Monday, June 17, 2024

From T-Dot to Sin City – Negreanu Goes on an 888poker Ride

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From T-Dot to Sin City - Negreanu Goes on an 888poker Ride

If you talk about the big names in the history of poker, there will always be a few common threads. Brunson, Unger, Hellmuth, Ivey — and Daniel Negreanu. The Canadian poker star who plans to “be KidPoker forever” hitched a ride with David Tuchman and 888poker for the video series 888Ride.

The wide-ranging conversation is nearly an hour long and covers his earliest life all the way up to his plans for the future. Tuchman does his usual double-duty navigating the streets of Las Vegas while tossing questions to the lifelong gambler.

From his early life in Toronto with Romanian immigrant parents to the heights of the Las Vegas poker scene, Negreanu opens up about his early start playing games and gambling with his father and doesn’t stop until he is talking about becoming a father himself as his next life goal.

ABCs Negreanu Style

Daniel Negreanu’s early life was about a different kind of ABCs — acting, billiards, and cards. In his earliest life, he had aspirations on acting, working as an extra on a few local productions, but he found his true calling as an early teen – competition and gambling.

That side of him began in the snooker world, finding an early fascination with the game at age 13 in the arcade and pool hall he visited. Soon he was making money in local snooker tournaments and his passion for competition and winning was born.

He found poker through the snooker world, joining a game organized by fellow snooker players. Within a month, he went from fish to shark in the little home game and his true life calling began to unfold in front of him.

Early Success

While he went on to amass more than $50 million in live tournament wins in his life, the early success that hooked him on the life of competitive skill games was as modest as most. He pointed to an early runner-up finish in a snooker tournament for $500, and his first big poker score for $13k at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), as huge moments on his path to Vegas.

The CNE moment specifically helped push him toward the high-stakes Las Vegas poker world. “That was a big deal,” he said, “cause that prompted me to feel like, all right, next stop, Las Vegas.”

“I got a couple of ideas about this as well …”

Daniel Negreanu talks PoY and HoF“That’s what I love about you,” Tuchman said with a smile. “You have a lot of ideas.” Negreanu was happy to share his ideas on a few topics during the 888Ride, including how to modernize the WSOP Player of the Year (PoY) calculations and what to do about the Poker Hall of Fame (HoF).

He generally makes the point about quality over quantity when discussing both of the big topics he gets into at length on the drive. He started off with a joke about how he was a three-time PoY winner — for about four days — but gets serious about concerns that the PoY prize could be diluted in the current format.

He looked to a format that saw a more limited set of top results considered to limit the sort of late-series points push that characterized his own three-way battle for his third title. Pointing to a PLO game where he shoved blind to double up near the late-reg bubble, then never played a hand to get a 24th-place cash for “50 or 60 points”, he suggested there might be a better way.

For him, taking players’ top ten or twelve results from the series as a benchmark is the way to go, and he expressed hope that changes might be in the works. He took a similar quality line when it came to the HoF, specifically suggesting that it is players from the high-stakes community that should be voting on player inductees.

He also talked about expanding the entries to two players per year to address the growing backlog of uninducted greats. While he was inducted in the first year he was eligible, he noted that just one player per year would leave an increasing number of new players on the sidelines and make it even harder for older-generation players to get noticed again. On the flip side, he suggested that industry inductees be reduced to one every three years.

888Ride with Poker Gurus

The entire interview, on the 888poker YouTube channel, is just under 50 minutes long, and Negreanu covers a lot of ground. From his early life with what he describes as “typically European” parents through his own desire to move on to a new chapter of fatherhood, this 888Ride was the ride of his life.

Negreanu is just the latest luminary from the poker world to go for an 888Ride. From media personalities like Ali Nejd and Jeff Platt, to star players like Phil Galfond and Ben Lamb. host Tuchman hets inside the poker world from the driver’s seat.

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