Daniel Negreanu is a celebrated poker star, who has worked very hard to achieve his level of celebrity in the professional poker community. His parents immigrated to Toronto, Canada from Romania, and it was there that Negreanu was born and raised.
At the age of sixteen he discovered the competitive world of poker, and turned his attentions to pool halls and gambling. Eventually, Negreanu dropped out of high school needing only one credit to graduate; he was determined to be a professional poker player, and could not wait to make it happen.
His success, though, was not guaranteed, and there was a time when his story did not look so well. He would haunt pool halls and card games around Toronto, building up his bankroll slowly but surely. By the time he turned twenty-one he had accumulated a large enough pool of funds so that he felt comfortable making his move to Las Vegas to break into its poker scene.
But Vegas can be indifferent to what players want, and Negreanu lost his entire bankroll at the cities card tables. Forced to return to Toronto, this established a relationship Negreanu kept with “The Strip” longer than he wanted to; he would build up a sizable bankroll in Toronto, and Vegas would take it all.
From 1995 to 1997 he repeated the cycle of winning in Toronto and losing in Vegas, but this cycle was great teacher for Negreanu. He studied his weak points, and began improving his game. In 1997 his efforts produced success; he was named best all-around player at Foxwoods’ World Poker Final. The following year he entered his first World Series of Poker event (WSOP) and won; winning this event made him, at the age of twenty-three, the youngest player at that time to win a WSOP bracelet.
Since then, Negreanu has won an additional five WSOP bracelets, winning a S.H.O.E event in 2003, a $2000 Limit Hold’em event in 2004 and 2008, a No Limit Hold’em Main Event in 2013, and a High Limit Hold’em Event in 2013 as well. In addition, Negreanu has won two World Poker Tour titles playing the $10,000 Borgata Poker Open and the $15,000 Five Diamond World Poker Open in 2004.
With such success behind him, it is only natural that Negreanu would be extremely influential in the world of poker, and in the gambling industry itself. In 2007 he signed with Pokerstars, officially joining the largest online poker website in the world.
As a major spokesman for Pokerstars, Negreanu attempts to steer the conversation about where online poker sites are going at a time when big changes are taking hold in the industry. As far as his views on gambling go, Negreanu has stated “If people want to play craps online for money, if that’s what they choose to do, I am OK with that. I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I don’t want to say that it’s OK for some people to play poker and lose their money at the poker tables, but it is not ok for them to play craps and lose their money there”.
So while some people in the industry might see a difference between poker and other table games offered in online casinos, Negreanu believes that it is all gambling, and that if people want to play a game for money, then it should be allowed. Whether it is poker, backgammon, craps, or some other table game, Negreanu believes it is all gambling, and, if that is what people wish to do with their money, then they should be allowed to.
What makes his opinion even more influential in the poker circuit is that Daniel Negreanu has avoided being sucked into scandals that have stained the reputations of other great poker starts like Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson. Doing this has further endeared him to the industry as its reputation was hurt from the incidents that have consumed discussion of other major poker players.
With this in mind, and with his list of accomplishments behind him, Daniel Negreanu was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2014. His induction was an official signal that he is not only one of the most successful poker players of the last twenty years, but that he is also one of the most beloved.
With his list of tournament victories and 30 million dollars in winnings from playing in live tournaments, it would seem that the induction into the Poker Hall of Fame would be the perfect capstone to any professional poker player’s career, but Negreanu shows no signs of slowing down. He is still looking for ways to improve his game, and for new avenues to improve the game for others.