Daniel Negreanu: How He Measures Success & Calling His Shot

Daniel Negreanu sat down for a candid interview about his 2015 WSOP.

Daniel Negreanu sat down for a candid interview about his 2015 WSOP.

Daniel Negreanu may be the most recognizable face in poker and the most powerful player in the poker world. He has six bracelets, $28 million in live tournament earnings and has an unmatched passion for the game he loves.

By Negreanu standards he’s had a down year at the World Series of Poker – three cashes and a final table finish in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo event, the event he called his shot in on Twitter.

Unfortunately, he lost two big hands and bowed out in third place for $113,062. The six-figure score helped bring his ROI up on the summer but is in the red with a dozen events remaining on the schedule.

Negreanu sat down for conversation and reflected on calling his shot, how he measures his success and what he thinks his legacy could be.

BLUFF: You called your shot in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship but you finished in third – do you regret making the prediction?

“I do it all the time. There’s like I believe in being connected to the universe and energy and all that kind of kooky stuff, new-agey things. I felt it. I just felt like I was going to go deep in this one.”

“My mindset sense seemed right and it just felt like the moment and it looked like it for most of the way. Then we got to three-handed and I lost a couple of hands, but it was my best score of the summer.”

“I’m selective when I say things like that. I don’t just say it when I don’t feel it and I knew I was going to go deep. I just felt it and I believe in that. I know Phil Ivey said he was winning one last year or whatever. He’s doing bad or whatever and then it was his turn and it was just like this is it. I’m turning the corner. It’s happening. It did, he won.”

BLUFF: Your cash from that final table improved your numbers for the summer but at this point in the Series you’re in the negative. At this point in your career is that even a relative metric for you?

“No. Not at all. I don’t care. I just look at number of bracelets and there’s … So far, there hadn’t been any but I’ve had the best world series ever. I’ve been enjoying every day and having a blast, enjoying just the process.”

BLUFF: There are a few big events left on the schedule, events that on paper look to favor you with the One Drop High Roller and the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha Six Max event. Are you looking forward to those events?

“To be honest, the better ones are the HORSE and the Dealers Choice Championship events. I’m actually really looking forward to those two a lot more. I don’t mind playing No Limit Hold’em away from the Series but when the Series is going on, the idea of playing NLHE is like putting a gun to my head. It’s just so boring in comparison. It’s hard to get through.”

BLUFF: A few years ago Phil Ivey told us he could win 30 bracelets in his career, a couple weeks ago Phil Hellmuth said he’s always thought he was going to win 24 – how many bracelets do you think you can win in your career?

“I mean I think 20 is certainly doable. I have had a lot of seconds so I probably should have about nine by now. I’ve got six but you just take and pick the hot streak for a couple of years to get back up there. A lot of the tournaments I play are 100-players fields, which makes it a little easier in some sense. You play a couple of players but they’re tough.”

BLUFF: You’ve had very successful WSOPs in the last few years, what does it take for you to consider having a good Series – a bracelet or two?

“None of that stuff, just enjoy it. I’ve been enjoying it, like I said, oddly my results have not been the best I’ve ever had. This year so far, I’ve got three couches but I’ve enjoyed it more than any other one. Just really like living a more balanced life, playing some Hearthstone, going to the gym, some late regging a lot, which allows time to relax because it’s exhausting.”

“We do 11-hour turnaround. That’s tough. If you do a few days in a row, you go 3 am, you finish and get back for 2 pm. Now that seems like plenty of time but you get home 3:30, go to sleep around 4:30, wake up around 12, you’re not really getting the full amount of sleep. Then you’ve got to go straight to the thing.”

“You do that a couple of days in a row, it starts to … Last night I was very fatigued. I played three events and I just did not play well in the Dealers Choice, I was too tired.”

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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join PokerNews.com. After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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