Breaking Down the Action:
  • A Year of Success
  • Breaking Down a Year at the Felt
  • Running Below or Above EV?

5 Minute Read

Daniel Negreanu had a great year at the felt in 2022, but how much profit did the Canadian bank as he closed out the year?

The past year has been a dramatic one for many players, but which of the elite have posted a profit and who is still in make-up will remain forever an unanswered question. One player who always levels with his fans about his success at the felt, however, is the Canadian poker superpower, Daniel Negreanu. ‘Kid Poker’ as he is known, has posted his profit and loss column for the year and it definitely fits into the former.

A Year of Success

Across his 2022, Negreanu’s journey to profit saw him play 107 events. That’s a tournament entry for every 3.4 days of the year. The Canadian all-time money list legend and Poker Hall of Famer cashed in 23 of those events, which equates to 21.5% of all tournaments. Of those events, Kid Poker’s average buy-in was over $30,000.

Breaking down the numbers a little more below those numbers, Negreanu explained that his tournament entries totalled over $3.2 million, with cashes amounting to over $4.8 million, yielding that profit of $1.6 million.

Much of Negreanu’s success, and indeed the difference between profit and loss in terms of purely financial results was his epic Super High Roller Bowl victory where he led from wire to wire at the final table to claim the win for $3.3 million in Las Vegas. It’s easy to say that without that win, he’d be over $1.6 million down rather than up, but life – and poker – is all about shades of grey, as Anastasia Steele could testify.

Breaking Down a Year at the Felt

Looking at Negreanu’s success, it would be easy to say that if he wins the Super High Roller Bowl, then he could brick everything else he played and still post a profit. That’s not true, however, as were he to have lost everything other than the SHRB victory, then he’d be down as much as he was up, with his total entries amounting to roughly the same amount as he won in Vegas in that event.

Far more impressive than his SHRB win is the sheer consistency Negreanu is able to post in terms of cashing in the events he plays. While he’ll take part in plenty of lower buy-in events at the WSOP in Las Vegas each summer, he sells action at face value to many of those tournaments to enable his millions of fans to take a shot at grabbing a piece of the action and sweating along. In terms of what he actually buys into himself, Negreanu is taking part in some of the toughest events in the world around the clock and as such, his ability to cash at roughly twice the rate of the top 12% of finishers – typically the average percentage who would cash in any given tournament – is incredibly impressive.

Cashing in almost a quarter of every event you play would yield profit for almost any player in poker as long as some of those cashes come in the higher buy-in events. As we know from Negreanu’s success in the Super High Roller Bowl among many other high roller results, he’s more than capable of doing this on a regular basis – and that’s the secret of his success.

Running Below or Above EV?

It might be argued that Negreanu’s results have suffered from a couple of high-profile bad beats when the fine margins between a small profit and big numbers have come into play. The WPT World Championship is a fine example. Down to just three tables, Kid Poker was all-in for a vital pot with a full house on the turn. His opponent held just two pair, only to spike a two-outer on the river to oust Negreanu. If the Canadian had won that pot, as he was a 95% favorite to do, then a deep run and a much larger cash was highly likely.

If Daniel Negreanu plays the same amount of events in 2023 and runs above EV, then you can expect the number of cashes or deep runs to increase. Whether this will mean a more profitable year is up for debate, however, purely for the fact that he won not only a seven-figure score last year, but a really big one in that $3.3 million SHRB victory.

Those sort of wins aren’t easy to repeat, but as he has shown in recent years, Negreanu is ready to take on anyone at any given moment if it means a chance at glory. The famously statistic-inspired poker professional currently sits in third place on the all-time money list via The Hendon Mob. While he is $9 million short of the current leader Justin Bonomo at the time of going to press, there’s every chance he will get closer if he can continue to cash at this rate. Bonomo himself cashed for ‘only’ $1.7 million in 2022.

At the current rate of winnings, Negreanu would be top dog by his 50th birthday. What price that success coming his way if Kid Poker can continue to profit at a rate of virtually one in four events given the level of poker he plays? We wouldn’t take the bet against it.

Daniel Negreanu’s Last Decade at the Felt:

2013 +$1,963,500

2014 +$7,100,164

2015 +$952,920

2016 -$1,246,693

2017 -$86,140

2018 +$1,412,053

2019 +$831,891

2020 COVID

2021 +$584,023

2022 +$1,625,545

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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