Various Daniel Negreanu thoughts

Like most of you, I primarily know Daniel from television.  I’ve always thought highly of him based on what you see.  He seems to have an uncanny instinct for reading other players and challenging them with his unorthodox style of play.  Although, thanks in some part to his own success, his style of playing a lot of pots and managing the pot size has become quite a bit more common these days.  I’m not totally blind to his faults, since I used to read about him back in the bad old rgp days when he was very combative and sometimes rude (his well-publicized fued with Annie Duke comes to mind as an example).  One also gets the sense that he is a relentless self-promoter.

Anyhow, I accepted an offer from his site to wear their logo gear at the WSOP in exchange for a cut of his WSOP winnings.  Basically, they offered to take 2.5% of whatever he wins and divide it between all the players who agreed to wear full contact poker gear.  I met up with his completely charming wife Lori and scored five or six items of full contact clothing and agreed to their deal.  It is my understanding that they are including his ToC earnings in the net, so Daniel booked $462,000 of WSOP winnings this yea.  2.5% of that is $11,550 to be shared by 90 people (or so my contact at FCP says).  This should amount to a payout of $128 for wearing their hat at the table.

There was another 2.5% designated to anyone who wore the clothes to a final table, but it appears no one managed to pull off that feat.  On his poker forum, there were suggestions that they had agreed to split the 2.5% among the entire pool if that was the case, but my contact at FCP says that is a false report.

Daniel has been involved in a pretty ugly new public blowup with Greg Raymer.  Greg is a guy who I also have a tremendous amount of respect for, so I’m not on anyone’s side at the outset.  Greg is a party to a lawsuit where seven well-known poker players are suing the WPT over the use of their image in promoting products other than the WPT shows.  You can read more about the suit at the website the plaintiffs developed.  Based on the fact that they have developed a website and that they announced their suit a big press conference in Las Vegas, it seems clear that managing and winning the public relations battle is very important to them.  Unfortunately for them, Daniel has been a vocal critic of theirs in both his video blog, his forum and in public.  Most of the negative publicity they have received has been generated by Daniel.  As I understand Daniel’s position, he thinks that they aren’t really going to help the average poker player and that they should be grateful to the WPT, who made poker as big as it is today.

Greg Raymer got drawn into comment on Daniel’s comment by railbirds at a PokerStars table.  He said “Daniel is out [of the Main Event], I’m glad to say” and when asked why he was  Greg replied “because he’s been a real tool lately.”  He concluded that Daniel ““keeps saying stupid ignorant things about our lawsuit against the WPT, and he knows nothing” and “he’s either stupid, or a sockpuppet for the WPT.”  This was quickly reported back to Daniel on his forum and Daniel responded with “Tell Raymer to go breast feed some hungry children in Africa. Goof ball calling me out, who does he think he is, for real.”  Neither one of them win any real style points, but I’d have to pick Daniel for the more childish reaction.  Daniel did delete his response pretty soon, but a lot of people saw it and quoted it.  Greg initially defended his comments on 2+2, but eventually issued a public apology which pretty much resulted in counter-apology from Daniel.

The truth is that neither of them has changed their basic position, although they have toned down the rhetoric.  Greg thinks that the release from the WPT is unreasonable and that they are likely to prevail.  Daniel has said that they are likely to lose, but his most recent statements are that they are likely to damage poker win or lose and that he doesn’t know about the merits of the suit itself.  Both parties seem to believe that their ideas enjoy the support of a majority of the players.  I believe that the seven plaintiffs really do believe that they are acting in the best interests of any poker player who might happen to become famous.  Since my endorsement seems to be worth about $128 at the moment, I don’t really have a strong opinion on the subject.  So far, I’ve signed every release I’ve been presented with at a poker tourney and I usually don’t even let my lawyer wife review them, because nothing but trouble could result from that.

With everyone I know personally or who is sharing a portion of their winnings with me eliminated from the Main Event, I’m now cheering for Rizen (Eric Lynch) mostly because he is a friend of friends and seems to be a really great guy from every account I’ve read.  I wouldn’t mind if Prahlad won because he might just be crazy enough to do something that will get a ton of press and increased publicity is good.  Failing that, I’d like a total unknown goofball to win.  Probably a young guy would be best for that purpose, to fuel the endless parade of college kids with no sense who like to give me their money.

By Nsidestrate

I'm a hard-core limit ring game poker player who is becoming a degenerate sports bettor. I'm sure it will all make more sense if you read on.