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Daniel Negreanu has closed out this event, winning his fifth gold bracelet, over $1 million and the first ever WSOP Asia Pacific Main Event title. We speak with Daniel in this exclusive winner interview about what the win means and what it took to make it happen.
Matt: Welcome back. Tonight we're going to meet the champion of the first ever World Series of Poker, Asia Pacific.
Daniel: I had so much fun. It was such a blast, and now it's just relief. I just had flashbacks when I lost that first hand to him and then the second one. It's just all this nightmares in the past. When you play poker as long as I have, you're going to have a lot of bad memories that sort of jump into your head. And it was just such a relief to have it over because it's being a while since I had one of this on my wrist.
I was heads up late at night with Barry Shulman in Europe for the World Series Poker main event title and one card a way, and boom, one card for several times and that was just difficult to take. That was a punch in my stomach when I didn't win that one. It's like a boxer, whatever. Each punch you've taken, every hit you had comes up and it's a flashback memory. I was just overcome with emotion really.
Number five, it's being a long drought. Since 2008 I haven't won a bracelet. It's such a great way to start 2013. There are so many more events to play. I have always felt I should have more than four bracelets. Now we've got five, feeling better about that. Plan to get the seven or eight by the end of the year.
To be honest, I started to notice some emotion coming up. Obviously, I banged my knee against the table. I was getting emotional. I just reminded myself just take a few deep breaths and just calm myself down and realize, okay, I'm still in great shape. There is no reason to panic. I knew what I wanted to do against him. I knew my strategy, and it's still gonna work. I just have to be patient, and it will happen.
I was in a drought really for six months. I really didn't have a cash. Luckily, I had the fourth before this one. But to get the win it really upped my global poker index ranking. And also number one now for sure on the World Series Poker player of the year list going into Les Vegas and that's all. I have won that before in 2004. Nobody has won it twice, and I'm in good shape to do that now.
I think poker in Australia is actually booming. If you just get the vibe here, people here treat it like a real sport. The spectators are really, really into it, more and more people are playing. This was just the first year, and they already have got 405 players. That's pretty good. I think next year you will see even more.