About Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu
Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu may well be the best-liked player in poker.

Young, talented and friendly - on or away from the table - it's easy to see how he has nearly as many distinctions for his positive image as for his countless tournament victories. It's also not surprising then, based on both reputation and tournament success, that PokerStars.com has chosen Negreanu to represent them as one of their elite sponsored pros.

Negreanu's parents, Ann and Constantin, left the Communist regime of Romania in 1967, looking to start a new life in the United States. They ended up settling in Toronto instead, where Constantin found work as an electrician. They soon started a family, Daniel arriving five years after his older brother.

It was a supportive environment, even when it became clear Negreanu was destined for an unconventional lifestyle. While nursing dreams of a career in acting or comedy, the 15-year-old learned to play a little poker. By 16, he was spending time in pool halls, hustling, sports betting and - yes - playing cards.

By the time he was 18, Negreanu had dropped out of high school - one credit short of graduation - to focus on poker. He started supplementing his play at illegal games around town with trips to charity casinos. Ever charming, he met and started dating a local dealer by the name of Evelyn Ng. For a more traditional lifestyle, he tried one day as a telemarketer and a month working at a Subway, but his path clearly led elsewhere.

At 21, an eager (and finally legal) Negreanu took the money he'd made to try his talents against the world's finest in Las Vegas. He lasted about seven months before returning home, broke but determined. Building up a new bankroll at games around Toronto, he made one last push to Vegas, this time for good.

Around this time that Daniel's father passed away. The young player took the occasion to evaluate his lifestyle. Deciding he was destined to play poker, he seemed to gain the focus necessary to become a truly great player. His career took an upward turn which has continued largely unabated.

The next year, 1997, saw Negreanu's first substantial wins, including two at the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods where he was named the tournament's best all-around player. Encouraged and with a considerably fattened bankroll, Negreanu entered the World Series of Poker the next year, where he won the first event he entered - $2,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em. He was history's youngest bracelet winner, a title he held until 2004, and "Kid Poker" was born.

In 1999, the Kid took down the United States Poker Championship. Around this time, success started to catch up with Daniel. Excessive drinking, money mismanagement and too much time alone affected his game, and 2000 was a quiet year for wins. Turning his life and his game around, in 2001 he made the money in dozens of tournaments and finished 11th in the WSOP Main Event.

But the best was still to come for Kid Poker. In 2004, he took a gold bracelet in the WSOP - for Limit Hold'em - and made it to the money in five other events, earning him ESPN's Toyota Player of the Year award. That same year he won the Borgata Poker Open, and a prize of $1,117,400, as well as the Five Diamond World Poker Classic, worth $1,770,218.

Negreanu's presence continues to be felt on the WPT circuit, where he is one of the all-time money leaders, and at the WSOP, where he was welcomed onto the Player Advisory Board in 2006. Passionate about maintaining the event's integrity, Negreanu was key in the introduction of a $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event - which he believes is a truer indicator of skill than the Main Event - as well as significant scheduling changes.

In addition to playing and advisory duties, Negreanu is in demand as an author, contributing to the strategy of Doyle Brunson's Super/System 2, the sequel to what may be the best poker book ever written. In 2007 he released his own work, Hold'em Wisdom for All Players, which has sold out numerous printings. He also writes regular blogs and articles for online and print publication.

People, it seems, cannot get enough of Negreanu; the newly opened Wynn Las Vegas recruited him as their "Poker Ambassador" in 2005, which meant he would play for any stakes in their poker room. The next year he was awarded the title "Favorite Poker Player" and was featured in the video game "Stacked with Daniel Negreanu." He has also tutored for Poker School Online and given personal lessons to celebrities like Tobey Maguire.

Negreanu continues to play tournaments as he always has, preparing for big games by watching all five Rocky movies and eating vegan meals prepared by his mother, who has been cooking for his tournaments since he was 18. He can often be spotted at tables wearing a hockey jersey and headphones, listening to relaxing music to focus his game.

Away from the tables he finds time to support charities like the Make a Wish Foundation, various Canadian charities and - of course - charity poker tournaments. He continues to live in his adopted home of Las Vegas with his dog Mushu.

Player Analysis

Daniel has become a consistent winner at the $1,000-$2,000 level in a limited side-game schedule. Daniel’s won the 2004 Card Player Player of the Year award and the 2004 WSOP Player of the Year award – pretty impressive.

His light-hearted nature, good writing, and accessibility to poker enthusiasts have made Daniel one of the most popular players. He is often mentioned as the top player by newsgroup posters. In the past, Daniel occasionally showed questionable judgment speaking his mind, but the grounding effect of his relationship with his wife, Lori, has helped him make better decisions.

Amusing Anecdote

In the summer of 2004, Daniel and I were the two leaders in the Player of the Year race. He asked me how hard I was going to try to win. I told him I wouldn’t play many small events, but I was hoping to leave myself close enough so that if I won the final event of the year, I would become Player of the Year in heroic fashion. Daniel found himself in second place going into the final event of the year. He did exactly what I was hoping to do: he won, dominating the field and making it look easy.

