April 2009
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Negreanu vs Perry

Not content with running into quads virtually every time he appears on High Stakes Poker, Daniel Negreanu is also subjected to a savage beat by Katy Perry in the video to her song "Waking up in Vegas".

Sure, it’s a music video, but Daniel’s acting is good (as you can see from his sad face, above) so just in case you were wondering whether they’d used real game footage, here’s the first clue that this is fake: the audience of predominantly attractive female poker fans in the background.

We don’t get to see the betting, and the resolution of the cards is pretty crappy in these screen caps, but it looks like Negreanu either ran pocket kings into pocket aces for $17.2m pre-flop, or got it all with quad kings on the flop.  Whichever way it happened, Perry’s pocket aces make runner-runner quads to end up as the best hand.

If Poker Stars had a sense of humour, the logo in the corner of the screen would read "lol riverstars".  Or they’d put a caption saying "look, it does happen in live poker!"

I really think they missed a trick by playing this one straight, but I guess they want to compete with Bwin’s product placement in that awful Lady Gaga song.  All credit to them, they’ve found their own song that’s almost as bad.

Anyway, after the flop, pocket aces are s 900-1 or so underdog… but it can happen.  Perry drags down a huge pot in predictably classy fashion.

It all works out nicely for Daniel in the end though. Apparently he had enough chips left to stage a dramatic comeback, and taunt her by showing off his bling.

This time he cracks Katy’s pocket aces with king-ten of clubs.  At least I think that’s the hand.  There’s a reason that poker on TV uses simplified card rank and suit graphics, not little pictures of playing cards.

The flop is all paint and all black.  Let’s assume he has a pair of kings and an open-ended straight flush draw – actually a slight favourite over the pair of aces at this point – and that they get the money in on the flop.

The turn brings another ace, but Daniel now has straight against Katy’s three-of-a-kind and is a strong favourite (78%) to win the pot.  She needs a jack, queen or king.

The ace of clubs on the river (so that four of a kind is beaten by a royal flush) is unnecessary, but it’s great for television.

Despite this pot being $17.2m – exactly the same size as the one Daniel just lost – Negreanu somehow has enough chips to cover Perry.

Rigged in favour of the big stack, obviously.

We see her throwing her last chip towards him.  Like you do.  And Katy’s sad face is even better than Daniel’s.

You can see the whole thing here, although the poker scenes do only last about four seconds in total: