Three WSOP final tables and two second-place finishes in a single year, more than $1 million in 2009 winnings, a nationally syndicated TV show with him as the star, and a photo in ESPN The Magazine with him wearing just his briefs.On paper, it looks like 2009 has been quite a year for Daniel Negreanu. And while itís hard to argue with his successes, those who follow ďKid PokerĒ know that itís been a trying time for the superstar. With his mother dealing with a scary situation in her recovery from a stroke, Negreanu has had a tumultuous year.Those emotions caught up to the four-time bracelet winner following his runner-up finish in London at the World Series of Poker Europe main event earlier this month.More than a week removed from that impressive but disappointing second-place finish, Negreanu took out some time to talk to Card Player about the WSOPE and his new all-time tourney winnings record.Stephen A. Murphy: You came in second in one of the most prestigious tournaments of the year ó an impressive result, for sure, but one that had to come with some disappointment. Looking back on it, whatís your take on that finish?Daniel Negreanu: Well, you know, I was pretty much OK with it fairly quickly after it all happened. There was a lot of drama from a television perspective Ö in the way the cards came out. I felt really good about the whole tournament and how well I played. Obviously, this wouldíve been the fifth bracelet, and I felt really unlucky in heads-up matches this year. This was my second second-place finish for a bracelet.But one of my goals for this year was to gain the No. 1 spot on the all-time money list, and I did that with the second-place finish.SM: In a recent blog, you mentioned that you got a little emotional after the event, thinking about your mother and the fight she has within her. Can you tell me a little bit about how she shaped who you are?DN: Both of my parents really shaped who I am. Theyíre both really kind and generally nice people, very generous ó unless you cross them. And I think Iím a lot like that.My mother taught me what it is to really love somebody, to go above and beyond whatís been required as a friend or as a family member. My mother is the most unselfish person that Iíve ever met.SM: You came into that WSOPE final table as the short stack, and no one can deny that you played a masterful final table to get heads up. How frustrating or disappointing is it to play so well and still finish second?DN: Well, itís very frustrating. In my heads-up match, I played for like seven hours straight or somethingÖEvery time I got down, I felt like I was able to claw my way back, but every time I did, something bad would happen.I look back on it, and thereís really nothing I wouldíve done differently.SM: Thereís been some talk recently about how the WSOP Europe matches up with the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, in terms of the value of the bracelets and the prestige of both main events. How do you compare the two?DN: Obviously, the main event in Las Vegas is the bracelet to win. Itís the most talked about and itís the most covered [by the media]. But itís obviously difficult to win against thousands of players ÖBut at the World Series of Poker Europe, at my first table, there were nine winning players at the table. You never, ever, ever have that at the World Series of Poker main event. People in the main event make a lot of mistakes. In the WSOP Europe, you have to force them to make mistakes. Itís a different brand of poker.The WSOP Europe main event is without a doubt the toughest annual no-limit holdíem field in the world, bar none.SM: There were a lot of storylines in the WSOPE main event this year ó from two members of the 2009 November Nine making the final table, to Barry and Jeff Shulman each making main-event final tables, to your pursuit of the all-time money lead ó but one storyline that got lost a little bit was the fact that this was your second straight year to make the WSOPE main-event final table. Where does that rank among your poker accomplishments?DN: Oh boy, I donít know where it ranks, but itís not No. 1. That was 2004. (Editorís Note: Negreanu won nearly $4.5 million in 2004, winning the Five-Diamond World Classic for $1.77 million and the Borgata Poker Open for 1.18 million, while making five WSOP final tables and winning one bracelet.)SM: With your recent WSOPE result, you move into first on the all-time tournament money list. That means no one has made more money than you at tournament poker. What emotions did you feel when you realized that you had that distinction?DN: Well, that is something that I am proud of, especially with the way that I got there compared to some of the other people on that list, like Jamie Gold, whose winnings were all from winning the main event. The winnings that I have come from over the years, winning year in and year out. I guess in 2004 I made like $4.5 million, but that was an anomaly. So, Iím really proud of the way that I got there.SM: Obviously Phil Ivey has a chance to break that record considerably in November. Are you going to be rooting for him or against him to break your record?DN: Iím not rooting for him to break my record; Iím rooting for him to win the whole thing. Heís a friend of mine, and I know heís the best poker player in the world, so itíd be great if the best poker player in the world actually won pokerís biggest prize.SM: In lighter news, you recently shed your clothes to participate in ESPN the Magazineís Body Issue. Tell me a little bit about this experience.DN: Going in, everyone was like, ĎAre we really doing this?í I was uneasy about it at first, I actually said no the first two times.But itís not like they were going to have Patrik Antonius or Gus there. So basically I said, ĎI can fit in with this group.íSM: Tell me a little bit about what was going through your head when you were actually on set. Were you nervous at all?DN: I wasnít nervous, because Iíve been working out, and I look good in briefs, anyway. And Jennifer, Iíve seen her naked before, no big deal. It was really quite comfortable.I worked out. I had a nice tan going. I sucked my belly in, and I was good to go.SM: So youíve seen Jennifer naked before? Thatís probably news to a lot of our readers.DN: Yeah, weíre like best friends, so it was no big deal.(Read Card Playerís article about the photo shoot.)Whether itís posing nearly naked for ESPN or starring on his own TV show, poker fans can expect to continue to see a lot of Daniel Negreanu in the years ahead. If its past history is any indication, they will certainly see him at a lot of final tables.Negreanu currently sits in eighth place in Card Playerís Player of the Year race for 2009. He won the award in 2004.
Negreanu Talks About The All-time Poker Money Lead
No replies to this topic
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users