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2010 WSOP Best Bets: Daniel Negreanu
Last year, PokerListings picked its best bets to win a World Series of Poker bracelet and revealed them to the public in advance of the series.
Out of five picks, our very own blogger Jason Mercier managed to win his first of what is sure to be many bracelets to come.
However, our other four choices were shut out. This year, after deciding one isn't nearly enough, we have chosen a line-up sure to be bringing home the bling from Las Vegas this summer.
As you may have already determined from the headline above, our first pick is none other than Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu.
With four bracelets already and the fact he sits second on tournament poker's all-time leading money winner list, he's an obvious choice.
But the fact he came so close last year without winning and appears more focused than ever before makes him and even better bet.
Every Tuesday and Thursday for the next two weeks we will reveal our four other not-so-obvious best bets.
Plus, when we're done, we'll tell you Negreanu's own 2010 WSOP Best Bets right before the 2010 World Series of Poker kicks off.
But for now, here's why Daniel Negreanu is a one of PokerListings' best bets to win a WSOP bracelet this year:
At the 2009 World Series of Poker, Daniel Negreanu spent his time as a slave to a rather sizable Player of the Year points side bet.
Despite a series-leading eight cashes, including a heartbreaking second-place finish and a another final table where he finished third, with so much money riding on how many POY points he and Erick Lindgren could combine to earn against Barry Greenstein and Jeffrey Lisandro, winning a bracelet was almost a secondary goal.
After losing the bet thanks to three bracelets and a POY win from Lisandro, Negreanu has no plans to make a similar wager this year and his focus is clear.
"I wasn't even thinking as much about bracelets last year as I was about good finishes and letting the chips fall where they may," he told PokerListings. "This year I'm going to try and focus a little bit more on just winning."
For Negreanu, that focus starts with great preparation heading into the May 27 WSOP start.
The month before the series begins, Negreanu traditionally turns off the usually bright media spotlight and unplugs for a while. He stops the worldwide travel schedule and focuses on playing golf, getting as much exercise as possible and eating right in anticipation of the grind six weeks on the WSOP felt can be.
This year, however, he will be changing the routine slightly.
"This time I'm going to do things a little differently at night," he said. "I'm going to be playing some poker online. I'm still working on some stuff."
With his mind, body and game in shape, Negreanu will head into the series planning on playing almost every event he can.
"Basically I'm going to play all the big ones," he said. "Then depending on how the body feels, how everything else feels and how I'm doing, the plan is to go full out again for the most part."
Negreanu says he will skip the small buy-in huge-field events he says don't offer the same chance to win a bracelet as some of the smaller-field big buy-in mixed and limit game events.
Plus, as an added motivation, he's already booked a couple of bracelet bets with players like Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan.
But with an eye on history and securing his spot as one of the game's all-time greats, Negreanu hardly needs any more motivation to win a bracelet in 2010.
"My goal has always been to average one bracelet every two years so I'll have 10 after 20 years," he said. "I'm behind and I need to get back on track.
"One this year would be good. Two would be great, but four would be awesome."
Check back every Tuesday and Thursday until the start of the 2010 WSOP to see who the rest of PokerListings' 2010 WSOP Best Bets will be.
Plus, PokerListings will have comprehensive coverage of the entire 2010 World Series of Poker. Keep it locked on our 2010 WSOP page to follow all the action as it happens.