Rebuys bad, Hellmuth worse: Negreanu

His 48 rebuys in the $1k at the 2006 World Series of Poker remains a record, so you may be surprised to hear Daniel Negreanu's thoughts on rebuy tournaments being left off the newly released 2009 WSOP schedule.

"I still hold the rebuy record and I think I also have second, third and fourth," Negreanu told PokerListings.

"But I was still all for getting rid of them this year and it wasn't just about saving me money. When you are giving away a World Series of Poker bracelet I think everyone should have an equal chance to win it, not just a chance based on how fat their wallets are."

Although there were two $1k No-Limit Hold'em rebuys, a $5k 2-7 Triple-Draw rebuy and both a $5k and $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha rebuy in 2008, the 57 bracelet events scheduled for this summer in Las Vegas are rebuy-free.

After Layne Flack spent $33,000 in the 2007 WSOP $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha rebuy, eventually grabbing the title and the $577,725 first-place prize, several critics claimed rebuy tournaments at the WSOP allowed players to buy a bracelet.

Rebuys have also come under fire from respected players like Annie Duke, who claims participants agreeing to push in preflop during the rebuy period amounts to collusion.

Although Negreanu disagrees with both points, as a member of the WSOP players' advisory committee which helps design both the schedule and tournament structures for the World Series, the Team PokerStars Pro member says there are a number of valid reasons to leave rebuys out.

"In rebuys there is an inherent advantage for those who are willing to spend more," Negreanu said.

"They are good for me, because I'm all too willing to spend, but I know it is an unfair advantage and I'd rather not have it. I've said this before: I am more than willing to put what's best for poker ahead of what's best for me."

Phil Hellmuth
Outclassed?

Outside of the rebuy events, Kid Poker is particularly excited to see the onetime commemorative gold bracelet $40k No-Limit Hold'em tournament added to the schedule to help mark the 40th anniversary of the World Series of Poker this year.

"It's going to be interesting," he said. "They haven't come up with structure yet, but I'm sure they won't make the mistake poker makes all the time. Like these high-roller events they've had in Europe that they make two-day events.

Sure you get to see the best in the world play, but it's in a dice-rolling contest. This one is going to be four days; it'll be a smaller field with maybe 250 to 300 players, so it will be impossible to fluke a win."

And Negreanu practically guarantees the man with the most WSOP bracelets on his wrists already won't be collecting any more jewelry from this one.

"The ratio of pros to amateurs or good players to bad will probably be about 7-1 or 6-2, so there's no way a player like Phil Hellmuth will win," he said. "It requires a completely different skill set than Hellmuth has.

"He is extremely good at taking advantage of bad players in huge fields and the mistakes they make, but playing against great players and all these great young players, his old-school thinking when it comes to winning tournaments just won't cut it. I think Phil will be outclassed."

No word on which events Hellmuth's targeting going into the 2009 WSOP, but Negreanu has decided to focus his efforts on the deeper-stacked $10k World Championship events and Limit games, eschewing the many $1,500 No-Limit tournaments he dubs "boring preflop shovefests," in an attempt to win multiple bracelets and grab the coveted Player of the Year title.

"I've never won multiple bracelets before and I feel really ready this year," he said."Physically I'm in the best shape of my life - I've hired a personal trainer and I feel great. Multiple bracelets is my goal, that and the $50k H.O.R.S.E. That's the one I really want."

Related Article: Shaniac takes on Negreanu in WSOP rebuy debate

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