Daniel Negreanu Trumps Johnny Whitt on PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge

poker video streamingOn Sunday flanking NFL coverage on FOX, a new episode of the PokerStars “Million Dollar Challenge” aired. The Chris Rose-hosted show has become one of the industry’s staple television series and last week, Johnny Whitt from Houston, Texas challenged a stable of PokerStars pros and celebrities. On the line was a $100,000 match against Daniel Negreanuand a shot at $1 million.

Whitt faced off against a half-dressed Sara Underwood in the first round. Negreanu sat beside Whitt throughout the match, which saw Underwood take an early lead after Whitt’s open-ended straight draw failed to come through. Underwood opened up a 2:1 chip advantage as a result, but could not hold up. The Victory Poker pro moved all-in with 10-8 on a board reading Q-8-5-6 for a pair of eights. However, Whitt had her dominated with Q-8 for top two pair and Underwood was drawing dead to the river. Whitt received a $5,000 trip to the Bahamas for the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

After getting through the former Playboy Playmate of the Year, Whitt squared off against PokerStars pro Barry Greenstein. This time, Negreanu moved to an isolation booth where he could communicate with Whitt through an earpiece. In turn, Greenstein could suspend all communication between the two by invoking the Dome of Silence twice during the match. Greenstein scooped two pots worth a combined 20,000 in chips early, leaving Whitt treading on thin ice.

Greenstein used his Dome of Silence twice pre-flop; both times he peeked down at 7-2 and gave Whitt a walk. Ultimately, the challenger was all-in pre-flop with 4-3 and up against the pocket sixes of Greenstein, but flopped the nuts when the first three cards came 5-2-A. The pot resulted in a 2:1 chip lead for the amateur and, in the match’s final hand, Whitt’s A-7 held against Greenstein’s Q-5 when the Texan made a flush on the turn. He picked up $25,000 to go along with the trip to the Bahamas.

Rose asked Whitt if he wanted to risk his $25,000 payday to face Negreanu heads-up for $100,000 and a chance at $1 million or take the money and run. Whitt’s family encouraged him to take the plunge and Whitt obliged, setting up a “Star Wars”-esque master versus apprentice showdown on the “Million Dollar Challenge.” After Whitt took the chip lead, Negreanu raised to 4,000 before the flop with A-10 and Whitt 3bet to 8,000 with Q-J. Negreanu called to set up the game-changing pot.

The flop came 4-5-8 with two clubs and Whitt open-shoved all-in. Negreanu, remarking that there were too many chips in the middle to fold, called all-in as a 70% favorite. Another club on the turn gave Whitt a flush draw, but a red nine on the river gave Negreanu a pot of 37,000, or 93% of the chips in play. Whitt, whose stack totaled less than one big blind, then staked his tournament life on 6-5, but could not draw out on Negreanu’s 8-5. “Kid Poker” scooped $10,000 for charity.

The PokerStars-backed “Million Dollar Challenge” will next hit airwaves on November 21st flanking NFL coverage on FOX. Then, on December 12th, one contestant will battle Negreanu for a $1 million top prize. Last season, 9/11 first responder Mike Kosowski earned the seven-figure jackpot after spiking a four-outer on the final hand. You can catch Season 1 of the “Million Dollar Challenge” on GSN.

PokerStars is holding qualifiers for the poker game show online until December 8th. Check out a brand new episode in two weeks on FOX.