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Kid Poker

Kid Poker

On Wednesday, December 12 at 16:00 ET, Team PokerStars Pro and poker ambassador Daniel Negreanu logged into FTR under the name ‘KidPoker‘ to answer our member’s questions. In total there were 100+ asked, so unfortunately Negreanu couldn’t get to all of them. But the ones he was able to answer were insightful and we’re very grateful he was able to donate his time! Click here to view the full thread.

Below is a summary of the Q&A from the Negreanu AMA:

In on epic thread.

Do you think players have the right to disallow certain people from certain games just like Annie Duke did with the Epic Poker League? If not, do you think the petition against Howard Lederer in a certain Vegas casino is fair? What is the difference between the two situations in your view?

Daniel Negreanu
I think casinos disallowing players based on anything but cheating is a very slippery slope. I don’t think its the casino’s responsibility to bar players from casinos for being shady, unless there is evidence that they are cheating at poker.

As for the EPL, I thought the ethics committee was a good idea in theory, but overstepped their boundaries when it came to people’s personal finances and loans or debts they may owe.

If you could go back 10 years what would you have done differently in your poker career?

Daniel Negreanu
I would have made sure that I stayed up to date with all the latest innovations in poker, namely online poker, so that I never felt like I was behind the learning curve. Also, I wouldn’t sacrifice my skill level to focus so much on the media/business side of the game. I would have made sure I practiced and studied the game on a regular basis. I am doing that religiously now, and it’s super important to continue to learn from your peers, even if they are half your age.

You have entertained and educated me countless times. My dad and I talk about your epic hand reading abilities and great sense of humor whenever we talk poker. Thank you for putting a smile on my dad’s face (and mine) time and again.

There are so many -EV aspects to playing on TV… why do it?

What do the players get offered to play on TV poker shows?

I mean, you’re not actors (well…), but you are the cast of the show, so is there an hourly wage you earn while filming?

Are (Were? *sigh*) the TV cash games and shows like Poker After Dark & The Big Game rake free?

What is the greatest challenge to the poker community right now?

What can we, as players, do to improve the poker world?

Your thoughts on Open Face Chinese Poker?

Daniel Negreanu
It’s important to be a part of the TV shows to help promote the game. I feel like I can help in that regard so it’s important to me that I do that.

We were paid for HSP and other shows but that’s not always the case. $1200 an hour is about the standard rate.

All rake free.

Biggest challenge is legislation in the US.

As players, we can reach out to legislators and let them know we want the freedom to play poker at home in our underwear!

Bob McKowen on the Fan590 here in TO was calling you out to play HU during a conversation about the Montreal WPT event yesterday. Think you could come knock his cocky ass down a peg or two? hehe.

also, what’s the consensus amongst the pros for a new albeit smaller poker boom if the american casinos get their party poker skins?

Daniel Negreanu
I love Bob McCowan! I’d happily play him 🙂 Consensus is that sure, with more advertising options as well as it being easier to get funds online, that would certainly create a bit of a boom.

You’re known for having a knack for putting people on very specific hands. Did the popularization of combinatrics and ranges and all that stuff ever make you rethink your approach, or do you still pretty much stick to the instincts and “feel” involved in how granular you are with your hand reads?

Also, are do you often “level” people by lying about what you think your opponent has, or are your poker soliloquies pretty much just you thinking your actual process through out loud?

Finally, what are your thoughts on young hot-shot online players? Anyones in particular you have respect for? Any specific thoughts on nutsinho (it’s my understanding you guys used to hook up a lot at 6m tables on PS)?

Daniel Negreanu
Well, even when I do call out people’s hands, I’m essentially breaking down ranges and when I call out a specific hand it’s because that is the most likely hand in their range based on my read. As you have seen, sometimes I’ll call out a player’s hand, but call anyway even though I’m beat! The reason for that is based on the pot odds I’m often getting, and even though I think I’m beat, I’m not 100% sure. So for example, if I’m 70% sure they have it, but the pot is laying me 5-1 odds, I still would call the bet because I think bluffs represent 30% of their range which is still profitable in the long run.

