Negreanu Defends Scotty Nguyen's HOF Induction, Explains Choice Center

Published on 20 October 2013 by Pokerlistings 2992

Daniel Negreanu is doing his thing at the 2013 World Series of Poker Europe, offering opinions and racking up chips. In our latest video interview from the WSOPE Main Event Kid Poker defends Scotty Nguyen's induction into the Poker Hall of Fame, tells where he thinks the WSOPE should go next year and explains the truth behind the Choice Center program many people have been labeling a cult.

I think if you look at Scotty Nguyen's record over his career he has been - without a doubt - the most fan-friendly, best ambassador for poker you could ask. He had one day, he got drunk and acted like an idiot and he's apologized for it. To put that black mark in just his T-medal Hall of Fame is absurd. He's what literary when you watch him in rear, he's always doing autographs with people, taking pictures, he's the most fun-friendly, poker player we have. A show boater. It's really important that he made the Hall the Fame. I thought if he was kept out because of such a silly reason, he made one bad move on a day when he got drunk and flustered. He's human but overall if you look at his whole body at work, he's a great addition to the Hall of Fame.

I know Scotty Nguyen very well and Scotty Nguyen has always been and fan-friendly, fun guy. He's fan-loving, easy going. He had a thing going on with Michelle and it happened to be on TV. So that guy was under his skin. They dint show everything, so the guy was poking at him a little bit and Scotty lost it. Clear and Simple. We've seen people lose it, I've lost it, Hellmuth loses it. I'm sure I'll lose it again, but overall I think Scotty is like, totally gets it in terms of what poker is about and creating entertainment value.

Why I think it's great that the World Series poker player of the year travels around and tries different spots and really sort of gives every little location a shot, this is right out of Paris which is great. Right on the lake, it's fantastic, we've done Kahn, Paris a few, two year. I actually think that the one spot that makes sense, someone brought this up to me, is actually Berlin. I think Berlin is a central place, where there is a lot of money, a lot of locals and as we've seen in the last couple of years, the Germans really taking a liking to poker and sort of dominating in a lot of these high rollers. I'd like to see one happen in Berlin.

Actually, about a year ago now I did... it's like an emotional intelligence course, it's called Choice Center in Las Vegas. I'm not the only one who's done it, a bunch of other poker players as well. For me it's been great because the big key I got out of was confidence in what I do. After I got out of the leadership program, after the three months, I started winning everything. I got back to number one on Bluff and Card Player and moved up on the GPI. More importantly, when I'm out of line or when I'm doing things, I recognize them so much quicker and I know how to shift out of that because again what it talks about is emotional intelligence. It deals with where that comes from. For me, if I'm going to fall back into a place of negativity, it's usually arrogance. That's where I'll got to, that's my drug, that's my survival mode, is I'll get arrogant.

Now when I see them being arrogant, I'm like, "Okay call me out on that, I'm being a jerk." I'll flip much quicker and rather than dig a hole that's even dipper I'll be like, "Okay, I own it," and I'll just switch into something else which is happy, which is what I am like 95% percent of the time.

I think a lot of people are afraid of what they don't know and because the way the program's set up, you can't exactly explain exactly what you doing in there. There's some group work where you do in large groups, you do some stuff in small groups, you do some stuff one - on - one, but actually what happens, you can't really explain it to people because it will sort of ruin it for them. I think the secrecy aspect of it scares some people. Having said that, these types of programs and pretty much rampant all over. Not just the US but all over the world now. Other forms like Land Mark, and there is one in New York, I can remember the name but this is very, very common. A guy named Daniel Goldman wrote a book about emotional intelligence and he explains how it's the number one predictor of success in our society today.

You're seeing a lot more people being open to it, I think the aversion though is a lot of it is people are seeing people go through it and they're happier and they just hate that. You have that happy wanderer syndrome. You ever seen The Sopranos episode with doctor Melfie where he was like, "I see these guys walking on the streets whistling, I want to punch them in the face and beat them on the head, I should be happy for him," and I think there is a little bit of that. I've experienced enough of the course to see that there is no danger there at all. This is a place where it tells you to like... you get more connected to your family and friends, be more prosperous, be more connected to who you are and you can leave any time you want. It's not like you're in a cult, it's absurd.