Breaking Down the Action:
  • The Background to the Blow-Up  
  • Drama at the Felt
  • What Happened Next?

4 Minute Read

Daniel Negreanu, a.k.a. Kid Poker, at the poker felt, where he's in his element.

Some poker players are magnets to news headlines. There are reasons for this; sometimes trouble seeks a player out, other times that player is making a beeline for the buzz of column inches.

For many years, it’s hard to imagine Daniel Negreanu going from being in the first camp to the second, but here we are in 2021, and in the latest $25,000-entry Venetian High Roller, Negreanu was eliminated in a frustrating hand. It went down.

The Background to the Blow-Up

Daniel Negreanu has had an active few years, but over recent weeks, that has ramped up even more. After losing not once but twice in the PokerGO High Stakes Duel heads-up format, Negreanu was then called out for his net worth by the unlikeliest of players in Brandon Cantu.

In the midst of that epic duel with Phil Hellmuth, Negreanu challenged the Poker Brat to play 50 Vegas High Rollers and turn a profit. Hellmuth politely declined due to the sheer time out of his other business interests that would have taken – understandably so.

Negreanu, however, was never about to miss a series of High Roller events at a casino local to him and somewhere he’s called a second home for over a decade.

Drama at the Felt

Negreanu didn’t get off to the greatest start and has, for a while now, been complaining of running extremely bad. Variance is the tilt-rake of poker, of course, and it would appear that Kid Poker has been paying it for some time.

During his recent match against Doug Polk, where he eventually lost $1.2 million over thousands of hands of poker, Negreanu frequently bemoaned his fortune at the felt, though Polk later described this as being down to a lack of experience in the format.

At the Venetian, Negreanu has been bubbling events for fun. That was only continuing his run of bad luck in his eyes, and he described his latest run of bad luck like this on Twitter:

“$25k paid 7 spots. I came in 10th. Open 99, big blind jams 37 bbs with A4 off and I lose. It’s starting to get really stupid.”

What Happened Next?

Negreanu is known for more blow-ups at the felt (and on his laptop at home) than Phil Hellmuth recently, and in many ways, has stepped into a void as it was created, with the Poker Brat actually being pretty measured over the past few years. We spoke to Hellmuth at the start of his first High Stakes Duel with Negreanu and will be doing so again at the end of the third bout as he looks to close out a three-for-three victory.

Negreanu, possibly with some of his recent losses weighing on his mind, jumped up onto the table and gave the plexiglass divider – there to protect players from the possible spread of COVID-19 – a quick boot. Turns out it wasn’t that strong and it crumpled into the centre of the poker table.

While the incident led to laughter in the poker room at the Venetian, there’s sure to be a little concern from those who know and love Negreanu. His own fans want him to win, always, but recently this has been due to a shade of pity as well as passionate love. Negreanu needs to win for the fans and not just his own. There is something about Kid Poker winning that feels right, established, secure.

Negreanu compared his latest run at the felt to golf tonight when he tweeted:

“When you start playing golf a mistake is hitting the ball 10 yards into a bush. When you become an expert, a mistake is hitting the green 5 yards long rather than short from 135 yards. Same is true in poker. The better you get, the more finite the mistakes.”

Negreanu is still one of the best poker players in the world. As ever, however, the superstar needs to know that himself to remain at the top of his game.

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.

Back To Top
Back To Top