I don’t really use lying there actually.

I have respect for TONS of them, just to name a few Tom Marchese, nutsinho, and Phil Galfond. I’ve discussed poker with all these guys and actually had a very valuable training session with Nutsinho, Marchese, and Bill Reynolds in Monte Carlo a couple years ago. Was very helpful.

Daniel, what is online poker going to look like in three years? In five years? How many providers will there be and will they still be private entities?

Daniel Negreanu
Well, the most honest answer is I don’t know. If I had to speculate, we are 5 years away still from having online poker be regulated at the federal level, and in the meantime things could be a bit sticky at the state level. There will be growing pains when you include regulation and sometimes there will be silly things that should be an easy process, take much longer than it has in the past. I also am a bit concerned about limitations on weekly deposit amounts or even limitations on the size of games offered.

Speaking of veganism, I wanted to ask if you have any advice for anyone starting to go vegan, as I’m trying to purge the meat and dairy in my life.

Speaking of food, I also wanted ask, “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?”

Oh, and speaking of weird things, I did want to know of cool things to see and to visit when in Toronto. I’ve never been, so my best guess is that it’s cold.

Daniel Negreanu
First, watch Forks Over Knives it has a lot of great information. Then pick up the cookbook it’s incredible. Also checkout Vegetarian & Vegan Starter Kit for help getting started. Good luck and congrats on your decision! Stick with it and you won’t regret it.

Weirdest thing I’ve eaten? Man I don’t eat weird stuff lol! I guess the weirdest was this gross fake Tofurkey that was in the shape of an actual turkey with fake legs and everything. That seriously creeped me out and totally misses the point of veganism! lol

I could ask loads of questions but I guess the one everyone wants answered is this.

“What is your secret to your incredible ability to put opponents on certain hands” If you do not want to tell us all what your secret is just pm me and I will not tell anyone else.

Love watching you play and have the highest regard for you for the way you conduct yourself when playing.

Daniel Negreanu
Pay attention! Seriously. Especially the hands you aren’t involved in. Just watch your opponents and try to remember what they looked like in hands where they were strong or weak. Then let your subconscious file that away and take over in tricky spots where you aren’t sure. Trust your gut, it’s based on something stronger than you realize.

Would you ever work as a clown?

What’s your favorite television show of all-time? What’s your favorite television show currently running?

Daniel Negreanu
Sopranos for all time, and when it comes to comedies I love Curb Your Enthusiasm! Love your avatar I watch a good amount of reality TV and would say that Survivor is still my favorite. I love the combination of skills it requires to be successful on that show and may consider doing it myself at some point.

What is the best way to approach someone about money they owe you if they aren’t coming to you about it with updates like they should?

Daniel Negreanu
Don’t be a jerk about it. Ask them to have a discussion about it. Ask them what their current financial status is and what their plan is to get back to where they need to be. Then ask them what sort of timeline or payment plan they can agree to that will get you paid back.

In the end it’s up to you to decide whether or not what they are saying is genuine or not. Lastly, don’t act like a victim. When someone owes you money YOU loaned them, understand that you took a risk in doing that. Not that you did anything wrong at all, or don’t deserve to be paid back, but just be mindful of that anytime you loan someone money. If you aren’t comfortable with the risk of them not paying it back, then DON’T loan them money. If you do loan them, and they don’t pay it back, take some responsibility for your decision as well. It’s just a better way to live all around. Being a victim is so much easier, but taking ownership of it is the most responsible way of being in the world.

Daniel, obviously you’ve been on the tournament circuit for a long time. How much tougher are the tournaments now compared to 6-10 years ago? Is there a specific year where the jump in toughness was the most significant?

