Daniel Negreanu

The friendly face of Daniel Negreanu is well known in poker circuits. He is best known for his two World Poker Tour Championship (WPT) titles, four World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets and an astonishing 26 WSOP and WPT final tables, apart from a number of other tournament titles. He was named the WSOP Player of the Year and the Card Player Player of the Year in 2004. His almost unmatched ability to read his opponents is considered the secret of his success.Negreanu

The Nice Guy Image

Daniel Negreanu’s easygoing and friendly attitude has earned him the title of the ‘nice guy’ of poker. This highly talented poker player is always pleasant and positive, whether on the table or away from it. He is often asked if this image is an ambush tactic, but Daniel clarifies that he is just being himself. He says that he does not see the need to act like a ‘jerk’ when he can live his life as a nice guy. He agrees that being nice has its advantages.

A Supportive Family

In 1967, Daniel’s parents Constantin and Annie escaped from the communist regime of Romania and moved to Canada. They had plans of settling in the US, but ended up in Toronto instead. Constantin sold sweets and worked as an electrician to support his family. Daniel was born on 26 July 1974 in Toronto, Ontario. He has a brother, 5 years older to him. As a youngster, Daniel dreamed of playing snooker professionally, but that changed once he learned how to play poker at the age of fifteen. Daniel has been blessed with a supportive family environment, in spite of his unconventional career choice.

The Beginning of an Incredible Career for ‘Kid Poker’

At sixteen, only a year since learning the game, Daniel was spending most of his time in pool halls playing cards and betting on sports. He dropped out of high school at the age of eighteen and started playing at games around the town and at charity casinos like Fundtime Games and Casino County. He tried his hand at telemarketing and worked for a month at a Subway, but he was not destined to lead a conventional life.

After collecting some funds, Daniel left for Las Vegas at the age of twenty-two to test his talent against professional poker players. He returned to Toronto after seven months broke, but more determined than ever to make it big in professional poker. He once again built up a bankroll and went back to Vegas for good.

Daniel saw his first substantial wins in the year 1997. With 2 World Poker Final wins at Foxwood, Daniel was named the best all-round player of the tournament. This was just the beginning of an incredible career. He entered the WSOP the following year and made history by winning $2,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em. At 23, he became the youngest bracelet winner in the history of poker. He held this distinction until 2004.

He won the United States Poker Championship in 1999, but financial mismanagement and excessive drinking affected his game badly and he had an unremarkable year in 2000. He soon took control of things and was placed 11th in the main event of WSOP in 2001. 2004 was the best year for Daniel as he made it to money in 5 events and received a gold bracelet for Limit Hold’em in the WSOP.

Career Highs

Daniel won 4 WSOP bracelets in years 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2008. The first was won in $2,000 Pot Limit Hold’em, second in $2,000 S.H.O.E and the last two in $2,000 Limit Hold’em. He also received the WPT titles for the $10,300 Borgata Poker Open and $15,000 Five Diamond World Poker Classic, both in the year 2004.

His live tournament winnings were in the excess of $14,100,000 in 2010. Of this amount, $3,515,597 is contributed by the 48 WSOP cashes. Recently he was placed ahead of Phil Ivey, as the highest tournament poker money winner, but was surpassed by Eric Seidel.

Interesting Facts

Daniel dated Evelyn Ng, who herself went on to become a reputed professional poker player, while building a bankroll in Toronto at the beginning of his career. Negreanu co-authored a book titled ‘Power Hold’em Strategy’, which was released in 2008. He also contributed to the strategy of Super/System 2 by Doyle Brunson. His twitter name is ‘RealKidPoker’ and he has a blog at Full Contact Poker. He likes bowling and plays golf almost daily.

Daniel is a PokerStars Sponsored Pro.

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