Daniel Negreanu Interview

In a poignant interview about his latest status and career in the poker world, Daniel Negreanu comes clean and talks about what he believes were his ups and downs and if he has any regrets throughout his 15+ year career as a poker player.

One of the things Daniel makes mention of is his previous job he had prior to being a world famous poker player, where he would be working as a salad bar manager at a restaurant and how he would have been a better representative of Subway than Jared who he says was a disappointment turning out to be a pedophile. He considered himself to be a sandwich artist being able to make a Turkey Bacon sub in 24.7 seconds.

One of the interesting things about the interview – is that Daniel says he had no media training despite PokerStars offering it a lot and he’d refuse that and any sort of prep before major interviews on shows like USA Today saying that when it comes to his interview he refuses to let himself be muzzled and saying something that he would otherwise refuse to say. He also alludes to the fact that he has a loud voice so people definitely want to hear what he has to say whether they agree with it or not.

Daniel Negreanu got his start with Full Contact Poker and alluded to the fact that he would sit for hours and hours as well as come to the WSOP in the early days entering stats and studying.

He says he didn’t even have a laptop computer – he used a book which he still has and he would do 6 hour sessions and write notes and grade himself based on a letter grade based on how well he played. Even though he would lose at times – he would give himself an A+ while in other cases he’d give himself a D even though he’d win.

Some mental notes that he would write would be about things like how sitting next to a smoker would be a serious distraction and would make a comment about it causing him to be ‘tilted and annoyed’.

When asked about if he went over the notes – he makes clear that it wasn’t about going over the notes as much as it is a form therapy for him to write things down.Although he would look at them occasionally it was more about clearing his thoughts and being able to focus on the game itself.

In the early days of his poker career, Daniel would run private games in Toronto at a place known as Bridge Club where he ran the games with a guy named “John Jr.”

While John would run the events, Daniel would balance the budget and run the books and make sure dealers were going in and out. The rake is something he makes note of mentioning that they’d play $10-$20 limit hold’em and the rake was $10 meaning about 5 % and in addition to that people tipped around $2.50 which would be the minimum so it would usually be more around $7.50 or $10

Daniel talks about playing very little poker when he’s at home – he loves being at home and relaxing and his couch is his favourite vacation spot in the world.

When asked about reliving a moment or two back in his career, he calls it more of a  ‘feeling’ than a moment, and he says it was back when his back was against the wall that he played his best. He likens it to someone trying to grab the ball out of Shaquille O’Neil’s hands.

He would become hyper-focused and an absolute killer – he says there was something romantic and fun about being on the verge of being broke. It was exciting and a little bit of an adrenaline rush. He doesn’t get to live those moments anymore because he has money now.

He cannot go in and play in a game where he has to lose $7 million and then say let’s go play $100k/$200k NLH

In terms of things that happened to him in the past – he says he has no regrets because all the mistakes he made got him to the place where he learned to become who he is now. He makes mention of his comments about Annie Duke, and the only thing he would say is that if he saw someone his own age making those mistakes he would offer his advice. He would try to take that person under his wing to some degree.

Without breakdowns you don’t have breakthroughs and every mistake is an opportunity to learn something valuable. As a result of that – it is all those mistakes that make him extremely happy.

Daniel Negreanu talks about his political views and how it hurts him a lot when he hears anti-semitism, mentioning that everything started as a result of the holocaust and that Israel is a tiny spec surrounded by a bunch of group that want them obliterated from the Earth.

Talking about the media – he talks about his ex-love Amanda Leatherman, was a good spokesperson for poker because she didn’t really talk about poker, she would ask what he’s eating and saying ‘let’s do shots’.

The idea is to show stuff that’s outside of the game because otherwise no one wants to hear the nitty gritty details of the game because it’s boring.

Mentioning the poker Hall of Fame, – he cites Devilfish as not being among his top favourites just because he passed away, but rather he would chose Fitoussi and Duthie in the builders category. Someone like Linda Johnson who got in years ago – was put in the builder’s category. He believes there should be three people a year, two being players and one from the builders category.

Finally – Negreanu calls himself the troll or “Donald Trump of Poker”, trolling everybody because he enjoys it. Everyone is hyper-sensitive about hot issues that include race, religion, politics and he’s not afraid of these things and he likes the fact that he can use Twitter to openly have these discussions.


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