About Daniel Negreanu
|Current Residence||Las Vegas Nev.|
|Born||Jul. 26, 1974|
|Birth Place||Toronto Ontario, CA|
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.
Daniel Negreanu recent tournament placings
Daniel Negreanu in the Media
- Negreanu takes Big Swing for charity
- Negreanu wins Canadian poker tournament
- Weekend with Negreanu benefits PL.com player
- 2008 WSOP Day 15: Selbst, Negreanu pick up wins
- Negreanu launches Poker VT
- PPA members to get advice from Kid Poker
- Team U.S.A. wins PokerStars WCP IV
- Negreanu wins PokerStars High Stakes Showdown
- Poker pros in high-stakes golf game
- WSOP 2007: Day 2B finished
- Kid Poker joins Team PokerStars
- Negreanu finds another online outlet for feelings
- Poker pros uniting in philanthropy
- Negreanu advice to go with mobile video clips
- Negreanu's book flying off the shelves
- Matusow, Negreanu to clash in Heads-Up Championshi
- Negreanu on the hunt for third WPT title
- Poker pros bringing hockey to Topeka
- Negreanu comments on gambling ban
- Poker Royalty teams up with Go Big or Go Home Tour
- Negreanu takes WSOPC Tunica Championship
- Harrah's announces new WSOP event and formation of
- Negreanu splits from Wynn
- Pepsi, Harrah's accused of misleading TOC players
- Side Games
- Steam Control
- Against Strong Players
- Against Weak Players
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.
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.