Tournament Placing

Place Winnings Tournament
30 $3,721.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 60 - $1500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better
12 $92,702.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 55 - $50,000 Poker Players Championship (6-handed)
12 $20,783.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 47 - $10,000 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) Championship
34 $4,901.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 37 - $1500 Pot-Limit Omaha
87 $4,627.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 25 - $2500 No-Limit Hold'em
19 $19,449.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 21 - $3000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em
14 $15,464.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 16 - $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship
4 $42,030.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 13 - $1500 Seven Card Razz
11 $526,778.00 WSOP 2015 - $10,000 WSOP Main Event
3 $113,062.00 WSOP 2015 - Event 41 - $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship
41 $2,539.00 WSOP 2015 - Event 39 - $1,500 Ten-Game Mix
25 $6,226.00 WSOP 2015 - Event 19 - $3,000 Limit Hold'em 6-Handed
2 $8,288,001.00 WSOP 2014 - $1 Million Big One for One Drop
9 $9,014.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 50 - $1,500 8-Game Mix
25 $6,573.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 47 - $1,500 Ante Only No-Limit Hold'em
25 $6,573.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 45 - $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em
63 $2,926.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 43 - $1,500 Limit Hold'em
10 $26,584.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 40 - $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em
10 $8,504.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 34 - $1,500 Seven-Card Stud
18 $18,254.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 22 - $10,000 HORSE
10 $28,878.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 18 - $10,000 Razz
2 $156,674.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 13 - $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball
1 €725,000.00 WSOPE 2013 - Event 8 - €25,600 High Roller
25 €21,750.00 WSOPE 2013 - €10,450 Main Event
2 $107,055.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 59 - $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw
34 $10,960.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 41 - $5,000 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha
39 $11,495.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 32 - $5,000 6-Max No-Limit Hold'em
49 $6,475.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 27 - $3,000 Mixed Max
26 $3,889.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 23 - $2,500 Stud
12 $12,269.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 5 - $2,500 Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo
1 AU$1,038,825.00 WSOP APAC 2013 - $10,000 Main Event
4 AU$16,336.00 WSOP APAC 2013 - Event 3 - $2,200 Mixed Event
160 $52,718.00 WSOP 2012 - Event 61 - $10,000 Main Event
13 $19,272.00 WSOP 2012 - Event 60 - $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball (No-Limit)
104 $4,155.00 WSOP 2012 - Event 56 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em
45 $5,639.00 WSOP 2012 - Event 8 - $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low 8 or Better
5 $41,683.00 WSOP 2012 - Event 5 - $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em
211 $47,107.00 WSOP 2011 - Event 58 - $10,000 Main Event World Championship
20 $24,942.00 WSOP 2011 - Event 40 - $5,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em
59 $4,998.00 WSOP 2011 - Event 13 - $1,500 No-Limit Shootout
5 £47,045.00 WSOPE 2010 - Event 4: £10,000 High Roller Heads-Up
11 $77,569.00 WSOP 2010 - Event 52 - $25,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em
6 $25,000.00 WSOP 2010 - 2010 Tournament of Champions
29 $5,423.00 WSOP 2010 - Event 40 - $2,500 Razz
8 $26,004.00 WSOP 2010 - Event 19 - $10k 2-7 Draw Championship (No-Limit)
66 $18,595.00 WPT Season 8 - LA Poker Classic
2 £495,589.00 WSOPE 2009 - £10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event
16 $7,223.00 2009 WSOP - Event 55 - $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw (Limit)
47 $2,690.00 2009 WSOP - Event 53 - $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo
37 $5,757.00 2009 WSOP - Event 47 - $2,500 Mixed Hold'em (Limit/No-Limit)
26 $6,169.00 2009 WSOP - Event 38 - $2,000 Limit Hold'em
4 $130,401.00 2009 WSOP - Event 18 - $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship
2 $138,280.00 2009 WSOP - Event 14 - Limit Hold'em/ Six Handed
43 $5,074.00 2009 WSOP - Event 10 - $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em/Omaha
10 $36,266.00 2009 WSOP - Event 6 - $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship
5 $75,000.00 2009 Special - NBC National Heads-Up Championship
5 £217,200.00 2008 WSOPE - Event 4, No-Limit Hold'em Main Event
14 £5,500.00 2008 WSOPE - Event 2, H.O.R.S.E.
24 £4,305.00 2008 WSOPE - Event 1, No-Limit Hold'em
13 $142,080.00 2008 WSOP - Event 45, $50,000 H.O.R.S.E.
7 $123,437.00 2008 WSOP - Event 28, Pot-Limit Omaha w/re-buys
1 $204,434.00 2008 WSOP - Event 20, Limit Hold'em
11 $33,417.00 2008 WSOP - Event 14, World Championship Seven-Card Stud $10,000
22 $16,496.00 2008 WSOP - Event 5, No-Limit Hold'em w/re-buys
76 $39,570.00 WPT Season 6 - WPT World Championship
14 $96,355.00 WPT Season 6 - Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic
5 $21,321.00 2007 WSOP - Event 32, Seven Card Stud
3 $101,351.00 2007 WSOP - Event 21, No-Limit Hold'em Shootout
2 $502,691.00 WPT Season 5 - World Poker Open
3 $592,000.00 WPT Season 5 - Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic
229 $42,882.00 2006 WSOP - Event 39, No-Limit Texas Hold'em World Championship Event
38 $3,878.00 2006 WSOP - Event 29, Pot-Limit Hold'em
20 $12,295.00 2006 WSOP - Event 16, Pot-Limit Omaha
7 $48,776.00 2006 WSOP - Event 8, Omaha Hi-low Split
8 $38,852.00 2006 WSOP - Event 5, No-limit Hold'em Short Handed, 6/table
22 $6,725.00 2005 WSOP - Event 36, $3,000 Limit Hold'em
36 $3,665.00 2005 WSOP - Event 10, $2,000 Limit Hold'em
3 $384,322.00 WPT Season 3 - World Poker Open
1 $1,795,418.00 WPT Season 3 - Five Diamond World Poker Classic
1 $1,091,900.00 WPT Season 3 - Borgata Poker Open
2 $675,178.00 WPT Season 2 - PartyPoker Million
3 $192,270.00 WPT Season 2 - PokerStars Caribbean Adventure