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Tonight at the World Series of Poker Europe Daniel Negreanu made history by becoming the first player to ever win two WSOP Player of the Year titles, and he gave PokerListings.com an inside look at how it went down. Coming into the €25k High Roller Event Negreanu had one last chance to pull ahead in the POY race. He had to come eighth or better. We follow Negreanu on his quest and speak to him moments after he became the 2013 WSOP Player of the Year.
Man 1: Coming into this year's WSOP Europe high roller event, Daniel Negreanu had one last chance to win the WSOP player of the year race. If he could finish 8th or better, he would be the first player in history to win two WSOP Player of the year titles.
Daniel Negreanu: Well, the World Series of Poker player of the year or the player of the year awards, that's the reason I play the game. I'm a passionate guy. I don't play for the money. I never really did. I find it fun to just go up against the best players in the world and to come out on top. That's what I strive for every year and to be the first person to do it twice, that feels pretty, pretty, pretty good.
Well, there's been plenty of poker tournaments on TV. A guy wins a million here or there, but I think these player of the year races and things like that create a little more fan interest. Who's going to win? There's all those scenarios just like you'd have for brackets in sports. You're gonna go like, "Well, if this happens this guy, this team needs to do this, this team needs to do that." So when I was in the High Roller actually, Bluff Magazine was doing the update of like if he finishes 2nd he needs this. So I think that fans alike really, really enjoy that and the fact that there are three stops in the World Series of Poker creates a crescendo. You have the early start in Australia. You have the whole event during the Vegas run and then you have the big finish here, but it's never over because often the November 9 itself plays into the player of the year race.
Well, I think there is importance in the big names that created the poker boom to a certain degree. The 2004 crowd, a lot of them falling by the wayside for one reason or another haven't kept their game sharp. But I think it's important for those with the relevant names that people first fell in love with, still posting results. Otherwise, you have this new group and people have to get acclimated to a whole new group of players. If you look at other sports like golf, people have their favorites and they're there consistently. If that wasn't the case with poker, I think people may lose interest.
Well, really with my poker career, I've just focused it year by year. I feel like I've done a lot. Obviously, the main event is something I still haven't won. The 50K at the World Series is another one I'd like to win. In terms of my future, I plan on traveling less. I don't know when that's going to happen just yet. But, I don't know, man. We'll have to see. You'll have to check back with me in an year.