Entertainment

What Happened To Daniel Negreanu?

Poker often treads the fine line between mainstream entertainment and niche interest – many people think of the glamour of playing at casinos, whereas competitions don't include as much showboating despite the massive prize pots on offer. Something about the psychological aspect of playing really appeals to spectators who love to know whether a player is bluffing, which cards they are hoping will come up and how the betting is going to play out.

Some players make it their business to bring their whole personalities to the table, leveraging their popularity to increase their chances of winning and making the most of any publicity to psyche their opponents out. While the internet has encouraged many amateur players to try their hand at a poker game online, the biggest tournaments still hold an appeal with some of the biggest names creeping into the mainstream, such as Alex Foxen and T J Cloutier.

What Makes Daniel Negreanu So Great?

Not many poker players make a name for themselves beyond the playing table, but some capture the attention of the wider public and Daniel Negreanu is just such a player. This is largely due to his impressive playing record and the consistency with which his career has seen him win again and again, at some of the most high-profile tournaments.

As the winner of six World Series of Poker titles and two World Poker Tour championship titles, it's no surprise that he is one of the top ten poker players of all time. In 2014, he was considered to be the best poker player of the decade by the Global Poker Index, and by 2019 he was in the top three live tournament poker winners of all time.

Negreanu was named the World Series of Poker Player of the Year in 2004, and when he achieved that accolade again in 2013 he became the first player ever to have won the title twice. Similarly, he was recognised by the World Poker Tour as the Player of the year in 2004.

The World Series of Poker hosts three annual tournaments around the world: one in Las Vegas, one in Europe, and one in the Asia-Pacific region. Negreanu is the first player to have made the final table at all three of these contests and the first to win a bracelet at each. All these exceptional achievements, and more, earned him a place in the Poker Hall of Fame and he was inducted in 2014.

The Real Daniel Negreanu

Despite originally wanting to be a professional snooker player, Daniel Negreanu was always convinced that it was his destiny to become rich. It could be argued that this kind of attitude is what makes him one of the most successful poker players ever, and it certainly didn't hurt when he was developing the focus needed to do well.

As the child of Romanian immigrants, Negreanu was keen to find his fortunes, and it was while he was spending time working on his snooker skills that he learned to play poker. By his late teens, he was frequenting pool halls, playing cards, and betting on sports in an attempt to achieve his dream of moving to California.

Before too long, he had dropped out of college to focus on his poker playing, and during this time he dated another now-prolific poker player, Evelyn Ng. His success as a poker player has opened up other opportunities for him, including:

1. A cameo as a poker player in the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine

2. An appearance in the comedy film The Grand

3. Playing himself in the film Lucky You

4. Featuring in Katy Perry's music video for the song Waking Up in Vegas

5. Trying to beat a lie detector for the TV show Sports Science

He has also competed in the digital game Hearthstone, streaming his games on Twitch and earning himself a place at a showmatch in the Hearthstone World Championship. He beat fellow poker player Bertrand Grospellier 3-1.

The secret of Negreanu's success, as he explains it, is that he observes and learns everything he can about his opponents based on the hands they play. This gives him an insight into the way they think, particularly when it comes to their ability to play the hands they have effectively.

From being the youngest World Series of Poker bracelet winner in history to netting himself an estimated $42,000,000, Daniel Negreanu has become something of a legend in his own lifetime and now appears regularly on a variety of sports podcasts, competing regularly in online poker tournaments, and tutoring high-profile clients such as Shannon Elizabeth and Tobey Maguire in his winning technique.

Negreanu has also written a book about poker strategy and has released a masterclass in poker playing. His enthusiasm for the game has been a driving force in his willingness to share his insights and mentor younger players to help them achieve their poker-playing dreams.