Hearthstone, Push-ups & Photos: Daniel Negreanu’s Level 2

Daniel Negreanu has eight WSOP Main Event cashes and three cashes this Series.

Daniel Negreanu has eight WSOP Main Event cashes and three cashes this Series.

The 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event kicked off for Daniel Negreanu on Day 1C after taking a few days to rest up, watch a Rocky marathon and play some soccer.

Negreanu has cashed eight times in the Main Event – four times in Las Vegas and four times in Europe. His best finish was runner-up in 2009 WSOP Europe and his highest finish in Las Vegas was 11th place in 2001.

Earlier this summer Negreanu called his shot and finished third in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship after two gut-wrenching hands. Tuesday morning he announced his intentions for the day.

We picked up with Negreanu at the start of Level 2, with 20,575, to get an inside look at playing the Main Event. His table was seven-handed at the start of the day but Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier and 888 qualifier Luciana Manola joined at the start of Level 2 for a full table.

2:33 pm: Andrew Barber and Paul Hoefer received their bracelets on stage in the Brasilia room. During the presentation Negreanu made time for three separate photos with fans.

2:40 pm: WSOP Executive Vice President Ty Stewart walked through the field. “Hi Ty,” Negreanu called out from a couple tables away. Stewart approached, Negreanu complimented him on his tie, pocket square and lapel flower. “You’re looking very dapper today,” he said. Stewart returned the compliment, Negreanu laughed and said he was good and on the grind.

2:42 pm: Grospellier and Negreanu discussed the game Hearthstone for a bit. Manola looked very confused and Negreanu told her, “it’s like Magic, but online.”

2:46 pm: A gaggle of photographers and film crew led by Tatjana Pasalic crowded around the table for b-roll footage and pictures. Negreanu didn’t play any hands and kept quiet while they were there. The group attracted the attention of railbirds that were three rows away and they snapped a few photos.

3:00 pm: Grospellier opened for 450, Cliff Pappas called and Negreanu called on the button. The flop came A T 4, following two checks Negreanu bet 700. Grospellier folded, Pappas called and the turn came Q. Both players checked, the river came 2, Pappas bet 1,500 and Negreanu raised to 5,000. “Jesus Christ,” Pappas said under his breath, he tossed in the call and Negreanu tabled 5 3 for a straight. Pappas mucked and Negreanu chipped up to 26,025.

3:07 pm: Rebecca McAdam, of PokerStars, arrived at the table to introduce two people to Negreanu. She asked why he hadn’t been to the PokerStars suite at the Palms and he said, “I’ve been here playing poker tournaments.” They chatted a bit longer and Negreanu complimented the new women’s upper ear piercing. “When I was young I wanted my eyebrow pierced, but I never did it. I put an earring on the bill of my cap and it was almost the same thing.”

3:15 pm: Huck Seed was seated at the adjacent table to Negreanu and they were back-to-back. They made small talk about the field size, wondering how big it was going to be.

3:20 pm: Five players went to a raised flop of A 6 2, Don Himpele bet 1,400, Negreanu called and the rest folded. The turn came 5, Himpele check-called 2,500 and the river came T. Negreanu bet around 3,000 with all his small denomination chips and Himpele mucked.

3:27 pm: Manola asked Negreanu about his Twitch stream and how many millions of viewers he has. Negreanu laughed and told her the number is closer to 15,000 and he’ll play tournaments and cash games – “Whatever the people want,” he said.

3:35 pm: Negreanu gets up from his seat and pounded out 25 push-ups. He sat down again and said to his tablemates, “One hundred push-ups a day make your titties look nice,” he joked. Sal Busacca said from across the table, “I don’t do anything and mine are really nice – probably a B cup.” The table all laughed.

3:45 pm: Negreanu and Seed discussed doing push-ups and Seed doesn’t do them because of a bad shoulder. Negreanu told him that his soccer team won their local league. The conversation moved to golf and Negreanu talked about hanging out with Tiger Woods and that Woods will definitely win again once his kids are older.

4:05 pm: Negreanu opened for 400, Busacca three-bet to 1,100 and Negreanu called. The flop came A K T, both players checked and the turn came 5. They both checked again, the river came 7, Negreanu bet 2,000 and Busacca mucked. Negreanu flashed pocket queens and chipped up to 31,000.

4:22 pm: Negreanu left his seat to to do 25 more push-ups.

4:35 pm: Negreanu opened to 400 from under the gun, Mejaed Trad and Hans Winzeler called. The flop came T 7 4, Winzeler checked, Negreanu bet 700 and Trad called. Winzeler mucked, the turn came K, Negreanu checked and Winzeler bet 1,900. Negreanu mucked and ended the level with 31,450.

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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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