About Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu8
Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu may well be the most famous player in poker. And, in many circles, the most liked or the most reviled.

But as one of of the primary faces of both PokerStars and poker in general for the past decade, both live and online, it comes with the territory.

He's been on virtually every poker TV show, done guests spots in major Hollywood movies and TV shows (poker and otherwise), done years of blogs and video blogs to connect (and re-connect) himself with the poker community, and shared his thoughts via Twitter on, well, virtually everything.

In other words, he's been out there, for all in the poker world and beyond to see, at all times. And for good or ill, he "is" poker to many. Where did it all begin? Let's take a look.

From Romania to Toronto to Vegas

Negreanu's parents, Ann and Constantin, left the Communist regime of Romania in 1967, looking to start a new life in the United States.

They ended up settling in Toronto, Canada, instead, where Constantin found work as an electrician. They soon started a family; Daniel arrived five years after his older brother.

Negreanu plays it up for the camera

It was a supportive environment, even when it became clear Negreanu was destined for an unconventional lifestyle. While nursing dreams of a career in acting or comedy, the 15-year-old learned to play a little poker.

By 16, he was spending time in the reputable (and non-reputable) pool halls of the city -- hustling, sports betting and - yes - playing cards.

By the time he was 18, Negreanu had dropped out of high school - one credit short of graduation - to focus on poker. He started supplementing his play at illegal games around town with trips to charity casinos.

Ever charming, he met and started dating a local dealer by the name of Evelyn Ng. For a more traditional lifestyle, he tried one day as a telemarketer and a month working at a Subway, but his path clearly led elsewhere.

At 21, an eager (and finally legal) Negreanu took the money he'd made in local games to try his talents against the world's finest poker players in Las Vegas. He lasted about seven months before returning home, broke but determined.

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Building up a new bankroll in games around Toronto he made one more push to Vegas - this time for good.

It was around this time that Daniel's father passed away. The young player took the occasion to evaluate his lifestyle. Deciding he was destined to play poker, he seemed to gain the focus necessary to become a truly great player.

His career took an upward turn which has continued largely unabated.

Kid Poker Is Born

The next year, 1997, saw Negreanu's first substantial tournament wins, including two at the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods where he was named the tournament's best all-around player. Encouraged and with a considerably fattened bankroll, Negreanu entered the World Series of Poker the next year where he won the first event he entered - $2,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em.

He was history's youngest bracelet winner (a title he held until 2004) and "Kid Poker" was born.

In 1999, the Kid took down the United States Poker Championship. But around this time success started to catch up with Daniel. Excessive drinking, money mismanagement and too much time alone affected his game and 2000 was a quiet year for wins.

Turning his life and his game around, in 2001 he made the money in dozens of tournaments and finished 11th in the WSOP Main Event. But the best was still to come for Kid Poker. In 2004, he took a gold bracelet in the WSOP - for Limit Hold'em - and made it to the money in five other events, earning him ESPN's Toyota Player of the Year award.

Daniel Negreanu and Mike Sexton

That same year he won the Borgata Poker Open and a prize of $1,117,400, as well as the Five Diamond World Poker Classic, worth $1,770,218. Negreanu's presence continued to be felt on the WPT circuit (where he is one of the all-time money leaders) and at the WSOP, where he was welcomed onto the Player Advisory Board in 2006.

Passionate about maintaining the event's integrity, Negreanu was key in the introduction of the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event - which he believes is a truer indicator of skill than the Main Event - as well as significant scheduling changes. 

In addition to playing and advisory duties Negreanu was in demand as an author, contributing his own chapter to Doyle Brunson's legendary  Super/System 2, the sequel to what may be the best poker book ever written.

In 2007 he released his own work, Hold'em Wisdom for All Players, which has sold out numerous printings. He also writes regular blogs and articles for online and print publication.

Negreanu + PokerStars = 2gether 4ever

In 2007 Negreanu also signed as a member of Team PokerStars – an agreement that stands to the present. Negreanu has been arguably been the most influential poker player in PokerStars’ history as a central player in most (if not all) of PokerStars’ most significant innovations, promotions and successes - along with a few of its biggest failures.

Daniel Negreanu

2013 was another particularly significant year for Negreanu as he won his first-ever WSOP Main Event at WSOP Asia-Pacific. He also won a second bracelet at the WSOP Europe that year. 

For those finishes and several other deep runs Negreanu was named 2013 WSOP Player of the Year, 2013 Bluff Player of the Year and 2013 Card Player Player of the Year.