Daniel Negreanu
There has been a plateau and I think in the last year they are actually getting a bit easier because there is a lower percentage of tough, young, American online whizzes playing and a higher percentage of older businessmen. I think around the year 2010-11 was about the toughest I’ve ever seen the circuit on a consistent basis, but we are in a plateau there I think in the last year or so.

Who do you think is the best tournament mixed game player on the circuit?

Daniel Negreanu
There really is only one name that anyone can honestly come up with here and it’s clearly Phil Ivey. He has 8 bracelets, none of which are in hold’em.

I’m going to say that I truly believe that I am among the best mixed game tournament players in the world today, but my results haven’t matched that the last two WSOP’s. I am confident that if I keep focused and doing what I’m doing, that I will have some great results at the WSOP in 2013.

How do you really feel about Lederer and Lingren?

Daniel Negreanu
I don’t like Howard personally and I believe he is being incredibly dishonest about his involvement with FTP as well as when he knew the problems began. Payment processor Chad Elie makes some very damaging claims about Howard knowing as early as November, and Howard himself incriminates himself by saying he had no idea there was on issue on April 15th, but in the same interview admits to hearing about a 9 figure back log on April 7th. He knew of the backlog, the seizures, dividends paid to owners, etc. already, so to say he had “no idea” cannot be factual.

As for Erick, I’m really disappointed in his decision making and for getting himself into the mess he created. Erick is a friend of mind, and I can understand why people feel as though I’m not being fair in my condemnation of Howard in comparison to Erick, but I’m very hopeful that Erick will again be an important part of our community and a prime example of how bad decisions can lead your down the wrong path in life.

I know there are other young players today that can, and will learn a lot from the mistakes Erick has made, and I hope to see Erick be a leader in helping these younger guys avoid the pitfalls that he succumbed to in his life.

were you killing the games pre 2003 moneymaker boom? if that boom never happened do you think you’d still be a pro today?

Daniel Negreanu
People have a major misconception of my rise in poker. I grinded limit hold’em for many years, then played between 200-400 and 400-800 mixed games for about two years before escalating to 800-1600, 1000-2000, 1500-3000, 2000-4000, and as high as 4000-8000 limits and never had a losing year in the mixed games.

I was doing really well financial just around the time of the Moneymaker boom, and then of course in 2004 I had a remarkable year in tournaments, winning pretty much everything in sight! It’s only after that did my dedication to the game wane a little bit, and there was an influx of amazing young players that were using many of the theories I’d developed to dominate in 2004, and taking it a step further. I certainly fell behind the curve for a few years, but I’m confident that my study and dedication to the game is back to where it was and I enjoy the challenges and competition that I face today. So many tough cookies makes it fun!


Anyway, some questions from me – what’s it like being recognised everywhere you go? Does it get tiresome? Are there many places you can go without people recognising you?

Daniel Negreanu
It depends. There are certain times where I don’t get recognized at all, and other times where it seems like everyone knows who I am. I find that in downtown Toronto, my hometown, I’m recognized most, and of course in any casino like environment it’s pretty regular.

However, when I was doing Bikram yoga for a while, no one had a clue who I was LOL. I guess that’s not my demographic 🙂

who was the most influential person in regards to your success as a poker player?

did you ever have a “make or break” moment, where, had you not run well at one particular point in your career, may not have been a professional player as you are now?

thanks <3 -Suq

Daniel Negreanu
Jennifer Harman. Before I played in the highest stakes mixed games she used to let me sweat her hole cards while she’d play 3 handed with David Grey and Eli Elezra. I was licking my chops! I knew early on that if I could play 3 handed with David Grey and Eli Elezra everyday I’d be a very rich man. David would be the weakest link in that game as his strengths are more suited to ring games rather than short handed games. Eli is actually much tougher short handed then he is in ring games where is often too loose. I’m confident that I’m a much better poker player than both of them in most all formats. I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way, but that’s my honest opinion.

