the German contingent. High-stakes regulars like Dietrich Fast, Stefan Schillhabel, and Steffen Sontheimer all took the opportunity to express their disagreement with Greenwood’s statement while fellow high-roller Koray Aldemir even explained that some of his compatriots did not even partake in last year’s PokerStars Championship Prague. The only two participants from Germany, Aldemir explained, were hanging around the waiting room because of issues, related to their money transfers.
While Greenwood made a valid point, the Twitter discussion attracted polarizing opinions. The most prominent example would be Australian poker pro Stevan Chew whose stance on the matter was that the presence of skilled players like the Germans would have dissuaded other potential participants from registering.
Negreanu Feuds with Polk over Award Nominations
Yet, Greenwood was hardly the only player from the Canadian contingent to take part in a Twitter feud. Daniel Negreanu, who currently occupies the first place on the list of Canada’s highest live poker earners, was just recently involved in a simmering dispute with US player Doug Polk after it became clear both were nominated in the categories Video Blogger and Poker’s Biggest Influencer at the 4th Annual American Poker Awards.
Things took a turn for the worst after Polk joined fellow poker player Joe Ingram in a YouTube podcast where he accused Negreanu of being a hypocrite and “an embarrassment to players and the game of poker”. The legendary Canadian poker pro did not waste time in responding to the attacks and took to his own YouTube channel to accuse his opponent of bad-mouthing fellow players just to get more views on the popular video-sharing platform.
This is hardly the first time the two players involve in a verbal spat. It was only five months ago when Polk used his YouTube channel to publicly criticize and make fun of the Canadian legend’s stance in regard to PokerStars’ rake increase. Since Negreanu is well-known in the poker community for his propensity to openly express his opinion, it did not take long before things got ugly between the two.
Neither Polk, nor Negreanu collected any trophies in the categories they were nominated in at this year’s American Poker Awards. What Negreanu did, however, was add another payout to his list after he finished in 3rd place for $264,000 at the 2018 US Poker Open Main Event.
Mike Leah Takes Down the WPT Main Event
To end things on a positive note, Ontario-native Mike Leah took down the C$4,700 + 300 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event at this year’s WPT Fallsview Poker Classic. The Main Event took place at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort and generated a massive pool of C$2,337,803 in guaranteed prizes.
The Canadian poker pro prevailed over a tough field of 517 contestants and took home the champion trophy along with the handsome amount of C$451,821 plus a $15,000 seat into the WPT Tournament of Champions. Leah’s latest victory caused his live poker earnings to swell to the impressive amount of $6.9 million. He currently comes in 8th on Canada’s Total Live Earnings list.
With Leah’s most recent win, it appears things are looking good so far for the Canadian poker contingent and we can only hope players from the country will continue with their good run for the remainder of 2018.