He also finished the season ranked #1 on the Global Poker Index, a specific mission he set out to accomplish before the year began. 

In 2014 Negreanu finished second in the $1m Big One for One Drop event to earn $8.2m – to date his single largest cash ever. With career earnings of around $40m, that’s no small share.

In 2015 he almost made the final table on the WSOP Main Event again – the second time he’s come impossibly close – when he finished 11th. As of this writing Negreanu has 6 career WSOP bracelets – his last coming in 2013.

Related Reading:

Here he is after finishing second at the One Drop and at the time becoming the highest earning poker player of all-time (he's since been passed by Justin Bonomo):

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Negreanu + Leatherman, 2gether At Last

The now 40+ Negreanu continues to play tournaments as he always has, preparing for the WSOP each year as he always has (watching all five Rocky movies). As he reminds his fans and followers regularly, he's also a committed vegan.

Always one of the most outspoken players in poker, Negreanu continues to speak his mind both in interviews and on Twitter as has often been asked to drop in as a guest during ESNP’s WSOP coverage or PokerStars’ EPT coverage. Follow him on Twitter @RealKidPoker here.

He’s also a popular person to ask when casting agents need to find a poker player and he can be seen in Hollywood movies including X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Grand, Lucky You and Detention and on TV shows including Millionaire Matchmaker.

Related Reading:

His appearances on the Game Show Network's High Stakes Poker are infamous and he remains one of the most sought after feature-table performers at high-stakes events like the Aria Super High Roller Bowl and US Poker Open.

Away from the tables he always finds time to support charities like the Make a Wish Foundation, various Canadian charities and - of course - running his own charity poker tournaments. His annual St Jude’s Charity tournament in Las Vegas has raised a small fortune.

Negreanu recently got engaged to former (and then current) girlfriend Amanda Leatherman and continues to live in his adopted home of Las Vegas where he’s a season ticket holder and big supporter of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.

Daniel Negreanu Masterclass

In 2018 Daniel joined mainstream coaching/training site Masterclass. He's put together a 38-class poker "Masterclass" that outlines all of the tips and techniques he's learned over the years in easily digestible format for poker players of all levels.

Along with 38 video lessons with Negreanu you'll get a downloadable workbook with lesson recaps, assignments and an advanced terminology guide (aka a glossary of poker terms). Learn more at Masterclass.com.

Negreanu has also had a long-standing desire to get on legendary reality TV show Survivor, which no less than Survivor legend Boston Rob has said would be a perfect fit for him:

Tournament Placing

Place Winnings Tournament
30 $3,721.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 60 - $1500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better
12 $92,702.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 55 - $50,000 Poker Players Championship (6-handed)
12 $20,783.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 47 - $10,000 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) Championship
34 $4,901.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 37 - $1500 Pot-Limit Omaha
87 $4,627.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 25 - $2500 No-Limit Hold'em
19 $19,449.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 21 - $3000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em
14 $15,464.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 16 - $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship
4 $42,030.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 13 - $1500 Seven Card Razz
11 $526,778.00 WSOP 2015 - $10,000 WSOP Main Event
3 $113,062.00 WSOP 2015 - Event 41 - $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship
41 $2,539.00 WSOP 2015 - Event 39 - $1,500 Ten-Game Mix
25 $6,226.00 WSOP 2015 - Event 19 - $3,000 Limit Hold'em 6-Handed
2 $8,288,001.00 WSOP 2014 - $1 Million Big One for One Drop
9 $9,014.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 50 - $1,500 8-Game Mix
25 $6,573.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 47 - $1,500 Ante Only No-Limit Hold'em
25 $6,573.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 45 - $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em
63 $2,926.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 43 - $1,500 Limit Hold'em
10 $26,584.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 40 - $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em
10 $8,504.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 34 - $1,500 Seven-Card Stud
18 $18,254.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 22 - $10,000 HORSE
10 $28,878.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 18 - $10,000 Razz
2 $156,674.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 13 - $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball
1 €725,000.00 WSOPE 2013 - Event 8 - €25,600 High Roller
25 €21,750.00 WSOPE 2013 - €10,450 Main Event
2 $107,055.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 59 - $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw
34 $10,960.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 41 - $5,000 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha
39 $11,495.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 32 - $5,000 6-Max No-Limit Hold'em
49 $6,475.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 27 - $3,000 Mixed Max
26 $3,889.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 23 - $2,500 Stud
12 $12,269.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 5 - $2,500 Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo
1 AU$1,038,825.00 WSOP APAC 2013 - $10,000 Main Event
4 AU$16,336.00 WSOP APAC 2013 - Event 3 - $2,200 Mixed Event
160 $52,718.00 WSOP 2012 - Event 61 - $10,000 Main Event
13 $19,272.00 WSOP 2012 - Event 60 - $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball (No-Limit)
104 $4,155.00 WSOP 2012 - Event 56 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em
45 $5,639.00 WSOP 2012 - Event 8 - $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low 8 or Better
5 $41,683.00 WSOP 2012 - Event 5 - $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em
211 $47,107.00 WSOP 2011 - Event 58 - $10,000 Main Event World Championship
20 $24,942.00 WSOP 2011 - Event 40 - $5,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em
59 $4,998.00 WSOP 2011 - Event 13 - $1,500 No-Limit Shootout
5 £47,045.00 WSOPE 2010 - Event 4: £10,000 High Roller Heads-Up
11 $77,569.00 WSOP 2010 - Event 52 - $25,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em
6 $25,000.00 WSOP 2010 - 2010 Tournament of Champions
29 $5,423.00 WSOP 2010 - Event 40 - $2,500 Razz
8 $26,004.00 WSOP 2010 - Event 19 - $10k 2-7 Draw Championship (No-Limit)
66 $18,595.00 WPT Season 8 - LA Poker Classic
2 £495,589.00 WSOPE 2009 - £10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event
16 $7,223.00 2009 WSOP - Event 55 - $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw (Limit)
47 $2,690.00 2009 WSOP - Event 53 - $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo
37 $5,757.00 2009 WSOP - Event 47 - $2,500 Mixed Hold'em (Limit/No-Limit)
26 $6,169.00 2009 WSOP - Event 38 - $2,000 Limit Hold'em
4 $130,401.00 2009 WSOP - Event 18 - $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship
2 $138,280.00 2009 WSOP - Event 14 - Limit Hold'em/ Six Handed
43 $5,074.00 2009 WSOP - Event 10 - $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em/Omaha
10 $36,266.00 2009 WSOP - Event 6 - $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship
5 $75,000.00 2009 Special - NBC National Heads-Up Championship
5 £217,200.00 2008 WSOPE - Event 4, No-Limit Hold'em Main Event
14 £5,500.00 2008 WSOPE - Event 2, H.O.R.S.E.
24 £4,305.00 2008 WSOPE - Event 1, No-Limit Hold'em
13 $142,080.00 2008 WSOP - Event 45, $50,000 H.O.R.S.E.
7 $123,437.00 2008 WSOP - Event 28, Pot-Limit Omaha w/re-buys
1 $204,434.00 2008 WSOP - Event 20, Limit Hold'em
11 $33,417.00 2008 WSOP - Event 14, World Championship Seven-Card Stud $10,000
22 $16,496.00 2008 WSOP - Event 5, No-Limit Hold'em w/re-buys
76 $39,570.00 WPT Season 6 - WPT World Championship
14 $96,355.00 WPT Season 6 - Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic
5 $21,321.00 2007 WSOP - Event 32, Seven Card Stud
3 $101,351.00 2007 WSOP - Event 21, No-Limit Hold'em Shootout
2 $502,691.00 WPT Season 5 - World Poker Open
3 $592,000.00 WPT Season 5 - Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic
229 $42,882.00 2006 WSOP - Event 39, No-Limit Texas Hold'em World Championship Event
38 $3,878.00 2006 WSOP - Event 29, Pot-Limit Hold'em
20 $12,295.00 2006 WSOP - Event 16, Pot-Limit Omaha
7 $48,776.00 2006 WSOP - Event 8, Omaha Hi-low Split
8 $38,852.00 2006 WSOP - Event 5, No-limit Hold'em Short Handed, 6/table
22 $6,725.00 2005 WSOP - Event 36, $3,000 Limit Hold'em
36 $3,665.00 2005 WSOP - Event 10, $2,000 Limit Hold'em
3 $384,322.00 WPT Season 3 - World Poker Open
1 $1,795,418.00 WPT Season 3 - Five Diamond World Poker Classic
1 $1,091,900.00 WPT Season 3 - Borgata Poker Open
2 $675,178.00 WPT Season 2 - PartyPoker Million
3 $192,270.00 WPT Season 2 - PokerStars Caribbean Adventure

 

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