As for make it or break it moments- see late 90’s and early 00’s lol. I had plenty of them as I stretched myself and was learning what it took to be a professional. I had absolutely no regard for bankroll management and would play any stakes I felt I could beat regardless of how under rolled I was.

DN, what was your experience with girls before you got famous/rich and afterwards? How do you feel about this change? (if any)

Daniel Negreanu
A lot changed. I wasn’t the most confident in that area when I was younger. My main focus in my early 20’s was on making money and playing poker. I spent little time meeting women.

Since then, I have plenty of confidence in that area, and while it seems much easier when you are “well known” I think that plays less of a role than the sheer confidence I have in myself today. I don’t believe women are as superficial as men are. Men are visual and often choose women based on looks, like a trophy wife type deal. Women are often more attracted to confidence and success then they are looks.

I don’t think I’m the best looking guy in the world, but I do think that I treat women with respect without being too much of a pushover. Most women want a man who is caring, loving, and sweet, but also want a man who can be dominant, powerful, strong, charismatic, funny, and a leader. You can be both, and men who have all those traits, well, it’s not a coincidence that women are more attracted to men like that.

I can honestly say that I have NEVER dated a “gold digger.” I can smell them coming a mile away and immediately have no attraction to them. Any women who voluntarily says things like, “I don’t care about money,” or, “I’m not materialistic at all,” are often REALLY into money and are also VERY materialistic lol. That’s not always true, but that’s been my experience over the last 10 years or so.

I know it’s common for professional players to be staked in high-dollar events such as the Big One for One Drop tournament that kicked off this year’s 2012 WSOP. What I’m curious about, though, is whether players have a tendency to play differently when someone else’s money is at risk. I’m also wondering about whether or not you think that it’s appropriate for players to adjust their styles when they’re staked since the people sponsoring them probably banked on both their table presence and playing style.

Daniel Negreanu
I think that’s dependent on the player. For some, the added pressure makes them play more conservatively as they are afraid of doing something stupid. For me personally, if someone had a piece of me I actually play much better because I take it even more seriously. I make sure to be fully rested and not distracted in the least.

I see some kids who are staked sit there on their IPad for most of the tournament and wonder how their backers would feel if they knew that they couldn’t be bothered to give 100% attention to the task at hand with their money. I find that disrespectful.

Many of your fellow poker pro players have been on TV shows. Have you ever considered appearing in a show or reality show like Annie Duke or Vanessa Rousso?

Daniel Negreanu
I will be appearing in one that should air around February. I won’t spoil it for you just yet, but stay tuned you will enjoy it I think 🙂

I think you are one of the nicest people in the poker industry. Are you involved in any charity apart from that tournament organized by other people?

Daniel Negreanu
I recently agreed to co-chair a massive charity event that I’ll be dedicating a lot of time organizing for late 2013. We are looking to raise BIG money and it will all go towards sick children who truly need it. This will NOT be for profit and I’m going to personally make sure that all of the money raised goes directly to the charity and not any third party operators. This is my most important goal for 2013 and I’m dedicating a lot of time and energy to making this an annual project.


Isn’t it suspicious that Ivey never had big downswing in all those years? … someone that likes playing dices in casinos…

Considering that Full Tilt Poker was a Ponzi Scheme I think we have the right to be at least a little suspicious about if someone used his account to play seeing the hole cards.

I know he’s your friend and that you defended him in the scandal.

Do you think that something similar to what happened in Absolute Poker could had been happening in old Full Tilt Poker?

Daniel Negreanu
Phil Ivey is the best poker player in the world and is a special case. I don’t believe he was involved in anything shady in terms of his poker results, he simply is world class in every discipline and gets the money in the end.

Daniel Negreanu
That was fun guys. Hope I provided something of value for you, and apologizes for questions I missed. I tried to get to as many as I could. Take care and see some of you in Bahamas for PCA 2013!