When it comes to playing poker, only a handful of players become recognised for being greats of their time. It is enough of a feat to become a good player when playing with friends and regularly taking their money off them but when a player manages to do it on the biggest poker stage of all and does so convincingly and consistently, there is a need to recognise their greatness.
This is definitely the case with Daniel Negreanu
Negreanu was born in Toronto, Canada on the 26th of July, 1974. Negreanu’s parents had moved from the former Communist bloc in Russia to set up a new life in the West where they settled in Canada. Although Negreanu was said to have first coveted the idea of becoming a professional pool player, he soon turned his attention to poker. Like many misspent youths, Negreanu spent a lot of time in pool halls and poker rooms perfecting his craft but unlike many who spent their adolescent years in this manner, Negreanu was to use the skills and experience he learned to devastating effect.
After a failed attempt at launching his poker career in Las Vegas, Negreanu returned home to Canada to rebuild a bankroll, which he did playing in smaller local tournaments. Negreanu then points to the passing of his father as one of the pivotal moments in his life. This can often be a time for people to take stock of their life and it was then that Negreanu decided to get more serious about his career and returned to Las Vegas for a further tilt at becoming a professional poker player. Even though the decision was made in sad and trying circumstances, Negreanu benefitted from the decision.
At 23, Negreanu had the world at his feet
Within a year of making this decision, Negreanu had become the youngest ever winner of a WSOP event. His very first WSOP bracelet came in a $2,000 pot-limit hold ‘em event and it kicked off a series of big wins that made people sit up and take notice. At only 23 years old, Negreanu had exploded onto the poker scene and his name was about to become even more well-known all around the world.
In 2004, Negreanu managed to win in two separate WPT events and it is no surprise that the player refers to this has his best every year in poker. Well, best ever year to date as there is still plenty of time for Negreanu to better his already high achievements in the game.
Two big wins in one WPT season
The first WPT triumph was at the Borgata Poker Open which Negreanu followed up with a win at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic. These two winnings, for $1,117,400 and $1,795,218, were the first of four money finishes in the 3rd season of the WPT, a season where Negreanu won over $3.3m. These triumphs pushed him to first place in the WPT leader board and also helped him to run off with the Player of the Year award for the WPT.
Negreanu has also developed his profile by being the face and name behind a great number of video games, tutorial videos and a number of online gaming promotions. This has helped promote Negreanu to poker players all over the world and it is fair to say that he is one of the most recognised players of the game. As of March 2011, Negreanu sits in second place with regards to all-time winnings in the WPT but time is definitely on his side to regain the top spot that he previously held.
Everyone loves a story where people triumph over adversity and the fact that Negreanu bounced back from his first attempt at making it in the poker world sees him held in high regard by poker players everywhere. It takes a lot of courage to bounce back but in doing so and in propelling to victory in a short space of time, Negreanu provided himself capable of being regarded as one of the best in the business when it comes to poker.