Disagreeing with what many in the poker community are saying, Daniel Negreanu does not believe players like Annie Duke and Howard Lederer should be banned from the WSOP.
Long-time rivals, Negreanu and Duke were both playing in the $5k Stud event yesterday, a confrontation some believed would prove inflammatory.
“She sucks so that’s good for the game but I don’t have any problem with Annie Duke playing the WSOP,” Negreanu told PokerListings.com in Las Vegas.
“The WSOP is a private entity so they have the right to ban anyone for whatever reason they want,” said Negreanu. “But personally I would never ban anyone from the WSOP unless they were cheating,” he added.
A thread has sprung up on Two Plus Two calling for Duke to be barred from entering the WSOP for her involvement with UB.com and the more recently failed Epic Poker League.
While that group is a minority, it raises the question of whether, and on what grounds, players should be banned from the World Series, as well as what level of control the WSOP should have over players participating in its events.
Jon Aguiar and the WSOP Retweet
A few days ago Negreanu made the final table of Event 5, $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em. He finished fifth, narrowly missing his fifth WSOP bracelet, but the real story that came out of that event centered around Jon Aguiar and the problems he saw with a newly introduced final-table rule.
Because final tables are being streamed live but the players aren’t fitted with microphones, a rule was created forcing the players to verbalize their actions, for the benefit of the viewers at home.
The players were not aware of the rule until it was communicated to them at the final table. Aguiar in particular took exception with the rule and was extremely vocal about it at the table and on Twitter.
To make matters much worse, the official WSOP Twitter account decided to retweet this message from Shawn Daniels (A reply to the Aguiar tweet below):
@JonAguiar @wsop @wsoptd why are you the only one who cries all day every day about everything Adapt and stop sounding like a complete bitch— Shawn Daniels (@SHAWNIVEY_OBV) June 2, 2012
What ensued was a PR nightmare for the World Series of Poker, with the retweet staying up on the WSOP Twitter account for almost two days before being erased.
“Regardless of how accurate that tweet was it was unprofessional. It would be okay for me to say it but not the WSOP,” said Daniel Negreanu.
The verbalization rule was later adjusted to be more of an encouragement to the players. WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel announced that no penalties would be issued should players refuse to follow it.
Daniel Negreanu at his most recent WSOP final table.
“I think the rule is dumb and it’s been taken care of but I was following the rule when I was at that final table,” said Negreanu.
The WSOP has yet to issue a statement or apology regarding the retweet about Jonathan Aguiar.
Negreanu Narrowly Misses Fifth Bracelet
While most will remember this final table for the controversy surrounding Jonathan Aguiar, Daniel Negreanu will recall it as a missed opportunity to secure his fifth WSOP bracelet.
Negreanu has cashed at the WSOP 52 times. He won his last bracelet in 2008 and since then he’s made eight final tables at the World Series of Poker.
He busted in fifth-place in his most recent final-table appearance, taking a bad beat with A-Q against A-J all-in preflop.
“It’s early in the summer and you just know you’re going to be here for the whole time and that you’re going to have to take bad beats. That’s just part of the deal,” said Negreanu of his bad luck.
“That hand was tough and it didn’t go my way but you have to be ready for it and accept it,” he said.
“Right now all I focus on is how I’m playing and right now I’m playing really well. Every hand I play, forget every tournament, every hand I play I’m playing really well.
“It’s really all about mindset. For me at this point it’s less about skill and more about mindset and I’m in the best frame of mind I’ve been in at the WSOP in many years,” said Negreanu.
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